The Eagles used a familar formula in their 27-13 win over the 49ers Sunday afternoon at the Linc.
Big plays and turnovers.
At times it wasn't pretty, but when all was said and done, the Eagles had their fifth straight victory and clinched a playoff berth in the NFC.
A week after allowing 38 points and 512 yards to the Giants, the Eagles' defense bounced back, forcing four 49ers turnovers in the first half and allowing just one touchdown overall.
The Eagles improved to 10-4 on the season and maintained a one-game lead over the second-place Cowboys, who knocked off the undefeated Saints Saturday night.
Next up are Brian Dawkins and the Denver Broncos a week from today at the Linc.
The Eagles close out their season in Dallas in Week 17.
Some other observations:
** With all the talk of the Eagles shuffling their linebacking corps this week, did you notice that the team was in its nickel package for most of the first half? That meant Akeem Jordan and Will Witherspoon on the field.
** The base package had Jeremiah Trotter in the middle with Moise Fokou on the strong side and Witherspoon on the weakside.
** The Eagles also had Tracy White in the nickel package at times in the second half.
** Just as they did a week ago, the Eagles brought Joselio Hanson on blitzes mutliple times, but today, he got to Smith, forcing the 49ers' confused QB to throw the ball out of bounds on multiple occasions.
** Defenses continue to be unable to cover DeSean Jackson. He had six catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. With the Birds holding a 20-13 lead in the fourth quarter, Jackson came up with a big 59-yard reception to set up the team's final touchdown.
** Leonard Weaver had probably his worst moment of the season at the end of the first half. With Donovan McNabb trying to get the offense lined up to spike the ball, Weaver was jawing with a 49ers defender. By the time they spiked it, time had run down, and the Eagles had to settle for a field-goal attempt.
** Kevin Curtis returned and (by my count) was on the field for about six plays, making one catch for 7 yards. I didn't see him out there at all in the second half, but it's possible I missed him. We'll have more details in Man Up.
** Michael Vick suffered a bruised thigh in the first half and did not return.