Eagles win in B-Dawk's return to the Linc

Monday, December 28, 2009

Donovan McNabb and Brian Dawkins greet each other after the Eagles victory. Getty Images

Holding on: Eagles blow lead but top Denver 30-27 - Andy Scwartz, CSNPhilly.com
Snagging a victory - Bob Brookover, Philly.com
Eagles' Maclin stays inbounds to set up Akers' game-winner - Les Bowen, Philly.com
Broncos' Dawkins still a fan favorite with Eagles fans - Sam Donnellon, Philly.com

I missed most of this game this weekend as I was visiting family, but I did watch the fourth quarter so I have a few thoughts. For the third time this season Donovan McNabb has lead the team to victory in the fourth quarter. He did it against Chicago and Washington in back-to-back weeks and when the team needed to score points near the end of the game, McNabb did what he could to carry the team on his back.

On third and 20 in their own end of the field CBS commentator Phil Simms was saying he would just go ahead and punt the ball on the third down. So what did McNabb do? Run for a first down.

That play changed the entire outcome of the game because even though the Eagles failed to go any further in the possession they were able to punt the ball deep in the Broncos zone and change the entire field position battle. The Eagles defense came up big with a three-and-out and got the ball back before the end of the fourth quarter. Once again McNabb was the one coming up with the big plays as he found rookie wide receiver Jeremy Maclin open, who made a fantastic catch.

If anyone is going to criticize McNabb, which I am sure they will, I will not stop them. But McNabb has come up with fourth quarter rallies three times this season, something that he has widely been criticized for. Yes, he still needs to finish the deal off in a big playoff game, but what we are seeing is that with play makers surrounding him McNabb really can be effective.

As for Brian Dawkins, I was glad to see him back in Lincoln Financial Field. He was and still is one of my favorite Eagles of all time. Nobody can match the emotion he pours into every game in every situation. What he did last season was phenomenal and I still believe the team was wrong to let him leave town. But what's done is done. Dawkins is a Denver Bronco and as much as I hate seeing him in another team's colors you have to respect the player that he still is.

Dawkins is a Hall of Fame caliber player and he should have retired as an Eagle (maybe he still will with a symbolic one day contract), but as long as he is involved in the NFL, the game of pro football will be better for it.

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