Sunday, November 22, 2009
McNabb played spectacular in stretches, methodically marching the Eagles down the field on four separate drives that led to a field goal and three TD's. For the rest of the game, however, the offense failed to get much going before McNabb threw an interception or someone fumbled. While we shouldn't just overlook the lull in the middle of the game, McNabb did play a solid game overall. Taking a team on a game winning drive in the 4th quarter for the first time in recent memory is enough in my book.
It's no coincidence that the Eagles offense really started moving the chains in the 3rd and 4th quarter when they started getting the ball to DeSean Jackson. Jackson was his usual electric self, catching 8 passes for 107 yards, including a 48 yard touchdown grab. The Birds went away from Action Jackson for most of the first half and that coincided with the time when the offense wasn't getting anything done. The lesson? Get the ball to DeSean!
What kept the Eagles in the game when the offense was sputtering was the defense. The Birds employed a "bend but don't break" attitude on the night, allowing the Bears to move the ball at times but nearly always stiffening as Chicago got near the red zone. After the bad turnovers by the offense, the Eagles were fortunate to hold the Bears to four field goals before they finally broke through for a touchdown. Of course, the Eagles were helped by Jay Cutler and his erratic passes. Cutler overthrew his receivers on at least three occasions where a nicely thrown ball would have led to 6 points. Oh well, sometimes it pays to be lucky.
With the win, the Eagles keep themselves tied for 2nd place in the NFC East and for a Wild Card spot. With a (supposedly) easy game against the Redskins next week, the Eagles should be set up nicely for a return trip to the playoffs if they can find a way to navigate through the difficult stretch of games at the end of the season. With games against the Falcons, Giants, Broncos and Cowboys in 4 of the last 5 weeks, the Eagles need every win they can get.
Nice win, Eagles. For once they made a 4th quarter comeback a reality. For a week, we won't have to hear about Andy Reid's playcalling, poor time management and McNabb's inaccuracy. We get to celebrate the W and look forward to crushing the Skins next week. What a refreshing change, even if it only lasts one week.