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Goode's TD could've sparked Eagles, but didn't
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Najee Goode was sure it was the spark the Eagles needed. They all were.
“When Najee got the turnover and then the touchdown, it was a huge momentum lift for our team,” DeMeco Ryans said. “It felt like it was going to spark us to go ahead and take this game, but we couldn’t capitalize on it and finish the game out.”
Goode, the first player in franchise history whose father also played for the Eagles, scored the Eagles’ only touchdown in their 15-7 loss to the Giants on Sunday on a two-yard return of a botched punt snap.
Which means Goode, a former fifth-round draft pick of the Buccaneers, has outscored the entire Eagles’ offense over the last two weeks.
And he’s outscored his dad, John Goode, a tight end who spent two years in the NFL but never scored a touchdown.
It was a great play. It just wasn’t enough.
The Giants led 15-0 and faced a 4th-and-14 on their own 37-yard line with 4:11 left in the fourth quarter when they lined up to punt.
Brandon Boykin lined up on the far left of the Eagles’ defensive formation and sprinted past Jacquian Williams and toward punter Steve Weatherford when Zak DeOssie snapped the ball.
DeOssie, possibly sensing Boykin’s free rush, sent the snap sailing far over Weatherford’s head.
The ball bounded inside the Giants’ 5-yard line, where Weatherford appeared to try and kick it into the end zone, then over-ran the ball.
Boykin dove for the football while also blocking Weatherford out of the play and into the end zone, and Goode scooped it cleanly off the ground and, escorted by Kurt Coleman and B.J. Cunningham, ran two yards for the Eagles’ first touchdown since the fourth quarter of the Tampa game.
“I was just going to go hit him,” Goode said of Weatherford. “I was going to knock the mess out of him to get the ball into the end zone. I saw he tried to kick it and missed it with his foot, and Boykin did a good job of hitting him and knocking off.
“Kurt did a good job of getting penetration, so the [Giants'] punt team had to respect all three of us. Then the ball came through and I saw it and my eyes got big and I scooped it up.”
It was the Eagles’ first defensive touchdown since Juqua Parker had a 47-yard fumble recovery TD against the Jets in 2011.
And it was scored by a guy playing in his 11th NFL game.
“Late in the game, [special teams coach Dave] Fipp told me to try and make a play coming off the edge to see what they would do,” Boykin said.
“They saw me come off the edge and checked to something. I don’t know whether that distracted the snapper or something but he threw it over his head, and we made a play.”
Goode’s touchdown prevented the Eagles from being shut out for the first time since the last day of the 2009 season, when they lost 24-0 to the Cowboys, and for the first time at home since that 42-0 loss to the Seahawks in 2005 on the night the Eagles retired Reggie White’s number.
It was the first time a special teams touchdown prevented a shutout since the 2008 game in Baltimore, when Donovan McNabb got benched for Kevin Kolb at halftime, and Quintin Demps’ 100-yard kickoff return provided the Eagles’ only points in a 36-7 loss to the Ravens.
“I really thought that was the spark we needed,” Goode said. "At that big a moment in the game, I'm glad I made the play and gave our team a chance to still stay in the game."