Donovan McNabb and his Philadelphia Eagles get another week to keep chasing that elusive Super Bowl crown. Eli Manning and the New York Giants get a whole offseason to wonder what went wrong. McNabb made all the big plays that Manning did not, and the Eagles eliminated the Super Bowl champions 23-11 Sunday to reach the NFC title game for the fifth time in eight seasons. Throw in Philadelphia’s hard-hitting, ball-hawking defense, and these NFL playoffs are now for the Birds – the underdog Eagles, Cardinals and Ravens all won on the road this weekend. McNabb lunged for one touchdown, threw for another and converted several key third downs to move the sixth-seeded Eagles (11-6-1) into next Sunday’s title game at Arizona (11-7). Philadelphia beat the Cardinals 48-20 on Thanksgiving night. A year after road success fueled the Giants’ route, the Eagles are taking the same path. They opened the postseason by winning at Minnesota and, after their sixth victory in seven tries, look nothing like a team that needed several breaks on the final day simply to make the playoffs. David Akers added three field goals – extending his NFL record to 18 straight in the postseason – to fend off the top-seeded Giants (12-5). Manning never looked like the quarterback who won last year’s Super Bowl with that one perfect spiral to Plaxico Burress. MVP of that huge upset over New England, Manning was in trouble from the start. His first pass wobbled out of his hand, got caught in the wind and missed a wide-open receiver. Manning ended up 15-for-29 with two interceptions, often overthrowing his targets as the Giants lost for the fourth time in five games. Playing in freezing temperatures with a swirling wind, it was the kind of game many people expected from teams meeting for the eighth time in three seasons. Several skirmishes broke out early and the bruising hits lasted all afternoon. McNabb, however, kept Philadelphia moving. Benched in late November for half a game, he never has acknowledged that the slight hurt him. He has, however, seemed to play with a huge chip on his shoulder, to the Eagles’ benefit. McNabb converted a third-and-20 set up Akers’ 34-yard kick for a 13-11 lead in the third quarter. Then on the first play of the fourth quarter, he made a perfect play-action fake for a 1-yard TD toss to Brent Celek. It was the Eagles’ second win at the Meadowlands this season. They were the only team to win on Giants’ turf.
Tags: David Akers, Donovan McNabb, Eight Seasons, Field Goals, Fifth Time, Five Games, Meadowlands, New York Giants, Nfc Title Game, NFL FOOTBALL, NFL Playoffs, nfl record, Open Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles, plaxico burress, Thanksgiving Night
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