New York running back Tiki Barber burst through the right side for 57 yards on the first play, and didn't stop gashing holes in the Washington defense until he was rested after he scored with 1:24 left in the third quarter -- and added a career-high 206 yards to his resume.
"We gave up the big run and after that, there was no enthusiasm," said right end Phillip Daniels, who watched Barber scoot past him. "It seemed like we were a bunch of deer in the headlights. Guys were wondering who was going to make a play instead of making the play themselves. We're not playing very smart. We're not doing the little things and that's killing us."
Barber's monster runs (he had a 59-yard scamper early in the second quarter) were the fifth and sixth runs of at least 34 yards which the Redskins surrendered during the last four games.
"It's the same old deal," defensive end Renaldo Wynn. "Every game, a missed tackle always turns into a big run. It was horrible. I don't remember a time when I felt this low during my NFL career. "
"A couple of times we make a mistake by being so aggressive," Gibbs said. "We come up and probably have a chance to get the guy down, but we try to explode on him and miss the tackle. Does it concern us? Yeah. That's one that hopefully we can fix."
Safety Matt Bowen said the problem is not that hard to solve.
"Football is a game of tackling and angles," Bowen said. "If you don't have a proper angle on a running back in this league, you're not going to catch him, and you won't be a in a good position to tackle him. That's just proper technique. It starts when you're young, but it stays the same as long as you keep playing. If we want to have the season that we want, it's going to come down to stopping big plays."
Notes and Quotes
--According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last team before the Redskins to follow a 35-point victory (52-17 over San Francisco on Oct. 23) with a defeat of Sunday's magnitude was the 1977 Seattle Seahawks, then in just their second NFL season.
"That is the game that all coaches dread," said Gibbs, whose team dropped from a tie for the NFC East lead into a deadlock for the basement at 4-3 with this week's visitor, four-time division champion Philadelphia. "I wouldn't have guessed that we would play like that in a million years. I thought we had good preparation and knew what was stake. That's why I'm never confident going into a game."
--Clinton Portis wasn't angry about equaling his career-low four carries, the last of which came at the 12:01 mark of the second quarter and Washington trailing just 13-0. Portis' only other run after that was erased by an illegal formation penalty.
"I'm not complaining," Portis said. "Nothing was going right for us yesterday. You can't fault the coaches for throwing the ball. We couldn't get anything going."
--Kicker John Hall was active for the first time since pulling his right quadriceps in the Sept. 11 season opener with Chicago, but he never got on the field. Punter Derrick Frost performed the opening kickoff and the Redskins never kicked off again, nor tried a field goal or extra point. They went for it on fourth-and-10 at the New York 45 with 2:22 left and backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey was sacked."I had to warm up, so I thought I might as well go kick one," Hall said of his hopes of getting that first kick in seven weeks under his belt. "I thought maybe we would try to break the shutout, but I understand why they went for it."
--DT Cornelius Griffin left the game after two snaps with an aggravated hip flexor and is questionable at best for Sunday's game with Philadelphia.
--DT Joe Salave'a's plantar fasciitis in his right foot required an MRI on Monday, Salave'a was limping at Redskin Park and might miss at least some practice time, this week.
--H-back Chris Cooley has a sprained knee and a bruised hip and could at least miss practice time this week.
--DE Phillip Daniels has a mild sprained ankle, but should play against the Eagles.--The MRI of OLT Chris Samuels' sprained right knee showed no ligament damage. Samuels has a chance to face the Eagles. Said coach Joe Gibbs: "He got an MRI at 9:00 this morning. We got the results back on that and there is nothing structurally wrong with it, which is good. He has got some roughness there. That is some good news for us. I think it is just a matter of when it he gets to feeling good with it. I think he got a little bit of swelling on it, but I don't know how much."