Victims block out memories of huge gaffe

  • Welcome to America's Finest Sports Forum and Podcast! is one of the largest online communities covering San Diego sports. We host a regular podcast during the major seasons. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!


Jul 6, 2005

By Kevin Acee

October 24, 2005

PHILADELPHIA – The Chargers involved and their head coach said they had no idea what happened that allowed Quintin Mikell to run untouched between Steve Foley and Scott Mruczkowski to block Nate Kaeding's 40-yard field goal attempt.

"I don't know," Foley said. "We'll find out once we watch film."

The "I don't know" refrain was also uttered by Mruczkowski and Marty Schottenheimer.

The Eagles know what happened next.

"Usually it takes a funky bounce after a block, but this one came right up and it was, 'Whoa, look at this!' " said Matt Ware, who grabbed the ball on the run and sprinted 65 yards for the touchdown that gave the Eagles a 20-17 victory.

"I said, 'This is it,' and started running," Ware continued. "I saw the fans down in that end zone going crazy, and they were getting closer and closer and the people were getting bigger."

Fumbled chance
Reche Caldwell was on his way to a fabulous game, having tied his career high with four catches and amassing 97 yards.

But fighting for those final yards left him second-guessing himself.

"I was just trying to make a play," Caldwell said of his run after a catch that concluded with Sheldon Brown forcing a fumble that effectively ended the game. "I should have just gone down instead of trying to get upfield. He had a good play on the ball. I've got to hold on. . . . I didn't see him at all. I felt him, so I should have covered the ball up better than I did."

Replays appeared to show Caldwell's knee going down before the ball came out, but the fumble call was upheld after a replay review.

"It shouldn't even have come down to the referee's decision," Caldwell said. "I shouldn't have let the ball go."

Bad breaks
The Eagles' first touchdown was aided by penalties against the Chargers on two consecutive plays in which they hit quarterback Donovan McNabb in a way the officials deemed inappropriate.

Not only did the flags give the Eagles 30 yards, the second one negated a Foley fumble recovery downfield that would have given the Chargers the ball.

The first penalty came at the end of a McNabb scramble that barely netted a first down. Linebacker Shawne Merriman dived and hit McNabb just as the quarterback slid to the ground.

"I don't know if he's down for that first down," Merriman said. "The coaches understood. They saw what happened. If I didn't dive and try to make the tackle, he could have easily got around me. This guy can run. That's what he does. He runs the ball and makes things happen for them. If he goes for the extra yard, I've got to hit him."

On the next play, Randall Godfrey hit McNabb just after he released a pass, which was not the problem. Godfrey's continuing to drive McNabb into the ground is what drew the flag and ire from McNabb, who got up and went after Godfrey.

"I took a shot going for the first down and got upset then," McNabb said. "It just fueled over a little bit. As a player, I don't believe in taking shots."

Said Godfrey: "I thought he still had the ball. I'm going to be physical."

However, he understood why he drew the flag.

"You've got to realize he's an NFL star," Godfrey said. "They've got to keep those guys healthy."

After Keenan McCardell caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, he immediately took a towel, laid it over his arm and then held the ball aloft as if he were a waiter.

It was a re-enactment of Terrell Owens' celebration of his second-quarter touchdown catch.

"We're good friends," McCardell said. "I was messing with him."

The two talked after the game.

"He was laughing," McCardell said. "People don't know him. He's not a bad guy at all."

McCardell, who yesterday caught five passes for 78 yards and moved past Shannon Sharpe into 23rd place on the NFL's all-time receiving list with 10,134 yards, said he appreciates Owens' myriad antics after scoring.

"He really keeps you guessing," McCardell said. "When you get in the end zone like he does, he should (celebrate)."

Owens caught just two passes in the second half and was held to seven catches for 53 yards in the game, his second-lowest total of the season.

"He plays the game extremely hard," McCardell said. "You've got to give our secondary credit."

Lights on
Merriman made his first career start and finished fourth on the team with five tackles. He also had his second sack.

"I definitely feel more comfortable," he said. "Every week I'm going to try to improve. I have the potential to take over. That's what I plan on doing."

Hard-hitting Jue
It took Bhawoh Jue a while to grasp the defense. There was some consternation that he even won the free safety job.

But the fact is, Jue has improved every week, leads the team with three interceptions and yesterday timed a punishing hit on Eagles receiver Greg Lewis that forced Lewis to cough the ball up into the air, where linebacker Donnie Edwards was waiting for it for his second interception of the season.

"I'm a tackler," said Jue, who last week at Oakland drilled Jerry Porter, turning an apparent reception into an incompletion. "I'm not much of a hitter. You do it like that, though, that's like taking candy from a baby."

Nuts 'n' Bolts
Cornerback Sammy Davis suffered bruised ribs and left the game in the second quarter. He had made his second start in place of injured Drayton Florence (ankle) and for the second straight game left with an injury . . . An ankle injury also sidelined center Nick Hardwick. Bob Hallen made his first career start at center . . . With a season-high 299 yards, Drew Brees became the fourth quarterback to throw for more than 10,000 yards as a Charger, joining Dan Fouts, John Hadl and Stan Humphries.