Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Vikings: QB Donovan McNabb

Can you talk about the big screen-play that went for a touchdown? "Well we tried to run the ball a little bit and soften them up knowing that they are very effective against the run game. I thought that our receivers and tight ends did an excellent job of softening up the coverage which lead us to be very effective in the screen game. It was the first screen that we ran all game and it exploded into probably the most important play of the game. Any time you get the opportunity to give the ball to a guy like (Brian) Westbrook, if you're given that opportunity in space against any of the defenders you feel confident about that match-up and time and time again you give him that opportunity he makes plays for you."

Can you discuss your reaction on the field after that big play, since you were struggling before that?"I wouldn't say that we were struggling. We sustained some drives. We just weren't able to come up with touchdowns. Field goals were something we were just kind of settling on. I thought in the third quarter we came out and established a tempo. We had a drive that ate up about eight minutes. Later in the third quarter we got stopped when we were eating up some yards. Obviously when you're watching you want to see touchdowns, but what it does is it puts pressure on the opposing team because we were able to back them up and they have to go the long field. In a game like this you have to be patient. That is what the playoffs are all about, it is about patience and being able to take what the defense gives you, try not to turn the ball over, continue to keep yourself in the game and if you do that, things like that screen play will happen. I thought today that our team really played well together, played with a lot of confidence, never, never put their heads down, and just continued to stay positive knowing that if we continue to do our job we'll win this game."

Was there something to getting to the line of scrimmage and taking your time? "When you are playing a team like this that is playing at home and they feed off of the energy of the fans, it's important when you go to the line of scrimmage that everyone is on the same page and they know what they're seeing. That gave us an opportunity to recognize where a blitz was coming from at times and we were able to get the ball out. Credit to them because they were able to come and put pressure on me with the ball. Jared Allen did a great job of getting a sack and a forced fumble. But again we continued to stay strong and know that if we continued to do our job and stay on top of it we would be able to seal the game and come out with a win."

Can you talk about winning the fourth quarter and how important that is in the playoffs? "It is very important. It's important that you try to win every quarter. But when you are in a situation like we were, only being up two, it's important to win that fourth quarter and be able to move the chains and eat up some clock, come out with points and we were able to do all of that and put ourselves up nine. Then we're back out there with the great plays of our defense, to come out and solidify by kicking a field goal and putting us up 12. It is an exciting time for us in this locker room. We're going to watch the film and be very critical, come up next week against a tough Giants team that's coming off of a bye week, so they're well rested, and it's going to be a challenge for us."

How big were the two drives when you didn't score, but were able to get yourselves out of your own end zone? "They were very big, very big. Like I said, we were able to eat up some clock and convert on third downs. Guys made big plays for us on third and second down. We weren't able to go down and put up points but what we were able to do was eat up clock, keep their defense on the field and back them up so that they had to start backed up on the five or ten yard line, whatever it may be. So then they had the long field to drive. When you go through things like that, obviously you want to score, but you also don't want to turn the ball over and put yourselves in a bad position."

How is Jason Avant looking as a first down target? "Jason has continued to work extremely hard each day. He wants to perfect his craft of obviously being in the slot and being the go to guy. I think that he is gaining the confidence not only from me but from the rest of the guys as well, that given the opportunity, he will be able to convert that first down. If they decide to play zone or man versus him in the slot, you want to just try to get the ball to him because he is one of our playmakers. Given the opportunity he'll make plays for you and that's what you've seen all season. Not just from Jason but from all of the guys. When you get a opportunity to call plays for him, you know that they are going to come down with the catch and possibly get the first down, or more."

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