Eagles Come From Behind Again, Improve to 7-4


For the second consecutive week, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles came from behind in the fourth quarter to win a close game, this time defeating a division rival 27-24. After a fast start, the offense slowed and allowed the Redskins to get back into the driver's seat, taking a seemingly commanding eight point lead. They might be starting to like this winning thing though, as their critical final drives went 90 yards for a touchdown with two-point conversion, and 66 yards to set up the deciding field goal.

The coaches started off the afternoon with a series of questionable calls, beginning with the onside kick to open the contest. Surprise onside kicks actually are recovered by the kicking team with a fair degree of frequency, and the Redskins were fooled by the development, so the call itself wasn't necessarily the problem. However choosing to attempt the play against a team that has struggled to put points on the board probably wasn't worth the risk. The result: possession at the Eagles 21, great field position even a terrible offense will capitalize on. 7-0.

On the Eagles first possession, they easily marched the ball down to the dreaded one-yard line. Rather than punch it on third and fourth down, McNabb attemped passes on each down. To his credit, he found Jackson for a score, but a ticky-tack offensive pass interference by Celek negated the play, forcing them to settle for three anyway. A shame, because a simple run probably reduces the odds of a penalty, and at least in theory, increases the odds of scoring.

On the ensuing possession, the offense continued to roll. McNabb escaped from the pocket and found Jackson again for a wide open 35-yard pass to the end zone, good for his shortest touchdown of the season. The Eagles led 10-7, and then the momentum quicky changed again.

The Redskins came right back down the field and retook the lead 14-10, and after two more Akers field goals in the first half, Washington jumped back in front 21-16 on their first chance in the third quarter. Jason Campbell showed up to play, keeping plays alive with his feet, and multiple times either found receivers for big plays down the field or scrambled for solid yards and a first down. At one point, they were 8 for 12 on third downs, in large part due to great plays from the quarterback. He probably won't get enough credit for keeping his skeleton crew offense in this battle.

Washington tacked on another field goal, and finally the Birds offense awakened. With 11:37 left starting from their own ten, McNabb found Avant on passes of 46 and 20 yards to put them in enemy territory. Later, they once again they found themselves on the one-yard line, where Eldra Buckley finally pushed his way across the goal line. On the two-point play, McCoy caught the shovel and made an incredible effort to stay on his feet and squirt into the end zone.

On the final drive, the Eagles leaned heavily on rookies McCoy and Maclin. McCoy carried four times to keep the clock ticking, and Maclin caught a big 35 yarder that put the team in field goal range. Akers drilled the 32-yard kick.

It was ugly again, but somehow this still feels like a good win. Penalties continue to plague them in meaningful situations (7 for 60 yards), the red zone remains a problem (1 for 4), and injuries continue to mount (DeSean Jackson concussion). The offense is explosive though, and the defense is making enough plays to scrape by.

Can they make a run? I honestly don't know, but there are some things starting to click. They have a ways to go for sure, but winning close games in come-from-behind fashion, it doesn't matter who they're beating, it means something.

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