Friday, February 12, 2016

Westbrook's five greatest plays

Our take on Brian Westbrook's five most memorable plays with the Eagles:

Westbrook's five greatest plays

Brian Westbrook´s 84-yard punt return at Giants Stadium in 2003 was one of the highlights of his Eagles career. (Eric Mencher/Staff file photo)
Brian Westbrook's 84-yard punt return at Giants Stadium in 2003 was one of the highlights of his Eagles career. (Eric Mencher/Staff file photo)

Our take on Brian Westbrook's five most memorable plays with the Eagles:

1. The game: Oct. 19, 2003, vs. New York Giants at Giants Stadium
The setup: The Eagles trailed, 10-7, with 1 minute, 16 seconds to play and the Giants were in punt formation.
The play: Westbrook caught a Jeff Feagles punt and scampered down the left sideline 84 yards for a touchdown. The Eagles won, 14-10.
What it meant: That play was largely viewed as turning around the Eagles’ season. The Birds were 2-3 and headed toward a 2-4 start. They eventually lost to Carolina in the NFC Championship Game.
What he said: “That just motivates me more, when I hear someone saying I’m too small, or whatever.”

2. The game: Dec. 16, 2007, vs. Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium
The setup: The Eagles led, 10-6, with 2:19 left and had the ball on the Dallas 25-yard line.
The play: Westbrook took a handoff and went off right tackle to the 1-yard line, where he took a knee.
What it meant: Dallas was out of timeouts and the Eagles took three kneeldowns to close out the victory.
What he said: “I got a stern talking-to by Jon Runyan right before that play. He said, ‘Listen, if you get down to the 1, take a knee.’ I was like, ‘Ahhh ... ' He said, ‘Take a knee, Westbrook, take a knee.’ ”

3. The game: Jan. 4, 2009, vs. Minnesota Vikings at Metrodome in NFC wild-card game
The setup: The Eagles led, 16-14, midway through the fourth quarter. It was first-and-10 for the Eagles on their own 29-yard line.
The play: Westbrook caught a short pass out of the backfield from Donovan McNabb and ran around and through the Vikings’ defense for a 71-yard touchdown.
What it meant: The Eagles beat Minnesota, 26-14. They eventually lost to Arizona in the NFC Championship Game.
What he said: “The offensive line does a great job, and for me, I just have to find some wiggle room to try to make a play.”

More coverage
Bob Ford: No long goodbye for Westbrook
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Photos: Brian Westbrook
Moving the Chains: Eagles' options at RB

4. The game: Jan. 7, 2007, vs. Giants at Lincoln Financial Field in NFC wild-card game
The setup: Late in first quarter, Eagles had ball on Giants’ 49-yard line.
The play: Westbrook ran 49 yards for a touchdown behind great blocking from Shawn Andrews and receivers Donté Stallworth, L.J. Smith and Reggie Brown.
What it meant: The touchdown helped the Birds win, 23-20, as did his four runs down the stretch that gained 34 yards and helped set up David Akers’ 38-yard winning field goal. Westbrook finished with 141 yards on 20 carries.
What he said: “It was a critical situation and big-time players step up when you need them the most. Coach put the ball in my hands and I leaned on the linemen so much,” Westbrook said about his runs down the stretch.

5. The game: Nov. 11, 2007, vs. Redskins at FedEx Field
The setup: The Eagles trailed, 25-20, with 3:29 to play.
The play: On a Redskins blitz, Westbrook caught a screen pass from McNabb and ran 57 yards for a touchdown, giving the Eagles the lead for good.
What it meant: The Eagles won, 33-25, but this did not turn around their season. They finished 8-8. The day before Westbrook attended the funeral of an uncle in his native Washington.
What he said: “That screen was really a play that showed how much of a team game this is, and how much this team wanted it."

To read our earlier coverage on Brian Westbrook, click here.

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