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“When We’re Loose, We’re Lethal”

Jan 20, 2005, 9:24 AM EDT

Donovan01182005 That’s what Eagles defensive leader Brian Dawkins said yesterday and what today’s Bill Lyon article focuses on.  Somehow it appears that the pressure isn’t getting to them this time around.  Maybe it is because this is their fourth straight trip to the NFCC game or maybe it is because they have never been this healthy coming in to it. 

What will be the keys to the game?  There are so many variables that it’s hard to pick just one.  Shutting down Mike Vick is definitely near the top of the list.  There has been a lot of talk of The Freak spying on Vick, but I don’t think Jim Johnson will put a spy on Vick on every play.  He is more likely to mix it up.  Jaws thinks the key will be Jim Johnson’s game plan which will confuse the Falcons offense and lead to an Eagles win.

These are all very important factors in the Eagles quest to finally get over the bump in the road that is the NFCC game.  But when it comes down to it, I believe the game will be decided on the play of Donovan.  I’ll concede Vick will make a few big plays, say 10 points worth, and maybe 7 more that the Eagles defense gives up.  That leaves Donovan and BWest with a burden of putting 20 up on the scoreboard and not giving the ball away.  This is Donovan’s time to shine.  Back on October 8th, I posted this "letter" on a message board I frequent:

Dear Donovan,

You may be my favorite Philadelphia Athlete of All-time. I never saw Wilt, only saw the Doc when I was a little kid, Iverson had the heart on the court, but never had the dedication. I’ve heard stories about Bednarik, Van Burren, Wilbert and all the Eagles’ greats.. but I never got to watch them every Sunday like I get to watch you. I thought from draft day, when some morons boo-ed you, that you were the right pick. The 4th and 26th play was one of the greatest plays Ive ever witnessed. I thought that was our year. But we have this year. The addition of TO will finally give you the receiver you always needed. I believed in you all along, I always knew you were the guy to get this town a championship.

You will win a Superbowl with the Eagles. And I will be happy.

Even though we lost TO since then, I still have faith in Donovan.  But as Freddie says, "We don’t need faith, we got Five."