Six days. Six says is all it took for one of the worst defensive performances in the NFL to turn around and give one of the best, if not the best. The Eagles defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers with an offensive performance comparable to the St. Louis Rams.
Last week, the Eagles allowed 380 total yards, gave up 6 out of 10 conversions on third down, had 0 sacks, and gave up 41 points.
This week, the Eagles gave up 180 total yards, gave up 2 out of 13 conversions on third down, had 9 sacks, and gave up only 6 points to a high-powered Steelers attack.
Seriously though, did the Defense take speed before the game? Did they pull a Shawne Merriman and take steroids? Did Andy Reid punch his secondary in the ass and threaten them with their lives?
I don't know what happened in the past six days, but I do know Jim Johnson had something to do with it. I wonder if he decided to not worry about the game and try and inflict as much pain as possible on Big Ben considering he blitz most of the game. Sometimes, he'd send as many as 8 or 9 players after the quarterback.
Brian Dawkins, who was criticized after his game against Dallas, stepped up big time with a forced fumble and some assists on big-time sacks. The Steelers had no answer for the Eagles defensive line rushing for only 20 yards on 13 carries by Willie Parker. Coming into this game, Willie Parker was averaging 122 yards and 1.5 touchdowns a game.
The Eagles, meanwhile, on offense was also struggling because of the injury bug that hit them in the 2nd quarter. Brian Westbrook stepped on his own player and had a high ankle sprain. My father told me, via text, that he was out for the remainder of the season with a broken ankle...what a douche. Luckily, he should be fine in a week or so. Donovan McNabb was also injured for the first half of the 3rd quarter but returned out of sync on his throws. All of this plus the missing of offensive guard, Shawn Andrews (known to be the best guard in the NFL), left the Eagles lucky to have played such excellent Defense.
The Steelers were #2 on ESPN's power rankings while the Eagles were #5. Could they switch positions after this game? After the Eagles showing such force on the defensive side of the ball, can they take the #2 spot? If they don't they'll be damn close to it and have proved they are a true legit Superbowl contender.
News, Notes, and other interesting facts/inquiries...
1. Where has Chad Ocho Cinco been? Maybe his name change didn't bode well for his Bungal's offense.
2. Dolphins beat the Patriots...no...they KILLED the Patriots. Ronnie Brown tied the Dolphin's record with 4 rushing touchdowns and even had a passing touchdown. He got me 41 fantasy points today. I can't believe I didn't start him!!!
4. The NFC East is undefeated...except against themselves. The only losses were to divisional opponents. They are 10-2.