LANDOVER, Md. -- The Eagles' season is on the line, and they're actually playing like it. At halftime, the 1-4 Birds have built a 20-3 lead over the 3-1 Redskins, playing much sharper football than any of their previous outings, including their season-opening win so long ago.
Some stats: The Eagles have 16 first downs to the Redskins' 5, they've converted three of seven third downs and Washington is 0-for-4, the total yards are 250-75, the rushing yards are 110-19 in the Birds' favor, and Miachel Vick is 12 for 20 for 141 yards and a touchdown. Rex Grossman is 6 for 14 for 64 yards and a pair of picks, by safeties Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman.
The Eagles got a key roughing call on Washington's Brian Orakpo after Vick threw away an errant snap from his end zone, on their second series. That sequence seemed to ignite the offense, which drove 82 yards in 11 plays, taking a 7-0 lead on an inside screen to Brent Celek, Celek getting a solid block from right tackle turned left tackle Todd Herremans. Included in the drive was a key fourth-down conversion catch by Jason Avant.
The Eagles' defense looked much stronger against the run, allowing just 15 yards on the ground while the 20-0 lead was being built, and Grossman looked shaky against the pass rush.
The Eagles made it 14-0 on a drive that featrued a 21-yard LeSean McCoy run, and an eventual 1-yard McCoy scoring run that gave him a touchdown in each of the Eagles' first 6 games. He is the first player in franchise history to do that. McCoy entered the second quarter with 50 yards on eight carries.
The Eagles added a pair of Alex Henery field goals, the last set up by a Nate Allen interception. The light seemed to come on for the second-year safety last week at Buffalo, and he is playing way better at that spot than Eagles fans have been seeing all year.
It will be interesting to see if the Redskins' offensive adjustments are as devastating to the Eagles' defense in the second half as other opponents' adjustments have been this season. The Redskins finally drove for a 50-yard field goal late in the first half, a third-down sack by Mike Patterson almost taking Washington out of Graham Gano's range.
Of course, the Eagles also had a 20-3 halftime lead against San Francisco two weeks ago, and lost.
Eagles tackle King Dunlap will be inactive for today's game against Washington.
Dunlap did not practice Thursday or Friday after suffering back spasms on the last play of Wednesday's practice. He was out on the field at FedEx Field earlier today with the training staff, attempting to determine his status.
In his absence, the Eagles wiill move Todd Herremans to left tackle and insert Winston Justice at right tackle. Justice has appeared in one game this season -- playing last week on special teams. He has been slowed by his recovery from offseason knee surgery.
Justice will have the task of protecting Michael Vick's blind side.
With Jason Peters (hamstring) already out, starting left guard Evan Mathis will be the only available reserve with any tackle experience.
The Eagles' other inactives are Curtis Marsh, Keenan Clayton, Julian Vandervelde and the injured Trent Cole (calf) and Jarrad Page, who suffered a stinger last week but practiced the last two days and was listed as probable in the final injury report. Page's inactivity probably has more to do with his play than with his injury.
The inactives for the Redskins are WR Anthony Armstrong, CB Phillip Buchanon, FB Mike Sellers, LB Markus White, OT Willie Smith, WR Leonard Hankerson, and DT Darrion Scott.