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Monday, November 3, 2008

Eagles Back in Playoff Hunt After Beating Seahawks

Yesterday in Seattle the Eagles may have represented Philadelphia better than they ever have. They looked a bit disinterested in the first quarter, but soon realized they weren’t the Philadelphia team that had just won a world championship and got back to business in time to beat the hapless Seahawks, 26-7.

Fans can be forgiven if, like me, this game wasn’t doing much for them as they came down from celebrating the Phillies. Since they actually won, I guess the Eagles can be forgiven too. But if Jeffrey Lurie ever wants to do anything besides loan out space for a parade, the Eagles need to finally figure out how to manage a clock.

The Eagles ran a quarterback sneak right after the 2-minute warning in the first half. They did not run another play until there was 1:17 left – after a timeout by Seattle. The Eagles were only at Seattle’s 34, so this wasn’t a case of milking the clock. It only got worse as they took another timeout due to apparent confusion after a 26-yard pass to Kevin Curtis put them on the 1-yard line with the clock already stopped as Curtis had been pushed out of bounds.

Yes, they eventually scored a touchdown. But whether it’s the fault of Donovan McNabb or Andy Reid, this team is still incapable of running a 2-minute drill.

The best bright spot of the day, and my Player of the Week, was Brent Celek. The second-year player showed signs that the Eagles may finally have a tight end. He caught 6 passes for 131 yards – the most yards ever by an Eagles tight end in a regular season game.

After a slow start McNabb certainly deserved consideration with 349 yards passing and 2 TD passes. Brian Westbrook had a solid day with 61 rushing yards and 35 receiving. Curtis made his presence known after missing most of the year with a groin injury, catching 6 passes for 83 yards. Even David Akers showed he might not be ready for the scrap heap, going 4 of 4 on field goals.

But before we start planning another parade, this was a bad Seahawks team without its starting quarterback. While the Eagles’ defense dominated, they dominated Seneca Wallace, and Lito I-want-to-be-traded Sheppard got toasted for a 90-yard TD on the first offensive play for the Seahawks. Plus, Akers’ longest field goal was for 42-yards, not exactly anything to be in awe of.

The Eagles are back in the hunt for the playoffs at 5-3. Next week’s game against the Giants will tell us a lot more about this team.

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