Goal Line Stand Saved Season:
The Eagles defense had been on it's heels most of the game. The defensive line had gotten almost no pressure to this point, the secondary was brutal, and the linebackers were missing tackles.
The Redskins had a first and goal at the 2 yard line, after Donovan McNabb fumbled the ball a few play before. A Redskins score would put them up 9, and would have likely sealed the game.
The defense had enough. On six plays inside the five(a penalty in the middle) the Eagles defense rose to the occasion. They held the Redskins to a field goal, and gave the offense a chance to win the game.
This stand reminded me of Lito's interception against Carolina last year. A play that saved the Eagles season, and sparked the entire team. I only hope this has the same effect.
A Play To Remember:
After the goal line stand, the Eagles still had to score. Who do they turn to in situations like these? Brian Westbrook. Put the ball in Westbrook's hands, and let him do his magic.
On a perfectly executed screen play, McNabb tossed the ball to Brian over the heads of three defensive lineman. Then there were two devastating blocks by Shawn Andrews, and Jon Runyan. This got Westbrook into the clear, and he did the rest from there. A great cutback left, and Westbrook almost had a clear path to the end zone. As he dashed 50 yards or so, he made a cutback right to avoid the last possible tacklers, and scored.
This 57 yard amazing catch, and run was the play of the season for the Birds. It reminded me of the Tampa Bay play from last year, except this time there would be no miracle field goal. This time his great play will be remembered.
Westbrook had an awesome game. He rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries, he had 5 catches for 83 yards, and three total touch downs.
If the Eagles want to continue to win games, the formula is simple. Get the ball in Brian Westbrook's hands.
McNabb Showed Mobility:
Donovan looked like the Donovan of old. He was moving well in the pocket, he escaped, and run a few times. He even had some nice moves in the open field. It looks like the knee is starting to not be an issue. At least is wasn't on Sunday.
McNabb did not have a perfect game, as a few pass were nearly intercepted, but when you look at the final numbers he played well. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 251 yards, and 4 touch downs.
The offense scored 5 times, and looked a lot better than it has most of the season. The Eagles were successful in the red zone, and that was a great sign. The Birds need to build off this, and continue to make strides.
A Gutsy Call:
What a call by Andy Reid on 4th, and inches. The Eagles had fallen into a 3rd, and 21, and Donovan Fired a bullet to Jason Avant. They fell inches short of the first down, and as Andy Reid was standing there looking at the distance they needed, he decided to go for it.
Normally you always punt on 4th down at your own 39 yard line, but the Redskins offense had been moving all over the Eagles. Reid knew this, and could not afford to go down another score. He put faith in his guys that they could get the few inches, and they did.
The call was a QB sneak. Donovan Got behind Jammal Jackson, Todd Herremans, and Shawn Andrews, and just dove forward to get the first down. This eventually led to the Eagles scoring on a touch down pass to L.J. Smith.
The decision was huge, and Andy made the right one. This helped the offense gain confidence. Great job by Andy Reid.
Reggie Brown pointed to his wrist, to symbolize that it was about time he got in the end zone. Brown had a very slow start to the season, and there had been very high expectations from him. The past three games he has slowly become more involved, and yesterday he made a great adjustment to an under thrown McNabb pass. I'm not sure how the safety did not see the ball, but Reggie did, and was able to haul it in. It was great to see him score, and hopefully this will get the ball rolling.
Brown wasn't the only one to get their first touch down of the season. L.J. Smith found the end zone as well. L.J. has been banged up for most of the year recovering from his hernia surgery. He finally looks to be back to his old self. He made some nice grabs, and got a crucial touch down on third down in the red zone.
Smith did fumble once, which really hurt the team. It lead to Washington's first touchdown. I hate the way he holds the ball when he runs. He uses one arm, and does not even tuck it away. The ball is just resting on his forearm, and is not pressed against his body like it should be. L.J. has had the issue for a while now, and he needs to correct it already. Andy Reid should put him to fumble school, like Tom Coughlin did to Tiki Barber. Teach him a new way to carry the football, and make sure he sticks with it. You can not afford to have plays like that in the NFL.
Revenge Of James Thrash:
Yes that's right folks. It was not T.O. this time. It was James stinkin Trash. The same James Thrash who almost never made a play. The same guy who got punked by Carolina in the NFC Championship Game. He somehow managed to have a field day on the Eagles. Thrash had five receptions for 85 yards, and two touchdowns. That is right TWO touch downs. I think that is double the amount Thrash had for all of the 2003 season as a starter.
The Eagles secondary should be embarrassed for the game they had. Will James was abused once again. They really need to just cut him. He is becoming the weakest link on the team. Sheldon Brown even let Thrash get some catches. Lito Sheppard let 37 year old Keenan McCardell score a touch down.
They just had a really poor day collectively. The only one who made a play, was Quinton Mikell. He forced a fumble, and Joselio Hanson recovered.
I know I have ripped Hanson in the past, but he should be the nickle CB at this point. Will James is getting murdered out there. It is time to at least put somebody there who has some speed.
Has Joe Gibbs Lost It?:
I really respect the man, and understand he is already inducted into the hall of fame, but he did an awful job coaching this game.
The Redskins committed 11 penalties, including crucial third-down miscues, and again suffered from questionable clock management and play-calling. Coach Joe Gibbs had no timeouts left in the final crucial minutes, and a conservative call on a late third-and-goal virtually guaranteed the Eagles would have a chance to win.
I was very shocked at how poorly the Redskins managed the game.
Season Saved. For Now:
Just when I think the Birds are done, they pull me back in. This was not the most convincing victory, but the Eagles will take it. A win is a win. Get them anyway you can.
I really expected the Eagles to lose this game too. I had lost my faith in them, and they surprised me.
Next week the Eagles have to handle business against the 0-9 Miami Dolphins, because after that is a trip to New England.