Philadelphia Eagles News

Samuel's Pick Six Keys Defensive Effort

Sometimes the football finds a particular player and sometimes a particular player has a nose for the football.

If that player is cornerback Asante Samuel, he's blessed with both attributes.

Samuel's ball-hawking ability was on full display once again at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night, and once again it paid big dividends for the Eagles.

"I was definitely overdue," Samuel said. "I dropped a couple (earlier in the year) that I should have caught. It was my turn to finally catch one and keep my streak going. I got to the end zone, so that was pretty cool."

With Philadelphia clinging to a seven-point, second-quarter lead and the Browns about to enter Eagles' territory, Browns quarterback Ken Dorsey threw a pass out in the flat for receiver Donte Stallworth, who was singled up on Samuel.

"The receiver gave me a little stem," Samuel said. "I read the stem, so I knew he was going to try to break inside on me. So when he broke inside, I just went. He read my eyes, the ball was coming. So I jumped up and got it and took it to the house." Photo Gallery : CLE VS. PHI 12-15-08

Dorsey underthrew Stallworth, allowing Samuel to make a break on the ball. Samuel picked off the pass and scampered 50 yards for a momentum-stealing touchdown return that put the Eagles ahead 17-3 en route to a 30-10 win over the Browns.

"I think the thing that probably hurt us the most was the turnover in the second quarter that Samuel ran in for a touchdown," Browns head coach Romeo Crennel said. "We still had pretty good fight and were hanging in there, but then once they got that I think their momentum picked up and we couldn't stop (it). That made it a tough game for us."

However, it wasn't as smooth as it sounds.

Just as he crossed the goal line, Samuel dropped the ball like receiver DeSean Jackson did earlier this season against Dallas. Luckily, linebacker Stewart Bradley was there to alert Samuel that he should pick up the ball to make sure he scored.

"I guess I didn't quite get there," Samuel said. "I dropped the ball a little bit, so I picked it up and secured my touchdown. I was just thinking, 'Oh, I'm about to mess up my touchdown.' I had to hurry up and get the ball. I was kind of thinking about the celebration too much."

Samuel was just leading the charge as the Eagles defense picked up where it left off in New Jersey against the Giants.

It was almost all good news for the Eagles, as Bradley secured the first interception by an Eagles linebacker this season, the defense held another team under 100 yards rushing and they held an opponent's offense without a touchdown.

Cleveland gained just 57 yards on 20 carries for a paltry 2.9 yards per clip.

That's vastly different from the Eagles' performance in Baltimore nearly a month ago. A season that looked like it was in trouble is suddenly looking very promising with two games remaining in the regular season.

"As long as we stay focused and circle the wagons, then we'll be all right," safety Quintin Mikell said. "We had a rough stretch there, but we've always had confidence in ourselves that we could get rolling and it went from there."

Hopefully, the Eagles will keep it rolling when they face the Redskins in Landover, Md. on Sunday.

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