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Defense Comes Alive in Win over Pittsburgh

The Eagles hosted the 2-0 Steelers Sunday for the “Keystone State Battle.” What a battle it was. Donovan McNabb started the day throwing 15 straight completions, a new franchise record, and ended up going 24/35 with one touchdown and an interception.

Nothing was going to stop the Eagles from getting this victory. Brian Westbrook went down on the first play of the second quarter. The Eagles are calling it an ankle strain, and he is listed day to day. That was ok though, as McNabb hit running back Correll Buckhalter for a 20 yard catch and run to give Donovan McNabb his 176th career touchdown. He is now the franchise leader in that category, passing Ron Jaworski.

McNabb got injured in the second quarter as well, with a chest contusion. He didn’t come back after half-time. Kevin Kolb filled in, threw a pick, came back out, and then McNabb showed up to take back the reigns.

How about that defense though? The Eagles got pressure all day long. They came up with nine sacks, (WOW!), and tackled Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger 4 times. Had he not been so elusive, the Eagles could have easily had a 13-15 sack day. Brian Dawkins proved all the doubters wrong, as he had five tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, which ended up sealing the victory for the Eagles. Trent Cole got his first sack of the season, while Juqua Parker had 2.5 sacks.

Also coming up with sacks were DE Darren Howard (1.5), LOLB Omar Gaither (1.5), DT Broderick Bunkley (1), and DT Dan Klecko (0.5). It was an impressive day for the defense. All totaled, there were nine sacks, one interception by Asante Samuel, a pair of forced fumbles (Dawkins and Parker), both fumbles were recovered by the Eagles, and a safety.

While the offense was held to 13 points, the defense came up huge, holding Pittsburgh to six points, and scoring two of their own on that safety. What a day for Jim Johnson and the defense.

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