Vince Young called the Eagles the “Dream Team” before the season started, but he had a nightmare of a game Thursday, throwing four picks in a 31-14 loss to Seattle.
SEATTLE — Marshawn Lynch loves the prime-time stage, even if he's rarely given such a spotlight.
But he wasn't about to accept any praise on a night when he certainly deserved it.
"It was all about the offensive line. We managed the game, we came out victorious, everybody's happy, and now we're on to our break," Lynch said during a very brief locker room appearance. "Thank you."
Seattle's hard-charging running back bulled through Philadelphia for 148 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns, David Hawthorne returned the third of Vince Young's four interceptions 77 yards for a score, and the Seahawks rolled to a 31-14 victory Thursday that only added to the Eagles' miserable season.
Lynch ran into and escaped from a massive pileup for a 15-yard TD run in the first quarter, then made a quick cut and went back against the flow for a 40-yard scoring dash on the first play of the second quarter to give the Seahawks (5-7) a 14-0 lead.
It was the second-best performance of Lynch's career and a capper to what has been his finest stretch as a pro. Lynch never had consecutive 100-yard rushing games until a few weeks ago. Now he's done it in four of Seattle's past five, and the only time he didn't, Lynch had 88 yards in a victory over St. Louis.
His first-quarter, escape-act touchdown against Philadelphia (4-8) gave Lynch eight straight games with at least one score and added a highlight reminiscent of his famous tackle-breaking, 67-yard TD run in last year's NFC playoffs against New Orleans.
It's all adding up to more dollars likely coming Lynch's way. He's a free agent after the season.
"He fights for every yard, every carry he gets," Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. "It's like every carry is his last carry."
Lynch had 90 yards by halftime, the most first-half yards rushing in his career. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry and almost immediately provided a spark the Seahawks needed on a short week.
And he did it while battling an upset stomach that occasionally forced him to the sideline.
"The guy blows my mind every time we step on the field," Seattle fullback Michael Robinson said.
Golden Tate's 11-yard, toe-tapping touchdown grab along the back edge of the end zone in the third quarter pushed Seattle's cushion to 17. Jackson finished 13 of 16 for 190 yards and the one TD pass.
But the Seahawks' third victory in their last four games wasn't secured until Hawthorne stepped in front of a swing pass intended for LeSean McCoy and raced untouched in the other direction with 4:24 left. It was Hawthorne's third interception of the season, but he was getting plenty of grief from his teammates for the length of time it took him to get to the end zone.
And of course, the first guy to greet Hawthorne in the end zone was Lynch running off the sideline without his helmet.
"There is no grief in touchdowns. The slowest touchdown, the fastest touchdown equals seven," Hawthorne said while teammates yelled "slow" in the background.
Making his third straight start in place of Michael Vick and his two broken ribs, Young couldn't find the same magic he did in the 2006 Rose Bowl when he led Texas to an upset of Pete Carroll and USC.
Young's first pass of the night was an awful interception thrown right to Seattle safety Kam Chancellor and nowhere near an Eagles receiver. Young was intercepted in the third quarter as well when a perfect pass deflected off the hands of Riley Cooper and into the hands of cornerback Brandon Browner. Both turnovers led to Seattle touchdowns.
Then came a pass for McCoy when Young clearly didn't see Hawthorne, ruining the Eagles' last chance to rally. Seattle safety Earl Thomas jumped Young's primary target and by the time he came back to McCoy, Hawthorne was ready for the pass.
"He was expecting him to be open and he wasn't," Hawthorne said.
Young added one more interception in the final moments, another one grabbed by Browner that left the quarterback with a career-high four picks.
Young finished 17 of 29 for 208 yards. McCoy got more chances than he did last Sunday against New England when he touched the ball just 14 times, a number that drew criticism from Eagles fans believing the leading rusher in the NFL deserved more opportunities.
McCoy finished with 84 yards on 17 carries and added another four catches for 49 yards. But he was upstaged by Lynch.
"He was the key today to their offense," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "And we didn't do a very good job of stopping him."
On first-and-goal at the 15, Lynch ran into a massive crowd near the 10. He got lost in the pile, wiggled out of the arms of linebacker Jamar Chaney and suddenly burst into the end zone.
