2008 Game 6... Eagles 40 Eagles 26
Towards the end of the third quarter of the Eagles game Sunday in San Francisco I had many of the same gut wrenching feelings I had last week against the Redskins. The 49ers had scored twenty unanswered points and just when the Eagles offense looks like they are establishing some momentum, Donovan McNabb throws an interception to Takeo Spikes of all people.
The only difference was the Phillies weren't one click away to cheer me up. However, it is fair say that the Eagles did not panic heading into the fourth quarter down 26-17, like I did.
Over the past few weeks the Eagles have come out of the gate strong and looked in control. The red zone efficiency has been a concern all season, and in the first half the Eagles scored two touchdowns from inside the 5-yard line, the first being a one yard run from Correll Buckhalter and the second being a two yard jump ball McNabb tossed to Hank Baskett.
Yet it seemed like the Birds were falling apart in the second half, both offensively and defensively. The fourth quarter brought about a change that hasn't been seen too many times this year.
After forcing the 49ers to punt deep in their own territory, the Eagles' first drive of the fourth quarter began on the San Fran 38-yard line. McNabb found DeSean Jackson for 17 of his 98 receiving yards followed by a 15 yard burst by Buckhalter. Philly had 3rd and 1 at the 2-yard line, and with no Brian Westbrook McNabb made up for his third quarter interception with a low bullet to L.J. Smith for a touchdown.
The following drive for the 49ers was 3-and-out and the Eagles scored again, this time via a David Akers 38 yard field goal. San Francisco quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan had a less then perfect final act, and his first completed pass of the fourth quarter was an interception by Quintin Mikell who returned it back to the 7-yard line.
The short yardage troubles continued, and after the interception and a fumble recovered by Chris Clemons the Eagles had to settle for two more field goals and a 33-26 lead. The 49ers had one last chance to keep the game alive, but defensive end Juqua Parker did his best Mike Patterson impression and ran an interception 55 yards for a touchdown and securing the win 40-26.
Just looking at the score can be misleading, 40-26 can appear to seem like the Eagles had the game in hand and won it easily, we know that was hardly the case. It is good to get a must needed win no matter what, however we are still far from planning a parade down Broad Street.
The Eagles run defense looked weak in the second half and gave up over 5 yards per carry courtesy of Frank Gore. With the exception of a Dallas receiver who shall remain nameless the Birds have covered wide-outs well, yet another week and another tight end going off against the Eagles, this time it was Vernon Davis who caught 6 balls for 75 yards.
McNabb's third quarter interception was only his third this season to 8 touchdown passes. He hasn't been playing lights out, but on the other hand he does need some help. Philadelphia leads the league in dropped passes, and whether it's because of injuries or McNabb's 500 mph passes something has got to give and every player needs to step it up.
Last week I talked about lack of adjustment after a frustrating loss at home. This week I'm giving defensive coordinator Jim Johnson some dap. The reason we love Jim Johnson is because of his blitz-happy packages. Against the 49ers Johnson would send the house and O'Sullivan would toss the ball right over their heads and work the screen game. Once he called off the dogs he forced John Thomas O'Sullivan to beat the Eagles D straight up, which he obviously could not do. Late game adjustments, makes me want to cry I'm so happy…
Throw in a loss from the Cowboys and the Redskins, and that makes for a pretty successful Sunday. Well, at least until about 8:22 PM.
Is the tide starting to turn for Eagles? Who knows? This could be just a blank in the football handgun that'll eventually put us all out of our misery. Which is definitely possible if the Eagles stumble next week against the Falcons.
But I'm going to bring my boogie board just incase.
© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla
Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa
Eagles or the NFL.