It was a tale of two halves for Donovan McNabb in the Eagles' 30-27 win over the Denver Broncos.
In the first half, McNabb was flawless, throwing for 242 yards on 15 of 19 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions - helping the Eagles to a 20-7 lead at the half.
In the second half, McNabb was 5-of-16 for 80 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception. It was a forgettable performance by McNabb's arm - luckily, his legs picked up the slack.
After the Broncos tied the score at 27 with just over six minutes to play, the Eagles were backed up to their 15-yard-line facing a 3rd-and-25. With the pocket collapsing around him and his receivers covered downfield, McNabb took off scrambling and picked up 27 impressive yards for the first down.
"They were in man coverage," McNabb said after the game. "I saw nothing but a running lane. Just looking downfield, they dropped guys on the coverage. I just took everything that I could and picked up the first down, which was big for us.
"All that I focused on was the yard marker. When I got out, I knew somebody was behind me but I got the knees up and tried to get as much as I could."
The play was vintage McNabb, and it atoned for the rest of his second half. Although the Eagles didn't score any points on that drive, the run by McNabb helped the Eagles flip field-position. The defense forced a three-and-out by the Broncos' offense after Sav Rocca pinned the opponents to their own 9-yard-line.
The Eagles then began the game-winning drive on the Broncos' 42-yard-line. On second down, McNabb connected with a balancing Jeremy Maclin along the left sideline for a 27-yard gain that set up the game-winning David Akers' field goal.
McNabb and the Eagles are no doubt happy to get the much-needed victory in their final home game of the regular season, but they will have to dissect what went wrong in the second half.
"You tip your hat to (the Broncos)," McNabb said. "There were mistakes that we all made, miscues in the second half. In the first half we got things wrong. They went into the second half and it seemed like they brought everything to us in the second half. Again, it is a credit to them but those mistakes that we made were miscues and could cost us. We will be very critical of watching over each individual mistake including me being critical of myself on plays that I could have made to eliminate that from happening."
The Eagles' offense also had to work through a makeshift offensive line. After center Jamaal Jackson left the game early with a knee injury, Nick Cole slid from right guard to center and Max Jean-Gilles was inserted into the right guard spot.
"It wasn't a big shift," McNabb said. "But again it goes back to the miscues and miscommunications that we had and I think for myself and Nick (Cole), it will be something which we'll work on all throughout the week. And be able to eliminate that going into a tough week against the Cowboys."
The bottom line though, is that the Eagles got it done in crunch time again. During their current six-game winning streak, the Eagles have scored the game-winning points in the fourth quarter of four different games.
"The guys continued to stay motivated," McNabb said. "Offensively, we took it as a challenge - being up and then having to do whatever it takes to either get a touchdown or a field goal. It felt like all the pressure was on us and we enjoy it. Guys just challenge themselves to say 'I am going to be the guy to make that play' and today (Jeremy) Maclin made that big play for us."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 10:32 a.m., December 28