Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Philadelphia defeat Washington in season opener


Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, front left, dives into the end zone against strong safety Bacarri Rambo of the Washington Redskins to score on a three-yard touchdown run in the second quarter at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Michael Vick threw for three touchdowns as the Philadelphia Eagles spoiled the return of Washington quarterback Robert Griffin with a 33-27 win over the Redskins in the season opener for both teams.

LeSean McCoy ran for 184 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries for the Eagles, who failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons under former long-time coach Andy Reid.

“I feel good about where we are,” Vick said. “Tonight, we showed 60 percent of our offense. We have a lot of talent and speed. We have a smart group of guys who know how to adapt to the game.”

The Eagles made an instant success of new head coach Chip Kelly, who was making his NFL debut after spending the past six seasons coaching US college football.

Kelly replaced Reid whose 14-year tenure with the Eagles ended after a 4-12 finish last season.

“I had a lot of fun tonight and I think our guys had a lot of fun,” Kelly said. “But you’re always going to say that when you win.”

Quarterback Vick completed 15 of 25 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles racked up 443 total yards and 26 first downs in the win.

Vick also had nine carries and rushed for a touchdown, while DeSean Jackson caught seven passes for a game-high 104 yards and a touchdown. It marked the 16th career 100-yard receiving game for Jackson.

Veteran Vick, who spent 23 months in a US prison for his role in a brutal dogfighting ring, won the starting job this year over second-year quarterback Nick Foles and rookie Matt Barkley.

Griffin struggled at times in his first game since suffering torn knee ligaments during Washington’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January.

The reigning NFL offensive rookie of the year completed 30 of 49 passes for 329 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Alfred Morris rushed for 45 yards and a score on 12 carries for the Redskins, who are one of the favorites to win the National Football Conference East this season.

Vick hooked up with Jackson in the back of the end zone for a 25-yard score and a 10-7 lead for the Eagles with just over six minutes gone in the game.

Later on Vick carried the ball in for a touchdown from three yards out to give the Eagles a 26-7 lead at halftime.

Philadelphia stretched their lead to 26 points, 33-7, just over 90 seconds into the second half, when McCoy romped 34 yards for a touchdown.

McCoy’s 184 rushing yards were the most by an Eagle in a road opener since Duce Staley racked up 201 yards in 2000 against Dallas.

In the late Monday night game, Houston scored 24 unanswered points as the Texans stunned the San Diego Chargers 31-28.

The Texans rallied from a 21-point deficit and Randy Bullock booted a 41-yard field goal as time expired to stun the Chargers at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.

After falling behind 28-7 early in the third quarter, the Texans defense did not allow another first down and Brian Cushing returned an interception for a touchdown that tied the game.

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