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.
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.