Buddy Ryan felt it was just a matter of time. "He's an old quarterback. He's been around 100 years. We just thought we could get to him and some people did," Ryan said.
The "he" was Jeff Rutledge, whose heroics the week before in Washington's 41-38 victory over Detroit earned the perennial backup quarterback a start against the Philadelphia Eagles.It took the Eagles more than a half, but they did get to Rutledge. The Eagles' defense KO'd the 12-year veteran in the third quarter and knocked out his replacement, Stan Humphries, in the fourth as Philadelphia rolled to a 28-14 victory over the Redskins on Monday night.
But the Eagles sent Rutledge to the sidelines in the third period with a bruised thumb after he had completed just 6 of 19 passes for 62 yards. Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, Wes Hopkins and Co. continued the assault on Humphries, who left with a damaged knee in the fourth.
In all, the Eagles' defense scored two touchdowns, set up another and held the Redskins to 200 yards of total offense as they tied the Redskins for second place in the NFC East at 5-4.
Cornerback William Frizzel ran 30 yards with an intercepted pass for a 7-0 first-period lead. The Redskins tied it 7-7 in the second quarter on Rutledge's 8-yard pass to Don Warren after a botched punt. But the Eagles' defense took over late in the third period.
First, it forced a short punt, giving the offense the ball at the Washington 33. Keith Byars capped the scoring drive when he threw a 3-yard halfback-option pass to Heath Sherman that sent the Eagles ahead 14-7.
On Washington's next possession, Hopkins blind-sided Rutledge on a safety blitz, forcing a fumble that bounced right to Simmons, who picked up the ball and ran 18 yards to make it 21-7.
On Humphries' first series, linebacker Byron Evans tipped a pass that Reggie White caught for the first interception of his 6-year career. White ran 33 yards to the Washington 9. Randall Cunningham then passed 3 yards to Sherman in the end zone and it was 28-7 after three TDs in a 3:51 span.
Humphries later injured his knee and the final score of the game was engineered by the Redskins' third quarterback - rookie Brian Mitchell, who ran the wishbone at Southwest Louisiana, where he set an NCAA record for a quarterback of 47 rushing touchdowns.
The game-breaker was Hopkins' sack of Rutledge, which the veteran safety credited to a coaching adjustment at halftime.
Hopkins, who regained his starting job two games ago when rookie Ben Smith was moved to cornerback, said the Eagles' defense, "was really intense tonight. I could see it in their eyes. It was all business. Everybody was fired up."
Ryan said the defense played one of its best games since he took over as head coach in 1986. He praised Sherman, who became the first Eagles' back to gain 100 yards in two straight games since 1981.