For a team with such well-documented red zone woes, the Eagles needed to try something.
The Eagles had mounted a bit of momentum midway through the second quarter on Sunday, so instead of waiting two more downs to try something tricky from the Seattle 1-yard line, the Eagles immediately brought out the big guns on first. They unveiled Todd Herremans.
As confusing as it was to see the left guard line up at right tackle for a play, it was more so to see Donovan McNabb find him, wide open, in the end zone. For the Eagles, especially tight to the goal line, it was almost too easy. With the score, Philadelphia took a 14-7 lead at Qwest Field and never looked book.
"We didn't even have that play installed. We drew it up in the dirt on the sidelines," joked Herremans, who was an eligible receiver on the play. "I'm joking, I'm joking." PHI vs. SEA 11-02-08
With one of McNabb's favorite red-zone targets, L.J. Smith, sidelined with a concussion, head coach Andy Reid decided to go with something quite out of the ordinary. If it works – hey, the Eagles get a touchdown, and Herremans a moment to treasure. If not – oh well, two more downs to try to punch the ball in.
Starting the play by dropping into pass blocking, Herremans released his man as the pocket began to constrict around McNabb, leaving him unobstructed in the middle of the end zone. Touchdown. Big spike.
"When they called the play for him, I was like, 'Aw, this is six,' " center Jamaal Jackson said. "Actually, I was surprised they threw it to him, to be honest with you."
McNabb, however, wasn't as shocked. He was looking for Herremans pretty much the whole way.
"We ran it in practice on Friday, and we had a lot of fun with it. I told him that if we get a certain type of defense, you will be wide open," McNabb said. "I came out on the fake, and they jumped on our main guys, and Todd broke free and his eyes got about as big as a Seahawk."
It was a small step to curing the red-zone ailment, but at the very least, the Eagles guaranteed that opponents will have to look for one more thing down in scoring territory.
Keep an eye on that left guard. "Touchdown Todd," his teammates call him.
"I was surprised (Reid) called it," Herremans said. "But hey, it felt good."