Eagles 34, Browns 31, OT

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CLEVELAND (AP)—As he left Browns Stadium, Terrell Owens pulled a Sharpie out of his pocket and signed autographs for any fan who wanted one.

Jeff Garcia was nowhere around.

Owens was in a playful mood. The Philadelphia Eagles were still undefeated.

David Akers kicked a 50-yard field goal in overtime, and Donovan McNabb matched a career high with four touchdown passes—two to Owens—as the Eagles stayed unbeaten with a 34-31 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Akers’ kick barely wobbled over the crossbar 9:58 into OT as the Eagles (6-0) continued their best start since 1981.

“We had our good points. We made some mistakes. But we’re 6-0 and I like it,” McNabb said.

The Eagles survived their stiffest test by far this season from the Browns (3-4), who made as many big plays and got a favorable call in the fourth quarter to force OT.

But despite getting 27 first downs and 394 yards of offense, Cleveland couldn’t quite pull off the upset.

“There are no moral victories in the NFL,” Browns center Jeff Faine said, “but we took these guys to the limit.”

McNabb finished 28-of-43 for 376 yards and one interception. But it was his legs that set up Akers’ winner, a 28-yard scramble that got the ball to midfield.

“There’s one reason I did it,” McNabb said. “I was open. I prefer not to run, but I have to take full advantage of every opportunity.”

Owens, whose feud with Browns quarterback Garcia—his former San Francisco teammate—dominated the pregame hype, had four catches for 109 yards.

Owens scored two TDs in the first half, and after each, the controversial wideout, who has eight TD catches already this season, took exception with two signs directed at him that hung over the end zone walls.

“I found them humorous,” he said. “It kind of fueled me. We all thought they were funny.”

Owens came out for pregame warmups escorted by security personnel and was the last Eagles player to take the field after introductions. He made a quick impact, catching a 39-yard TD pass to give Philadelphia a 14-7 lead.

He celebrated by firing the ball against a bed sheet that said: “T.O. has B.O.”

In the second quarter, Owens got behind cornerback Anthony Henry for an easy 40-yard TD to make it 21-10. This time, he ripped another sign about him off the wall and was flagged 15 yards for excessive celebration.

“I thought that was nitpicky,” said Owens, who was asked what he would have done after a third TD. “I had something planned.”

Garcia went 21-for-36 with 236 yards and tied it at 31 with 30 seconds to go in regulation on a 4-yard run.

That came after a questionable roughing call against Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, who was flagged on a fourth-and-7 play despite making minimal contact with Garcia.

“I got him this much,” Dawkins said, holding his thumb and index finger a fraction apart. “I didn’t like it.”

Garcia hasn’t liked much of what has come out of Owens mouth in recent months. In his autobiography and during interviews, Owens has insinuated that Garcia is gay.

Even if the Browns had won, Garcia didn’t think Owens would stop belittling him.

“I don’t think anything you do is going to shut him up,” Garcia said. “I don’t need to bring myself down to anyone else’s level. As much as there might be different thoughts in my head, I’ll keep them to myself.”

Last week, Garcia said he may be willing to someday patch things up with Owens.

Owens might be open to that, too.

“My heart is big like that,” Owens said. “I’m not a guy to hold grudges. When we had our spats we came back together—so maybe so.”

The Browns had the ball just once in OT before punting to the Eagles, an NFL-best 28-7 on the road since 2000. On first down, McNabb couldn’t find anyone open and scrambled to the 50.

Dorsey Levens, who came in when Brian Westbrook went out with a bruised chest, ran the ball twice as the Eagles got to the 32. Akers the second-most accurate kicker in league history (82.8 percent) entering the season, then booted his winner for the NFC’s only unbeaten team.

“Whew,” said Akers. “I knew it was straight, but I didn’t know if it was going to get there. Before overtime, I told the coaches that 50 (yards) was all I had.”

The game was rowdier as usual as 16 fans were arrested for various offenses.

Notes

Eagles LB Jason Short sustained a concussion and facial cuts on a kickoff in the fourth. … Westbrook had two carries in the fourth before leaving. Levens had 48 yards on seven carries. … Browns WR Andre King, forced to start with Andre’ Davis out (toe), sprained his left ankle in the first half and didn’t return. … Owens has caught a pass in 121 consecutive games. … Phil Dawson’s field goal in the second quarter was his 24th straight, setting a Cleveland record. … Owens has 89 TDs, moving him into sixth place on the NFL career list, one ahead of Don Maynard.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Philadelphia
D. McNabb D. McNabb QB
28-43, 376 yds
4 TDs, 1 INT
 Cleveland
J. Garcia J. Garcia QB
21-32, 236 yds
1 TD, 1 INT
4 Rush, 21 yds, 1 TD

Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards

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