Three Down, Two to Go; Jackson Nearing Milestone

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 ·

The Eagles put together their third straight win with a 30-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Outside of one interception in the red zone, McNabb played sharp and connected with 9 different receivers.

The Eagles had some red zone struggles, but they were able to move the ball up and down the field, all while scoring 23 offensive points.

The defense took advantage of Cleveland having to use third-string quarterback Ken Dorsey and made the best of it. They held the Browns to less than 200 yards of total offense.

Brian Dawkins became the longest tenured Eagles after passing former Eagle Harold Carmichael on the career games list with 181.

Dawkins was greeted with a standing ovation prior to the game when the feat was announced over the loudspeaker and displayed on the scoreboard.

"It means a lot. It means a while lot, it really does," Dawkins said. "It's mind boggling to me to know that I surpassed Harold, like I said, a guy that I respect tremendously and we both came from the same high school. It even makes that honor a lot bigger." [CSN Philly]
For more analysis on the game, click after the jump.

Offense: The Eagles were able to move the ball up and down the field all day yesterday. With a steady, balanced offense, the Eagles totaled 418 yards. The Eagles ran 33 times for 134 yards, but it was not Brian Westbrook who had the big game. It was Corrall Buckhalter who rushed for 55 yards on 6 carries.

Donovan McNabb threw for 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 290 yards to 9 different receivers. Leading the way was Jason Avant who had the best game of his young career. Avant who is developing more and more into a good slot receiver, caught 5 passes for 101 yards.

After having a down game last week, DeSean Jackson returned to form catching 5 passes for 77 yards. If Jackson can net 148 receiving yards over the next two games, he will become the Eagles first rookie 1000 yard receiver ever. EVER. In fact, if he gains more than 17 yards over the next 2 games, Jackson will surpass Keith Jackson for the most receiving yards in a single season.

Jackson did have a first happen last night though as he threw his first career interception from the Wildcat formation. If he lofted the ball just a tad higher, he would have likely threw his first career touchdown. To be fair, it did take an amazing play by Cleveland defensive back, Sean Jones.

The red zone play-calling did get a little screwy, but the team still find ways to score despite throwing two interceptions in the end zone.

Defense: Despite a first quarter field goal, the defense did not allow a point the rest of the game. Sure, Cleveland scored their first touchdown in a few weeks after they returned a Kevin Kolb touchdown, but the defense was stout.

Asante Samuel took back an interception for a 50-yard touchdown, his first as an Eagles. Stewart Bradley also recorded his first interception of the season.

With great pressure, the Eagles were able to shut down the run and force Ken Dorsey into making mistakes. Dorsey only completed 11 of 28 passes. Braylon Edwards did catch 5 of those passes for 101 yards.

They were able to hold Jamal Lewis and the Browns rushing attack to only 57 yards and 2.9 yards per carry.

Conclusion: It was another big win for a team looking to reach the playoffs. If the Eagles could have maintained consistency this season, we would have never have had to worry about making the playoffs. However, we're in the hunt and two more wins combined with a loss by Tampa or New Orleans, puts us back in the playoffs. Also, the Eagles are a hot team right now and they become very hard to deal with come playoff time, especially as Westbrook and the rushing attack has improved dramatically -- or has been finally used.

Sure, the tie against Cincinatti has hurt us, but a loss on the missed field goal would be hurting even more. The Eagles have a far better chance of making the playoffs with a 10-5-1 record than a 10-6 record.

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We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

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