Eagles roll past inept Seahawks 26-7
Eds: Eagles 26, Seahawks 7. SUBS 2nd graf to ADD note on Herremans'
TD; Optional upcoming.
AP Photo SEA103
By GREGG BELL
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) - Backup tight ends. Tackle-eligibles. Doesn't
matter who Donovan McNabb is throwing to these days. He's
connecting with them all.
McNabb rebounded from early problems to complete 28 of 43 passes
for 349 yards and two touchdowns, one to tackle Todd Herremans for
Philadelphia's first touchdown reception by an interior lineman in
74 years, to rally the Philadelphia Eagles to a 26-7 victory over
the swooning Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Brent Celek, playing because L.J. Smith was out with a
concussion, set an Eagles record for yards receiving by a tight end
in a regular-season game with 131 on six receptions. He had eight
catches coming in, but continually slid open behind Seahawks'
blitzes, which swarmed McNabb early but barely sniffed him after
Philadelphia (5-3) stayed two games behind the first-place New
York Giants in the NFC East, and moved ahead of Dallas (5-4) for
third in the division.
The Seahawks punted 10 consecutive times - seven after
three-and-outs - following a team-record 90-yard touchdown pass on
their first play from backup Seneca Wallace to Koren Robinson, who
was on his couch in Raleigh, N.C., at the beginning of the season.
Seattle, 2-6 for the first time since its last losing season in
2002, lost for the third time in four home games. The Seahawks were
an NFC-best 42-14 at home since the 2001 season entering this year.
Seattle was missing three Pro Bowl players - including
quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, out for the fourth consecutive game -
plus a former Super Bowl MVP in Deion Branch. Pro Bowl linebacker
Lofa Tatupu was out with a groin injury, his first miss after 55
consecutive starts to begin his career.
Even without their defensive leader, the Seahawks harassed
McNabb throughout his skittish opening quarter. He had 10
incompletions and was hit four times in his first 13 throws. But he
completed his next 13 throws into the second half, returning to his
stellar season pace of completing 63 percent of his passes .
He was 4-for-4 on the Eagles' drive that tied it at 7 midway
through the second quarter. The final pass was a 22-yard touchdown
to Reggie Brown, who beat falling cornerback Marcus Trufant for the
ball and jogged in for his first score of the season.
McNabb went 6-for-6 on the Eagles' next drive, an 11-play march
to the go-ahead score in the final minute of the half. The last two
plays were a 26-yard pass to Kevin Curtis to the 1, then a scoring
flip to his tackle-eligible. Herremans threw rusher Darryl Tapp to
the ground at the line, slipped alone inside the goal line and then
emphatically spiked the ball as giddy teammates surrounded him to
celebrate a 14-7 lead.
Three field goals by David Akers in the first 21 minutes of the
second half made it 23-7 and left Qwest Field empty early yet
Seattle's game - and, it would seem, season -slipped through
Keary Colbert's hands in the third quarter. Colbert briefly had
possession of a 34-yard pass that would have cut the Eagles' lead
to 17-14, but the ball fell to the ground in the end zone after he
dived and rolled on the turf. Seattle coach Mike Holmgren stared
long at the video board watching the replay while contemplating a
challenge of the incompletion ruling but decided against it while
the crowd booed loudly.
Robinson's 90-yard score was the longest play from scrimmage in
Seahawks' history and the first touchdown with the Seahawks for
their formerly troubled No. 1 draft choice since Nov. 7, 2004.
But Seattle's 31st-ranked offense gained just 143 yards over its
final 54 plays.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)