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Monday, January 5, 2009

Birds Move On

Yesterday was a rarity for the Eagles. Things went the way they were supposed to.

The Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings, 26-14, in a game that was fairly tight throughout most of it. The Birds took advantage of an inexperienced Tarvaris Jackson, using a key interception returned for a touchdown by Asante Samuels, to keep their playoff drive going. Andy Reid surprisingly stayed with the running game, despite the fact that it never really got going, just like normal NFL coaches.

A lot of people are praising Donovan McNabb today, and he was solid but not spectacular. He threw for 300 yards on 23-34 passing, 1 interception and 1 TD. He also fumbled, but it wasn’t something he created. In fact, I thought there should have been some discussion as to whether or not it was an incomplete pass. Normally a 300-yard passing day deserves more praise, but Brian Westbrook took a screen pass 71 yards for a touchdown.

That’s not a criticism of McNabb. No quarterback should be throwing the ball 40 times a game.

DeSean Jackson was very good on special teams, and made a nice block on the Westbrook TD. Considering the struggles in the “red zone,” that may have been as big as his 109 return yards.

Of course, the Birds were far from perfect. They essentially did nothing in the “red zone,” which is a criticism of McNabb and the running game. As good as the defense looked, they couldn’t get off the field on third down.

So, it’s on to New York. It’s borderline amazing this team is still playing, but they’ll likely need one of their best games on Sunday to keep the amazement going. Or maybe just another week of a balanced offense.

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