Suddenly, Andy Looks Like Santa
The stars have lined up today for the Eagles. This is a day for the ages.
Suddenly, Andy Looks Like Santa
Les Bowen, Daily News Staff Writer
History made in South Philly tonight.
This is the kind of thing where you'll remember where you were when the Bucs coughed up the lead and lost, and when Correll Buckhalter took off for 59 yards, and when Chris Clemons scooped and scored.
The Eagles are going to Minnesota for the playoffs, after being given a 9.8 percent chance of making it at the start of the day by the footballoutsiders.com Web site. Nine-point-eight percent doesn't pay off real often.
It's mopup time. Your Eagletarian is too busy typing to really keep track, but I think Sav Rocca might be playing quarterback next series. Lito Sheppard just went back to field a punt, DeSean Jackson being too precious to risk in this setting. Winston Justice is blocking for Kyle Eckel.
Previously: Good lord. It's raining Eagles touchdowns and field goals in South Philly. 27-3 Birds at halftime. Time to crank up the Minnesota motorcade? Seventeen Eagles points in the final two minutes and three seconds of the first half? Since we last updated, Terence Newman's interference penalty set up a 1-yard TD pass to Brent Celek, and it was 24-3. Then Adam "Pacman" Jones fumbled away the kickoff and the Birds had five seconds, which they used productively, a 50-yard David Akers field goal setting the halftime score.
Anybody else think that would have been blocked and run back for a touchdown a month ago?
Updating previously: This is almost as unbelievable as Oakland's comeback earlier. The Eagles are up 17-3 at the two-minute warning, after a sweet 11-play, 71-yard drive. DeSean Jackson took that Eagles rookie receiving yardage record on a 34-yard bullet from Donovan McNabb, then Correll Buckhalter, having a huge half, scored the TD on a third-and-goal 4-yard pass.
Updating previously: The Eagles just scored a touchdown, something they failed to do last week, and they have a 10-3 lead with12:16 left in the first half. Sweetly enough for long-suffering fans, they actually ran the ball on third and goal from the 1, QB sneak for the second play in a row, and there was no doubt Donovan McNabb was in the end zone. Six plays, 68 yards, the big one a 59-yard Correll Buckhalter romp with a scrambling McNabb dumpoff that took the home team to the Dallas 6.
Updating previously: Well, the teams have traded field goals. The Eagles ran four times in a row in setting up theirs, which might be a season high.
The Cowboys are running it too, and throwing quick, short stuff. Disappointing that nobody covered Jason Witten on third and 7 from the Birds' 41, which could have kept Dallas out of field goal range. But the defense stiffened after that.
First quarter just ended, 3-3. One of these lucky teams is going to lovely Minnesota next weekend, to face the Brad Childresses. Which one will it be?
Updating previously: Wow. Double wow. The Eagles came flying through the inflatable Bird head and onto the field the second Jeff Garcia was sacked on the final play of the Raiders' 31-24 stunning upset of the host Bucs, who have to be cponsidered the New York Mets of football, after losing their final four games to go from division leaders to out of the playoffs.
Houston defeated Chicago, also 31-24, so "all" the Eagles need to do now is beat the Cowboys to earn a playoff trip to Minnesota. Eagles just won the coin toss. The crowd is electric. Stay tuned.
Pereviously: Well, now that the Eagles and Cowboys are on the field, the Bucs-Raiders game no longer is being shown on the big scoreboard screens in each end zone of the Linc. Might be a tad distracting to the Eagles; wouldn't matter to Dallas.
For the record, erratic JaMarcus Russell just got back the TD he gave away a few minutes earlier, and the 13-point underdog Raiders are back within 24-21. The Giants and the Texans seem very likely right now to give the Birds the other hope they need. Tampa-Oakland is the problem.
Meanwhile, the Eagles' inactive list for the season finale contained no surprises. It somehow seems fitting that tight end L.J. Smith (shoulder) is inactive in what figures to be his last Eagles game. How different would this season (and previous seasons) look if the Eagles had drafted Jason Witten instead of Smith in 2003?