PHILADELPHIA -- Every week, half the teams in the NFL get beaten, many by scores worse than 28-14. But few get whipped, bullied and hurt the way the Washington Redskins got humiliated, then tongue- lashed, by the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night.

After midnight, as the Redskins reached the Veterans Stadium tunnel, and found their escape route to safety at last, many of their faces were glazed or blank -- almost in shock.

Don Warren, helmet still on, had a furious look as if he wanted to play some more. Jeff Bostic glared up at the Eagles' fans screaming down "losers, losers!" Earnest Byner put his hand over a TV camera so it couldn't capture the expressions of his beaten friends. Darrell Green just limped.

Many of their teammates had already gone down that tunnel -- on stretchers or body carts. "I've never seen a game like this," said Redskins Hall-of-Famer Bobby Mitchell. "Not even in the old days."

Stan Humphries lay on his back, screaming, alternately beating his fist on the turf and covering his face with his hands as trainers immobilized his knee. As he rode off, Humphries gamely waved a "No. 1" finger at the Romans.

Joe Howard couldn't even do that. After a hat-to-hat meeting with a man 50 pounds bigger, he was out so cold with a concussion that the Eagles' Wes Hopkins said, "Man, he was snoring." Redskins trainer Bubba Tyer said yesterday, "For a long time, he wasn't moving at all and you could barely see him breathing."

Greg Manusky refused the cart. After being wrapped from hip to ankle, he hopped off the field. Gerald Riggs took the M*A*S*H taxi too, with the same foot injury that cut his season in half last year.

Walter Stanley chose the fetal position, clutching his knee, before the cart came. "Walter was emotional. I wanted to get him off the field fast," said Tyer. "If a man cries, that's his business. It shouldn't be on national TV."

Jeff Rutledge simply finished his night kneeling near the hash marks, his throwing thumb swollen and bleeding as he saw his 12-season fantasy -- of winning an NFL starting job -- turned into a fiasco. William Frizzell ran back his interception for a touchdown. Then Clyde Simmons scored with Rutledge's fumble after a blindside knockout.

Just a week ago, Rutledge showed all the things he could do under ideal conditions -- indoors against a weak, tired, passive zone defense with little pass rush. Monday night, he showed all the things he could not do against a vicious, full-blitz man-to-man clamping defense, committed to football terrorism on a raw, windy night.

"He's an old quarterback. Been around about a hundred years," crowed Eagles Coach Buddy Ryan. "So, we blitzed him." When the Eagles didn't send five men, they sent six. Except when they sent seven. Some quarterbacks can rollerskate in a buffalo herd. Rutledge can roll a little, but he can't skate. You know where he'll be. The Eagles met there.

By the end reserve halfback Brian Mitchell was the Redskins' quarterback. That Mitchell led a bizarre last-minute touchdown drive full of scrambles and knuckleball passes -- and stayed in one piece -- kept Russ Grimm from becoming the NFL's first 275-pound quarterback with a cage mask.

It would have been rough frontier justice if the Hogs had been forced to take turns at quarterback the last series -- just to see how it felt back there with Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Simmons and Mike Golic arriving regularly by parachute. Rutledge was floored a dozen times before his final KO punch.

Minutes after the game, then at Redskin Park yesterday, Coach Joe Gibbs posed basically the same ideas: "We've got some serious problems right now. We've never had that many guys hurt in one game. . . . This may be one of the biggest challenges we've had. . . . If we ever needed help -- for guys to step up and be heroes, from our fans, from everybody -- now is the time."

Maybe the Eagles are headed to the top and will point back at this as the night the Buddy System took hold. And maybe this when the Redskins were exposed as Just Another Team. Maybe too many Hogs and running backs are too old. Maybe the Redskins need Dexter Manley. Maybe Gibbs's fabled offense, with lots of formations but few plays, has become predictable, as some Eagles claimed. And maybe Washington just doesn't have a quarterback good enough to make the sum of its parts all it should be.

However, for a moment, let's pretend these are a pair of 5-4 teams -- both talented, both flawed, both headed to the playoffs but neither to the Super Bowl -- that met under a unique set of circumstances on Jeff Rutledge Night.

"We've always liked it when people blitzed us. That's what our offense is built to take advantage of," said Bostic. "It's been a long time since they came after us like this and got away with it."

Why? Because, with anybody except Rutledge throwing, the Redskins usually undressed the Eagles' defensive backs.

"When they keep coming and coming, you have to do something about it, or they will just come some more. Last year they tried and we made a lot of big plays," said Mark Rypien, who threw four scoring passes against the Eagles' blitz in a 42-37 loss at RFK Stadium.

The Redskins may not be as badly hurt as they seem. Humphries, Riggs and Stanley will miss four games and Howard one. None of the injuries is career-threatening, unless you figure Riggs a George Rogers washout at 30.

"I think our strength is our depth," said Grimm. "Now we'll find out."

Perhaps most important, Rypien seems ready to return. Suddenly, all his fumbles of '89 are forgiven and his so-so 1990 start before going down in Week 3 appear irrelevant. You see, the Redskins' hopes are now modest: Reclaim some dignity, make the watered-down playoffs and let January dreams take care of themselves.

"This game is amazing," said Rypien, who couldn't nag Gibbs into letting him practice the last two weeks. "One day, you're just trying to get back out there any way you can. Then, an hour {of injuries} later, it's your turn to contribute.

"At first, you feel for the ones who are injured. But pretty quick you better look at who's left and put the pieces back together. We've got to respond."

After the licking the Redskins took here with the whole NFL world watching, even that is an understatement.