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McNabb Gets It Together, Eagles Get It Done

November 13, 2000|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — For three quarters, Donovan McNabb looked like a quarterback trying to play his way out of the job. After that, he looked like a superstar.

McNabb rallied the Philadelphia Eagles from 10 points down with less than three minutes to play Sunday, and to an improbable 26-23 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers that was decided by David Akers' two field goals.

Akers kicked a winning 42-yard field goal 4:16 into the overtime after tying the score with a hurried 42-yarder on the final play of regulation, following an onside kick recovery.

The Steelers (5-5), who lost their second consecutive game after winning five in a row, never got the ball in overtime as the Eagles won the coin toss and McNabb drove them 39 yards for Akers' fourth and decisive field goal.

"To come into a place like this, come back from 10 points down and win in overtime says a lot about this team," defensive tackle Corey Simon said. "We're still trying to sneak up on people, but this is a pretty good team."

The Eagles (7-4) trailed, 23-13, after Kris Brown's 40-yard field goal with 3:42 to play and hadn't moved the ball consistently. McNabb passed for only 213 yards despite attempting 55 passes.

"But Donovan kept telling us, 'Stay with it, we'll make something happen,' " wide receiver Charles Johnson said. "He wasn't panicking, he didn't have any big eyes or anything."

Philadelphia closed to 23-20 on a 57-yard drive finished by McNabb's 13-yard pass to Brian Mitchell with 2:29 remaining.

"I couldn't get in sync for a long time, but I did finally at the start of the fourth quarter and things started to roll," McNabb said. "I had to keep my head up and be a leader."

Tim Hauck then recovered a high-bounding onside kick to give the Eagles the chance to send the game into overtime.

"I didn't even have time to take a deep breath," Akers said of his tying field goal. "But once I got out there, it was just automatic motor movement."

Akers missed a 38-yarder with 9:04 to play, seemingly an important miss with Pittsburgh up, 20-13, following linebacker Joey Porter's go-ahead 32-yard touchdown return of Stanley Pritchett's fumble.

The Steelers lost even though Jerome Bettis ran for 134 yards and a seven-yard touchdown.

"You have it right there, you go to grab it and hold it and it just falls through your fingers," Steeler Coach Bill Cowher said.

The Steelers were penalized 13 times for 141 yards, the Eagles nine times for 61 yards.

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