Monday, October 13, 2008

Remember the Eagles?

Remember the Eagles? You know, the team that plays football in these parts?

While we have been merrily painting the town red with the success of the Phillies, the Eagles and their struggles have been somewhat shoved into the background.

But there they are this morning, in the lead spot of both Philadelphia newspapers. But not on the front page of your Daily Times.

Sorry, but an NLCS game trumps a regular season NFL game, even when the Eagles win and the Phils lose.

That’s right, the Eagles won yesterday, despite their best efforts to give away a game to the 49ers. And the news was even better for Birds’ fans, because the Redskins inexplicably lost to the hapless Rams, and the Cowboys lost in delicious last-second fashion to the Cardinals. We actually got to see the final seconds of the Cowboys loss, the way they managed to rally to tie the game in the final seconds of regulation, followed by the pure joy of seeing them choke one up in OT via a blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown.

I was actually depositing my son back on his college campus after his fall break, so I missed most of the first half of the Eagles game.

Unfortunately, I did not miss the entire first half.

That’s right, I did manage to see the last 40 seconds. The Cowboys were not the only ones to have problems with a kick yesterday.

Sooner or later, Andy Reid has to get one of these end-of-half scenarios right, doesn’t he? Yesterday was not that day.

The Eagles got the ball back with about 45 seconds left in the first half. They at first appeared content to head into the locker room with the lead. They ran the ball on first down. Then they suddenly seemed to realize there was still time on the clock and they had all their timeouts left. They quickly ran off a couple of pass plays, and managed to call their final timeout with a single tick left on the clock.

They then quickly trotted David Akers out to attempt a 50-yard field goal. Akers has not had a lot of luck with these kicks in recent weeks. It didn’t get any better yesterday. The middle of the Eagles line seemed to collapse, allowing a jail break by the 49ers. They swatted Akers’ kick right back at him. The ball took a perfect bounce into the hands of a Niner, who strolled untouched into the end zone.

Just like that, a fairly good first half went right into the toilet. The 49ers went into the locker room up by a point.

They actually widened the lead in the second half, before the Birds ran off 23 unanswered fourth quarter points, including an interception return for a touchdown to seal the deal late in the game.

The Eagles now stand dead even at 3-3. They can kick back for a few days during their bye week, and hopefully will be able to get the rest of their walking wounded healthy, then start their push for the playoffs in two weeks.

For now, they leave the stage for the Phils.

October baseball. Gotta love it.

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