Donovan McNabb got his standing ovation.
As the Redskins quarterback entered the field before the game, the 69,144 fans at Lincoln Financial Field rose to their feet and saluted the man who spent 11 seasons as the face of the Eagles franchise. But as the seconds ticked away on the Eagles' second loss of the season, only McNabb and his Redskins teammates had something to cheer about in Sunday's 17-12 result.
McNabb's performance was enough to win, but certainly didn't light up the stat sheet. He finished the game8 of 19 for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He accumulated a QB rating of only 60.2. But McNabb finished the game with the most important stat of all - the win.
"It felt great," McNabb said after the game. "The thing about it is that it's about winning ballgames and that is one that I take pride in and we were able to do as a team tonight, total team.
"I'm excited that we're 2-0 in the division. We are 2-2 right now (overall) and hopefully we can feed off of this going into our next week's opponent."
McNabb tried to downplay this game all week. He told reporters that it was just another Sunday afternoon, and that his return to Philadelphia (and the emotions that go with it) was not going to be a distraction to him or his teammates. But McNabb admitted after the game that the ovation from the crowd got to him a bit before kickoff.
"I said it all week that I wasn't going to let any of the hoopla affect what the mindset was and the mindset was for all of us to be focused and ready to go, to come out here and win the game," McNabb said. "I was overwhelmed a little bit with the standing ovation and the reception that I got, but again when you're going down there and everything, you have to buckle your chin strap and win the game."
McNabb has been telling his teammates since training camp that Week 4 in Philadelphia would be just another road game in a 16-game schedule. But his fellow Redskins weren't buying it. They knew he wanted this win, and did everything they could to get it for him.
"Donovan is a great guy and I think we all played a little harder for him since he was coming home," said Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. "I think there was a ton of pride in this locker room and after the game we gave him the game ball because we know how much he probably wanted this game. We knew that he wanted the win even though all week he said the game was a team thing."
Redskins receiver Santana Moss echoed those sentiments.
"I really wanted this win for (McNabb) but I didn't say in all the papers that we just wanted this win for him," Moss said. "I thought that if we went out and played hard we would get the win for him and for ourselves.
"It was just special though to get the win for (McNabb) back at the place that he played at for many seasons."
The most anticipated game of the season for both teams is now over, and the rest of the year can officially begin. For McNabb, a win at the stadium he called home for 11 seasons meant a lot to him – he wouldn't admit it, but his teammates did.
And while the Redskins are happy to give McNabb a win in his homecoming, at the end of the day, the win itself meant more. A loss by Washington on Sunday would have put them at 1-3, and two games off the pace in the NFC East. Now, at 2-2, the Redskins find themselves atop the division.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 10:45 p.m., October 3