LANDOVER, MD. – Kurt Coleman has a special connection with FedEx Field. Last season he had his first NFL interception there against the Redskins. On Sunday he had a career day, picking off three Rex Grossman passes to lead the Eagles defense that produced four takeaways in a 20-13 victory over Washington.
"As long as we win, that's all I care about, but it is pretty special to have this happen here," said Coleman, who has been in, out and is now in again as a starting safety this season. "It's been a blessing to come down to Washington."
Coleman's first interception helped turn the game around in the Eagles' favor. After Philadelphia won the opening toss and had a three-and-out series, the Redskins started their first offensive possession at the Eagles 44-yard line. One first down later, Grossman had Washington at Philadelphia's 32-yard line. A few plays later, the Redskins faced a third-and-16 snap from the 38, and Grossman went deep for tight end Fred Davis.
Coleman had coverage over the top against Davis and made a spectacular, leaping grab at the 3-yard line to end the threat.
"They tried to stretch us out by running 'all goes' (deep routes by the receivers) and I read that. I had a feeling he would try to get the ball to Davis because he is such a talented tight end, so I was kind of cheating that way," said Coleman. "He threw it and I had to go and make the play."
Coleman came back with his second interception at a critical time in the third quarter. Michael Vick was sidelined when he had the wind knocked out of him and Vince Young threw an interception that gave Washington the ball at the Philadelphia 18-yard line with the Eagles ahead, 20-6.
After running back Ryan Torain was stopped for a 2-yard loss, Grossman again looked for Davis. And again Coleman was in coverage. He ripped the ball from Davis at the 5-yard line and returned it 24 yards to bail the Eagles out of trouble.
"I just felt like Rex was going to throw it and I had a good break on the ball," said Coleman.
Coleman's third interception came late in the third quarter, again in Eagles territory. Grossman rolled left and tried to get the ball to Jabar Gaffney on the sideline, but Coleman had a clear shot at the pass and made the catch to become only the 11th player in franchise history to intercept three passes in a single game.
It was huge for a defense that had just three interceptions in five games to get four on Sunday.
"It's the whole team. We played as a team," said Coleman. "I felt like everybody was doing his job. We stopped the run, which is something we haven't been able to do all year. That's what really pushed them to throw the ball, which allowed myself, Nate (Allen), the defensive line to get sacks and pressure … that's what really made the biggest difference."