Redskins fall to Eagles, finish last again

By Rob Maaddi

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 1 2012 4:10 p.m. MST

Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, left, greets Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan after an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 34-10.

Michael Perez, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — With the clock winding down in the first half, the Washington Redskins' field-goal unit hurried onto the field only to watch time run out before attempting a short kick.

That about sums up the season for the Redskins.

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

While the Eagles (8-8) go home feeling positive about a strong finish, the Redskins (5-11) have fewer bright spots. They 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."

The Redskins had one more win last year, but feel they made strides this season.

"Oh yeah, tremendously," linebacker Brian Orakpo said. "Even though our record's worse, I feel like our defense is tops in the league. Statistically, we kind of fell off toward the end, but I really feel like we got the core guys we can build off of and really look for a bright future for this team, especially with all the young guys you see this year."

It's the first time since 2007 that Philadelphia didn't qualify for postseason play and just the fourth time in coach Andy Reid's 13 seasons.

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

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 threw for 335 yards, 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'm not sure what my opportunities are going to be," said Grossman, who will be a free agent. "I hope this is the best opportunity. It's a very good team. I'm proud of every single teammate that I played with. Everybody worked hard, nobody gave up. We have great character in that locker room. Even though we finished where we finished, I was proud to be a part of this team."

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.

"I think it was encouraging to see how we played in the first half of games this season, but was disappointed that we did not finish some games," linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. "We did not always play up to par this season."

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.

Vick connected with Jackson to make it 20-10 in the fourth quarter. It could've been Jackson's last game with the Eagles. The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver played the final year of his rookie contract and never got the extension he wanted after holding out in training camp.

A 4-yard TD toss from Vick to Brent Celek made it 27-10.

Roy Helu turned a screen pass into a 47-yard TD to get Washington to 10-7 on the opening drive of the second half.

The Redskins turned the ball over on downs at the Eagles 35 in the final minute of the second quarter. They got the ball back when Brian Orakpo sacked Vick and forced a fumble. Perry Riley recovered at the 17, but the Redskins wasted the field position.

An unsportsmanlike penalty on Santana Moss for taking off his helmet and arguing a non-call for pass interference pushed the ball back, and the clock expired before Gano could attempt a field goal after Jabar Gaffney was tackled at the Eagles 7. Long snapper Nick Sundberg wasn't on the field as players scurried to the line of scrimmage.

"A little mix-up there relative to communication, coupled with not getting the play," Shanahan said, explaining that the headsets weren't working at the time.

NOTES: Grossman finished with 20 interceptions despite not starting three games. ... Shanahan's previous worst season was 6-10 last year and with Denver in 1999. ... Orakpo left with a left shoulder injury. He'll have an MRI on Monday.

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