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Eagles' 2004 season: Win over Redskins hurt so bad

The Birds suffered several injuries in victory over Redskins en route to Super Bowl appearance in 2004.

TEN YEARS ago, the Eagles were finishing off one of the best seasons in recent team history, a year that ended with a Super Bowl appearance. Each week, the Daily News will look back at the 2004 season.

Game 13: Eagles 17, Redskins 14

Date: Dec. 12, 2004

Site: FedEx Field, Landover, Md.

Vegas Vic's lines: Eagles -9 1/2. Over/Under: 37 1/2.

Weather: Cloudy, 47 degrees.

Game stuff: The Eagles (12-1) inched closer to wrapping up homefield advantage for the playoffs with their second ragged win over the Redskins in 21 days. Washington scored a touchdown less than a minute in after Ladell Betts returned a kickoff 70 yards (plus a penalty) to the Eagles' 7-yard line and Clinton Portis took it the rest of the way . . . The Redskins went 6-10 that season, but gave the Eagles fits twice. In the first game, the Eagles led 7-6 at the half. In this one, it was 7-7 . . . L.J. Smith and Dorsey Levens scored the Eagles' touchdowns and Brian Dawkins had a crucial interception late in the fourth quarter.

Notebook: It was the first time in 10 games against NFC opponents the Eagles did not win by double digits . . . The crowd at FedEx Field that night was 90,089, the largest crowd ever for an Eagles game. That mark has been surpassed since Cowboys owner Jerry Jones built his monstrosity . . . Donovan McNabb connected with Todd Pinkston for an 80-yard completion that should have been a touchdown, but Pinkston stumbled and was downed at the 4-yard line. Terrell Owens fumbled on the next play . . . Redskins special teamer Mike Sellers committed three 15-yard penalties; two for unnecessary roughness, another for grabbing a face mask.

Pretty impressive: The win improved the Eagles to 16-1 in prime-time games under Andy Reid.

Injury report: The last thing the Eagles needed was injuries. They improved to 12-1, but defensive linemen Hollis Thomas, Paul Grasmanis, Darwin Walker and Jevon Kearse all got dinged up and special-teamer Jason Short was lost for the season with a broken leg.

Unfortunate foresight: "And so, with fingers crossed, the Eagles keep turning pages on the calendar," Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann wrote. "It is a maddening time. All wins in the NFL are good and important, but because they are so far ahead in the NFC playoff chase, the wins now for the Eagles cannot possibly be as sweet as they were earlier on. Because the postseason stakes are so high for this particular franchise, at this particular time in its history, an extra couple of wins here cannot possibly make up for another big injury along the way."

Oh no, T.O.: The following week, Terrell Owens wrecked his ankle and fractured his fibula on a horse-collar tackle by Dallas safety Roy Williams.

Around the NFL: Giants rookie Eli Manning went 4-for-18 with 27 yards and two interceptions in a loss to the Ravens for a 0.0 passer rating . . . T.J. Duckett set a Falcons record by rushing for four touchdowns. My fantasy team was probably playing against him . . . Carolina's Nick Goings had his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing game. Nick Goings? Probably played against him too . . . Marvin Harrison signed a 6-year, $66 million contract extension with the Colts that included a $22 million signing bonus.