Donovan McNabb threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns to spark the Philadelphia Eagles past Cleveland 30-10 on Monday night, keeping pace in a tight playoff chase.
Philadelphia improved to 8-5 with one drawn, just behind the 9-5 trio of Dallas, Atlanta and Tampa Bay in the fight for two National Conference wild-card playoff spots with two games remaining in each team’s season.
“The players understand what’s at stake,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “They played a very aggressive game on both sides of the ball. You have to make sure you do that right now.”
If Philadelphia wins both remaining games, it will still take a loss for either Atlanta or Tampa Bay for the Eagles to reach the playoffs.
The Eagles are scheduled to play next week at Washington and in two weeks will host Dallas in their season finale.
Philadelphia lost to both clubs earlier this season and will have one less day to prepare for Sunday’s road game.
“There’s no time. It’s late right now,” Reid said. “Us coaches will go back to the office and get cranking against the Redskins.”
McNabb cranked the Eagles’ attack to 418 total yards, completing 26-of-35 passes on the night and finding nine different receivers.
McNabb flipped a 14-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Curtis just 4:15 into the game to open the scoring and give the Eagles the lead for good.
Asante Samuel returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter as the Eagles jumped ahead 17-3 at half-time.
David Akers added two 34-yard field goals in the second half and McNabb found Greg Lewis with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 11:14 remaining to give Philadelphia a 30-3 edge.
Brandon McDonald returned an interception from Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb 23 yards for the only Browns touchdown with 9:11 remaining.
In other football news, Carl Peterson, whose 19 years as general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs put him among the sport’s longest-lasting executives, will be stepping down, the team announced on Monday.
Peterson, who also serves as president of chief executive of the NFL squad, has seen the Chiefs lose 21 of their past 23 games, including a disappointing 2-12 season.
Peterson will step down at the end of the present season, which will come after the final home game on Sunday against Miami and the last road game this month at Cincinnati.
Making the move now gives the Chiefs a chance to start early in the hunt for a replacement as NFL personnel changes come following the season.
“Both Carl and I agreed that immediately initiating the search for the next Chiefs general manager would be the best thing for the future of the organization,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said.