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Monday, October 13, 2008
Rapid Reaction: Eagles 40, 49ers 26


Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

If the Eagles somehow climb back into contention for the NFC East, this will be a game they remember. They entered the fourth quarter trailing by nine points, and the 49ers were headed for the upset.

But Jim Johnson's defense suddenly showed up and started forcing turnovers. Quarterback Donovan McNabb called a team meeting last week and talked about having the proper mindset. Unfortunately, though, the Eagles didn't even have the proper players on the field. Among others, they were missing starters Shawn Andrews, Brian Westbrook, Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown.

But reserve running back Correll Buckhalter has based his professional career on stirring comebacks, and he managed 61 rushing yards on 10 carries in the second half. He did his best impression of Westbrook with seven catches for 85 yards. It was a huge game at just the right moment.

The Eagles now head into the bye at 3-3. And they had to love the fact that the Redskins and Cowboys both lost games to fall to 4-2. It wasn't a thing of beauty, but it didn't matter. This doesn't look like a playoff team right now, but perhaps they can stay afloat long enough to become one.

In the end, McNabb made plays when he had to and it was nice to see NFC Beast blog regular L.J. Smith catch a touchdown. Something needs to be fixed with the run defense, but Johnson has time now. Big win -- even though it was against the 49ers.