CHICAGO -- Just how important was defensive tackle Antonio Dixon's field goal block? In the locker room after the game, the rookie free agent had the honor of breaking the huddle.
The Eagles trailed 20-17 with 11:11 remaining in the game. After a LeSean McCoy fumble, the Eagles defense held the Bears and forced them to attempt a 48-yard field goal. Bears kicker Robbie Gould had hit his first four attempts.
Brad Maynard received the snap and linebacker Joe Mays got good penetration. Dixon blew up his gap, leaned into his man and stuck his hand up to high-five the ball and knock it down to the Soldier Field turf. The Eagles sideline erupted. The Eagles scored on their next possession as McCoy atoned for his fumble with the game-winning 10-yard touchdown in a 24-20 win Sunday night.
"It was fun, but it was most important that we won," Dixon said.
Dixon said that he nearly blocked Gould's third attempt, which came late in the first half. In fact, he began to tell teammates that if he had another chance he was going to block it.
"We were running the same field goal block all game. He seemed close. He seemed to get a little bit closer and closer on each field goal," Mays said. "I just made sure on that last one to put every bit of 250 pounds into that push and he got back there and I'm excited that I was a part of the play, but more excited that Dixon made it."
Strong safety Quintin Mikell certainly understands how big a blocked field goal is in terms of changing the momentum of a game. Mikell's blocked field goal against San Diego in 2005 was returned by Matt Ware for a touchdown.
"It was big for us. If you saw the sideline after that, everyone was pumped up," Mikell said. "Anytime you get in that situation where they get a quick turnover like that and you not only hold them to a field goal, but block the field goal that was very big for us."
The Eagles are now 6-4 on the season and kept pace with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, who won earlier in the day. And thanks in large part to Dixon, who was undrafted after a career at the University of Miami. He spent training camp and preseason with the Redskins, the Eagles' next opponent, and was claimed by the Eagles when he was released as part of the final roster cutdown.
Dixon said the Redskins had every intention of bringing him back to be a part of their practice squad. Nope, Dixon played a big role in what the Eagles hope is a signature win for the 2009 season.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:01 a.m., November 23