After Further Review Eagles Win 30-27by BigGreek24
The Eagles had one play review that went against them early, but a review that overturned what was called an incomplete pass to Jeremy Maclin late in the 4th quarter gave the Eagles the ball at the Broncos 13 ultimately leading to a David Akers 28 yard field goal to lift the Eagles to 11-4 in a game they once led 27-10.
The review that went against the Eagles was on the Broncos first drive as on third down Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton threw what appeared to be a backwards pass that Wil Patterson scooped up off the turf and returned for a touchdown. The Broncos challenged the ruling on the field and it was ruled that the ball had traveled forward, thus making it an incomplete pass and nullifying the touchdown.
The Eagles marched up and down the field during the first half as the Broncos offense struggled, not even getting a first down until the second quarter. The Eagles got first half touchdowns on a 2-yard jump pass from McNabb to Jackson and a 47-yard Celek rumble into the endzone. David Akers added two field goals and the Eagles were in control 20-7 at halftime in what looked to be a laugher.
The Broncos had other ideas as Champ Bailey intercepted a McNabb pass on the Eagles first posession of the second half and the Broncos marched down the field and Prater kicked a 33 yard field goal to make it 20-10. The Eagles subsequent posession led to an unbelievable Jason Avant catch from 15 yards out to give the Eagles a 27-10 lead. Unfortunately the Broncos struck quick as they scored a touchdown on a 7 yard Jabar Gaffney catch and run through missed tackles and after Macho Harris fumbled the ensuing kickoff, the Broncos scored again on a Knowshon Moreno catch and run for 16 yards to get the Broncos to within 27-24 as the third quarter wound down.
The Eagles offense, which looked almost unstoppable during the first half, was just about non existant in the second half as the Birds blew a 17 point lead as Prater kicked a field goal from 46 yards to tie the score at 27-27 with just 6:05 to play. The Eagles stalled again, coming up just short on a third down pass to Jeremy Maclin, and Andy Reid decided to punt the ball away to the Broncos. The Eagles defense held and they got the ball back with just under 2:00 to play as they setup what would be the game-winning drive as Akers kick sailed through the uprights with just four seconds to play in the game.
This game marked the return of former Eagle Brian Dawkins who received a rousing ovation when he came out on the field. Dawkins made some nice plays against his former teammates, including a nice tackle on Brian Westbrook from behind. Speaking of Westbrook, he saw his first game action and tallied 32 yards on 9 attempts. McNabb went 20 for 35 for 322 yards and three touchdowns. His lone interception to start the second half helped start the Broncos comeback. He also fumbled the ball on the Eagles first drive of the game as he was sacked from behind as Jason Peters missed a block. Brent Celek led the Eagles in receiving with 121 yards and one touchdown on 4 catches.
The Eagles can clinch the NFC East either with a Cowboys loss tonight to the Redskins or by beating the Cowboys next week at Dallas. They can also clinch the 2nd seed in the NFC by beating the Cowboys next week combined with one Minnesota loss. The Eagles would hold the tiebreaker over the Vikings by virtue of a better conference record. The Eagles are now riding a six game winning streak, their longest since rolling off five in a row to end the 2006 season.
For the third straight week the Eagles took a double digit lead early only to either fall behind (Giants) allow the team to get close (49ers) or allow their opponent to tie the score as the Broncos did today. Sure, they managed to win each of those games, but for whatever reason the Eagles lack the killer instinct of a championship caliber team and that could come back to bite them in the playoffs against a team like the Saints, or even the Vikings or Cardinals. If you take a big lead on those teams, you have to keep coming at them both offensively and defensively. CBS announce Phil Simms used the term coasting to describe the Eagles effort in the second half. Andy Reid and his staff must find a way to correct this if the Eagles are to advance deep into the playoffs.