4th and 26

Last updated
4th and 26
Philly (45).JPG
Lincoln Financial Field, the site of the game
1234OTTotal
GB14003017
PHI07010320
DateJanuary 11, 2004
Stadium Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Referee Ed Hochuli
Attendance67,707 [1]
TV in the United States
Network Fox
Announcers Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Cris Collinsworth

4th and 26 was an American football play that occurred on Sunday, January 11, 2004, during the National Football League's 2003–04 playoffs. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] The play occurred during the fourth quarter of a divisional playoff game between the visiting Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

National Football League Professional American football league

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

The National Football League playoffs for the 2003 season began on January 3, 2004. The postseason tournament concluded with the New England Patriots defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, 32–29, on February 1, at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Contents

The NFC East champion and top-seeded Eagles were coming off an opening round bye while the fourth-seeded, NFC North champion Packers were the visiting team, coming off an overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks.

The National Football Conference – Eastern Division or NFC East is one of the four divisions of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). It currently has four members: the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Washington Redskins.

The National Football Conference – Northern Division or NFC North is one of the four divisions of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Nicknamed the "Black & Blue Division" for the rough and tough rivalry games between the teams, it currently has four members: the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. The NFC North was previously known as the NFC Central from 1970 to 2001. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were previously members, from 1977, one year after they joined the league as an expansion team, until 2001 when they moved to the NFC South.

The 2003 Seattle Seahawks season was the franchise's 28th season in the National Football League, The second season in Qwest Field and the fifth under head coach Mike Holmgren. After going 31–33 in his first four years as head coach, the Seahawks went undefeated at home for the first time in franchise history and improved to 10–6, thus making the NFC playoffs as a wild card team, the first of nine playoff appearances in twelve seasons. However, the team fell 33-27 to the Green Bay Packers in the opening round due to an interception returned for a touchdown by Green Bay's Al Harris in overtime. Following the season, Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle retired after 14 seasons.

Game summary

Midway through the first quarter, Packers linebacker Nick Barnett recovered a fumble from Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb on the Eagles 40-yard line, and Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Robert Ferguson on the next play. James Thrash returned the ensuing kickoff 36 yards to the 44-yard line. Then McNabb made up for his mistake with a 41-yard run to the Packers 15. But the drive stalled at the 14-yard line and ended with no points when David Akers missed a 30-yard field goal attempt. After the missed field goal, Ahman Green rushed three times for 31 yards before Favre threw his second touchdown pass to Ferguson, giving the Packers a 14–0 lead with 1:16 left in the first quarter.

Nick Barnett American football player

Nicholas Alexander Barnett is a former American football linebacker. He played college football for Oregon State University, and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He has played professionally for the NFL's Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins. With the Packers, he won Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Donovan McNabb American football player, quarterback

Donovan Jamal McNabb is an American former football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons, primarily with the Philadelphia Eagles. Before his NFL career, he played football and basketball for Syracuse University. The Eagles selected him with the second overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft, and McNabb went on to play 11 seasons with the team, followed by a year each with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings.

Brett Favre former American football quarterback

Brett Lorenzo Favre is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He was a 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in 1991, Packers from 1992 to 2007, New York Jets in 2008, and Minnesota Vikings from 2009 to 2010. Favre was the first NFL quarterback to pass for 500 touchdowns, throw for 70,000 yards, complete 6,000 passes, and attempt 10,000 passes.

In the second quarter, McNabb led the Eagles on a scoring drive, completing five consecutive passes for 77 yards, including a 45-yard pass to Todd Pinkston. On the last play, his 7-yard touchdown pass to Duce Staley cut it to 14–7. Green Bay took the kickoff and drove 67 yards to the Eagles 1-yard line, featuring a 33-yard run by Green, but on fourth down, Green tripped on guard Mike Wahle's leg and was tackled for no gain. The Packers turned the ball over on downs.

Todd Pinkston is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. He played five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles where he caught 184 passes for 2,816 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Eagles went to the playoffs every year that he started, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIX. He also is the cousin of former offensive lineman Jason Pinkston.

Duce Staley American football player and coach

Duce Staley is a former American football running back in the National Football League best known for his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles. He also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning Super Bowl XL with them against the Seattle Seahawks. He played college football at South Carolina. He is currently the assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles who won Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots.

Michael James Wahle is a former American football guard who played eleven seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Navy. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 1998 NFL Supplemental Draft. A Pro Bowl selection in 2005, Wahle also played for the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks.

Late in the third quarter, the Eagles drove 88 yards in 8 plays to tie the game, despite two 10-yard penalties against them on the drive. McNabb was responsible for all of the yards on the drive, rushing for 37 yards and completing four passes for 72, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Pinkston that tied the game at 14 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Later, Antonio Chatman's 10-yard punt return gave the Packers great field position on their own 49-yard line. On the next play, Favre threw a 44-yard completion to Javon Walker. Philadelphia's defense kept Green Bay out of the end zone, but Ryan Longwell kicked a 21-yard field goal to give them a 17–14 lead.

