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Monday, October 31, 2011

Back from the Dead; Eagles Crush Cowboys


          On Halloween’s eve, the Eagles masqueraded as the “Dream Team” Vince Young once promised Philadelphia as they demolished the Dallas Cowboys, 34-7.

          And it wasn’t that close.

          I’m not ready to start making plans to watch this team in the Super Bowl, but everybody knows that the fastest way for the Eagles to get the heat of a 2-4 start off of them is to beat Dallas.

          Thumping them is even better.

          The Eagles took the opening possession of the game down the field for an 8-play touchdown drive, capped off by a 12-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin. More impressively, after two penalties by the special teams unit on the ensuing kickoff put Dallas near midfield, the Eagles defense forced a punt.

          After the following 7-play TD drive ended with a LeSean McCoy touchdown to put the Eagles up 14-0, the romp was on.

          By halftime it was 24-0, and the only thing left for Eagles fans to worry about might have been another collapse.

          It never came. The Eagles lead 34-0 in the 4th quarter before giving up a long touchdown on what seemed like a broken coverage. The fact is that the defense exposed Tony Romo, who finished with a 66.7 passer rating in a game with plenty of garbage time, as the overhyped quarterback that he is.

          The offense was just as dominant as Philadelphia punted for the first time in that same 4th quarter.

          McCoy lead the way with 21 carries for 142 yards – through three quarters (according to a Les Bowen tweet). He finished 30 carries for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns. The way he carries the ball might give Andy Reid heartburn one of these days, but Sunday night McCoy had me wondering if he is the best Eagles back since Wilbert Montgomery. (Yes, he still needs to do it a while longer, but that’s about all he needs to do.)

          Michael Vick reminded people of his first 10 games as a starter last season, passing for 279 yards on 21 of 28 passing and 2 TDs, and rushing 7 times for 50 yards. Three different receivers caught passes for more than 50 yards (though none of them were named DeSean Jackson), and six different Eagles caught at least one pass.

          Vick may have also made people forget about the growing “Fire Andy” sentiment – for how long, though, is to be determined. The Eagles are now 13-0 after the bye week under Reid, and this was by far the most impressive win of the group. With a lot of talk circulating this weekend about the struggles of teams coming off of their bye week, the Eagles dominated a team some were thinking would win the division based on recent results. (E’hm, ok, I was one of them.)

          Suddenly, the Eagles have two straight wins and are tied with Dallas and Washington at 3-4 with wins over both. They still trail the Giants by two games for the division with a head-to-head loss, but that doesn’t look insurmountable after Sunday.

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