PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles had a dropped pass,
a penalty and a sack on their first three plays.
It only got worse for the NFL's top-ranked offense against a
Jacksonville defense missing three starters.
|Scouts Inc.'s take ...|
Jacksonville came into Philadelphia with a simple game plan. First, play ball control on offense by running the ball efficiently and do not let your quarterback have to win the game for you. Second, win the battle of field position by playing solid on special teams. Finally, play mistake-free on defense. Jacksonville ran inside and outside for big yardage against the Eagles. Specifically, they attacked Eagles linebacker Matt McCoy and defensive end Trent Cole (above).
The Jaguars' defense played great, holding the Eagles' high-powered offense to no touchdowns thanks to a philosophy of not giving up the big pass plays, which has been the lifeblood of the Eagles offense.
Fred Taylor keyed a strong running attack, backup quarterback
David Garrard was efficient and the Jaguars shut down Donovan
McNabb in a 13-6 victory Sunday.
"As a team, it was embarrassing," McNabb said. "Offensively
as a unit, we weren't able to do our job."
Jacksonville held the Eagles to 229 total yards -- 164 before the
last drive. Philadelphia came in averaging a league-best 417 yards
per game, but couldn't generate much, even with the return of
dynamic receiver Donte' Stallworth.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars kept it simple on offense without injured
quarterback Byron Leftwich and relied on Taylor and Maurice Drew,
who totaled 103 and 77 yards rushing respectively. Of the Jaguars'
285 total yards, 209 were gained on the ground.
Jacksonville improved to 4-3, while the Eagles fell to 4-4 with
their third straight loss.
"We felt challenged by some comments made this week," Jaguars
coach Jack Del Rio said. "I feel good about the character and
toughness of this team. It's nice to go back to work after a nice
victory like this."
A swirling wind made it difficult for both offenses, but
Jacksonville's superior ground game was the difference. After the
Eagles went three-and-out on the opening possession, the Jaguars
drove 48 yards -- all on the ground.
Garrard scrambled for 13 yards on fourth-and-3 to keep the drive
going and Taylor ran in up the middle from the 15 to make it 7-0.
Somehow, that held up against a high-powered offense that had
averaged 28.6 points in the first seven games. It helped that the
Eagles had the ball just 23:09.
"Starting from the first play, I knew it was going to be a
smash-mouth day," Taylor said.
Taylor had a 54-yard TD run negated by a holding penalty on
tackle Maurice Williams in the second quarter. But it didn't cost
Jacksonville, which went ahead 10-0 on Josh Scobee's 40-yard field
goal in the third quarter.
The Eagles finally scored on a 25-yard field goal by David Akers
with 1:10 left in the third quarter. McNabb turned what could've
been a big loss into a 12-yard gain on the first play of the drive,
eluding two tacklers and juking linebacker Clint Ingram.
Another scramble by McNabb for 2 yards, plus a facemask penalty,
put the ball at the Jacksonville 14, but the drive stalled. McNabb
completed his first pass to a wideout when Reggie Brown made a
13-yard catch earlier in the drive.
Scobee's 27-yarder made it 13-3 with 9:28 remaining. Akers made
a 28-yarder to cut it to 13-6 with 31 seconds remaining, but the
Jaguars recovered the onside kick to seal the win.
"We just couldn't execute and move the chains like we're used
to doing," McNabb said. "I'll try to make sure it won't happen
again. It can't get any worse. With 4-4, it's just not us."
Garrard finished 10-of-17 for 87 yards. Del Rio wouldn't
identify a starter for next week.
McNabb was 18-of-34 for 162 yards. Along with the rest of the
Eagles, he was booed off the field. With a bye next week,
Philadelphia will have extra time to think about this loss.
"I have high expectations for this team, but you're not going
to win the way we played," coach Andy Reid said.
Jacksonville, which was 12-4 last season, was coming off an a
surprising 27-7 loss to lowly Houston. The Eagles lost 23-21 at
Tampa Bay last week on Matt Bryant's improbable 62-yard field game
as time expired.
The Jaguars were without linebacker Mike Peterson (chest) and
defensive end Reggie Hayward (Achilles' tendon). Both are out for
the season, and three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcus Stroud
(ankle) missed his third straight game.<
The Eagles haven't won since beating Dallas 38-24 in
Terrell Owens' homecoming game Oct. 8. ... Second-year pro Sean
Considine has replaced former Pro Bowl strong safety Michael Lewis
in the starting lineup almost on a full-time basis. Considine
recovered a fumble at the end of the first quarter. ... Jags WR
Reggie Williams dropped passes on consecutive plays. ... The Eagles
have trailed at halftime the last five games.
- Ed Hochuli