Wild Deuce Ends Eagles' Season

The Eagles and Saints could both lay claim to being a team of destiny. For the Eagles, destiny will have to wait. A big night by Deuce McAllister gave the Saints their first appearance in the NFC Championship Game in the history of the franchise.

Deuce McAllister simply had a huge night against the Eagles, rushing for 143 yards and one touchdown as the Saints beat the Eagles by the same 27-24 score that they used to beat the Eagles in Week 6. This time though, there was no last second field goal as the Saints simply had to take two kneal down plays to finish out the game.

The Eagles Brian Westbrook had 116 yards on the ground, but that number was a little deceiving since 62 of those yards came on one carry. Westbrook scampered 62 yards for an Eagles playoff record run from scrimmage, putting himself in the end zone and giving the Eagles a 20-13 lead. The extra point put the Eagles up by 8 early in the third quarter. Earlier in the game, another Eagles playoff record was broken when Donte Stallworth caught a 75 yard touchdown pass from Jeff Garcia for the Eagles longest post-season pass play in the franchises history.

Garcia finished the night 15-of-30, throwing for 240 yards and one touchdown. As in the Giants game last week, he didn't throw any interceptions, but he also didn't put up a spectacular performance. The same could be said for New Orleans' Drew Brees, who completed 23-of-32 passes for 243 yards and one touchdown. He too didn't throw an interception.

The Eagles suffered a key loss when Shawn Andrews left the game with a neck injury. His replacement Scott Young was called for a critical false start penalty on a fourth-and-ten play on the Eagles final drive. Garcia had completed a pass on the play, giving the Eagles a first down, but the penalty took the Eagles back five yards and they decided to punt instead of trying another desperation play on fourth down. From there, the Saints were able to run out the clock to hold onto the win.

That last drive seemed like just what the Eagles needed. After running almost five minutes off the clock, the Saints tried a little pitch to Reggie Bush who fumbled and the Eagles recovered to give themselves new life.

After a slow start, the Eagles went into half-time with a 14-13 lead thanks to a one yard touchdown dive by Brian Westbrook. The dive over the goal line capped an 11 play, 80 yard drive for the Eagles.

The Saints will now play the winner of Sunday's game in Chicago that has the Bears hosting the Seattle Seahawks. If Seattle pulls off an upset, they would then travel to New Orleans to play the Saints in the NFC title game. A Bears win would take the Saints to Chicago to fight for the NFC Championship.


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