Eagles soar high but crash

By Staff Writer
January 31, 2002

All photos by Tracy Timson

Philadelphia fans were ecstatic with the Eagles performance this year. They made the playoffs and went to the NFC championship for the first time since 1981. They also won the NFC East title for the first time since 1988. These goals are something that this team began to prepare for last January. It took a dedicated coach and a dedicated team to pull this year’s season off.

Although their season did not end with a trip to the Super Bowl the Eagles proved they were a team that deserved respect. They blew away both the Chicago Bears on the Bear’s own field and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home in Philly. In doing so they took their level of play to a whole new level. They showed that they are one of the elite teams and can play with anyone no matter how big of an underdog people feel they are.

On a season of big ups and downs the Eagles could only go as far as their excellent defense and their strong young quarterback could take them. The defense led by four pro bowlers was easily one of the best in the league. Hugh Douglas, Troy Vincent, Brian Dawkins and Jeremiah Trotter made continuous big plays all the way up and through the playoffs.

On offense Donovan McNabb did not have the same season he had last year but when playoff time came around he stepped his game to a new level. Showing the maturity of a veteran instead of the three year player that he is, McNabb was clearly the key that led this offense. If he continues to perform this way he will clearly get the title as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.

In the NFC championship vs. St. Louis Rams, the Eagles came out strong and led 17-13 at half time. Then in the third quarter the team seemed to fall apart. Either they were in awe or over confident in their first half of play but neither the defense nor the offense could manage any points in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, they tried to make a comeback, but it was all for nothing when McNabb through an interception with less than two minutes left. The dreams of the players and the fans of Philadelphia of winning the first Superbowl in the cities history was diminished. The final score of this game was 29-24 in favor of the Rams.

From all the upset during the day who could be disappointed with such a fabulous season. The only thing these Eagles can do is pick their heads up and push themselves one step further for next year. Even with the loss against the Rams and the Rams fans cheering the Eagles remained composed and congratulated the victors of the game. Meanwhile back in Philly the fans waited for the team to return and cheered them on as they walked back into their locker room for the last time this season.

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