LANDOVER, Md. —
The Redskins were trailing 33-7 late in the third quarter before three consecutive touchdowns — the last coming with 1:14 to play — made the score more respectable.
Wearing a brace on his right knee, Griffin completed 30 of 49 passes for 329 yards, but 169 yards came in the fourth after the Eagles had taken control. He was also intercepted twice — the first multi-interception game of his career. He ran only five times for 24 yards. He reached down to touch his knee after he was slammed down by Mychal Kendricks late in the second quarter — Griffin was flagged for intentional grounding on the play — but the quarterback remained in the game.
Washington didn’t run a play in Philadelphia territory until the second half. At one point, the Eagles were outgaining the Redskins 146-3. There was a moment in the second quarter when the weary defense had more cramps (two) than the offense had first downs (one).
Even Kai Forbath, who made 17 of 18 field goals in his rookie year, was wide right in the third quarter. Shanahan’s team also committed 10 penalties for 75 yards. Kerrigan left in the fourth quarter with concussion symptoms.
The first-half stats resembled something from an Oregon opener against a creampuff, not a game between NFC East rivals. Total yards: 322-75. First downs: 21-3. Time of possession: 20:20-9:40. Philadelphia’s 53 plays were the second-most in a first half by any NFL team since 1991.
Both teams entered the season with concerns about pass defense. The Eagles, with three new starters in the secondary, fared well in the debut of their new 3-4 scheme. The Redskins, again without safety Brandon Meriweather (groin) and with two rookies getting extended playing time, have much work to do.
As for Griffin, he was the undisputed star of the show — at least until kickoff. He arrived at the stadium wearing an autographed T-shirt from Les Dauphins de Nice, the American football team in France that welcomed him for a workout during his honeymoon in July. When he threw warm-up passes at the 45-yard line, three camera crews were at the 40. He led a team huddle at the 10, just 5 yards from the spot where his knee gave out in January. He was greeted by baseball legend Tommy Lasorda on the sideline, then made a spectacle of an entrance when the starting lineups were announced, carrying the Redskins flag all the way to the end zone for an extended kneel-down for all to see.
Then the game began, and Vick was the better quarterback.
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