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Eagles edge Raiders on Akers' heroic FG

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 25, 2005) -- David Akers again fell to the ground, writhing in pain. This time, his teammates piled on and celebrated.

Fighting through a strained right hamstring that temporarily forced him to the bench, Akers made a 23-yard field goal with 9 seconds left to lift the Philadelphia Eagles to a 23-20 victory against the Oakland Raiders.

"You know it's going to hurt for one second and then the game is over," said Akers, a two-time Pro Bowl kicker. "My whole leg hurts right now."

Donovan McNabb also played through pain, throwing for 365 yards and two touchdowns, even though chest and groin injuries limited his mobility and ability to pass.

Brian Westbrook caught a TD pass from McNabb, ran for a score and had 140 yards receiving. Terrell Owens had nine catches, including his 100th career touchdown.

"Donovan battled through like a warrior," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He came up with huge throws in the second half."

After Kerry Collins threw a 27-yard TD pass to Doug Gabriel to tie it at 20 with 2:17 left, McNabb drove the Eagles (2-1) downfield.

Westbrook caught passes of 13 and 17 yards, Greg Lewis made a 13-yard catch on third-and-9 and Owens had a 14-yard reception to set up Akers' kick.

"We struggled there on offense. We ended up not taking advantage of a couple situations," Raiders coach Norv Turner said.

Akers reinjured his hamstring on the opening kickoff, forcing linebacker Mark Simoneau to try one extra point -- it was blocked -- and third-string tight end Mike Bartrum had to kick off.

But Akers came back to make two extra points and the winning field goal in the second half.

"I can't leave the team hanging, especially on kickoffs," Akers said. "I never want anyone to think I'm trying to wimp out."

Randy Moss had five catches for 86 yards, but didn't score as Oakland fell to 0-3 for the first time since 1992. Moss had two receptions for 26 yards through the first three quarters.

"We showed a lot of heart. We showed a lot of character," said Collins, who was 24-for-42 for 345 yards. "We should have won. But I don't think our guys are going to go in the tank."

A week after tying his career-best with five TD passes in a 42-3 rout of San Francisco, McNabb was out of sync early. Bothered by the injuries that have limited him in practice, McNabb couldn't follow through on some passes, struggled to get up after a few hits and walked around gingerly.

But McNabb found his rhythm in the second half, and finished 30-for-52 with one interception.

"In the first half, I was rushing things, trying to get the ball out quicker and using my upper body," McNabb said. "In the second half, I reevaluated and said I have to use my legs."

McNabb was examined for a sports hernia last week, but Reid said his injury is an abdominal strain. It's possible he could have more tests this week.

"If it's a possibility that being out there, I can't damage it any worse, then I'll be out there," McNabb said.

McNabb's 4-yard pass to Owens put the Eagles ahead for the first time early in the third quarter, and Akers made the extra point for a 13-10 lead. DeLawrence Grant was penalized for roughing the passer on third down, prolonging the drive leading to Owens' 100th score, including two on runs.

Known for his flamboyant celebrations, Owens again was low-key this week, though he did wiggle his hips a little and flip the ball.

A 62-yard pass to Westbrook set up Westbrook's 5-yard TD catch on a shovel pass that made it 20-10 late in the third period.

Sebastian Janikowski hit a 26-yard field goal. But after L.J. Smith fumbled at Oakland's 2, the Raiders drove to the Eagles 19 and Janikowski missed a 37-yarder. He hit the left upright on a 49-yard attempt earlier.

Moss helped set up Philadelphia's first score by dropping a long pass that would have allowed Oakland to convert a third-and-9 from its 5. Westbrook then ran in from the 18 to complete a 51-yard drive. Simoneau, who made an extra point last week, couldn't convert this time.

Once the Raiders finally got the ball after three kickoffs to start the game, they had little trouble finding the end zone on an 8-yard pass from Collins to LaMont Jordan. The Eagles were offside on the first two kickoffs by Akers, and Bartrum then kicked off out of bounds, which gave Oakland the ball at midfield.

After Akers' second kickoff, he collapsed to the ground, grabbing his leg and needed help getting off the field.

The Eagles signed Todd France to the practice squad earlier in the week, but still decided to go with Akers.


  • Eagles DT Darwin Walker, who had 2½ sacks in the first two games, didn't play because of a thigh injury, which allowed first-round pick Mike Patterson to get his first career start. Patterson got his first sack. * Westbrook had 161 combined yards in the second half. * Raiders TE Courtney Anderson caught five passes for 100 yards. * The Eagles are undefeated at home (9-0) with Owens in the lineup.

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