Antonio Tavaras Chatman is a former American football wide receiver and punt returner. He was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He played college football at Cincinnati.

Javon Walker American football player

Javon Liteff Walker is a former American football wide receiver. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers 20th overall of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State.

Ryan Longwell Player of American football

Ryan Walker Longwell, is a retired American football kicker. After playing college football for the California Golden Bears, he started his professional football career with the San Francisco 49ers, but never played a game for the franchise. He then played for the Green Bay Packers from 1997 to 2005. He played for the Minnesota Vikings from 2006 to 2011. He also played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks during the 2012 playoffs.

The play

The drive started with a 22-yard run by Duce Staley, but on the next play, McNabb threw for an incomplete pass. Subsequently, on second down the Eagles were penalized 5 yards for a false start. On the ensuing play, a sack pushed the Eagles back to their own 26 yard line, and on third down McNabb threw another incompletion. The Eagles, faced with a fourth down and 26 yards, needed to convert for a first down, with only 1:12 remaining and no timeouts available. The pass completed to Freddie Mitchell was completed for 28 yards.

On fourth down, the play called for a slant route to wide receiver Freddie Mitchell. [5] McNabb threw a perfect strike to Mitchell deep into the Packers' secondary. The Packers' coverage, a Cover 2 package, broke down and was sharply criticized by broadcaster Cris Collinsworth. Linebacker Nick Barnett, who was responsible for shallow coverage of Mitchell, decided to bite on the tight end. Inexplicably, Darren Sharper, who was partially responsible for deep coverage of Mitchell, played past the first down marker positioning himself for an interception rather than preventing any catch in front of the marker. The only player that was close to making a play, Packers' safety Bhawoh Jue, was playing the sidelines as is customary in Cover 2 defense and was too late to prevent a catch or first down. Mitchell completed a leaping reception and was brought down at the Packers 46, giving the Eagles a first down. [7] Broadcaster Joe Buck criticized the spot of the ball, as it appeared from the broadcast that Mitchell barely crossed the line to gain but the officials gave him some extra yards.

A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide", farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.

Freddie Mitchell All-American college football player, professional football player, wide receiver

Freddie Lee Mitchell Jr. is a former American football wide receiver who played for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons. He was chosen as a consensus All-American in 2000 while playing college football for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, and he spent four seasons as a member of the Eagles, culminating in an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIX following the 2004 NFL season.

Cris Collinsworth American football player, wide receiver, sports broadcaster

Anthony Cris Collinsworth is an American sports broadcaster and former professional American football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, during the 1980s. He played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as an All-American. He is currently a television sportscaster for NBC, Showtime, and the NFL Network and winner of 15 Sports Emmy Awards. He is also the owner of Pro Football Focus, a sports statistic monitoring service.

The play set up David Akers' 37-yard field goal attempt after McNabb ran for another first down. The field goal was good, and the game went into overtime, when Eagles safety Brian Dawkins was able to intercept an errant Brett Favre pass and return it 35 yards, setting up another Akers field goal try. The 31-yard kick was good, giving the Eagles a dramatic 20–17 victory and sent them to their third straight NFC Championship Game, which they lost to the Carolina Panthers.

Officials

See also

Related Research Articles

The National Football League playoffs for the 2004 season began on January 8, 2005. The postseason tournament concluded with the New England Patriots defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, 24–21, on February 6, at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.

The National Football League (NFL)playoffs for the 2002 season began on January 4, 2003. The postseason tournament concluded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, 48–21, on January 26, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.

The National Football League playoffs for the 2001 season began on January 12, 2002. The postseason tournament concluded with the New England Patriots defeating the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, 20–17, on February 3, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The National Football League playoffs for the 1995 season began on December 30, 1995. The postseason tournament concluded with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, 27–17, on January 28, 1996, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

2006 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 2006 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 74th season in the National Football League, and the eighth under head coach Andy Reid. the Eagles improved on their 6–10 record from 2005 and finishing 10–6, reclaiming the NFC East, and winning a playoff game at home. The season ended in a Divisional Round playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints, but was seen as a success in the face of the adversity of losing starting quarterback Donovan McNabb to injury in Week 11.

2006 Green Bay Packers season

The 2006 Green Bay Packers season was the franchise's 88th season overall and their 86th in the National Football League.

2003 Green Bay Packers season

The 2003 Green Bay Packers season was the franchise's 85th season overall and their 83rd in the National Football League.

