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For Eagles, It's That Time of Year

The signs are there -- a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks against the Bears and Redskins and a blowout win on the road that included a goal-line stand. The stretch run is on and Philadelphia has that all-important swagger. Granted, the Bears and Redskins are not among the upper echelon of the NFL, but are still potential playoff spoilers. And the Falcons were a depleted bunch that had won 12 of their last 13 games inside the Georgia Dome.

"It's that time of the year. That last quarter or quarter and a half, if you're still in the hunt things get a little faster, guys play a little faster and so on. That's just the nature of the game," head coach Andy Reid said. "That's where we're at and it's important that we keep practicing the way we've been practicing and preparing the way we've been preparing. The guys have been very focused the last few weeks."

Minus starters DeSean Jackson and Akeem Jordan, along with Brian Westbrook and Kevin Curtis, the Eagles continued to do their thing. Thanks to a number of big plays, the Eagles averaged an impressive 6.9 yards per offensive play, while the Falcons averaged just 4.3 yards.

With Sunday's win, the Eagles improved to 29-13 in the month of December under Reid.

The only regret Sunday in Atlanta was not getting the shutout. In fact, Philadelphia's last shutout came back on Dec. 1, 1996 against the Giants at Veterans Stadium. The last time the team pitched a shutout on the road was 1991 at Dallas.

"We hadn't had a goose egg in a while," cornerback Sheldon Brown said. "Give them credit. They executed. They drove the ball down and scored."

Chris Redman's 3-yard scoring pass to Roddy White on the last play of the game put the Falcons on the board. However, the drive came with most of the starters out of the game.

"I'm trying hard to forget that part," defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "I'm not happy about that. I wanted it for our players. But at the same time, we've got bigger fish to fry than to go for a shutout and put our starters back in the game."

Maybe that, too, will come over the final four weeks of the regular season.

-- Posted by Bob Kent, 12:22 p.m., December 8

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