Eagle Eye Observations: Divisional Playoffs

The Eagles did it again. As they did in Week 14, they smacked the Giants around on Sunday and came away with another inspired win. Boy, was this one fun to watch. The Birds overcame another sluggish start on offense and rode their dominant defense to victory. Here’s yet another look from the Eagle Eye:

  • For the second consecutive week Asante Samuel comes up with a big-time interception. Does anyone think he isn’t worth every penny the Eagles are paying him?
  • The offensive line allowed zero sacks in three meetings with the Giants this season. Impressive.
  • There were two timely shoe-string tackles that saved possible touchdowns. One by Sheldon Brown on Brandon Jacobs and the other by Kevin Curtis on Fred Robbins after the mammoth tackle picked-off a deflection.
  • Quintin Mikell shook off a banged-up knee to record the game sealing interception with 3:20 left in the game. This guy gets better every week.
  • David Akers has now hit his last 18 post-season field goals. An NFL record. Akers is another guy on the hot seat coming into the 2008 season who has so far redeemed himself.
  • Was that Trent Cole breaking up a third down pass to Derek Ward? He sacks quarterbacks, stuffs running backs and now plays defensive back. Cole is a complete player.
  • I am still bothered by the red zone woes. The Birds went 2/5 yesterday. I’ve reached the point where I am completely surprised when they actually punch it in the endzone.
  • More great throws from McNabb: a sweet over-the-shoulder toss to Brent Celek for six; after a crafty escape, he fired a bullet to Jason Avant on third and twenty; a beautiful 48 yard strike to DeSean Jackson to set-up their final field goal.
  • Andy Reid’s beard makes him look a homeless person.
  • Broderick Bunkley doesn’t collapse the pocket very often but he excels at plugging rush lanes. He was in on both failed fourth down attempts late in the game.
  • 28 rush attempts for 59 yards. It’s not quality, but quantity that matters.
  • Want to know why the Eagles are winning? They converted 7/14 third downs, while holding the Giants to 4/16 on third and fourth downs. This aint rocket science, folks. Third down conversions keep drives alive. Stopping teams on third down ends drives.
  • What was the deal with McNabb’s impromptu phone call on the Giants’ sideline? Looked like a land-line version of Joe Horn’s cellphone shenanigans from a few years back.

So the Birds live to see another Sunday. That means a flight to the state of the rising sun – Arizona. If a fifth NFC Championship appearance doesn’t get you pumped then drink some coffee or down a couple pixy stix. The NFL’s Final Four is upon us and the Eagles are in the thick of it. Should make for a fun week. The Cardinals aren’t chumps and will be looking for payback after the Thanksgiving night drubbing. Are you ready?

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