Friday, December 26, 2014

Eagles snooze, then cruise

The Eagles started slowly, then cruised past Seattle.

Eagles snooze, then cruise

After struggling early in the game, the Eagles took the lead over Seattle on Donovan McNabb´s touchdown pass to offensive lineman Todd Herremans with 40 seconds left in the first half. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
After struggling early in the game, the Eagles took the lead over Seattle on Donovan McNabb's touchdown pass to offensive lineman Todd Herremans with 40 seconds left in the first half. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

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.

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Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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