Cornerback Bobby Taylor seals the victory with this interception late in the
forth quarter. The INT was Pederson's 2nd INT of the day.
Philadelphia Eagles' Stat Of The Week |
The Eagles victory completes a magical regular season in which they finished
at 11-5. Last year, the Birds were 5-11. The 2000 Eagles differential from
last season is +6, their highest in their history. It was their
best record since 1992, the last year of the Reggie White era.
The Eagles and Bucaneers met once before in playoffs. Back on December 29, 1979,
Philadelphia lost at Tampa Bay 24-17 in a divisional playoff game. Tampa went
on to lose to Rams 9-0 in the NFC Championship game. Of course, the Bucs lost
last year 11-6 in the NFC Championship game. The Bucs are 3-5 all-time in the
playoffs. The Eagles are 9-11 all-time in the post season. Tampa Bay is 0-4 on the
ROAD in the playoffs.
Bengals Go Down Easily To The Birds,|
Next Up, A Date With The Bucaneers...
The Philadelphia Eagles will now play against Tampa Bay on "New Year's Eve"
late Sunday afternoon. It will be cold, probally 25°. Maybe it will
even snow a bit. There will be plenty of idiotic fans with no shirts or
some dumb-ass wearing only underwear running around the 500 level. One
thing there will be a lot going around. Beer, alcohol and even more beer.
Of all the teams playing this week, the NFL schedule makers didn't take
into effect that it will be New Year's Eve. What the hell are they thinking
about? Philadelphia, New Year's Eve and a Wild Card Playoff Game only
equals one thing. 50,000 drunks out of 65,000 fans in the VET! OK, maybe I
was exaggerated a little. 45,000 drunks...
With a kickoff time at approxiamtely 4:15 and an ending that perhaps does
not take place until near 8 pm, only 4 hours from the actual new Millennium,
how could the NFL schedule a game in Philadelphia. Why not at 1 pm. Don't
forget about Tampa Bay's futility in not being able to win when it is below
40°. Their all-time record of 0-19 was once again prove too much as they
lost at Green Bay on the last game when the game time temperature was 15°.
Can Tampa again lose this week in Philly. I think they will. There will plenty
of drinking down in South Philly, there will be plenty of cheering, screaming and
yelling along with lot's of defense. The key to the game is not so much the Tampa
defense which is probally 2nd or 3rd overall, but the Eagles' defense stopping
Warrick Dunn and containing Keyshawn Johnson. We have all seen what Donovan
has done this year against some of NFL's best defenses: Tennessee, New Orleans,
Washington and even Pittsburgh. No matter what the other team has done all day
against Donovan, McNabb always find a way to get it done when it really matters.
The only blemish has been the Giants and the game against Tennessee. But against
the Titans, the now NFL favorite to win Super Bowl XXXV, it took some extrodinary
plays by Steve McNair and a very lucky clutch FG from 50 yards in 40° windy
weather down at the Vet. Titans won the game 15-13, but this game should have
been won by the Eagles in the end. So the Eagles are for real and Tampa Bay
better come prepared for a fight.
The Birds' last game against Cincinnati was not a cakewalk, but it was basically
over after the first quarter when the Eagles took a 10-0. It appeared that the
Eagles really stopped trying to put the game away after David Akers kicked a 2nd
quarter FG late in the first half. If it wasn't for a fumble on the one yard line
and an INT deep in Bengals territory, the score may have well been 31-7 instead
of 16-7. The Eagles running game came alive somewhat with play of newcomer,
Chriss Warren who gained 42 yards on 15 carries and actually outrushed Donovan
McNabb 42-20. In fact, Cecil Martin and Stanley Pritchett, each outrushed
McNabb and Autry rushed for the same amount as Donovan. On the day, the Eagles
rushed for 138 yards total and they held one of the leagues' best rushers in
Corey Dillon to 39 yards on 16 carries. The Eagles Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor
each had very strong games at the right time of the year holding Peter Warrick
to only 3 catches for 38 yards, the last one came against the Eagles other cornerback
Al Harris with 2 minutes left in the game which resulted in a 17 yard TD. But against
both Vincent and Taylor, he had only 21 measely yards. If they play like this against
Keyshawn, then Warrick Dunn better rush for many yards or else Tampa could be in
for a very long game and better hope to shut down Donovan completely or knock him
out of the game. One saving grace for Tampa could be their kicker who proved even
in the horrid conditions in Green Bay, that he kicked 2 FGs giving the Bucs the
opportunity to tie the game late and send it into OT. But Brett Farve and company
ran it down the Bucs throat in OT and Longwell kicked the winning FG at 22 yards.
In the cold of Lambeau Field, the Packers outrushed the Bucs 135-67.
If the Eagles win this battle, they could very well be travelling to Minnesota the
following week if the Rams beat the Saints again or the Birds will drive up the NJ
turnpike for a another rematch against the NY Giants. Overall, the Eagles played a
decent game against Cincinnati, not spectacular, but solid. But they will have to play
smarter and with more intensity if they are to stay in the game against Tampa Bay.
If they keep the turnovers down, the Eagles should be sitting pretty to advance to
the divisional playoffs.