Philadelphia Eagles middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter intercepts
a Daunte Culpepper pass as Onterio Smith looks on halfway through
the third quarter. Trotter had a monster game finishing with 7
tackles, 1 INT, 1 sack and 2 passes defended. After missing the
last seasons in the playoffs as he played for the Washington
Redskins, he now returns to the NFL playoffs. He last played in the
playoffs against the St. Louis Rams in the 2001 NFC Championship Game
in which the Eagles lost 29-24. Trotter is one of the reasons why
the Eagles will returning to the NFC Title game for a fourth straight
Philadelphia Eagles' |
Stat Of The Week
The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to host a conference championship.
The Eagles are the forth team in NFL history to win at least one postseason
game in 5 consecutive seasons. They are now 6-4 under Andy Reid. They were
9-11 in the playoffs before Reid. Freddie Mitchell has scored four TD's in
his last 3 games after scoring two in the previous 56. Greg Lewis' 52-yard
second quarter catch was Donovan McNabb's longest pass and the Eagles longest pass
in the playoffs since Fred Barnett caught a 57-yarder in 1992 against the Saints.
The Eagles 21 points in the first half was their second most in Eagles postseason
history. They had scored 38 against the Lions back in 1995. Lastly, Mitchell's
TD on LJ Smith's fumble was the first fumble recovery for a TD in Eagles' history.
FredEx & McNabb Help Deliver Eagles |
To Fourth Straight NFC Title Game.
Did anyone remember And Reid’s record after a bye-week? Playoffs or regular season!
Well, how about his record in the NFC Divisional playoff round? As for the latter, he
is now 4-1 with the only loss coming during the 2000 playoffs against the Giants. The
Eagles now have beaten the Bears, Falcons, Packers and Vikings in that order (2001 to
2005 seasons). As for his record after the bye-week, he is now 9-0, an all-time NFL
record! The Eagles defeated an over-whelmed Minnesota Vikings team 27-14 at Lincoln
Financial Field in front of 67,722 crazed Eagles fans. It was really never in doubt
even as Philly only out-gained the Vikes in total yards: 395 to 385. Minnesota won
the time of possession again as they did in the Monday night game, but this game was
not ever close. The score at the half read 21-7 and it felt as though the Eagles were
playing the “kill the clock” game in the second half. The score could have been more
like 38-17, if not for some untimely mistakes by the offense.
E-A-G-L-E-S .... EAGLES
Right from the start, the Philadelphia Eagles seemed on the right track towards victory
over the men in purple. The defense stepped up and forced the Vikings to punt after 3
plays. Though the Eagles did not get going on their first possession, you could see that
McNabb did have much rust as he threw three straight times to open the game. The second
time the Eagles got the ball, McNabb completed 4 of 6 passes and drove the team on a 4:34
TD drive which ended with a short touchdown pass as he rolled out to his right and threw
the pass to Freddie Mitchell. The next drive only took 3:57 to raise the score to 14-0.
He completed passes to Freddie and Westbrook before he heaved a long bomb downfield. The
pass was caught by Greg Lewis for a huge 52-yard gain. Two plays later, McNabb connected
with Westbrook again over the middle for a 7-yard TD reception. It all started looking too
easy as the fans were singing “Fly Eagles, Fly” even louder than the first touchdown.
Early in the second quarter, Daunte Culpepper willed the Minnesota offense down the field
51 yards on the Eagles 7-yard line. On third-and-1, Culpepper was forced from the pocket by
Jevon Kearse and beat the linebacker around the corner and he plunged into the end zone for
a touchdown. That would be the only meaningful Vikings TD on the afternoon. On the ensuing
kickoff, J.R. Reed returned the ball 48 yards to the Minnesota 46-yard line. After 2 pass
interference calls, perhaps the weirdest play in Eagles playoff history took place. McNabb
completed a short pass over the middle to LJ Smith and it looked like the tight end had a
clear alley to the end zone. At the 4-yard line, Antoine Winfield dove at Smith causing him
to tumble and he fumbled the ball forward up in the air. The ball somehow landed in the
waiting arms of Freddie Mitchell for a touchdown. The Eagles now led 21-7 and it sure looked
like the football gods were smiling upon the Eagles.
The two teams traded bumbled FG attempts to end the half. First it was the Minnesota Vikings,
who moved the ball down to the Eagles 3-yard line before the drive stalled forcing 4th down.
The Vikings had a fake on, but Randy Moss could not get on the field due to the fact that he
would be the twelfth man. When the ball was hiked, Gus Ferrotte was stuck with the ball and
nowhere to pass as Derrick Burgess rushed him. Ferrotte was forced to throw the ball away
and the Vikings came away empty handed. Then it was the Eagles turn. Philadelphia drove the
field 71 yards on 12 plays and should of kicked the FG on play number 13. Instead, Reid
elected to pass one more time. McNabb completed a pass to Dorsey Levens who was tackled
well short of the goal line and the clock ticked to zero. Time ran out! In the second half,
David Akers would add 2 field goals; 21 and 23 yards respectively and both in the fourth
quarter to extend the lead to 27-7. The Vikings added a late TD at the 2-minute warning
completing the score at 27-14. But it was already way too late and the Eagles will move on
to its 4th straight NFC Title game, third in a row at home.
The story of the second half was the Eagles defense. It started with Jeremiah Trotter and
Jevon Kearse. Trotter intercepted a Culpepper pass and returned it 35 yards late in the third
quarter to help setup a potential TD. On the first play, McNabb hit Mitchell again down the
left sidelines for a 31-yard completion. On the play, Freddie was fighting to get into the
end zone and the ball was knocked from his out-stretched and went out-of-bounds for a Minnesota
touchback. The Eagles defense forced 2 INT’s, had 3 sacks and caused general havoc on Culpepper
pass efficiency. Kearse was on the Vikings QB like a shark in blood-infested waters causing
numerous incompletions and hurries. On the other side of the ball, McNabb was touched just
once and forced from the pocket twice. He was sacked just once as he ran out-of-bounds on one
scurry for no gain. That was it! The Eagles offensive line dominated the Vikings almost to
totality. They will have to protect McNabb even more next week when they face an even more
ferocious rush from the Falcons defensive front led by Patrick Kerney. The Atlanta Falcons
are the only thing in the way between a season that will be considered a success or another