The Phillies' parade is over. The debris has been cleaned up. Hangovers have passed. For the Eagles, for all of us, this was pretty much Day 1 of the rest of our sporting lives. And, truth be told, it took a few minutes for everyone to re-engage -- and that includes the Eagles.
They stared slowly against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field. They gave up a 90-yard touchdown pass on the Seahawks' first play from scrimmage. Their offense had a hard time getting out of its own way. Quarterback Donovan McNabb was getting banged around and he wasn't accurate -- three completions in his first 13 passes. He also threw a bad interception in the end zone. On a day when lousy teams all over the NFL held big leads for a long time, this gray afternoon in the Northwest began with that kind of a feeling.
Then it was over.
What happened? Brent Celek happened, setting an Eagles regular-season record for receiving by a tight end. McNabb happened, belatedly finding his groove and completing 13 straight passes at one point. Todd Herremans, lined up as eligible in a three tight-end set, became only the second player listed as an offensive lineman in Eagles history to catch a touchdown pass. And David Akers, gradually building back to what he has been for this team in past years, kicked four field goals.
Oh, and the defense? After that first play, it gave up a grand total of six more first downs until the late stages of the fourth quarter. Yes, yes, it was Seneca Wallace on the other side of the line, but the defense was dominating, constantly pressuring.
The final score was Eagles 26, Seahawks 7. It was a fair approximation of what happened, even if it took a little while to get rolling.
Next come the Giants, on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field. After this, the hangover game for everyone, there will be no problem re-engaging for that one.