Much like last week it wasn't the prettiest game from start to end, but it was another win that showed a ton of character for the Eagles. For the second straight week, Donovan McNabb led a 4th quarter comeback and the Eagles defense tightened up as the team continues to try to shed the notion that it can't win close games.
While it's certainly fair to say that Eagles still aren't "firing on all cylinders" it is still a fact in this league that you are what your record says you are. Right now the Eagles are 7-4, just a game back in the NFC East, and in control of at least a wildcard spot in the playoffs. Under Andy Reid, this team has historically started to play its best football in December. If that holds true again this year, the Eagles are well position heading into the final month of 2009.
Headlines are after the jumpFantastic Fourth from McNabb
A week after he welcomed his 4th child into the world and led a 4th quarter comeback against the Bears, Donovan McNabb once again saved his best for the 4th quarter. It didn't start off well as McNabb's arm was hit and he threw his only pick of the day, but it was only up from there. Down 24-16 McNabb led drives of 90 and 66 yards totaling about 8 minutes to seal a 27-24 win.
Lesean McCoy continues to mature
In past years, the loss of Brian Westbrook would have sealed this team's fate. The Eagles recognized this and sought to correct that weakness by taking LeSean McCoy in the second round of the 2009 draft, so far Shady McCoy has made them look pretty smart. He ran the ball 17 times for 76 yards while his backfield mate Leonard Weaver added 6 carries for 44 yards to combine for a very efficient and effective running game. McCoy also caught 4 passes for 25 yards to bring his total to just over a 100 yards from scrimmage on the day.
He's certainly not Brian Westbrook yet, but he's been impressive nonetheless.
What happened to Brent Celek?
You could certainly make a case that Brent Celek has been the Eagles' most reliable and consistent producer all year, but today the guy absolutely laid an egg. Not only did he drop three passes later in the game which hit him in the hands, but he also committed a needless pass interference play in the first quarter which caused a TD pass to Desean Jackson to be called back. I'm sure he can bounce back, but today was an absolutely brutal day from the young TE.
Avant's breakout season continues
Jason Avant just had a fantastic day again. He makes tough catches, he breaks tackles, he runs great routes. The guy has really blossomed this year into more than just a third down, over the middle specialist. He's becoming a guy the defense has to worry about on every play.
While we're praising WRs, how about another strong game from the rookie Maclin? His great catch on the TD drive ended up being one of the most pivotal moments of the game. He ended the day with 5 grabs for 63 yards.
Some guys just have the number of certain teams. That certainly seems to be the case with Asante Samuel, who now has 6 INTs in his last 8 games against the Redskins. There's no doubt his tackling leaves much to be desired, but his 2 picks today were huge in stopping the bleeding by an Eagles defense that seemed to be on the ropes in the second and third quarters. That's what playmakers are for.