We're going to go ahead and assume that this is not how the Washington Redskins wanted to start Day One of the new Donovan McNabb(notes) era. Just hours after announcing their new franchise quarterback's five-year deal, Washington welcomed his old team, the Philadelphia Eagles, to FedEx Field.
Everything's gone downhill from there. Through the first quarter and one play into the second quarter, the Eagles' offense had been breaking the Redskins' high-priced defense like the proverbial bull in the China shop. Before the Redskins woke up and scored their first touchdown with 14:15 left in the first half, the Eagles had put up an unbelievable 328 total yards from scrimmage. Michael Vick(notes) completed all nine of his passing attempts for 229 yards and three touchdowns, and added a rushing touchdown. Reserve back Jerome Harrison(notes) added a 50-yard touchdown run for good measure.
Meanwhile, McNabb had completed three of seven attempts for six yards before hitting tight end Fred Davis(notes) for 74 yards on a play in which Davis crossed the line and was wide open down the left seam. That Redskins touchdown made the score 35-7, and the Washington defense is in danger of giving up several different NFL single-game records.
The worst defeat in NFL history also happened to the Redskins in the 1940 title game, when they lost, 73-0, to the Chicago Bears. The single-game record for passing yardage (seriously, I'm typing as quickly as I can before Vick passes for another 150 yards) has been around for a while - Norm Van Brocklin of the Los Angeles Rams put up 554 yards against the New York Yanks in 1951. Ernie Nevers, Dub Jones, and Gale Sayers have each scored six touchdowns in a single game; Vick's certainly in that wheelhouse. In that same game, the Rams set the record which still stands for total team yards in a game with 735.
The Redskins have started to move the ball through the second quarter, so maybe we're looking at a threat to the all-time record of total yards by both teams in a game - that would be 1,133 by the 1950 Rams and Yanks. The score is 35-14 as this post is being published; the record for points by both teams in a first half of play is 70, by the Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders in 1963. The Eagles, meanwhile, are looking at the first-half single-team scoring record of 49 points by the Green Bay Packers against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1983.
Stay tuned, folks - we're looking at an all-timer in more ways than one.