Four of the fortunate teams to still have their starting quarterbacks kick off the NFL playoffs today.
Washington visits Philadelphia in the NFC wild-card game, and Kansas City plays at Miami in the AFC. Entering the playoffs, the Redskins, Eagles, Chiefs and Dolphins have avoided the rash of serious quarterback injuries affecting playoff clubs.On Sunday, NFC Central champion Chicago, 13-3, is home against New Orleans, 8-8, and Houston, 9-7, visits Cincinnati, 9-7, in a battle of AFC Central teams.
A vicious game is expected today at Philadelphia, where the Eagles and Redskins meet for the first time in the playoffs but the third time this season. They split their regular-season games, each winning at home, to post 10-6 records. The Eagles knocked nine Redskins out of the game in a 28-14 Monday night game two months ago, and won three straight to finish the season.
Defensive lineman Darryl Grant said the beating the Redskins took should serve as added incentive.
"The way it happened up there, we should be mad," he said. "We should be upset. But it's got to be the type of anger that'll be positive and get everybody motivated. I don't think there'll by any greater motivating factor than watching the films of the last game. If that's not enough, what is? They made up their minds to come out and destroy us.
"They came out geared up. We didn't match their intensity. We're fortunate to get an opportunity to redeem ourselves."
Among the Redskins injured in their last game against Philadelphia was quarterback Stan Humphries, who was replacing Mark Rypien at the time. Rypien has since returned, and he starts opposite Randall Cunningham of the Eagles. Cunningham is the NFL's most dangerous all-around offensive player, passing for 3,466 yards and 30 touchdowns and leading the team with 942 rushing yards.