The Eagles walked into Week Sixteen with a playoff berth already under their belt, but that was far from the main headline of the week. When the schedule came out, this was the game that immediately received everyone’s attention. This would be the return of Brian Dawkins to Philadelphia.
At this point in the season, the Broncos were an up and down team and really needed a win against the Eagles to continue their playoff hopes. On the other hand, the Eagles had clinched a playoff spot but needed to keep winning for better positioning.
Brian Dawkins rolled out of the tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field to a standing ovation like many times before. There was only one difference, he was wearing a Broncos jersey.
The first quarter started off slow with a lot of back and forth possesions between the two teams. However, the Eagles were able to get on the board first when Donovan McNabb found DeSean Jackson for a two yard touchdown with just over four minutes remaining in the quarter. The Eagles defense played solid and David Akers was able to add a field goal as time expired in the quarter giving the Eagles a 10-0 lead.
In the second quarter, things got a bit more exciting as Denver put a drive together. The drive was capped off on an 11 yard touchdown reception by Jabar Gaffney from Kyle Orton. After Denver closed the gap, the Eagles took little time to open in back up. Less than two minutes after Gaffney found the end zone, McNabb hit Brent Celek for a 47 yard touchdown and the Eagles regained a 10 point lead. Akers would hit another field goal as a quarter came to a close and the Eagles took a 20-7 lead to halftime.
After a solid performance in the first half, things began to go sour for the Birds in the second half. The second half scoring was started on a Matt Prater field goal. Shortly after the field goal, Jason Avant caught a 15 yard touchdown from McNabb, but it was all downhill from here. Gaffney recorded his second touchdown of the day and after an Eagles turnover, the Broncos had the ball right back in their hands. Less than a minute after the Gaffney touchdown, Knowshon Moreno caught a 16 yard touchdown pass and the Broncos were suddenly within three points.
The Eagles continued to slump on offense, but the defense stepped in up early in the fourth quarter. However, the defense couldn’t keep the Broncos off the board forever and Prater added a field goal to tie the game with six minutes remaining in the game. With the game tied, the Eagles offense was finally able to get some things going again and put together a drive. With four seconds left in the game, Akers made a field goal to put the Eagles up 30-27, which would be the final score.
Despite the meltdown, it was a hard fought win and a step in the right direction for playoff seeding. With the Denver win under their belt, the Eagles would travel to Dallas to finish out the regular season.