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Redskins Legacy: Making History In Philadelphia

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The Redskins achieved the once-unimaginable at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia on Nov. 25, 2001.

They beat the Eagles, 13-3.

A look back at some of the top images in games between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.

This wasn't any old win over a long-time NFC East rival.  It was Washington's fifth straight victory after an 0-5 start, marking the first and only time in NFL history a team that had opened its season with five consecutive losses rebounded with five wins in a row.

The Redskins had looked inept through the first three weeks, losing by an average of 32 points and scoring only 16, before showing some fight in the next two losses.

They subsequently reeled off five straight wins under highly successful NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, then in his first and only season in D.C. They beat Carolina (17-14), the Giants (35-21), Seattle (27-14) and Denver (17-10), before facing the Eagles in front of a hostile crowd of 65,666 at the Vet.

At the time, the Eagles were on a three-game win streak, most recently walloping the Cowboys, 36-3, and at 6-3 held first place in the NFC East. They were coming off an 11-5 season that ended with a second-round playoff appearance.

Their superstar was third-year quarterback Donovan McNabb, one of the most dangerous players in the league. He was hurting defenses with his strong arm and nimble feet, as evidenced by his 125 yards rushing and 137 passing in Philadelphia's 23-20 win over the Redskins in 2000.

When asked how big a headache McNabb was that day, Redskins defensive end Marco Coleman replied, "I don't think they make Tylenol that big."

But this time the red-hot Redskins had an answer for McNabb. A much-improved defense led by linebacker LaVar Arrington, who spied on McNabb, neutralized the elusive quarterback, who completed 15-of-27 passes for 92 yards, with a long of 13, and rushed for only 39 more.

The Redskins scored first on a five-yard, second-quarter run by back Ki-Jana Carter, who rotated with gimpy starter Stephen Davis for much of the game. The play capped a six-play, 59-yard drive that set the tone for a dominant first half, when the Redskins piled up 178 yards to the Eagles' 69.

Washington's Brett Conway kicked the conversion, and his 43-yard field goal created a 10-0 game at halftime.

The Eagles' offense found its footing in the third quarter, and a 42-yard drive ended on David Akers' 49-yard field goal that cut the margin to seven. But Washington's defense, wracked by injuries earlier in the season, came up huge on the Eagles' next two drives with fourth-down stops in Redskins territory. (The Eagles converted only 3-of-13 third downs in the game.)

After the second stop, the Redskins crafted a beauty of a drive – a 15-play, 50-yard march that ate up nearly nine minutes and ended on Conway's 32-yard field goal with 33 seconds left.

Game over.

"Nobody thought we could do this, but we did," said Davis, who rushed for 79 yards on 22 carries. "We have a long way to go, but we've given ourselves a chance to do some things."

Wonder of wonders, the 5-5 Redskins were suddenly a game behind the 6-4 Eagles in the NFC East, an unfathomable scenario a few weeks prior. The Redskins were the talk of the league and made the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, an honor in itself.

Arrington compared their resurgence to the awakening of a "sleeping giant."

"We're .500," Schottenheimer said matter of factly. "We move forward from here."

But the Redskins would remain at .500.  Unable to maintain their momentum, they split their last six games to finish 8-8. The Eagles again won the division at 11-5 and reached the NFC Championship game, losing to the Rams, 29-24.

. He hosts a podcast called "Burgundy & Gold Flashback." His web site is redskinshistorian.com. Check out his Facebook Friend and Fan pages and follow him on Twitter.*

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