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Eagles Awesome To Blow Out Jets

Sunday was a perfect example in a 45-19 win over the New York Jets.

It was every bit the blowout the final score indicates. The Eagles forced four turnovers, scoring on one of them when defensive end Juqua Parker scooped up a fumble and took it to the house to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. Defensive end Jason Babin continued his sack assault, reaching quarterback Mark Sanchez three times to reach 18 for the season. Running back LeSean McCoy carried 18 times for 102 yards and scored 3 touchdowns, establishing a franchise record for most touchdowns in a single season (20). Quarterback Michael Vick completed 15 of 22 passes for 274 yards, a touchdown and one interception. Tight end Brent Celek caught 5 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown in a bruising, dominating performance.

A team performance. An overwhelming effort from every corner of the locker room, of the coaching staff. It was the team we all, yes I'm saying it, dreamed of the Eagles being. Coordinator Juan Castillo mixed things up again on defense, blitzing Sanchez into submission and chopping down New York's running game. The takeaways came early and often – 3 in the first half alone, leading to 21 Eagles points.

Offensively, Vick got great protection and everyone made big plays – Celek with a juggling catch and a broken tackle for a touchdown, Vick with a spectacular 11-yard dash and dive and reach for the pylon in the left corner of the end zone and, of course, the great slim Shady, who added 3 more scores to his historic campaign.

If there was a turning point, it came very early. The Eagles put together a mini-drive the first time they had the ball but had to punt, and Chas Henry's kick was caught at the New York 7-yard line. The Eagles defense dug in as New York pounded the football – four rushes produced 33 yards and a first down at the 40-yard line. And you're thinking, "Can the Eagles man up and control New York's running game?"

They didn't have to. Casey Matthews smothered a Jets screen pass for a 4-yard loss, and then Sanchez completed a pass to Santonio Holmes for 7 yards. Safety Kurt Coleman jarred the ball loose and then Matthews cleaned up the play and the ball popped loose. Parker was there to pick it up and run uncontested down the left sideline for a touchdown and a much-needed lead.

That sequence changed everything. The Jets gained one first down on their next possession and then got the football back when a punt glanced off Curtis Marsh and was recovered by New York at the Philadelphia 14-yard line.

No matter. Two plays later, Sanchez' pass tipped off the fingertips of Holmes and cornerback Asante Samuel reached down for the interception, ending the threat. The defense, as it did in Miami, bailed out the special teams, something the Eagles have been aching to see all season.

Vick turned that takeaway into 7 points when he threw to Celek, who juggled the ball and then brought it in, barreling through the defense to complete a 26-yard touchdown play. The Eagles led 14-0, but they certainly weren't finished.

Eventually, the lead swelled to 28-0 before some sloppy play – a fumble by Dion Lewis on a kickoff return and then one from McCoy, his first of the season – brought the Jets to within 28-13 at the half.

Vick, though completed all 8 of his passes in the third quarter and the Eagles scored on McCoy's 1-yard run that capped a 5-play, 89-yard drive, and then Alex Henery booted his 12th straight field goal, from 28 yards, and it was suddenly 38-13 after three quarters and there was no concern about a fourth-quarter meltdown.

What do you make of this turnaround? The Eagles are 6-8 and they need to beat Dallas on the road and then Washington at Lincoln Financial Field to keep the season alive. Of course, they also need the Jets to rebound on Saturday to beat the Giants, and then for the Giants to take care of Dallas in the season finale in East Rutherford, N.J. The playoffs remain a long shot, and there is only so much the Eagles can do to get to the postseason for the 10th time in Andy Reid's 13 seasons.

There is no sense lamenting blown chances earlier in the season, for this is nothing the Eagles can do to change the past. What they can do, though, is take care of business in Dallas and see what happens. And if the Eagles play with the same inspiration and urgency they showed in Miami and against the Jets, well, anything is possible.

What is absolutely evident at this point is that the Eagles believe. It's taken them so long to get to this point, but the chemistry they hoped to have in September has manifested itself now. They are rallying around each other and play the kind of fast, aggressive football that the coaching staff has preached all season.

New York was an 8-5 team entering Sunday's game, a brawling bunch of Jets who felt they were peaking at just the right time. But the Eagles punched the Jets time and again, staggering them into a corner of the ring. It was different right from the start as the offense called a running play for the first time after 12 straight games of opening with a passing play. It was different because the Eagles kept pouring it on after a hiccup of a couple of turnovers, rather than allowing the Jets to creep back into the game.

It was different because the Eagles won for only the second time in 10 games at Lincoln Financial Field, hopefully reversing the trend at home.

Hey, the Eagles are back. The real Eagles are back. Whether they woke up in time to save the season, we don't know. But the Eagles put together a good team in the spring and in the summer and made all of those changes and followed through on a vision, one that is clearly coming into focus now.

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