McNabb focuses on score, not stats

Eagles QB feels sting of loss in 1st Super Bowl

Super Bowl

Patriots 24 - Eagles 21

February 07, 2005|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the end, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was left with numbers he would take, but a result he would certainly reverse.

McNabb completed 30 of 51 attempts for 357 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles' 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last night.

There were, however, three interceptions, and those, along with the sting of a loss in the NFL's marquee game, will be what he remembers over the fantasy numbers from his first Super Bowl experience.

"I don't look at the touchdowns," McNabb said. "I don't look at any of that. I look at the three interceptions. As the quarterback, you want to make sure you take care of the ball. Turnovers kill you, and they hurt us."

The last one sealed the game for New England. Down three with the ball at the Eagles' 5 and 17 seconds left in the game, McNabb tried to force a pass to L.J. Smith but was intercepted by Rodney Harrison.

It was a desperate attempt by McNabb, who mixed just as many moments of brilliance with acts of confusion.

McNabb was intercepted by linebacker Tedy Bruschi earlier in the fourth quarter but came back to lead a 13-play drive that ended in a 30-yard touchdown throw to Greg Lewis, bringing the Eagles to within three.

"We've been in this position before," McNabb said. "We lost the Super Bowl. We made it, and we'll be back."

Dillon a champion

As improbable as it may have sounded last year at this time, Corey Dillon is a Super Bowl champion.

The Patriots' star running back, who spent the better part of his career complaining while with lowly Cincinnati, rushed for 75 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown.

"For the first time in my career, I enjoyed every minute of the season," Dillon said. "To actually come here and be the Super Bowl champions is awesome. That's what it's all about."

Imitating T.O.

Patriots receiver David Givens and linebacker Mike Vrabel both mimicked the Eagles' Terrell Owens after they scored touchdowns.

Givens and Vrabel flapped their arms like an Eagle, something Owens does after he scores.

Vrabel, who is part of the Patriots' goal-line offense and caught a touchdown pass on a play-action fake as a tight end, had little comment afterward.

"I'm not into all of that," Vrabel said. "I'm just happy we won the game. We fought hard and kept our poise throughout."

It was Vrabel's second consecutive Super Bowl score. Last season, he scored the Patriots' last touchdown with a 1-yard reception against Carolina.

Replay reversals

Both teams won challenges of calls in the first half, reversing what would have been offensive fumbles.

McNabb was hit on the third play of the game by Bruschi, and his knee grazed the ground as he spun out of a tackle before fumbling on a hit by Willie McGinest. Bruschi recovered the ball at the Eagles' 34, but the play was overturned.

Givens had a fumble overturned after replays showed his knee was on the ground at the Eagles' 31. New England was unable to score on the drive.

Part of pattern

Tom Brady fumbling away the ball 5 yards from the end zone was uncharacteristic of the Patriots' Pro Bowl quarterback, but it fit in well with his team's play in the first half.

New England committed two false-starts and was charged with a personal foul and illegal contact that wiped out an interception in the first quarter.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, committed just one first-half penalty.



2005-Deion Branch, WR, New England

2004-Tom Brady, QB, New England

2003-Dexter Jackson, FS, Tampa Bay

2002-Tom Brady, QB, New England

2001-Ray Lewis, LB, Ravens

2000-Kurt Warner, QB, St. Louis

1999-John Elway, QB, Denver

1998-Terrell Davis, RB, Denver

1997-Desmond Howard, KR, Green Bay

1996-Larry Brown, CB, Dallas

1995-Steve Young, QB, San Francisco

1994-Emmitt Smith, RB, Dallas

1993-Troy Aikman, QB, Dallas

1992-Mark Rypien, QB, Washington

1991-Ottis Anderson, RB, N.Y. Giants

1990-Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

1989-Jerry Rice, WR, San Francisco

1988-Doug Williams, QB, Washington

1987-Phil Simms, QB, N.Y. Giants

1986-Richard Dent, DE, Chicago

1985-Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

1984-Marcus Allen, RB, L.A. Raiders

1983-John Riggins, RB, Washington

1982-Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

1981-Jim Plunkett, QB, Oakland

1980-Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh

1979-Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh

1978-Randy White, DT and Harvey Martin, DE, Dallas

1977-Fred Biletnikoff, WR, Oakland

1976-Lynn Swann, WR, Pittsburgh

1975-Franco Harris, RB, Pittsburgh

1974-Larry Csonka, RB, Miami

1973-Jake Scott, S, Miami

1972-Roger Staubach, QB, Dallas

1971-Chuck Howley, LB, Dallas

1970-Len Dawson, QB, Kansas City

1969-Joe Namath, QB, N.Y. Jets

1968-Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay

1967-Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay


2005-New England (AFC) 24, Philadelphia (NFC) 21

2004-New England (AFC) 32, Carolina (NFC) 29

2003-Tampa Bay (NFC) 48, Oakland (AFC) 21

2002-New England (AFC) 20, St. Louis (NFC) 17

2001-Ravens (AFC) 34, N.Y. Giants (NFC) 7

2000-St. Louis (NFC) 23, Tennessee (AFC) 16

1999-Denver (AFC) 34, Atlanta (NFC) 19

1998-Denver (AFC) 31, Green Bay (NFC) 24

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