As always, here are my 10 observations from the Eagles' 26-7 win over the Seahawks:
1. The final numbers for tight end Brent Celek: six catches for 131 yards. L.J. Smith on the season: 12 catches for 106 yards. Celek broke a regular-season franchise record for receiving yards for a tight end. I'll be honest. Many of you have been calling for Celek in our weekly game chats all season. I've told you not to get carried away. I don't know that he'll have a game like Sunday again in his career. But I also don't see how you can keep him off the field after this performance.
2. Incredible to see Donovan McNabb's terrible day turn into a great day so quickly. He started out 3-for-13 before completing 11 in a row at one point and 19 of 20. McNabb completed passes to 10 different players, including guard Todd Herremans. I wonder what kind of money you could have made if it had been possible to wager that Herremans would have more touchdowns than Brian Westbrook in this one.
3. Very nice to see the Eagles put together a scoring drive before halftime once again. The Birds' offense took over at its own 45 with 5:22 left in the second quarter. The Eagles drove 55 yards on 11 plays, taking 4:42 off the clock to take take a 14-7 lead. Last week against the Falcons, the Birds took over on their own 12-yard line with 45 seconds left and drove for a David Akers field goal. Previously this season, the Eagles struggled mightily on drives before halftime.
4. Defensive game ball goes to Omar Gaither. With less than a minute left in the third quarter, he helped Broderick Bunkley stuff Julius Jones for no gain. On the next play, he caught up with Maurice Morris for a 4-yard loss. Overall, Gaither had six tackles, all solo, to lead the team, including one sack. He was all over the place and delivered some punishing hits. Seattle has looked to its backs and tight ends in the passing game all season, but the Birds' defense did a nice job shutting down that aspect of the Seahawks' offense.
5. The optimist says...
Good karma from the Phillies? The Eagles have won three in a row. I know the Seahawks aren't great, but any time you can win on the road in the NFL, you've accomplished something. The defense was dominant after the initial hiccup, and McNabb got in a great groove after the first quarter. I mean 10 different receivers? How do you defend against that? The Eagles didn't even get much from Brian Westbrook, and they still won by nearly three touchdowns. The Cowboys lost again, the Redskins have a tough matchup Monday night with the Steelers, and the Giants are coming to town next week. The Eagles are right in this thing going into Week 10.
6. The pessimist says...
Good to see the Eagles wasted no time letting us down in this one. A 90-yard touchdown from Seneca Wallace? Are you serious? The Seahawks had the WORST passing offense in the league going into this game! Suffer a screw-up like that next week against the Giants and see what happens. Lito Sheppard got burnt and Brian Dawkins looked 40. Offensively, the same ole struggles in short yardage, and they had to settle for four Akers field goals. That's not going to cut it against good teams. McNabb looked AWFUL in the first quarter. Will he ever put together a complete game? The Eagles couldn't even get the run game going. They're in for a rude awakening next week. Anyone who thinks this is more than a mediocre team is fooling themselves.
7. I know Seattle has been decimated by injuries, but the Seahawks had some real bonehead lapses in this one. With 40 seconds left in the first half, Wallace completed a 23-yard pass to tight end John Carlson at the Seattle 43-yard line. Following a timeout and an incomplete pass, the Seahawks called a running play and then spiked the ball on third down, forcing a punt. Huh? Then in the third quarter, down 17-7, the Seahawks set up to go for it on third-and-10 from the Eagles' 34-yard line. They suffered back-to-back penalties, a false start and delay of game, before being forced to punt. Probably not how Mike Holmgren wanted to go out in his final year in Seattle.
8 and 9. Some random thoughts for Nos. 8 and 9:
- With two minutes left in the first half, McNabb converted a fourth-and-one with a quarterback sneak. According to Fox, the Eagles were the last team in the NFL with a fourth-down conversion. Brian Baldinger said McNabb told him he can always pick up a yard in those situations. Can McNabb please tell Andy Reid this?
- Don't have the YAC stats in front of me, but the Eagles receivers did a good job of breaking tackles after the catch.
- If Reid scripted the first 15 plays today, he may want to go in another direction next week.
- Kevin Curtis appeared to hurt his left hand/wrist. However, he just said on Comcast that he sprained it a little but is fine.
- If I hear Chevy Chase say "This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy" one more time on that DirecTV commercial, I'm going to slam my head against a wall.