What a stunning turn of events on Sunday. The Eagles <..."/>

What a stunning turn of events on Sunday. The Eagles <..."/>

Eagle Eye Observations: Week 17


What a stunning turn of events on Sunday. The Eagles woke up yesterday needing a truckload of help before they even took the field versus the Cowboys. Once the Texans and Raiders did the unthinkable and upset the Bears and Bucs, the Birds knew what they needed to do. Then they went out and kicked the !@#$ out of the Dallas Cowboys. It was a glorious day not soon forgotten. So, how did the Eagles get it done? Here’s another look from the Eagle Eye:

  • Did you ever think the “tie” vs the Bengals would prove to be the biggest game of the season? If Shayne Graham makes the 47 yard field goal in overtime, the Eagles most likely don’t make the post-season. Weird.
  • Not counting QB keepers the Birds ran 31 times for 135 yards. This is simple. When they stay balanced and commit to the run – they win.
  • Zero penalties and only one turnover. As close as you can get to error-free football.
  • How about David Akers? He nailed 3 of 4 field goals to finish the regular season with a team record 33 made attempts. Nice to see the old Akers back.
  • The Eagles converted 7/14 third downs, while holding the ‘Boys to only 5/14. More often than not this stat will tell you who won.
  • What has gotten into Chris Clemons? This guy was an absolute stiff the first ten weeks of the season. Then versus the Bengals, defensive coordinator Jim Johnson started to increase his reps. The last few games he has supplied good pressure without recording a sack. On Sunday, he dominated with two sacks, a forced fumble, and a return for a touchdown. By the way, how fast is this guy? He looked like an Olympic sprinter on that return.
  • Maybe there’s something to those playoff beards.
  • Tra Thomas never gets a lot of pub, but he pushed around league sack leader DeMarcus Ware all game long. Impressive.
  • Did you see Joselio Hanson do the “Primetime Deion” dance after his touchdown return? Salt in the wounds. Classic!
  • Donovan McNabb delivered three sweet passes: the 59 yarder to Correll Buckhalter on third and seven; a 34 yarder to DeSean Jackson on third and nine; the beautiful on the money TD toss to Brent Celek on first and goal from the one yard line.
  • Speaking of Buckhalter, how does 13 touches for 122 yards and a score sound? I truly believe this guy could total 1600 yards if he was a featured back. Please, keep giving him the ball, Andy.
  • Speaking of Celek, three catches for thirty yards and a touchdown. Another steady game filling in for oft-injured L.J. Smith. The more I watch Celek the more he reminds me of Chad Lewis. Strong with a good pair of hands.
  • Has there been a greater leader than Brian Dawkins? Watching him do his crazed pre-game routine gave me chills. Then he went out and tallied five tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles. A true warrior.
  • The Eagles’ secondary is playing shut down football. Tony Romo was 21/39 for 183 yards with an interception. The Cowboys best pass was a 42 yarder from Jason Witten on a busted play. Congrats to Sheldon Brown for getting his first interception since Week 13 of last year.
  • Nice rebound game for DeSean Jackson. He had two big catches for 46 yards and drew a key pass interference penalty in the endzone on Terence Newman.
  • The Birds were three for three in the red zone. When was the last time that happened?
  • One sour note. They still struggled on third and short yardage, failing to convert on three of their first four attempts. The Vikings will present a major challenge next Sunday.
  • Pacman Jones, Roy Willams, Terrell Owens, Tony Romo. Would you want any of these guys on your team right now?

What a tremendous win. Hopefully, the Birds didn’t use up all their luck and fortunate bounces in disptaching Dallas. A trip to the Metrodome awaits. So does NFL rushing king Adrian Peterson who ran for 1760 yards and 10 touchdowns. It will be loud and it will be hostile. Are the Eagles up to the task? We shall see.