LANDOVER, Md. — Just try to keep up with Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and the Philadelphia Eagles this season. Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins sure couldn’t.
Playing at a frenetic pace that left the Redskins bumbling and stumbling, the Eagles unleashed coach Chip Kelly’s offense on the NFL and crammed 77 plays into 60 minutes of football. They had their share of miscues, of course, but they held on for a 33-27 upset of the defending NFC East champs.
Vick, running the don’t-take-a-breath attack that won 87 percent of the time during Kelly’s four years at the University of Oregon, completed 15 of 25 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran nine times for 56 yards and a score. McCoy had 31 carries for 184 yards, including a 34-yard TD. DeSean Jackson piled up 104 yards on seven catches.
Vick hit Jackson for a 25-yard touchdown and Brent Celek for a 28-yard score, then found the end zone himself on a 3-yard run — and that was just the first half. It would have been a bigger rout if Vick hadn’t missed three open receivers in the first quarter, or if his sideways lateral on first-and-goal at the 4 hadn’t been tipped by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and returned 75 yards for a Redskins touchdown.
Perhaps the most remarkable accomplishment by Vick, McCoy, Kelly and the Eagles: They managed to upstage Griffin. The game was played eight months to the day since the Redskins quarterback had major knee surgery, and his return Monday was the culmination of a dedicated, high-profile rehab that included a public clash with Washington coach Mike Shanahan that barely put a dent in the fans’ fervent adoration for their franchise player.
As it turned out, they didn’t have much of a chance to chant “R-G-3!” — because the Redskins offense couldn’t stay on the field. Their first seven plays: lost fumble by Alfred Morris, 3-yard loss by Morris, penalty for illegal shift, screen to Morris that got back some yards, interception thrown by Griffin into triple coverage, pass dropped by fullback Darrel Young, safety that occurred when Morris bobbled a pitch in the end zone.
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.