Donovan McNabb likes to say it's not about the numbers. He likes to say it's about the wins and the losses.

After two games of this Eagles season, the numbers are bad, the record is worse and there are countless reasons for head coach Andy Reid, his players and the fan base to be deeply concerned.

The Eagles' offense played poorly in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers but could not even match that effort last night in losing, 20-12, to the Washington Redskins in their home opener at Lincoln Financial Field.

Choruses of boos rained down from the cheap seats as well as the expensive ones at different junctures during the evening.

For the first time since 2003, the Eagles have lost their first two games. That team rebounded to win 12 of its final 14 and make it back to the NFC championship game. There is little reason to believe this team can accomplish a similar feat.

The Eagles will try to avoid going 0-3 for the first time since Reid's rookie season as head coach when they play the 2-0 Detroit Lions Sunday at the Linc.

"We're sitting at 0-2, so something has to change," McNabb said after a second straight pedestrian performance. "There were opportunities on the field that we left out there. Field goals are something as an offense that we're not excited about."

And that's why there was no excitement from the offense, which settled for four David Akers field goals.

The Redskins improved to 2-0 and remained tied with the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East.

McNabb may not like to talk about the numbers, but there was one statistic that was most telling on this disturbing night. The Eagles converted just 4 of 16 third-down attempts. The last failure in that department proved to be the fatal one.

With just 1 minute, 10 seconds left in the game and the Eagles trailing by a touchdown and a two-point conversion, wide receiver Kevin Curtis ran an out pattern and was open with a chance to score.

McNabb, however, threw a ball so far to Curtis' right that the receiver could not have stretched far enough to reach it even if he had 20-foot-long arms.

"I was hit on the play, but I still have to be able to make the throw, and I threw it just a tad bit too far," McNabb said. "I'm always hard on myself when we don't win the game, so I didn't play well at all."

On fourth and 6, McNabb tried to go over the middle to Curtis for a first down to keep the game alive, but rookie safety LaRon Landry of the Redskins arrived the same time as the ball to force a game-sealing incompletion.

Reid, as he always has, defended his starting quarterback.

"It's not all Donovan," Reid said. "It's me getting him in the right position to do some things and him knocking the rust off himself and the guys around him."

The offense has scored just one touchdown in eight quarters and McNabb, who started his 100th career game last night, is 1-5 in his last six games as the Eagles' starting quarterback. McNabb finished the game 28 for 46 for 240 yards, but most of those completions and yards came after the Eagles fell behind by 20-9.

"We put up a lot of points last year," tight end L.J. Smith said. "I don't know what it is. I'm sure Coach Reid doesn't know exactly what it is, either. I'm sure when we look at the film, we'll see a lot of problems."

While the Eagles' offense continued to sputter, the defense was not able to match its strong performance in the opener against the Packers.

The most critical failure for the defense came early in the fourth quarter when Clinton Portis finished off a 63-yard touchdown drive by rumbling around left end for a 6-yard touchdown that gave the Redskins a 20-9 lead.

With the way the Eagles' offense has played so far this season, an 11-point lead is almost as good as a 21-point cushion.

In case you were wondering, the special teams contributed to this loss as well. Rock Cartwright's 33-yard kickoff return gave Washington great field position on its final touchdown drive.

Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell, who outplayed McNabb, set up Portis' touchdown run by rolling right and finding tight end Todd Yoder for an 18-yard gain to the 6-yard line. Safety Brian Dawkins left the game with a neck injury after tackling Yoder and did not return.

The first half ended with the Eagles being booed off the field after the Redskins went 75 yards on 10 plays for a go-ahead touchdown that was nicely orchestrated by Campbell.

Tight end Chris Cooley finished off the drive with a 16-yard touchdown catch from Campbell after a sequence of odd events. The Redskins had first and goal at the 1-yard line after Campbell found Antwaan Randle El for a 17-yard completion, but a couple of penalties - one for a delay of game and one for a false start on guard Jason Fabini - backed Washington up to the 11-yard line.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs sent his field-goal unit on the field, but before Shaun Suisham got a chance to kick, Reid ordered a time-out.

Gibbs sent Campbell and the Redskins' offense back on the field, and a second-false start penalty on Fabini pushed the ball back to the 16 with 14 seconds left. Despite being in an advantageous situation, the defense still yielded the touchdown, thanks in large part to a nicely thrown ball by Campbell, who beat coverage by cornerback Joselio Hanson and Dawkins to get the ball to Cooley.

The drive also included a 20-yard scramble run by Campbell.

That touchdown, however, was only part of the fans' first-half frustration. They also were less than thrilled with an offense that managed just two field goals in the first 30 minutes.

After the Redskins took a 3-0 lead on a 35-yard field goal by Suisham as time ran out in the first quarter, the Eagles countered with a 62-yard drive compliments of Brian Westbrook's legs that set up a 24-yard field goal by Akers. Westbrook got the Eagles to Redskins' 13 with a couple of runs that covered 42 yards but never saw the ball again during the drive, which fizzled when McNabb's pass on a third-and-4 play sailed over Reggie Brown's head in the end zone.

Cornerback William James, burned by receiver Santana Moss for a 48-yard reception that set up Suisham's first-quarter field goal, made up for that play early in the second quarter when he stepped in front of Randle El for to intercept a Campbell pass at the Washington 39-yard line.

The Eagles, however, had to settle for a field goal. McNabb could not find his receivers in the red zone.

That was the story from beginning to end for the quarterback and the Eagles' badly struggling offense.

"Hopefully we can get it fixed," wide receiver Reggie Brown said. "We have to get rid of this taste that's in our mouth. It's a rancid, buttermilk, goat cheese, maggot-filled taste, and once we get rid of it, we'll be all right."