Sunday, January 18, 2009

Eagles comeback falls short, Arizona is going to the Super Bowl

The Eagles improbable run has come to a disappointing end. The Cardinals, a team the Eagles were supposed to beat handily on their way to the Super Bowl, proved to be up to the task and out-played Philly in the NFC Championship, winning 32-25.

The game was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Cardinals basically did whatever they wanted offensively, marching down the field and racking up points. The Eagles defense had no answer for the Kurt Warner/Larry Fitzgerald combination as they combined for three scores. The Eagles offense also moved the ball well but failed to put the ball in the end zone and settled for only a pair of field goals, leading the Cardinals to a 24-6 halftime lead.

The second half was all Philly. The Eagles dominated the entire third quarter, scoring a pair of touchdowns and completely shutting down the Arizona offense. Philly even took a 25-24 lead in the fourth quarter when Donovan McNabb connected with DeSean Jackson for a 62 yard strike. The Eagles appeared to have all the momentum with a one point lead and the defense playing great.

The Cardinals had an answer, however, as they methodically marched down the field to score what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. The Eagles made one last-ditch effort offensively but they fell short, thanks in part to a clear pass interference that wasn't called on a 4th and 10 play.

Philly's season comes to and end at the hands of a team that wasn't better than them but they played better than them today. The Cardinals will likely get their butt kicked in the Super Bowl by the Steelers or the Ravens, but that will be little consolation for Eagles fans. I'll have more to write about this team in the coming days, but it's hard to feel too down, considering they weren't really suposed to get this far anyway. The disappointment comes in the fact that we know they are a better football team than they showed today, and we know that on their best day they can beat the Cardinals by 30 points, like they did on Thanksgiving.

While we should all be used to losing NFC Championship games by now, this one still hurts. The Eagles played so well to get this far, it's unfortunate that this game will be the lasting memory we have of the 2008 season.

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