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Monday, December 13, 2010

Big “W” in Big “D” for Eagles

The Eagles outlasted the Dallas Cowboys in what could become a signature win for the season. As I write, shortly after the game, they lead the NFC East pending the outcome of the Giants postponed game.

Once again Philadelphia opened a game against a division rival with a long pass to DeSean Jackson, this time for 60 yards. It didn’t quite spur a blowout like it did in Washington, but they eventually scored a touchdown on a Mike Vick run after having to go for it on a 4th-and-1. Going for it on 4th down was a ballsy call by Andy Reid so early in the game, and could have been the talk of the week had it not paid off.

But it did, and he deserves the credit for making the decision.

What stands out for me is that the Eagles again went down in the second half after having an early lead, yet came back to win. Doing that in a big division game in Dallas against a Cowboys team that is clearly playing as well as they had been expected to when the season began is something the Eagles haven’t shown an ability to do in recent years, if ever (at least in my lifetime).

Jackson was clearly the player of the game, sealing the game with a 91-yard touchdown with plenty of yards after the catch in the fourth quarter. He had 210 of the Eagles’ 270 receiving yards, and the touchdown came after he went out with an ankle injury. That’s an injury he is having an MRI on after the game as I type.

The defense played well, hanging in there in a back-and-forth game and coming up with a huge interception in the fourth quarter. The pick by Dimitri Patterson was right after the Vick TD, and helped set-up an Eagles field goal for a 10-point cushion and a 30-20 lead.

Dallas tightened things up after the field goal, scoring a touchdown against what seemed like a bend-but-don’t-break defense. The drive only took 4:55, but left just 4:22 on the clock.

Then the Eagles did something else fans haven’t seen in years. They pounded out the clock by running the ball. LeSean McCoy took a screen pass 16 yards – after an idiotic penalty by Jorrick Calvin (who no one ever heard of before and probably never will hear from again) for shoving a player after a touchback left the Eagles on their own 10-yard line – then ran three consecutive times to the Dallas 40. A few more runs by the Eagles led to the quarterback kneel down.

Notes on the game tomorrow . . . or later today, I guess.

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