Well what can I say. With the World Trade Bombing and my vacation to Williamsburg, Va
and Washington DC, I just never got around to updating this page. Well, now I can
write about the Eagles first game which I had to watch on the VCR since I was
down in DC during the telecast. The defense played superb as they harassed
Kurt Warner for most of the game and you cannot blame the defense for the loss.
First of all, new replacement center, Hank Fraley fumbled the the first snap
from scrimage on the 11 yard line and a few plays later, Marshall faulk ran it
in for a touchdown. 7-0 Rams just like that. Later in the 2nd quarter, it was sure
hands Chad Lewis catching a pass and then sucombing to fumblitis deep in Eagles
territory. An easy 14-3 lead just like that. You don't just give a team like
the Rams easy points like that. Remember, they score over 40 points on most teams
over the past 2 years. But not today...
The Eagles defense kept the Eagles in the game until the offense led by
Donovan McNabb could get it going late in the 3rd quarter and into the 4th.
After a Troy Vincent interception in the 3rd, where the Rams were about to score
again to make it 24-3, Donovan and company got the ball on their 2 yard line.
The Eagles then drove 98 yards down the field in 18 plays, including 3 forth
down conversions. The touchdown was a 2 yard pass to Cecil Martin who clearly
crossed the goal line, but only the replay would confer the judgement as the refs
did not call it a touchdown at first. The Eagles then proceeded to stop the Rams
again and McNabb led a 9 play 69 yard drive capped by Cecil Martin's 7 yard screen pass
to tie the game at 17 with 3:59 left in the game. On the proceeding kickoff,
Rams return specialist Aveion Cason was rocked by Mike Caldwell who fumbled.
SIX Eagle defenders had a chance to get the easy recovery, but it was Don Davis
of the Rams who ended up on the ball. If Quinton Carver, William Hampton or Mike
Caldwell had just fallen on the ball instead of trying to pick it up, the Birds would
have been sitting pretty on the 12 yard line and only minutes left.
Like most of the game, the Eagles defense held again and got the ball back with under
90 seconds left and proceeded to move the ball accross midfield. At this point the refs
made the first of 2 big mistakes which would ultimately cause them to lose. First, with 45
seconds left and after a big completion to the Rams 46 yard line, two players on the Rams
went down. Both teams had no timeouts. The Eagles were all set to simply to spike the ball
to stop the clock with like 42 seconds left. The refs refused to allow them to snap and then
allowed another 13 seconds tick off the clock penalizing the Birds for something that should
not have happened. The Eagles had a 64 yard FG attempt with 8 seconds to go, but did not try
to kick it. The Eagles were forced to go to OT, instead of having a chance for a probable FG
from 40-50 yards because of a major screw up by the refs. Number Two came in OT, when Jon Runyon
was called for a phantom holding call after a 25 yard completion downfield near midfield.
Instead, the Eagles had first and 20 from their 11 yard line and never made a first down, setting
up the Rams to kick the winning FG from in close at 26 yards.
The Eagles defense held the Mighty Rams to a measely 17 points in 4 quarters. Usually that is
an automatic win versus this team as they average giving up over 27 points last year. But
McNabb really never got it going until the 3rd quarter. Duce Staley looked good, but only had 9 yards
rushing, but 81 yards receiving on 11 catches. McNabb finished the day with 312 yards on a
32 for 48 attempts at 67%, that is not bad. Todd Pinkston had 7 catches an 99 yards. Chad Lewis also
had 5 receptions for 45 yards. But it was the defense who really created complete chaos most of the game
as they held Warner to only 308 yards and Marshall Faulk to 72 yards on 20 carries. The Eagles had 4 sacks,
but many hurries and knockdowns. Even Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor combined for a sack on a rare
double cornerback blitz. Well, after watching game 1, I know the Eagles are in for a good, if not great
season as they should of beaten the Rams. The defense was superb and could one of the NFL's best this
season. We will have to wait and see.