In this most confusing of recent Eagles seasons, no game encapsulates the “what might have been” better than today’s 38-23 thumping of the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome.
Going into the game, the Saints were still seeking that elusive last playoff spot in the NFC, the Eagles were not. Easy formula – the team that’s playing for something wins, right?
Well, maybe these Eagles are playing for something. Donovan McNabb’s road-to-recovery continued, with his best game since the demolition of the Lions early in the season. He ran, he scrambled, and he threw his passes with accuracy. The Eagles came back from an early 14-7 hole, scoring three TDs on their first three drives (I’d be hard pressed to come up with the last time that happened).
The game turned in the third quarter when down 7 points, the Saints had a long drive that stalled near the goal-line. Saints coach Sean Payton decided to go for it on 4th down – rather than take the chip-shot FG. The run was stuffed, and the Eagles went on a mammoth 98-yd drive that ended in a TD and a 14-point lead.
You have the sense that this team is playing both for McNabb and Andy Reid — both of whom were on the proverbial hot seat mid-season. Great effort from a team that didn’t play with either focus or passion earlier in the year – too bad they found it too late.