MARCUS HAYES, Daily News Staff Writer email@example.com
Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012, 12:56 AM
TAMPA - First, there was the one-handed, backward, sideline snatch for 20 yards that set up the the Eagles' field goal midway through the second quarter.
Second, there was the 39-yard balletic expression that set up the Eagles' first touchdown later in the same quarter.
Finally, there was the 22-yarder down the middle on fourth-and-5. That will be the one of the seven catches Jason Avant is remembered for in Sunday's 23-21 win.
The play began at the Bucs' 23, the Eagles trailing by five. The Birds needed yards, but they had just 16 seconds.
It took 6 for Avant to cross the middle of the field. He caught the ball, and, to him, more important, he held on to it.
He knew he hadn't scored. He knew only 10 seconds remained. He knew that if he allowed Buccaneers safety Mark Barron to strip him, even after the whistle blew, the game was over.
"We had to get everybody up to the line and spike it," Avant said. "I didn't even want to put it on the ground. One of those defenders 'accidentally' kicks it, and the game is over."
Avant tossed it to the nearest official, got lined up and watched Nick Foles spike it with 2 seconds left.
"Heady," said coach Andy Reid of Avant's goal-line execution.
The next play was for Jeremy Maclin. Avant was fine with that.
He had those seven catches, a career high; 133 yards; and, 2 seconds later, a win.
MARCUS HAYES Daily News Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org