Originally created 01/12/04

Eagles nab Packers in overtime



PHILADELPHIA -- Brett Favre has thrown this kind of pass often in his career. And this time, the Philadelphia Eagles' Brian Dawkins was there waiting for it.

Dawkins intercepted Favre's desperation pass in overtime to set up David Akers' 31-yard field goal Sunday, giving the Eagles a 20-17 win over the Green Bay Packers and sending them to their third straight NFC title game.

Dawkins picked off the heave on Green Bay's first possession of overtime - a forced pass that Favre has pulled off many times before.

This time it cost him the game a week after the Packers' Al Harris returned an interception to give Green Bay an overtime win in their wild-card game with Seattle. No team has ever won two straight overtime games in the playoffs.

The Eagles (13-4) will play host next week to Carolina. They lost the last two NFC title games - at home to Tampa Bay last season and at St. Louis two years ago.

"We're not even worried about the Carolina Panthers right now. We're excited about this win," Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "Even though we were down we still prevailed and showed some heart."

The Packers (11-7) go home after winning seven of eight games.

McNabb had a big game on the ground for Philadelphia, but Duce Staley had two big runs - a 22-yarder that helped set up Akers' tying field goal on the next-to-last play of regulation and an 11-yarder that put the Eagles into field-goal position in overtime. Akers' kick came just under 5 minutes into OT.

McNabb rushed 11 times for 107 yards, a playoff record for yardage by a quarterback. He completed 21-for-39 for 248 yards and two touchdowns.

He completed a 28-yard pass to Freddie Mitchell on fourth-and-26 late in regulation to save the Eagles' season. A 10-yard pass to Todd Pinkston put the Eagles in field-goal range, and Akers' 37-yarder tied it at 17 with 5 seconds left in regulation.

The Packers led 14-7 at halftime, but the Eagles had the momentum after stopping Ahman Green on fourth down from the 1-yard line late in the second quarter. The Eagles' Corey Simon was responsible for the stop, pushing guard Mike Wahle into Green and slowing him down for Jerome McDougle and Mark Simoneau.

Green Bay scored twice in the first quarter on passes of 40 and 17 yards from Favre to Robert Ferguson, the first set up by McNabb's fumble.

The Eagles countered midway through the second quarter on McNabb's 7-yard TD pass to Staley. It came one play after a 45-yard completion from McNabb to Pinkston.

Philadelphia tied it early in the fourth quarter when McNabb scrambled out of trouble and found Pinkston just inside the pylon from 12 yards out.

Favre's 44-yard pass to Javon Walker set up Ryan Longwell's 21-yard field goal that gave the Packers a 17-14 lead with 10:21 left in the fourth.