Sure, staying on a roll heading toward the playoffs and clinching a first-round bye are important.
What may be of more intrigue to many of the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans this week, however, will be seeing Terrell Owens get into the end zone against the Washington Redskins to force coach Andy Reid to pay up on their wager.
The bet came up during training camp when Owens was upset Reid forced him to wear shorts over the tights he fashioned for years during practice while with San Francisco. Reid said Owens could wear just the tights if he caught 15 touchdown passes this season, and eventually upped the ante by saying he would wear tights if the All-Pro wideout could reach that mark.
Now Owens is only one away.
“At this point, the tights, it’s a given,” said Owens, whose 14 TD receptions lead the NFL. “I know he’ll be in them at some point, it’s just a matter of when.”
Reid was asked if Owens mentioned anything about the bet on the sidelines following his latest TD catch in Sunday’s 47-17 rout of the Green Bay Packers.
“Yeah, I was kind of thinking about it a little bit,” admitted the hefty Reid, who surely disappointed many media members by also saying, “Now, you guys know you are never going to see this.”
Most Eagles’ fans likely would settle for seeing their team continuing to roll through NFC opponents. Philadelphia has won all nine of its conference games by double digits, and last week’s win over a Green Bay team which had won six straight may have been its most impressive performance to date.
Donovan McNabb set a team record with 464 yards passing and threw for a career-high five touchdowns—all in the first half as Philadelphia took a 35-3 lead. Owens had eight receptions for 161 yards with a touchdown, Brian Westbrook caught 11 for 156 with three TDs and Philadelphia won by at least 20 points for a fourth straight week.
“Our expectations are at the highest point, which is to win the Super Bowl,” said McNabb, who has 14 TD passes and one interception over the last four games. “I don’t think you can get any higher than that. The only way for us to get to that point is to treat everyone the same and to take every game one game at a time. Although, we have already clinched the NFC East, that’s just one goal we have set out. We are not finished right now.”
The Eagles are looking to wrap up a bye for the first round of the playoffs, though they may have done that before Sunday night’s game starts if Green Bay loses to Detroit or Atlanta beats Oakland.
Philadelphia has a two-game lead over Atlanta for the NFC’s best record, and could clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs as early as next week.
“This is the time that you build the momentum that you need to go into the playoffs,” free safety Brian Dawkins said. “We know we made the playoffs, but we want to have a momentum going, a confidence level so that when the playoffs hit, we’re rolling full speed.”
Washington’s offense has been unable to get on a roll all season, but finally put together a strong effort last week in a 31-7 win over the New York Giants.
Clinton Portis ran 31 times for 148 yards and a touchdown, and also scored on a shovel pass from Patrick Ramsey as the Redskins scored more than 18 points in a game for the first time in 2004. They had totaled 23 points during a three-game losing streak before beating New York.
“Now we know we can do it,” Portis said. “It’s just getting there. We couldn’t get everything clicking. We couldn’t have our passing game. We couldn’t have our running game. It was always something. But this week we got to stick with our game plan.”
The Redskins are 4-0 when Portis runs for 100 yards and 0-8 when he doesn’t. He was limited to 37 yards on 17 carries in Washington’s 28-6 loss in Philadelphia on Nov. 21.
Ramsey couldn’t get much going in that game, his first start in place of Mark Brunell, but is coming off his best performance of the season. He completed 19 of 22 passes, threw for three touchdowns and did not commit a turnover against the Giants.
“We’re playing a serious team this week,” Ramsey said. “Just a great football team. You want to see what we did last week, how we can build upon that, and see how we can test ourselves against a great team.”
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