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MINNEAPOLIS -- Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said he truly didn't know heading into Sunday's game whether he'd have the services of Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel, who suffered a hip strain during Thursday's practice.
Samuel not only started, but he intercepted a Tarvaris Jackson pass in the second quarter and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown. He now has six career interceptions in the postseason, and he's returned four of them for touchdowns. About 20 reporters were waiting for Samuel at his locker following the game. So what is about the postseason, Asante?
"That's when it's time to step your game up," he said. "You have the preseason, regular season, the postseason and Super Bowl. You have to step your game up. From the preseason you have to bring it up a notch for the regular season, playoff and so on. That's what I try to do."
Samuel had to leave the game because of the hip injury at one point, but he was able to return. Samuel tried to jump another route on Jackson, but he barely missed the interception. The Eagles' other starting corner, Sheldon Brown, dropped an easy interception in the second half.
By the way, have we mentioned how dreadful Jackson was? He had no clue where the pressure was coming from and he finished 15 of 35 for 164 yards and an interception. He had a 45.4 passing rating. Donovan McNabb had a 92.8 rating. Any questions?