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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Cleveland falls to Philly in overtime

The only sign that Terrell Owens didn’t have an issue with was the scoreboard.

David Akers kicked a 50-yard field goal in overtime and Donovan McNabb matched a career high with four touchdown passes — two to Owens — as the Philadelphia Eagles remained unbeaten with a 34-31 win over the Cleveland Browns yesterday.

Akers’ kick barely cleared the crossbar in front of Cleveland’s Dawg Pound with 5:02 remaining in OT as the Eagles (6-0) continued their best start since 1981.

They survived their stiffest test by far this season from the Browns (3-4), who made as many big plays as the Eagles and got a favorable call in the fourth quarter to force OT.

McNabb finished 28-of-43 for 376 yards, but set up Akers’ game-winner with a 28-yard run.

Owens, whose feud with Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia — his former San Francisco teammate — dominated the pregame hype, had four catches for 109 yards. He scored two TDs in the first half, and after each one, the controversial Owens, who has eight TD catches already this season, took exception with signs hanging in the stadium directed at him.

The brash wideout, who came out for pregame warmups escorted by security personnel and was the last Eagle to take the field after introductions, caught a 39-yard TD pass to give Philadelphia a 14-7 lead.

He celebrated by spiking the ball off a sign saying “T.O. has B.O.”

In the second quarter, Owens got behind cornerback Anthony Henry for an easy 40-yard TD reception to make it 21-10. This time, he ripped another sign targeting him off the wall and was flagged for excessive celebration.

Garcia went 21-for-36 with 236 yards and tied the game at 31 with 30 seconds to go in regulation on a 4-yard run.

That came after a questionable roughing call against Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, who was flagged on a fourth-and-7 play despite making minimal contact with Garcia.

The Browns had the ball just once in OT before punting to the Eagles, who are an NFL-best 28-7 on the road since 2000. On first down, McNabb couldn’t find anyone open and scrambled to the 50-yard line.

Dorsey Levens, who came in when Brian Westbrook went out with a bruised chest, ran the ball twice as the Eagles got to the 32. Akers the second-most accurate kicker in league history (82.8 percent) entering the season, then booted his winner for the NFC’s only unbeaten team.

Philadelphia trailed 24-21 after three periods, the first time in 23 quarters the Eagles were behind at the end of a quarter. They weren’t down long, though.

McNabb completed his fourth TD pass, shoveling a 2-yarder to tight end L.J. Smith on the second play of the fourth period to put Philadelphia ahead 28-24.

Cleveland’s Frisman Jackson fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Eagles got a 38-yard field goal from Akers.

Garcia’s 21-yard TD pass to Steve Heiden in the third quarter gave the Browns a 24-21 lead, putting Philadelphia behind in the second half for the first time this season.

The first half was an offensive shootout as the teams combined for 527 yards on offense. McNabb was 15-for-19 for 264 yards in the first 30 minutes as the Eagles took a 21-17 halftime lead.

The Browns were in danger of getting blown out in the second quarter, but linebacker Andra Davis picked off McNabb’s throw at the Cleveland 10.

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