It's not something you're likely to hear again after a hard-fought NFL game, but Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown gave no hint that he was joking when he said, after the 15-6 victory over the Steelers, that punter Sav Rocca "won the game."
Rocca didn't score a touchdown or make a game-saving tackle, but he came up huge on three consecutive fourth-quarter punts in a tight game that pinned Pittsburgh deep in its territory.
"They were unbelievable," coach Andy Reid said of Rocca's punts. "You don't very often talk about a punter being a weapon, but he sure was a weapon tonight."
With the Eagles clinging to a 10-6 lead in the fourth quarter, the Steelers looked as if they would get good field position when they forced the Birds to punt from their 11.
But Rocca boomed a 64-yarder that put the Steelers back on their 30.
Pittsburgh went three-and-punt.
Then punting from the Eagles' 40, Rocca hit a 54-yarder that bounced out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 6.
Three plays later, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was called for intentional grounding while in his end zone that resulted in a safety and a 12-6 Eagles lead.
Then, with just under 6 minutes left in the game, Rocca hung a punt that Sean Considine downed at the Steelers' 7.
The Steelers got to the 23 before safety Brian Dawkins forced Roethlisberger to fumble, setting up the game-clinching field goal.
"You certainly get it coming off the ground when everybody is giving you high-fives and things like that," said Rocca, the second-year punter who came to the NFL from Australian Rules Football. "You really do find out that they appreciate it, and it's a good feeling.
"Last year, at the start, I just thought it was kicking a ball. But as you go along, you tend to learn you're better off having the ball on the 20 instead of the 30, or that it's better to have it deep inside than a touchback. Those are things I've gotten a grip on in the last 6 months."
So much so that Rocca won a game. *