Philadelphia Eagles quarterback stepped off the field – perhaps for the last time – after giving the Eagles fans something to celebrate on Sunday afternoon. He and running back Brian Westbrook led the Eagles to an impressive win over the Buffalo Bills 17-9 at Philadelphia. Not only did Westbrook lead their team to victiry, he also set some milestones, as well.
Westbrook by gaining 10 yards on his first carry, set an Eagles franchise record for total yards from scrimmage, eclipsing former Eagles great Wilbert Montgomery who had 2,006 total yards back in 1979. In addition, his 3rd reception of the game surpassed the old team record for receptions in a season, held by wide receiver Irving Fryar in 1996. Fryar had 88 receptions during that season. To illustrate how valuable Westbrook was, he finished with 1,333 rushing yards and 90 receptions for 771 yards.
The scoring commenced with Philadelphia’s McNabb throwing a short, 2-yard TD pass to tight end Brent Celek, giving the Eagles an early 7-0 lead. Both teams exchanged field goals – a 29-yarder by Buffalo kicker Rian Lindell and a 38-yard FG by Philadelphia kicker David Akers – which would give the Eagles a halftime 10-3 lead. After a 23-yard FG by the Bills’ Lindell with 5:52 to go in the 3rd quarter, a touchdown oddity would occur; specifically, the Eagles’ McNabb threw a pass to WR Reggie Brown which took Brown to the Buffalo 1, where he fumbled the ball. The ball found its way into the end zone, to be recovered by WR Kevin Curtis for the score, making the score 17-6 Philly. A late 3rd quarter FG by Buffalo’s Lindell would cap the scoring.
McNabb had a good outing, going 29-of-41 for 345 yards with a TD and INT. The Eagles’ rushing attack was weak, as their leading rusher was Westbrook with 42 yards on 7 carries; he also added 4 receptions for 57 yards. Reggie Brown led all Eagles receivers with 5 catches for 83 yards, while Greg Lewis added 2 catches for 66 yards. Curtis pitched in with 62 yards on 7 receptions. Buffalo QB Trent Edwards had a rotten outing, going 16-of-30 for 133 yards; RB Marshawn Lynch led all Bills’ rushers with an impressive 22 carries for 105 yards. TE Robert Royal led all Buffalo receivers with 3 catches for 31 yards.
While Buffalo (7-9) did indeed lose the game, missing the playoffs for the 8th straight year, they have the building blocks for a team that’s on the rise. The Bills have their key players under contract and head coach Dick Jauron should return for 2008. Philadelphia (8-8) peaked at the wrong time. Probably the biggest question that lingers during the offseason is whether McNabb remains an Eagle. Other than that, they simply need to re-vamp their roster.