Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins Try to Bounce Back: Shame Fuels Motivation
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Albert Haynesworth’s bodily expressions said it all.
With the Eagles driving for one of their nine scores, quarterback Michael Vick juked and dodged a slew of Redskins defensive linemen, rolled out to the right, and threw for another score.
While Haynesworth was eagerly chasing him and being blocked by the Eagles’ offensive line, the defensive back slipped and fell on his belly. He stayed there for several seconds, and didn’t get up until the play was over.
He wasn’t hurt. He was just frustrated. After all, he knew he wasn’t going to catch Michael Vick.
The Eagles had some memorable victories over the years. In 1990, the New York Giants came into Veterans Stadium with a 10-0 record, and went out with a 31-13 loss. There was the blowout victory over the Detroit Lions in the 1995 playoffs that resulted in a 59 point outburst in a game that was over by halftime. Also last decade, there was the 40-8 victory over the Super Bowl caliber San Francisco 49ers on a Monday Night. And there was the surprise 41-14 win over the Cowboys to open the 2001 season.
Perhaps no victory was as dominate than Andy Reid’s most recent, as the Eagles set a team record for total yards and points in a half. The Redskins also found themselves in a bigger halftime deficit than any other home team since 1950.
The Titans know how the Redskins feel.
After all, it was these Titans which suffered a blowout last season even worse than the Redskins-Eagles game.
Tennessee went into New England with an 0-5 record, and found themselves in a 45-0 halftime hole. When it was all said and done, they returned home with a 59-0 loss lingering in their heads.
They won the next five games.
Throughout the years NFL teams have suffered all kinds of blowouts, but sometimes embarrassment leads to motivation.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has been in this situation before.
While coaching the Broncos in 2006, he saw the Chargers take a 28-3 halftime lead en route to a 48-20 win. He coached the Broncos to victories in the next two games.
The following year his Broncos suffered a pair of blowouts, losing 41-3 to the Chargers and 44-7 to the Lions. He followed up both embarrassments with a victory. The Broncos were an underdog in both games following the blowout, just as the Redskins are about a seven point underdog at Tennessee.
Throughout the years, NFL teams have been ridiculously successful at turning things around in the next game after falling behind by large margins in the previous games, especially when running up a 30 point halftime deficit.
This game may be no different.
As they say on The Sopranos: "You're only as good as your last envelope."
In the NFL, often times a team is perceived to be as good as their last game.
There’s no better way to erase the bitter memories of an embarrassing loss than to follow up with a win in the next game, so expect the Redskins to fight a little harder and give it their best effort in an attempt to make up for last game‘s sloppy performance.
After all, they can use the team they’re playing as a perfect example.
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