It was ugly win, but it was a win nonetheless. Against quality opponent, a playoff team, an unbeaten team... I'll take an ugly win. This was a character building win.
Onto the headlines
Mirror image of Monday Night?
The story of the Dallas game on Monday night was the Eagles offensive looking damn near unstoppable and the defense looking like they couldn't stop anyone... Tonight it was the exact opposite. The defense was dominant, but the Eagles offense looked anemic.
And the defensive was dominant
Six points allowed. 180 yards allowed. 33 rushing yards. 2/13 on f3rd down conversions. Nine sacks. 3 turnovers and a safety.
This was complete and total dominance. Not just in the front seven, but the secondary as well. The few times Big Ben did have a few seconds to throw, he looked down field and saw nothing open. Especially good game out of Asante Samuel who had a fantastic pick and a big pass breakup in the end zone. To see the Pittsburgh Steelers team get this physically beat upfront is rare. The Eagles defense set a new standard for themselves today. We know how good they can be against a good team now.
Anyone still think Dawkins looks too old? That play where he leapt over a blocker, knocked the ball out of Roethlisberger's hand, and recovered the fumble was the stuff of legends.
"He's a warrior man" was all Reid could say after the game when asked about #20.
Ben Roethlisberger is going to be seeing Jim Johnsons' face in his nightmares.
Sav Rocca MVP?
I know it's early, but so far this guy deserves a trip to Hawaii. You could make an argument that Rocca won this game for us. When he had room he boomed multiple 60+ yarders, and we he needed to pin the Steelers deep he did it time and time again. 3 of his punts pinned the Steelers deep inside their own territory late in the game. One of those kicks ended up leading to the safety.
After the game, Reid said "You don't often hear about punter being a weapon, but he was a weapon tonight."
Andy Reid said Westbrook has an ankle "strain" and will have an MRI tommorrow. He did say that he knew off the x-ray that the injury was not a fracture.
McNabb - A game of two halves
The way he finished up this game might overshadow the way he started, but it was an interest game for #5. McNabb started absolutely on fire, connecting on his first 15 passes. The first drive was halted thanks to a Tony Hunt fumble on a play where it seemed like he was knocked out cold. On the next drive he threw a record setting TD pass thanks to a superlative individual effort from Correll Buckhalter. Buck's leap over a Steeler defender will be a lasting image of this game.
But back to McNabb... In the second quarter he was sacked and driven pretty hard into the ground. He continued to play, but it appears he picked up what Andy Reid called a "chest contusion" on that play. In all likelihood, it tightened up a bit when they went in for halftime and he was unable to come out for the second half. After missing a drive and a half McNabb returned to the field and never looked quite as sharp as he did to start the game. Part of it may have been the injury(he was wincing quite a bit), but part of it was likely due to the fact that the Pittsburgh pass rush played much better in the second half.
McNabb ended the game 24/35 for 196 yards, 1 TD & 1 INT. Oh and one Eagles record broken...
Desean Jackson falls short of history
Desean Jackson didn't get his 3rd straight 100 yard game, which would have made him the first rookie in NFL history to do so... but he didn't have a bad game. He finished up 5 catches for 40 yards. The big story at WR today was Hank Baskett. Hank made one tough catch after the other and finished with a career high of 8 catches for 85 yards. The much maligned Eagles WR corps continues to not only do an adequate job, but dare I say... a pretty good job?