Lynch's second touchdown was an opportunity for him to show off his open-field speed. As the flow of the play went to Lynch's left, he immediately cut back right and found open field, beating the Eagles defense to the corner and going 40 yards untouched.
The quick bounce-back by the Seahawks only magnified their missed chance last Sunday when they blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and lost 23-17 to Washington. Even with the win over Philadelphia and another home game coming up against St. Louis, any hopes the Seahawks have of jumping into the playoff race are likely gone.
"We felt like we let one go last week and that was all we could think about," Hawthorne said. "So to come on a fast week and get it out this fast, it's a positive."
Notes: Carroll thinks LT Russell Okung may have a serious pectoral injury sustained in the closing seconds. ... Lynch's career high was 153 yards rushing against Cincinnati with Buffalo in 2007. ... Philadelphia CB Nnamdi Asomugha left in the first half with a head/neck injury and did not return. ... Philadelphia fell to 5-2 in Thursday night games. ... Jackson's 137.0 QB rating was the best of his career. ... Browner had the first two-interception game of his career.
VIKINGS CUT MCNABB:
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Donovan McNabb is available again. The Minnesota Vikings waived the 13-year veteran quarterback on Thursday, giving him the opportunity to sign with another team for the stretch run in a parting coach Leslie Frazier described as mutual.
Frazier pushed for the Vikings to trade a sixth-round draft pick this summer to the Washington Redskins in exchange for McNabb. He wanted stability he believed McNabb would bring to the offense after the NFL lockout kept rookie Christian Ponder from practicing with the team or working with his coaches until training camp.
Frazier and McNabb met in 1999, when the defensive backs coach and the first-round draft pick spent their first year with the Philadelphia Eagles. Friendly to the end, Frazier wished McNabb well and said part of the reason for the move was for the player's sake.
"This was the best decision for both parties," Frazier said. "He was a great player and has been a great player for our league for a long, long time. Have a lot of affection and love for Donovan."
McNabb went 1-5 as a starter, threw for only four touchdowns and completed just five passes of 25-plus yards. Frazier said he didn't regret the trade given the situation the Vikings were in this summer, and said he believes McNabb can still play in the NFL but stopped short of saying he can be an effective starter.
"I'm not certain about that. ... A lot depends on the team he goes to, if he goes to another team," Frazier said.
McNabb was benched in favor of Ponder in the fourth quarter of Minnesota's game at Chicago on Oct. 16 and hasn't played since. Frazier said he was a help to Ponder and Joe Webb in their learning process and described as "awesome" his attitude over the last few weeks.
"He's been a true pro in every sense of the word," Frazier said. "He's a class guy. Always has been, and he's done a good job in spite of the fact he wasn't our starting quarterback."
Improving the teacher-student ratio at the game's most complex position is what Frazier pointed to when asked how the move benefited the Vikings. It essentially means offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and quarterbacks Craig Johnson will have more opportunity to work with Ponder and Webb, who is in his second year. Frazier said he wasn't sure how the open roster spot would be filled, whether with another quarterback or a player at another position.
McNabb was in the locker room, seen rather innocuously asking running back Adrian Peterson to autograph a jersey. But he was gone by the time practice began and unavailable for comment.
The question now is whether he'll catch on elsewhere or call it quits with six Pro Bowl selections and currently the third-best interception percentage of all time. Injuries have felled several quarterbacks around the league over the last month, and the Bears -- McNabb's hometown team -- are one team with an opening as Jay Cutler recovers from a broken thumb.
"When you have a guy who has been this successful in this league, he has an idea how he wants his career to continue or not to continue. That played a role in making that decision," Frazier said.
The two spoke Wednesday about the situation, but Frazier declined to characterize the discussion as McNabb requesting his release. He said McNabb didn't mention retirement or signing with another team when they talked.
"We both agreed that this was probably going to be the best thing to do," Frazier said.
McNabb enjoyed an 11-year run as the starter in Philadelphia, going to the Super Bowl with the Eagles after the 2004 season and becoming a regular fixture in the playoffs. Only Aaron Rodgers and Neil O'Donnell have a better career ratio of interceptions to pass attempts. But after he was traded by his long-time team, McNabb had a rough year with the Redskins. He got benched there, too.
