The Eagles don't light up the sky, but repeat after me: A win is a win

Well, the Philadelphia Eagles’ first victory after four straight losses hardly was sanguine.Fortunately for the Birds, they played the stumbling, bumbling, fumbling, humbling, mumbling Green Bay Packers late this afternoon at the Linc.Suffice it to say that Eagles fans were in desperate need of electroshock therapy during the dust of the conflict. I would hazard a guess that some Eagles enthusiasts either sustained bruised heart tissue and/or suffered orbital fractures to both eyes watching such a brutal bout of indigestion.But it ended well for the Philly bunch as they rode four David Akers field goals and five Packer turnovers to a 19-14 victory that pulled them within a game of .500 at 5-6. Granted, there were highlights.Akers, for one, no longer seems hamstrung by his hamstring.Brian Westbrook, who earlier this season saw the football so infrequently that introductions were in order at times, rushed for 117 yards on 21 carries.Those rushing numbers would have been staggering and shocking in the glory days of Donovan McNabb to Terrell Owens. However, McNabb and Owens aren’t playing these days for the Birds. But you already knew that.Consequently, Andy Reid has gone more conservative than George W.’s henchmen. Reid had passed nearly 73 percent of the time in the first nine games. But today the Eagles ran 34 times and passed 28 times.And they did it with two linemen making their first start in left tackle Todd Herremans (in place of Tra Thomas, back) and left guard Adrien Clarke (in place of Artis Hicks, knee).Reid used to be almost ridiculous and reckless with his pass-drunk philosolphy. Now he treats forward passes more delicately than he does the family china.Actually, I applaud Reid for playing it so close to the vest that his nipples must have been rubbed raw. Simply said, the Eagles’ passing attack no longer is a tide strong enough to suck up oodles of yards.Mike McMahon, filling in for McNabb, is armed but not dangerous. He finished a pedestrian 12 of 28 for 91 yards. He was a mere 4 of 12 for 27 yards in the first half. If McMahon hadn’t run four times in the game for 29 yards, the Eagles essentially would have been playing with just 10 men on offense. At least McMahon didn’t throw a pick or lose a fumble. Still, he’s more of a caretaker than he is a quarterback right now.Another Eagles highlight was the defense, which had a much less agitated appearance than had been the case during the past futile month. Of course, some of the stellar moments by Eagles defenders came courtesy of Packers QB Brett Favre, who seems to be playing in some sort of limbo that his own mind has imposed on him. Favre misfired on nine of his first 10 passes, was an abysmal 6 of 18 for 78 yards at halftime, and finished 15 of 33 for 171 yards, one TD and two interceptions. His second pick wound in the Eagles end zone — nestled in the hands of cornerback Rod Hood — with 49 seconds left in the game as Green Bay plunged to 2-9.Safety Michael Lewis also picked off Favre in the end zone, in the second period.In the twilight of his grand career, Favre definitely is high risk, high reward. His game is pockmarked with evocative highs and cavernous lows. Stats can be terribly misleading, but his 19 TDs and his 19 picks say it all.Speaking of twilight, the Eagles are clinging to the last streaks of light in their season. A losing season is a verdict they desperately want to avoid. But with their injury-depleted lineup, they’re going to have to plumb some deep wells of inner resources if they want to come together before darkness drops its final curtain on them.

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