Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Eagles survive longest day

Eagles 30, Broncos 27

Eagles survive longest day

David Akers kicked the game-winning field goal from 28 yards in the game´s final seconds. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
David Akers kicked the game-winning field goal from 28 yards in the game's final seconds. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

On the longest day, partly because of injuries but mostly because of an unending series of flags and officiating conferences, the last conference went the Eagles’ way.

Aided immeasurably by a key call with 59 seconds left, when referee Mike Carey overruled one of his officials and decided that Jeremy Maclin got both feet down on a really close play along the sidelines, the Eagles beat the Denver Broncos, 30-27. David Akers kicked the game-winning field goal with 4 seconds left.

In pulling it out in the end -- after blowing a huge lead in the third quarter on the day that Brian Dawkins returned to Philadelphia -- the Eagles left open the possibility that they could win the NFC East later tonight if Dallas were to lose at Washington.

The Eagles were cruising at halftime, 20-7. They were cruising well into the third quarter, 27-10. But then it all began to unravel, thanks largely to a Macho Harris penalty that flipped the field position and then a Harris fumble on a kickoff. By the time the Eagles ended the third quarter with a particularly ugly three-and-out, their lead was down to 27-24.

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Box Score: Eagles 30, Broncos 27
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Play-by-Play: Eagles 30, Broncos 27

Then it became two wildly swinging fighter, mostly swinging and missing. But the field position was working more for the Broncos, and a 46-yard field goal with 6:05 left made it a 27-27 tie.

From there, the Eagles went on a drive that featured a Donovan McNabb conversion of a third-and-25 with a 27-yard scramble. But that was it, and Sav Rocca punted the Broncos back to their 9-yard line. The Broncos got nothing done and punted it back. From there, the Eagles got the benefit of the big officiating call in the end.
What was originally an incompletion was, instead, ruled to be a 27-yard pass that put the Eagles into position for Akers to make the game-winning field goal.

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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