Eagles vs. Redskins: Breath of fresh air helps Eagles stop skid

Offensive changes spark easy victory

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Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell completed 16 of 31 passes for 132 yards with an interception in Washington's 27-3 loss to the Eagles yesterday.
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PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles' stale offense needed a couple tweaks to get going. A lucky break and some fresh ideas did the trick.

Donovan McNabb threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to Donte' Stallworth, Sheldon Brown returned an interception 70 yards for a score and the Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak with a 27-3 victory against the Washington Redskins yesterday.

Coach Andy Reid turned over playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg after a 13-6 home loss to Jacksonville. The result was a balanced attack featuring more runs than passes for the first time this season.

"We were in a rut and I was calling the plays so you take a close at yourself," said Reid, who didn't disclose during the week that he was making the switch.

It was a costly loss for the Redskins, who lost Clinton Portis to a broken right hand in the first quarter. It wasn't immediately known how long Washington (3-6) would be without its star running back. Coach Joe Gibbs said Portis may require surgery.

The Eagles (5-4) improved to 8-0 after a week off under Reid while earning their first win since beating Dallas in Terrell Owens' return to Philadelphia on Oct. 8.

McNabb completed 12 of 26 passes for 222 yards. Stallworth had six catches for 139 yards and Brian Westbrook ran for 113 yards.

Philadelphia struggled with bad breaks in its recent losses, including a 23-21 loss at Tampa Bay after Matt Bryant kicked a 62-yard field goal to win it as time expired.

But the Eagles got a favorable bounce yesterday to take a 17-0 lead in the second quarter. On third-and-15 from the Eagles' 45, McNabb completed a 20-yard pass to Reggie Brown near the right sideline. Brown appeared to try to lateral the ball as he was being hit by Shawn Springs, but he actually fumbled.

The ball popped straight into the arms of a streaking Correll Buckhalter, who caught it and sprinted 37 yards down the sideline for his first touchdown since 2003.

"It was a hook-and-lateral all the way. I'm sticking to my story," Brown said with a smile before admitting he lost control of the ball. "I guess I didn't have it secure."



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