Another Special Disaster

     Halftime update: The Eagles just put the "special" in special teams yet again. What could be worse than David Akers missing his 10th field goal in a row from 45 yards or farther? Why, Ray McDonald coming right up the middle and blocking the attempt, and it bouncing to former Eagle Donald Stickland, who runs it in for a touchdown as time expires.

    It didn't seem to be Akers' fault -- McDonald pretty much took the ball right off his foot, unblocked, apparently from an inside stunt that fooled Jamaal Jackson, who plays guard beside snapper Jon Dorenbos.

    The Birds had used the clock well for once, moving from their 20 to the 49ers' 36 in 28 seconds, leaving one second left in the half. It seemed a 54-yard attempt, with little wind, might restore Akers' confidence. Oh, well.

    The Birds still lead, 17-16. We'll see how they bounce back from this mini-disaster.

    If they don't, we'll see if special teams coordinator Rory Segrest makes the flight home. Never mind trying out kickers during the bye week -- how about trying out somebody who can take charge of a unit in chaos?

        The Eagles just took a 14-6 lead when Donovan McNabb hit Hank Baskett on a fade to the left corner of the end zone. The earth seemed to wobble momentarily on its axis. That tends to happen a lot out here, though.

    The Birds' offense has been strong so far, despite not having Brian Westbrook, Reggie Brown or Shawn Andrews, driving for two touchdowns in three possessions. Quintin Demps set up the first TD, a 1-yard Correll Buckhalter run over Max Jean-Gilles, with a 63-yard kickoff return.

   The second Eagles TD came at the end of a 10-play, 78-yard drive, McNabb and Baskett executing the long-awaited fade on third and goal from the 49ers' 2. San Francisco has a pair of Joe Nedney field goals, one set up by a 45-yard Allen Rossum punt return.

   McNabb is 9 for 14 for 114 yards.