October 14, 2007
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Eagles faced a New York Jets team wearing throwback uniforms and looking for some new results.
Navy and gold or green and white, it didn't matter in the end.
"Our personality shows when we win a football game," running back Brian Westbrook said.
Donovan McNabb threw for 278 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Curtis, and the Eagles' defense stopped the Jets on fourth down with just over 3½ minutes remaining for a 16-9 victory Sunday.
The Eagles (2-3) improved to 8-0 all-time against the Jets, and are 9-0 under Andy Reid in games following bye weeks.
"The most important thing is that we won the game," McNabb said. "It's nice to look up at the scoreboard and see you got a win."
It wasn't easy, though. The Jets (1-5), wearing the uniforms of their previous incarnation, the New York Titans, had a chance to tie it but came up short when Sheldon Brown knocked away Chad Pennington's pass in the end zone intended for Laveranues Coles.
"I lined up in man coverage and stayed with him," Brown said. "I thought he might take a hard out, but he just kind of kept going. I just backed up a bit, kind of opened up, and I was able to be right there to make a play."
McNabb finished 22-of-35 and was sacked just three times, a huge improvement from the 12 times he was taken down by the Giants in the Eagles' last game two weeks ago.
"Our offensive line did a good job," Reid said. "It's nice to fix that in the same stadium where we had some problems."
Westbrook ran for 120 yards on 20 carries after missing the last game with an abdominal strain.
"There were some spots where I felt pain, but I got through it and I feel good right now," Westbrook said. "There was no way I was missing this game."
After New York held Philadelphia to a three-and-out, the Jets drove for a potential tying score, using a razzle-dazzle play to give them a chance.
On third-and 5 from the 27, Brad Smith took the handoff from Pennington, ran to the right and then flipped it to Jerricho Cotchery, who took it 14 yards to the 13. Thomas Jones followed with a 9-yard run, but was stopped for no gain on the next play and Pennington got nothing on a quarterback sneak.
"They did a good job of cramming us," Pennington said.
The Jets elected to go for it on fourth-and-1, but Brown got his hand between the ball and Coles.
"I felt like I could give Laveranues a chance," said Pennington, who was 11-of-21 for 130 yards. "Sheldon Brown made a really good play -- a really good play. ... It's like the way the season's going: 6 inches. He knocks it down instead of us catching it."
Jones, who ran for a season-high 130 yards on 24 carries, bristled at the suggestion he should've been given the ball at the goal line.
"I don't call the plays," he said. "I'm not the offensive coordinator and I'm not one of the offensive coaches. I do what I'm asked to do."
Reggie Brown had six catches for 89 yards, including a late 13-yard grab on third-and-8 that allowed the Eagles to run out the clock.
"I'm proud of these guys," Reid said. "They upped the tempo and made plays."
The Jets wore their Titans throwback threads -- a plain navy helmet, navy jerseys with white and gold stripes and gold numbers and letters, and gold pants with navy and white stripes -- but it was the same, old result.
"We can't seem to get it together," safety Kerry Rhodes said. "We play good for a little while or in spurts, but we just can't put the whole game together."
David Akers kicked three field goals, but also missed two for the Eagles. Mike Nugent kicked field goals of 30, 21 and 30 yards, but also missed one.
With the Jets leading 3-0, the Eagles came right back on their first possession with Curtis' big catch. On third-and-2, McNabb threw a short pass to Curtis, who ran out of two tackle attempts before streaking down the sideline and into the end zone.
"There was a lot of football left after that, but it was a great way to start," Curtis said.
With the Jets trailing 16-6, Rhodes sacked McNabb on a blitz to put the ball at the Eagles 2. Hank Poteat grabbed his first career interception on the next play to give the Jets the ball at the Eagles 17. New York ended up settling for a 30-yard field goal by Nugent that made it 16-9 with 9:28 left.
"Right now, I'm just numb," Pennington said. "Not a lot of answers."