Extra Points: Eagles Come Through in the Clutch
The Eagles should petition the NFL to play the rest of their regular-season games on the road.
Sunday's impressive, 30-13 victory at Denver put them at 4-6 on the season. All four wins have been in stadiums other than Lincoln Financial Field. They are 0-4 at the Linc.
The only time the Eagles ran out of breath in Denver's thin air was when they were running to the Broncos' end zone. Cornerback Darius Slay had the longest journey, grabbing a forced fumble by linebacker Davion Taylor and dashing past Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and others en route to an 82-yard touchdown.
"It felt like it took about 30 minutes," Slay said. "I was tired. But I never thought about just falling on the ball. Hell, no. I'm trying to score every time I touch the rock. They were in 13 personnel (two tight ends), so I knew there were a bunch of fat guys out there."
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni explained that fumble recoveries are divided into two categories.
If there is a crowd of players around the ball, it's best to just fall on it. If there's room to run, then try for the return.
"So we have a city fumble and a country fumble rule," Sirianni said. "If it's a city fumble and there's a lot of bodies around it, get on it. If it's a country fumble and there's not a lot of bodies around, if you're in West Chester, then you can scoop and score. If you're in downtown Philly, you gotta get on the ball."
Cape May's status used to depend on the season.
Back in the 1960's and 70's, you fell on the football between Memorial Day and Labor Day, especially if you were on the beach or boardwalk. The town was deserted in the winter, however. Traffic lights were turned off, restaurants were closed, and Beach Drive was so empty that my dad taught me how to drive a stick shift on that street when I was home for Thanksgiving break during my sophomore year at Appalachian State.
That's no longer the case. Cape May is essentially a year-round resort, especially on weekends. The parking meters are turned off Nov. 1, but the lights are still on. The downtown mall is packed, as are restaurants and other businesses. You can't learn to work a manual clutch, but that doesn't matter since most cars don't have them, anyway.
In addition to Slay, a number of other players contributed to the Eagles' best game of the season.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts continued to show progress, throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for 53 yards on 14 carries. That was part of a productive rushing attack that saw running backs Jordan Howard (83 yards on 12 carries) and Boston Scott (81 on 11) take turns gashing the Broncos' defense.
Hurts' performance may have been due to his fashion choice. He said he pestered Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to allow the team to wear black pants with their white jerseys for the first time.
Rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith celebrated his 23rd birthday with two TDs, including a 36-yarder in which he leaped and wrestled the ball away from Broncos rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain, his college teammate at Alabama.
I think I celebrated turning 23 on April 19, 1981 by helping Steger's Beach Service prepare for the upcoming summer season, then picking up my fiance Karen Newton in my 1977 Chevy Vega and catching a movie at the Beach Theatre.
And I didn't have to stop at any traffic lights.
Smith wasn't the only one to celebrate a birthday Sunday. Good friends Steve Scheff and Tom Shagren turned 64 and 70, respectively.
"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64. ..."
Tom got a number of cool gifts during his party at Poppi's in Wildwood, but his best present was the Eagles' win. He's been an avid Birds fan since his days growing up on Cedar Street in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia.
The party and the game also served as therapy for me.
After leaving Poppi's, I headed to St. Mary's Cemetery in West Cape May. Sunday marked seven years since my dad, Norman Weinberg, passed away after a long battle with dementia.
Then I drove down Beach Drive, popping an invisible clutch along the way.