Patriots QB Tom Brady hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the
third time in four years. Brady did not win his 3rd MVP though
as that honor goes to Deion Branch who caught 11 passes from Brady
for 133 yards. Brady threw only 2 TD's, but also threw no
Philadelphia Eagles' |
Stat Of The Week
The New England Patriots are the first team since the 1997 and 1998 Denver Broncos to
win consecutive Super Bowls. They are also only the second team to win three Super Bowls
in 4 years, the other was the 1992-93 and 1995 Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots are also just
the seventh team in NFL history with 3 Super Bowl Championships.
This was just the 405th playoff game in NFL history. But it was only the third time
in NFL history that the game was tied at the end of the first, second and third quarters.
The other two times were the 1948 NFL Championship between the Eagles and Cardinals and
a 1978 Wild Card game between the Oilers and Dolphins. Eagles QB Donovan MCNabb's 357
passing yards was third most in NFL post-season play. Only Kurt Warner's 414 passing yards
against the Titans and 365 yards against the Patriots in two other Super Bowls were more.
Also, McNabb increased his playoff passing yardage to 2,551, moving him past Danny White (2,284)
and into ninth place in NFL postseason history. Adam Vinateri's 22-yard FG gave him at least
1 FG in 12 consecutive playoff games, just one shy of Tony Fritsch's playoff record. Akers FG
streak ended at 10 games. The Eagles converted nine of 16 third downs, the first time in
franchise history that they've converted more than 50% of their 3rd downs in a playoff game.
Eagles Fall Just Three Points Short In |
Super Bowl Thanks To Four Turnovers
Oh so close! The Philadelphia Eagles took the defending NFL Champion New England Patriots
right down to the closing minute, bowing 24-21. Donovan McNabb played a great game, but
the four turnovers (3 by INT) ultimately caused the Eagles to falter on the gameís biggest
stage. McNabb completed 30 of 51 passes for 357 yards and 3 TDís. Those 3 INTís however,
killed any chance the Eagles realistically had of winning this game. But even so, McNabb
had 1 last chance with just 46 seconds left. The biggest problem: the Eagles had to start
on their own 9-yard line with no timeouts. They only needed a FG to tie, so the offense
only had to move the ball about 45-50 yards to give David Akers a shot of kicking a game-tying
FG. On first down, McNabb completed a pass over the middle to Westbrook. Wrong choice!
Westbrook should have just dropped the pass as he was immediately tackled for no gain and
wasting precious seconds off the clock. The next play was an incompletion to T.O. Then,
Rodney Harrison intercepted McNabb, sealing the Eagles fate.
E-A-G-L-E-S .... EAGLES
Although the Philadelphia Eagles lost a heart breaker, it was still a great accomplishment
to just getting to the Super Bowl. The game ended up being a real home game for the Birds
as hordes of Eagles fans made the trek south to Jacksonville. Alltel Stadium felt more like
Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defense held their own, holding the Pats to 331 total
yards, with only 112 yards on the ground. Penalties were not a factor as the Birds were
penalized 3 times for 35 yards. Time of possession was even. The Patriots pass rush was a
major factor as they sacked McNabb 4 times, caused 3 INTís and hurried countless other passes.
The Eagles pass rush sacked Tom Brady just once. And that play was bad snap which the QB
fumbled the ball away to the Eagles. The Eagles defense held Corey Dillon to only 75 yards
rushing, but the Birds managed just 45 rushing yards all game long. The poor running game
forced Andy Reid to call for the pass 75% of the time. That allowed the Patriots to tee off
The Eagles dominated the first half, though the score was 7-7 when time expired in the
second quarter. The Eagles could have had at least a 17-3 lead, but too many mistakes
cost the Eagles 10 points. Both teams had zero success to open the game. The Eagles had
the gameís fifth possession and McNabb got in a good rhythm, completing 4 of 7 passes for
56 yards, moving the team down the field. Then McNabb was sacked for a 16-yard loss. On
the next play, McNabb was intercepted, but thanks to a defensive holding, the Eagles were
awarded with another first down. Rodney Harrison ended the Eagles drive after McNabb threw
an ill-advised pass to Westbrook the target. The Eagles defense held the Pats to three-and-out
and gave the offense great field position at the New England 45-yard line. Three plays later,
LJ Smith fumbled. Again, the Eagles held. Then McNabb led the Birds to pay dirt with a 9-play
81-yard TD drive, which culminated with a 6-yard TD pass to LJ Smith. The Eagles led 7-0.
Late in the second quarter, New England scored a TD with only 1:16 left in the half. The
7-play 37-yard drive was setup by a terrible 29-yard punt by the Eagles Dirk Johnson. On
the TD play, Tom Brady threw a great pass all the way across the field to a wide-open David
Givens. Somehow, Lito Sheppard had close coverage, but Brady faked out the second year corner
with a fake over the middle. The Eagles defense should of held the Patriots to a FG, but
unfortunately that did not happen. Tom Brady methodically drove his team to a 14-7 lead to
open the third quarter. The drive went 9 plays for 69 yards and only took 3:56. McNabb would
strike back at the end of the quarter when he found Brian Westbrook open over the middle for
a 10-yard TD pass. Game tied at 14-14 going into the fourth quarter. What more can we ask for
but a chance to win it in the 4th quarter.
New England however, quickly added 10 points and had a 24-14 lead with 12:29 left in the game.
Ted Bruschi then intercepted McNabb and all appeared lost. The Eagles defense once again came
up big and stopped the Patriots offense. The Eagles got the ball back with just 5:40 and McNabb
led a slow moving drive that went 13 plays for 79 yards. Play #13 was a great pass on a
medium-ranged bomb to Greg Lewis who ran it in for a touchdown. There was still 1:48 left
and the Eagles still had 2 timeouts. Still, Akers attempted an onside kick, which failed.
For the last time though, the Eagles defense held New England to 3-and-out giving McNabb
one last chance to either tie or win the game outright. Three plays later, McNabb was
intercepted for the third time and the game was over. New England would be Super Bowl
champs again for the third time in four years.
The Eagles had lost in the Super Bowl, but came very close thanks to the sensational play
of Terrell Owens. T.O. caught 9 passes for 122 yards in his glorious return. Had he been
at 100%, he could had at least 2 touchdowns, or perhaps another 30-40 yards in an Eagles
Super Bowl victory, but that was not to be. TO was simply unbelievably awesome and would
have been the gameís MVP had Philly pulled off the upset. It was however, the other teamís
wide receiver that won the honor of Super Bowl MVP. Deion Branch ended up with 133 yards
on 11 receptions. New England is very deserving of repeating for a second consecutive year,
but Philadelphia could of won this game. It would have been great headlines too:
"A TO SUPER BOWL PERFORMANCE!Ē