The ability to avoid turnovers turned out to be part of the problem with the Vikings. He was reluctant to throw deep, and the offense lacked life and rhythm while he was in there. Playing it safe didn't wind up helping them.
"You guys watched our games that he started," Frazier said. "There were a lot of factors contributing to our not winning ballgames. As I mentioned when I made the change, it wasn't all about Donovan. That's been proven along the way. There are a lot of other areas on our team that need to be going in the right direction in order for us to have success."
MCCLAIN POPPED IN ALABAMA FOR ASSAULT, GUN CHARGES:
DECATUR, Ala. --- Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested Thursday on misdemeanor assault, firearms and other charges after police said he fired a gun during a fight in his Alabama hometown.
McClain, 22, held a gun beside a man's head during an altercation and the man begged him not to shoot, according to a statement released by Lt. John Crouch of the Decatur Police Department.
McClain, an All American at Alabama during his junior year, moved the gun but fired a round beside the man's ear, according to the statement. No one was shot, but police said a man who was injured in the altercation drove himself to a hospital, where he was treated and released.
McClain was released on $2,000 bond. He faces charges of assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and firing a gun inside the city limits. Another man identified as Jerradius Willingham, 23, was charged with assault and released after posting a $500 bond.
McClain's attorney Billy C. Burney II said the linebacker denies he fired a gun and said he was not involved in the fight.
"Mr. McClain asserts his innocence," Burney said in a statement. "We are confident that Mr. McClain will be cleared of all charges."
The Raiders had no comment.
McClain's agent, Pat Dye Jr., did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment
Raiders coach Hue Jackson said McClain was in Alabama for the funeral of his grandfather. Speaking before the arrest, he said McClain would play Sunday at Miami "as far as I know."
"I can tell you we understand and know exactly what's going on, and we feel very comfortable with our information and we don't have any further comment at this time," Jackson said.
McClain is the Raiders' second-leading tackler this season after joining the team as the eighth overall pick in 2010. Although he struggled as a rookie, the 6-foot-3-inch, 255-pounder had developed into a centerpiece of Oakland's defense this season despite being slowed by a sore left ankle.
Earlier this year McClain, the 2009 Butkus Award winner at Alabama, reported someone in Decatur shooting at his vehicle. There wasn't any indication whether the two incidents were related.
Police said the victim, whose name was not released, suffered injuries to his head and face during a fight with Willingham. He was bleeding when officers talked to him.
"The victim told officers that following the fight, he crawled to his car," the police statement said. "He said that when he reached his car, Rolando McClain produced a pistol and aimed it at him. He said that while he was still on the ground, McClain walked over to him and put the gun to his head."
Police said the victim told officers "he begged McClain not to shoot him and that McClain took the gun away from his head, held it next to his ear and fired it."
McClain was facing legal problems in Alabama before his arrest.
A University of Alabama student sued McClain in November 2010 claiming the former Crimson Tide star hit him with a car and assaulted him in 2008. Stanford Matthew Mangham filed suit in circuit court in Morgan County, where Decatur is located.
Mangham claims McClain intentionally hit him twice at an intersection on Nov. 13, 2008 and then slung Mangham to the ground, causing permanent injuries. He is seeking $75,000 plus punitive damages.
McClain's attorneys filed documents in court denying the student's claims.
That case is set for trial June 5.
McClain's ankle injury forced him to miss the Raiders' 38-24 loss to Denver on Nov. 6 when the Broncos ran for 299 yards, 118 from quarterback Tim Tebow. McClain reinjured his ankle on the first play of the second half in last week's 25-20 win over Chicago but came back later to finish the game.
Since McClain's return, Oakland has won three straight to take a one-game lead in the AFC West heading into Sunday's game at Miami.
Raiders veteran running back Rock Cartwright said he intends to talk to McClain about his situation whenever the linebacker returns to the team.
"All you can do is tell them things, try to give them help, but if they don't want to be helped, then they won't be helped," Cartwright said. "Once he gets back, I'll try to put a bug in his ear and see what's going on."
McClain signed a $40 million, five-year contract that included $23 million in guarantees with the Raiders on July 28, 2010.