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Remembering the Capital City Comeback

There has been a lot of great games in the Eagles-Redskins rivalry, but the 1989 game in Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium has to be my top game. The Birds were outplayed and out-gained the entire game, but still managed to come out on top.

Philadelphia came into the game 1-0 coming off of a home win over Seattle, and the Redskins came in with a 0-1 with a division loss to the Giants. This game would start out looking like it was going to be the Redskins afternoon with Washington jumping out to a 20-0 lead.

Randall Cunningham and Keith Jackson put the Birds on the board by the end of the first quarter, but the Redskins would drive down the field for more as they extended the lead to 27-7. The Eagles fought back after a Redskins turnover, which put the Eagles with a first and goal, which ultimately cut the deficit to 27-14. Washington moved the ball right back down the field but settled for three points, so the Birds trailed by 16 at halftime.

Coming out in the second half, Randall Cunningham connected with Mike Quick to put the Birds in score position, and shortly Cunningham found Keith Jackson for the touchdown. The Redskins regained position, but Jerome Brown forced a Redskins fumble, and the momentum shifted back right back to Philadelphia. The Redskins still had a lot of fight in them too, especially with the home crowd on their side.

The Eagles, led by Cunningham, put a drive together and found Cris Carter in the corner of the endzone, and the deficit was cut to 30-28. Washington got the ball back, but ultimately fumbled a catch on a slant. Philadelphia had their first chance to take the lead via a Luis Zendejas field goal, but he hooked it wide left. The Redskins took advantage of the missed opportunity, as they extended their lead to 37-28, but the Eagles did not go away.

Cunningham marched the offense right back down the field, determined to take the lead. In short time, he connected with Mike Quick in the back of the endzone (which Quick barely got his left foot inbounds). The Redskins moved the ball right back down the field, but another fumble proved costly as it gave the Eagles one more chance to take a lead. The Eagles had the ball for first and goal with the winning touchdown completed in a matter of seconds, as Cunningham found Keith Jackson.

The Redskins got the ball back one last time, but they did not hold onto it long, as Reggie White forced and recovered another fumble. The fumbled secured the victory for Philadelphia, allowing them to start the season 2-0.

If you want to rewatch some of those highlights, they can be found here:

Like many great rivalries as there are in the National Football League, it's hard to argue with this one being one of the best. You have the Eagles and the Cowboys, Eagles and the Giants, and the Cowboys and Giants just in the NFC East. I think this rivalry is a little underrated, especially because at one time Desean Jackson played for both teams in the rivalry, and usually whichever team he was on for the rivalry game ended up winning.

For Sunday, I am very confident that the Eagles will win. However, it is down in Landover, and even though we have won our last two trips there, winning three in a row is harder than you'd think. My prediction is that the Birds will win in a close game, by a final score of 31-27.


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