Monday, January 5, 2009

Eagles Wildcard Recap

Well it's about darn time, isn't it? How many times have we seen the Eagles in a close game in the 4th quarter and lose? Way too many, I know. But not this time. For the first time this year, the Eagles won a close game and it could not have come at a better time.

All of the Eagles wins before this game have been blowouts (the fact that the Giants win was close on the scoreboard at 20-14 does not count as they scored a TD in garbage time; the Eagles dominated that game). This game, was a good, close game and the Eagles found a way to win. The screen to Westbrook for the TD and the moment he scored I instantly knew that the Eagles were going to New York to play the Giants in the divisional playoffs (more on that one later in the week).

The Eagles' playmakers stepped up when they needed to. Up 9-7, Asante Samuel picked off Tarvaris Jackson and returned it for a touchdown (I've got the video of the epic end of that return at the bottom). Westbrook with the game in question, took McNabb's screen to the house to cement our plane tickets to the Meadowlands.

But what about the rest of the game? Some say that aside from another outstanding performance by our defense, the Eagles' offense sputtered. I say not. I say they did just enough throughout the entire game to put the pressure on the Vikings' offense to make a play and aside from Adrian Peterson's 40-yard run, no big plays were made. The Eagles did an excellent job of controlling field position that entire game and the Vikings were never able to successfully reverse it in the second half. Every time they pinned the Eagles deep, the Eagles took it to midfield and pinned the Vikes back deep. The Viking offense never had a chance.

The pressure (both of the game and that of the Eagles' defense) got to him in the end and when he was needed the most in a big game against a defense not consisting of 2nd string players (i.e. Week 17 vs. New York), he (and subsequently the Vikings) fell flat on their face. He had time, there was 6 minutes on the clock after the Westbrook TD (which by the way, if you haven't heard Merrill Reese's call of that yet, go check it out, it's classic), which can be an eternity in the NFL. The Eagles' defense just played Eagles' defense and that was more than enough to ensure victory for the Eagles.

The Eagles will have to pull off all the stops, though, if they are going to beat New York who will be healthy and will have Brandon Jacobs in the lineup. Jacobs, who was absent when the Eagles beat the Gmen, could play a pivotol role in this week's divisional playoff game.

And now, as promised, courtesy of Tirico Suave, here is the epic conclusion to Samuel's pick six.

I love me some schadenfreude! That is the first time that I can recall that a football player has ever been bodyslammed like that before. Good grief. So, so funny.

Chris Clemons Destroys Tarvaris Jackson (Tirico Suave)

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