Okay, so I got that one wrong.
Philadelphia’s game plan on defense was to bottle up the Falcons’ running game as much as possible and force Vick to win the game with his arm. As talented as Vick is, he’s still not entirely comfortable in the West Coast offense, so when he gets jumpy against a blitzing defense, it could either be spectacular or spectacularly awful.
The Eagles allowed only 99 yards rushing and sacked Vick four times for 33 yards in losses. Check 1, check 2. Ball game.
Of course, it helped that Donovan F. McNabb exploited the weaknesses in the Falcons’ pass defense. He completed 17 of 26 for 180 yards and 2 TDs, and more importantly, his offensive unit converted on 7 of 14 third downs. What’s more, the Eagles outran the Falcons, 156 yards to 99.
Brian Westbrook showed everyone why his absence from last year’s championship game was so pivotal. He gained 96 yards on only 16 carries, and several plays designed for him threw Atlanta’s defense off their game. He also caught 5 passes for 39 yards, which set up his running very well.
The Eagles looked solid and efficient all throughout the game, while the Falcons looked jittery and unsure of themselves. Yeah, the Eagles have been down this road a few times before, and they looked a lot more confident than they have in years past. Now all that’s left to tell is whether Terrell Owens will be ready for the Super Bowl. He won’t be 100%, but perhaps he won’t need to be. We’ll see.