Veterans Stadium has long been considered perhaps the NFL's worst venue for opposing teams. The infrastructure is outdated, the field was worn and dangerous before it recently underwent resurfacing and rabid Eagles fans are merciless. Few outside the Philadelphia area will shed a tear when the facility is razed to make room for parking for the new Lincoln Financial Field.
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Some Eagles fans proudly displayed hammers, crowbars, wrenches and other tools they intended to use to dismantle parts of Veterans Stadium after yesterday's final regular season game. Stadium officials, however, tried to prevent such havoc by announcing that spectators seen carrying tools into the stadium would be subject to arrest.
Among the players the Redskins gave up on and who have wound up helping the Eagles to their recent success are Brian Mitchell, James Thrash, Ndukwe Kalu, David Akers and Shawn Barber. Mitchell, who played for the Redskins from 1990 to 1999, yesterday ascended to No. 2 on the career all-purpose yardage list.
Craig Jarrett unleashed a 74-yard kick, albeit wind-aided, early in the second quarter that bounced over the head of punt returner Mitchell and rolled into the end zone.
The Redskins were still competitive on the scoreboard when they had the Eagles facing third down and two at the Washington 5 in the second quarter. The Redskins had 12 men on the field but were not able to stop Duce Staley, who carried four yards up the middle. Staley went on to score a touchdown for a 17-0 lead.
With 9 minutes 55 seconds left in the third quarter, Eagles linebacker Carlos Emmons did not give up on a play, but the Redskins did, and the result was a touchdown that all but decided the game. When Redskins running back Ladell Betts and quarterback Patrick Ramsey missed connections for a fumble, Emmons dove on the loose ball and began to get up as Redskins players stood and watched. Emmons then ran 44 yards for a touchdown that made it 24-7.
Stephen Davis had run twice on the Redskins' opening possession for 24 yards, but on his second carry he fumbled and landed hard on the Veterans Stadium turf. Davis missed the rest of the game with a dislocated shoulder.
Redskins wide receiver Chris Doering showed toughness going over the middle by hanging on to a 15-yard pass for a touchdown as Eagles safety Brian Dawkins delivered a punishing blow. Doering lost the ball after he hit the ground but got his feet down just before impact. The touchdown cut the Eagles' lead to 17-7.
A week after turning over the ball five times in a 27-21 loss to the New York Giants, the Redskins did more giving yesterday with three turnovers, all fumbles. The responsible parties were Davis, punt returner Champ Bailey and the mishandled exchange between Ramsey and Betts.
-- Gene Wang