Eagles Clinch Playoff Spot

The Eagles beat the 49ers on Sunday 27-13 to clinch a playoff spot. They still have work to do to win the NFC East, but no matter what happens, the Eagles will be in the playoffs this season.

The offense played well, and the defense, helped by 4 turnovers played a lot better than last weekend against the Giants. The Eagles took the opening kickoff and drove down the field for the touchdown, and led the rest of the game. The Eagles lead the league in points scored on opening drives. The drive was capped off by a 17 yard McNabb to Jackson reception for a touchdown. After that point, the Eagles capitalized on 3 Alex Smith interceptions in the first half to take a 20-3 halftime lead. The interceptions for the Eagles were by Quintin Mikell, Asante Samuel, and Tracy White. The 49ers did end up cutting the Eagles deficit to 20-13 going into the 4th quarter, but another long Eagles drive put the game away in the 4th quarter, capped off by a McCoy touchdown run.

Donovan McNabb continued to make plays, and was solid, despite throwing 2 INT's. McNabb ended the game 21-36 for 306 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT's, and a rushing touchdown. The Eagles did run the ball effectively. McCoy and Weaver combined for exactly 100 rushing yards on 26 carries. I still would have liked to see the Eagles run the ball more, because it seemed to be working. McCoy averaged 5.3 yards per carry on 9 carries, and had a touchdown. DeSean Jackson continued his excellent play thus far this season with another big game. Jackson had 6 catches for 140 yards, and a touchdown. I still am not 100% sold that Jackson is a #1 receiver, mostly due to his size, but he has been the team MVP in my opinion this season, and it's not even close.

It sounds weird to say, but I did feel like the Eagles missed Jeremy Maclin. Kevin Curtis was basically non-existent. He caught 1 pass, and dropped another. Reggie Brown only caught 1 pass also. It might not seem like a big deal right now because the Eagles are winning, but I really do feel like the Eagles lack of receiver depth could be a reason this team doesn't win it all this season. I know McNabb likes to hold onto the ball a lot, and doesn't force a lot of throws, but McNabb had a lot of time on a lot of drop-backs today, and simply didn't see anything he liked. A lot of people blame McNabb when he does this, but he doesn't seem to have these issues when the receivers are making plays. Bottom line, if a team decides to take DeSean Jackson out of the game, and make the other receivers beat them, I'm not sure the Eagles can do that.

On the defensive side of the football, the Eagles obviously played a lot better than they did against the Giants, but they still weren't great. The numbers look very good. 4 turnovers, only allowing 261 total yards, and 13 points, but they could have done better. Frank Gore rushed for 107 yards, becoming the first running back to run for over 100 against the Eagles this season. Gore is a really good running back, so I wasn't too upset by this, because he runs for 100 a lot of weeks.

The Eagles did clinch a playoff spot, but they still need to hope the Cowboys lose next weekend and need to win themselves to wrap up the NFC East. You don't want to have to go to Dallas the final weekend of the season needing a win to win the division. And if the Cowboys win next weekend no matter what the Eagles do, that final game is for the division. The Eagles can still get the #2 seed in the NFC depending on what the Vikings do tonight. Either way, still a good win for the Eagles, as they move to 10-4 on the year.


T-Bone said...

Yeah, I think Maclin adds a helluva lot to the receiving corps -- specifically taking some of the heat off Jackson -- making it far more difficult for D Coordinators to effectively game plan. Also think he does a decent job getting himself open which is absolutely key to getting the ball out of McNabb's hands more quickly. Speaking of Dr. Don, anyone know whether he held another of his post-game QB therapy sessions, this time with Smith?

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