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Third-string QB does just enough to spark Eagles

©Associated Press

December 2, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- Backed by a dominant defense, the Eagles proved they can win with their No. 3 quarterback.

The Rams still haven't won without theirs.

Bobby Taylor returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown and third-string quarterback A.J. Feeley did just enough to help Philadelphia in a rematch of last season's NFC championship game.

The East-leading Eagles shut down St. Louis' once-potent offense, forcing five turnovers and sacking Kurt Warner eight times, including four by backup defensive end N.D. Kalu.

Feeley, starting his first game since his junior season at Oregon in 1999, was 14-of-30 for 181 yards and a lost fumble. He played because Donovan McNabb is out with a broken right ankle and Koy Detmer has a dislocated left elbow.

"It felt great. It's been a long time since I played a whole game," said Feeley, who started eight games as a junior before getting hurt and losing his job to Joey Harrington.

Warner, the league MVP last season, was 20-for-42 for 218 yards and two interceptions. He also lost a fumble in the first quarter and lost 9 yards when he dropped the ball on a pump fake.

The Rams, who beat the Eagles 29-24 in the conference title game 11 months ago, are 0-6 when Warner starts. They won five straight when No. 3 quarterback Marc Bulger stepped in while Warner and backup Jamie Martin were injured.

"We made mistakes all across the board," said Warner, whose right hand was wrapped in ice after the game. "In the past, we've always been able to overcome it. For whatever reason this year, we haven't."

The Eagles took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter when Taylor stepped in front of a pass intended for Torry Holt and ran it back for a score.

David Akers made a 31-yard field goal with 4:59 left in the first half. Jeff Wilkins' 22-yard kick cut it to 10-3 right before halftime.

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