October 18 Philaelphia Inquirer:
On the official game summary, the biggest play in Sunday’s game began with 6 minutes, 23 seconds left in the third quarter. But in reality, it had started far earlier.
It went back to the first quarter when Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson ran an end around to the left for a 31-yard touchdown, and later that quarter when he took a handoff in the same direction for 13 yards.
Now Jackson was out of the game, but not, apparently, out of the Falcons’ memory.
With the Eagles holding a 21-10 lead but having given up two consecutive scoring drives, quarterback Kevin Kolb and company were backed up on their own 17-yard line, facing second and 13.
Things were about to change. Fast.
Kolb faked a handoff up the middle to running back LeSean McCoy, then offered another fake to wide receiver Jason Avant – who, like Jackson earlier, was running from the right side of the formation toward the left to give the appearance of another end around. Avant doesn’t present the same kind of threat as Jackson, but the fakes worked.
“We kind of caught them sleeping a little bit,” said wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
On the feint to Avant, cornerback Christopher Owens, who was supposed to be covering Maclin, jumped up to stop the run. Owens, a second-year player, was in the game only because the Falcons’ starter, Dunta Robinson, had been hurt on the same violent collision that had sidelined Jackson.
Owens’ misstep left safety Thomas DeCoud to cover Maclin one on one on the left side of the field. Except DeCoud was also out of position; he had hesitated on the run fake to McCoy.
“When the corner comes down and bites on me, what happens is now it’s just Jeremy and the safety,” Avant said. “The play-action fake is always going to move the safety just an inch, and he moved more than that. We knew that if the safety would bite on it that we would have a chance.”
But didn’t the speedy Jackson usually run the fake end around?
“Yeah,” Avant said with a sheepish smile, “but it worked.”
With Maclin wide open, Kolb uncorked a throw that traveled from around the Eagles’ 10-yard line to just inside the Falcons’ 45. Maclin ran away from the beaten DeCoud, and the Eagles were up, 28-10, and running away with the game.
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