Vick leads Eagles over Redskins 34-10

By Rob Maaddi

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Washington Redskins' Santana Moss (89) cannot hang on to a pass in the end zone as Philadelphia Eagles' Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (23) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Philadelphia.

Mel Evans, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles played their best football too late.

Michael Vick threw for 335 yards and three touchdown passes, including a 62-yarder to DeSean Jackson, and the Eagles beat the Washington Redskins 34-10 Sunday for their fourth straight win.

But the Eagles (8-8) are going home despite the strong finish after failing to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and just the fourth time in coach Andy Reid's 13 seasons. They can't be satisfied after entering the year with Super Bowl aspirations

"That's the unfortunate part," Vick said. "Everybody's jelling together, our team is getting closer as a unit, everybody's understanding their coaches and what they're trying to do and their philosophy. We know what needs to be done. We'll fly under the radar and try to shock people next year. Next year will be totally different. I promise you."

Reid refused to discuss anything about the future, including whether he wants to return or if defensive coordinator Juan Castillo will be back. Reid took plenty of criticism this season, and heard "Fire Andy!" chants during a loss to New England in November. Castillo was intensely scrutinized in his first season after serving as an offensive line coach for 13 years.

"We've got to get better all the way around, starting with me," Reid said. "This wasn't good enough."

The Redskins (5-11) finished last in the NFC East for a franchise-worst fourth straight year. It was Mike Shanahan's worst full season in 18 years as a coach.

"I think the last five, six games we've done some good things, run the football against some good teams, not as good as we need, though," Shanahan said. "We talked about adding a few pieces on offense, we need a few pieces on defense, a good draft, but we made some strides. Our football team is a lot different than a year ago, and that's a positive."

One of four NFL games on the final day that had no playoff ramifications, this had the feel of a preseason game. There were thousands of empty seats at the always sold-out Linc, and there was far more interest in the Mummer's Parade on Broad Street.

The Winter Classic alumni game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers across the street at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday generated more excitement.

Playing without NFC leading rusher LeSean McCoy, the Eagles relied mainly on their passing attack. Vick delivered, becoming the second player to have consecutive seasons with 3,000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing.

Rex Grossman had 256 yards passing, one TD and one interception, and Evan Royster had 113 yards rushing for Washington.

"I really enjoy it here," said Grossman, who will be a free agent. "I really enjoy this offensive system and what they're building here. I'd love for this to be the place where I end up."

The Redskins were 3-1 and leading the NFC East when the teams met on Oct. 16. A 20-13 loss to Philadelphia started their six-game losing streak and knocked them out of the playoff picture.

The Eagles weren't eliminated from playoff contention until last week, and finished with the best record in the division at 5-1. But they're starting an early vacation while the winner of the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday night advances.

"You have to analyze everything that happened and figure out how not to let it happen again," Vick said. "We've got a lot of soul-searching to do, a lot of thinking to do. I think our opportunities will arise."

Vick's 7-yard TD pass to Chad Hall in the second quarter gave Philadelphia a 10-0 lead after Derek Landri blocked Graham Gano's 36-yard field-goal attempt.

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