Final

Browns 10

(4-10, 3-4 away)

Eagles 30

(8-5-1, 5-2 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

8:30 PM ET, December 15, 2008

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA 

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 3 0 0 710
PHI 10 7 3 1030

Top Performers

Passing: D. McNabb (PHI) - 290 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Buckhalter (PHI) - 6 CAR, 55 YDS

Receiving: B. Edwards (CLE) - 5 REC, 102 YDS

McNabb throws for 290 yards, two touchdowns as Eagles win third straight

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Written off last month, the resurgent Philadelphia Eagles are making a strong playoff push.

Donovan McNabb threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns, Asante Samuel scored on an interception return and the Eagles beat the struggling Cleveland Browns 30-10 on Monday night for their third straight victory.

Fast Facts

• The Browns have lost four straight and been held to 10 points or less in that stretch.

• Donovan McNabb has completed 72 of 104 passes for 741 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception with a passer rating of 107.9 in his last three games.

• Cleveland made its third appearance on "Monday Night Football" with its third starting quarterback of the season.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

Philadelphia (8-5-1) remained a half-game behind three teams in the race for the two NFC wild-card spots. The Eagles have to win their final two games -- at Washington and home against Dallas -- and need Atlanta or Tampa Bay to lose once to secure a playoff berth.

"We put everything together and we're playing some pretty good ball right now," said safety Brian Dawkins, who set a team record by playing his 181st game with the Eagles. "We are a very, very confident group and we're looking forward to this next game."

The Browns (4-10) have lost four in a row. At least they finally scored a touchdown on Brandon McDonald's 24-yard interception return in the fourth quarter. The Browns, who didn't reach the end zone in the previous three games, could be looking for a new coach to replace Romeo Crennel after the season.

"Our guys tried but I don't think we have enough ammunition to match up with them," Crennel said. "We fought in there defensively. We gave up some yards and got some turnovers. We were ineffective running the ball."

Jason Avant had five receptions for 101 yards -- his first career 100-yard game. McNabb finished 26-of-35 before he was replaced by Kevin Kolb with more than 10 minutes remaining.

Just three weeks ago, the Eagles were in shambles. People were calling for coach Andy Reid to be fired and McNabb's days in Philadelphia seemed numbered after he was benched for the first time in his career at halftime of a 36-7 loss at Baltimore.

But the Eagles answered with impressive wins over the playoff-bound Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. They easily handled the Browns, despite squandering several opportunities.

"I don't go back to the benching because I personally don't agree with the benching," McNabb said. "I tried not to let it affect me. I don't have to prove anything. In my 10-year career, my body of work speaks for itself."

The Eagles reached the red zone on all seven possessions with McNabb under center, but managed just two touchdowns and three field goals. They had a 17-3 lead at halftime that likely would've been bigger if it weren't for two interceptions in the end zone.

Rookie wide receiver DeSean Jackson threw the first one after taking a direct snap at the 7. Sean Jones made a diving catch to pick off Jackson's underthrown pass early in the second quarter.

McDonald then intercepted McNabb's pass on the final play of the second and ran it back 98 yards to the Eagles 7. McDonald was chased by Brian Westbrook and finally caught from behind by Hank Baskett, who was the intended receiver on the play.

Monday Night Curse

The Browns have used a different starting QB in their last six "Monday Night Football" games with that start marking the beginning of the end for that player.

QB Year OPP Result
Bernie Kosar 1993 SF Released later in the season
Eric Zeier 1995 PIT Made just one more start for Browns
Kelly Holcomb 2003 STL Benched mid-game, didn't play rest of the season
Derek Anderson 2008 NYG Benched three weeks later
Brady Quinn 2008 BUF Broke finger, out for the season
Ken Dorsey 2008 PHI Two interceptions

Cleveland's Ken Dorsey, making his second straight start for the injured Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, was intercepted twice.

"I made two mistakes that cost us pretty good," Dorsey said. "I can't put the defense in that spot."

Since his benching, McNabb has played like the guy who went to five Pro Bowls and led the Eagles to four consecutive NFC championship games and a Super Bowl. He has completed 72 of 104 passes for 741 yards, seven TDs and one interception in the last three games. His passer rating is 107.9 in those games.

"He's playing confident, he's being aggressive with the ball and he's managing the game very well," Reid said.

McNabb came out firing, completing all four of his passes on the opening possession, including a 14-yard strike to Kevin Curtis that gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead. A 20-yard completion to Jason Avant on third-and-5 kept the drive going.

In the second, Samuel stepped in front of Dorsey's pass intended for Donte' Stallworth and raced 50 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-3. It appeared Samuel tossed the ball aside at the 1 just like Jackson did against the Dallas Cowboys in a Monday night game in Week 2. But Samuel quickly picked the ball up in the end zone. The Browns didn't challenge, but it wouldn't have mattered.

It was the first touchdown this season for Samuel, who signed a $57.14 million, six-year free-agent contract in March.

Philadelphia Eagles Cleveland Browns

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Philadelphia Eagles' 30-10 win over the Cleveland Browns.

"It was definitely overdue," Samuel said. "I dropped a couple. It was time to finally get one."

McNabb connected with Greg Lewis for a 10-yard TD pass that made it 30-3 in the fourth quarter.

Game notes


Dawkins passed wide receiver Harold Carmichael on the team's career games list. ... Philadelphia improved to 10-2 in December since 2006. ... Cleveland's Phil Dawson kicked his 30th field goal, setting a single-season franchise record. ... The Browns used three different starting QBs for their three Monday night games, going 2-1. ... Cleveland has lost 10 or more games seven times since 1999. ... TE Kellen Winslow (ankle) and RB Jerome Harrison (ribs) sat out for the Browns.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CLE
PHI
1st Downs1121
Passing 1st downs
817
Rushing 1st downs
34
1st downs from penalties
00
3rd down efficiency
3-1211-17
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Plays5173
Total Yards196418
Yards per play3.85.7
Total Drives1011
Passing139284
Comp-Att
11-2926-38
Yards per pass
4.57.1
Interceptions thrown
23
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-172-6
Rushing57134
Rushing Attempts
2033
Yards per rush
2.84.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-12-7
Penalties3-201-5
Turnovers23
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
23
Defensive / Special Teams TDs11
Possession22:0537:55

Passing Leaders

CLEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Dorsey11/281565.6022-17
Cribbs0/100.0000-0
PHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
McNabb26/352908.3212-6
Kolb0/200.0010-0

Rushing Leaders

CLECARYDSAVGTDLG
Lewis14322.307
Cribbs5255.0011
PHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Buckhalter6559.2027
Westbrook16533.3010

Receiving Leaders

CLERECYDSAVGTDLG
Edwards510220.4028
Vickers12121.0021
PHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Avant510120.2025
Jackson57715.4025

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCLEPHI
phiTD10:50Kevin Curtis 14 Yard Pass From Donovan Mcnabb (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 64 yds, 4:15
07
cleFG6:51Phil Dawson 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 63 yds, 3:57
37
phiFG0:52David Akers 24 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 51 yds, 5:59
310
SECOND QUARTERCLEPHI
phiTD4:56Asante Samuel 50 Yard Interception Return (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 27 yds, 2:12
317
THIRD QUARTERCLEPHI
phiFG3:35David Akers 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, 64 yds, 7:50
320
FOURTH QUARTERCLEPHI
phiFG14:56David Akers 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 29 yds, 2:39
323
phiTD11:20Greg Lewis 10 Yard Pass From Donovan Mcnabb (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 37 yds, 0:41
330
cleTD9:23Brandon Mcdonald 24 Yard Interception Return (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 5 yds, 0:42
1030