Apparently, this coming-from-behind thing is the way to go with the Eagles now. As they did a week earlier in Chicago, the Eagles fashioned a fantastic fourth-quarter comeback on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field to beat the Redskins, 27-24, for their second consecutive win and a 7-4 record entering the month of December. It wasn't easy against a game Washington team, but at the end of the day they don't ask you "How?" in the NFL, but "How many?"
And now the Eagles have seven.
In an entertaining, if not outright bizarre game, the Eagles rallied from a 24-16 fourth-quarter deficit to sweep the Redskins this season. David Akers provided the winning points with a 32-yard field goal with 1 minute, 48 seconds to go in the game, and then the defense stuffed Washington on four plays to end the battle on a sun-drenched day that ended the month of November. Akers booted four field goals, Donovan McNabb threw for 260 yards and a touchdown and rookie running back LeSean McCoy chipped in with 101 yards of offense and made a spectacular play keeping his balance and scoring on a shovel pass from McNabb to tie the game at 24 with 7:24 to go in the game.
McCoy's conversion capped an Eagles rally to get them back in the contest, one that was headed the wrong way from the very start. As they did in Chicago, the Eagles put together a great touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, moving 90 yards on 10 plays highlighted by a 46-yard gain from McNabb to Jason Avant, and scoring on Eldra Buckley's 1-yard plunge, followed by the McCoy points on the conversion.
Then the defense forced a Redskins punt and McNabb led another scoring drive -- this time moving 66 yards on 10 plays and connecting with Jeremy Maclin for 35 yards to the Washington 28-yard line. Akers kicked the field goal, his 16th straight on the season, and the Eagles held the lead.
"Great win that means something for all of us," said safety Quintin Mikell. "We've hung together and come back. We believe in each other as we get into the stretch run. It was really a team win."
It sure was, and it wasn't the least bit easy against a Washington team that had plenty of injury problems coming in. Some observations from the game, beginning with the opening kickoff that went the other way against the Eagles ...
- I understand that Andy Reid "saw something" that allowed him to OK an onsides kick to open the game, but, boy, it couldn't have been much worse with the outcome. Why risk an onsides kick against a team that was outmatched -- on paper, that is -- to begin with? Why give a bedraggled Washington team a lead, and life? Reid accepted responsibility for the decision, of course. I like being "aggressive," as Reid called it, when the Eagles go to Dallas as underdogs against the Cowboys in 2000. Not when they are at home against a beaten-down Redskins team.
- It's going to be interesting to see if the Eagles make some kind of move at wide receiver this week if they determine early that DeSean Jackson (concussion) can't play in Atlanta. Do they bring Jordan Norwood up from the practice squad? Kevin Curtis is a long way away from playing, it appears, and the Eagles have to think long and hard if it is worth waiting for him. No way the team can go into the Falcons game with three wide receivers.
- Cornerback Sheldon Brown is a leader and I admire his courage and everything, but he looked like a shell of himself against Washington. Did anybody else see that? Brown couldn't break on the ball, couldn't jump and really couldn't run. The hamstring injury is clearly a problem.
- I love McCoy and what he can be. He has great balance and vision and the score on the shovel pass was simply a great play. Andy Reid gushed about the play in his post-game press conference, for good reason. How McCoy didn't go down, I really don't know.
- With Quintin Demps on the field as a gunner, the Eagles allowed Sav Rocca to kick for distance, and he was awesome. Rocca averaged 43.4 yards gross and 43.2 yards net on his five punts. Demps was lights-out as a gunner.
- Jason Avant is as tough and as sure-handed a receiver as there is. His 5 catches for 94 yards give him 32 catches and 474 yards as Avant continues his career season.
- Poor job in the red zone for the offense. The Eagles were just 1 of 4 there, and 1 of 3 in goal-to-go situations. I don't know the answer. Defenses certainly seem to know what is coming from the Eagles down there.
- More and more it looks like Jeremiah Trotter is this team's middle linebacker. The Eagles want him to play about one-third of the game there, but he replaced Joe Mays early and stayed on the field in place of Mays for most of the game. Trotter finished the game with two tackles.
- At one point, Washington was 8 of 12 on third downs offensively, but the Eagles shut the Redskins out on their final five third downs. Huge. Terrible job for most of the game on third down, but a very good turnaround late in the game.
- Brent Celek's injury is a concern -- I never see him drop passes -- and the offical report is that he has a thumb sprain and the X-rays are negative.
- Trent Cole had just one sack, but he abused left tackle Levi Jones all game. Cole has 9 1/2 sacks and deserves to be in the Pro Bowl.
- It was amazing to hear the media box grumble when Asante Samuel missed a tackle early in the game. Yes, he needs to be better in his effort and technique tackling, but Samuel has 7 interceptions and his two at the end of the first half were huge.
- Take a look at the injury reports this week. The Eagles have their hurts, as do the Falcons. Four key Falcons -- including quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner -- were injured in their win over Tampa Bay.
- Why not run the no-huddle offense more than two series early in a game? It works then, so why wouldn't it work later in the game?