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Jags leave McNabb, Eagles in ill health

©Associated Press
October 7, 2002

JACKSONVILLE -- Nobody had to ask Donovan McNabb how he felt after this one.

Led by rookie John Henderson's three sacks, the Jaguars chased McNabb until he was literally sick to his stomach Sunday and continued their surprising start with a 28-25 victory over the Eagles.

McNabb threw for 230 yards and ran for 100 more for the Eagles but paid an extreme price. He was sacked five times, and toward the end of a late comeback effort from 28-10 down, he was so exhausted that he pulled away from center and threw up on the field.

"It was the strangest thing I've ever seen," Jaguars cornerback Fernando Bryant said.

On a steamy day, the Jaguars looked and felt great. They made all the big plays, including Bobby Shaw's 69-yard punt return for a touchdown, and coach Tom Coughlin made all the right calls when he had to.

The first came early in the fourth quarter when Coughlin went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 2 with a 14-10 lead. Stacey Mack broke Barry Gardner's tackle for the first down and scored from the 1 on the next play for a 21-10 lead.

"It was just a gut feeling," Coughlin said. "I feel like these people have to understand that we're here to win."

McNabb certainly got the picture. Chased all day, he got ill with 40 seconds left and the Eagles trying to slice into a 28-18 deficit.

The vomiting spell left the fourth-year quarterback, who last month signed a league-record $115-million contract, hooked up to an IV for about 20 minutes after the game.

McNabb said he felt a little queasy before kickoff.

"But just going through the course of the game, you're battling, not worrying about it," McNabb said. "It probably just caught up to me at the end."

With the Jaguars ahead 21-10, Henderson, a first-round draft pick out of Tennessee, tied the Jaguars' single-game sack record by tackling McNabb for a 5-yard loss.

On the ensuing punt, Shaw ran untouched into the end zone to put Jacksonville ahead 28-10 with 6:23 left.

Shaw came to Jacksonville from Pittsburgh expecting to start but found himself as the third receiver when Patrick Johnson beat him for the job. Shaw got the returner's job when Coughlin cut Damon Gibson for fumbling in the opener, a 28-25 loss to the Colts.

"I know I have to do the best I can with the cards I'm dealt," Shaw said. "Unfortunately, those are the cards."

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