The 2004 Philadelphia Eagles season was the 72nd season for the team in the National Football League (NFL). The Eagles had been one of the most successful teams in the league after the Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb era began in 1999, making it to the playoffs for four straight seasons and to the NFC Championship Game in 2001, 2002, and 2003. However, the team could not reach the Super Bowl, despite being favored in the final two NFC title games. In the offseason, this already championship-level team was reinforced on both sides of the ball by the free agent additions of wide receiver Terrell Owens, defensive end Jevon Kearse, and middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, their third round draft pick in 1998.

2007 Philadelphia Eagles season

he 2007 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 75th season in the National Football League, and the ninth under head coach Andy Reid. The team failed to improve on their 10-6 record from 2006, finishing with an 8–8 record, a last-place finish in the NFC East and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

The 2005 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 73rd season in the National Football League, and the seventh under head coach Andy Reid. After making the playoffs every season since 2000 and winning the past four NFC East crowns, the Eagles failed to improve on their 13-3 record from 2004 and fell to six wins and ten losses, missing the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The main cause of this is due to Injuries and the contract disputes with Terrell Owens, as a result it cause chaos upon the Eagles' chances in their post-Super Bowl season. In the 2004 season, Philadelphia had swept its division rivals, but they became the first team to reverse that feat in its next season, going 0–6 against the NFC East in 2005.

The 2001 St. Louis Rams season was the 64th season for the team in the National Football League and seventh season in St. Louis. The Rams set a franchise record for wins in a season (14), while also going a perfect 8–0 on the road. Quarterback Kurt Warner would go on to win his second league MVP award. Along with Warner's 1999 MVP award and Marshall Faulk's 2000 award, the Rams had amassed the last three NFL MVP awards.

The 2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 26th season in the National Football League.

The 2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 26th season in the National Football League.

The National Football League playoffs for the 2007 season began on January 5, 2008. The postseason tournament concluded with the New York Giants defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, 17–14, on February 3, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

2008 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 2008 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 76th season in the National Football League, and the tenth under head coach Andy Reid. The Eagles improved upon their 8–8 record and a fourth-place finish in the NFC East in the 2007 season by going 9–6–1 and earning the 6th seed in the NFC Playoffs. The team lost in the Conference Championship game. 2008 was Andy Reid's tenth season as the coach of the Eagles.

The 2003 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 71st in the league. They matched their previous season's record, going 12–4, however, they were again upset in the NFC Championship Game. The team made the playoffs for the fourth straight year, won its third straight NFC East division title, and had the NFC's top record for the second straight season.

2002 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 2002 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 70th in the National Football League. The team improved upon their previous output of eleven wins, going 12–4 and making the playoffs for the third consecutive year. This is also their last season playing at The Vet.

2009 Philadelphia Eagles season

he 2009 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 77th season in the National Football League, and the eleventh under head coach Andy Reid. After advancing to their fifth NFC Championship game in eight years, the Eagles improved upon their 9–6–1 record and a second-place finish in the NFC East in their 2008 campaign. For head coach Andy Reid, this was his 11th season as the coach of the Eagles.

2010 Green Bay Packers season

The 2010 Green Bay Packers season was the 92nd season overall and their 90th season in the National Football League. Although they finished with only a respectable 10–6 record, good for a second-place finish in the NFC North, the Packers never lost a game by more than four points, and never trailed by more than seven the entire season, becoming the only team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to accomplish this. All six of their regular season losses were by a combined 20 points. They entered the playoffs as the NFC's sixth seed. After defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 21–16 in the Wild Card round, the Atlanta Falcons 48–21 in the Divisional round and long time rivals, Chicago Bears 21–14 in the NFC Championship, the team advanced to Super Bowl XLV in which they faced the AFC's 2nd seed Pittsburgh Steelers. The Packers defeated the Steelers 31–25 to win their fourth Super Bowl and 13th NFL championship. The Packers became the second overall team after the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, and the first NFC team, to win the Super Bowl as a sixth seed, as well as becoming the second NFC team to win three straight road playoff games.

References

  1. "Green Bay Packers vs Philadelphia Eagles–National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). National Football League. March 7, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  2. Anderson, Dave (January 16, 2004). "Fourth-and-26 Has No Meaning Yet for Eagles". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  3. Reid, Ron (January 15, 2004). "'Fourth and 26' joins some famous names in big-play annals". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  4. Brookover, Bob (December 2, 2004). "Fourth and 26 Forever: The Eagles will never forget Freddie Mitchell's catch. They just wish it led to something bigger". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  5. 1 2 Fitzpatrick, Frank (January 7, 2011). "Recalling Eagles' Fourth and 26". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  6. Frank, Reuben (January 5, 2011). "Donovan to FredEx: Fourth-and-26 revisited". Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  7. "fantasyinfocentral.com". Archived from the original on 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2006-08-20.