Even though the offense struggled mightily in Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Brent Celek capped off his first full regular season as a starter with a typical workmanlike performance.
Celek provided the spark for the offense with seven catches for 96 yards. For the year, Celek set new career highs with 76 catches for 971 yards and eight touchdowns.
But Celek didn't want to discuss his individual accomplishments after the game. That's fine for another day. Celek wants to know how to get the highest-scoring offense in franchise history back on track for Saturday night's rematch in Dallas.
"We didn't expect to come down here and play like this. The good thing about it is we have another opportunity," Celek said. "They messed a few things up. They got a good rush on us. We just didn't execute the way we should and we can. ... Probably a lack of concentration. We'll have to go back and watch the film. From what I saw, from me, a lack of concentration."
On the final play of the first quarter, Celek was covered by nickel cornerback Orlando Scandrick as the Eagles faced a third-and-7. Quarterback Donovan McNabb bought time in the pocket with his feet and when linebacker Bobby Carpenter, who was spying McNabb, rushed him he delivered the ball to Celek for the first down. Just three plays later, as the Eagles faced another third down, Celek beat Carpenter with a nice move inside to get open over the middle for a 22-yard gain.
The problem is that the Eagles came away with no points after McNabb's third down pass for Jeremy Maclin over the middle could not be hauled in and fell incomplete.
Trailing 17-0 at the end of the first half neared, the Eagles tried to get some points and Celek ate up a chunk of yardage with a 17-yard catch and run for a first down. However, at the end of the play, left tackle Jason Peters was called for a personal foul and the yardage was wiped out.
"We expected to play better. We didn't," Celek said. "We have to go back to the drawing board, watch film and get better because we are not going to be able to beat them next week playing like this."
Celek can't wait to get another crack at Dallas and keep his amazing season, and of course the team's, alive.
"I can't wait to play these guys again," Celek said. "After what they did to us? I want to come back here. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:36 p.m., January 4