PHILADELPHIA – Desperate for a big play, the Philadelphia Eagles got one from an unlikely source.

Quintin Mikell blocked a field goal and Matt Ware returned it 65 yards for a touchdown with 2:25 left, leading the Eagles to a 20-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

LaDainian Tomlinson was held to a career-low 7 yards rushing on 17 carries and his NFL-tying record streak of consecutive games scoring a touchdown ended at 18.

Drew Brees rallied the Chargers from a 10-0 deficit with a pair of TD passes, but San Diego couldn’t put the game away after the Eagles failed to convert a fourth-and-1 at their own 30 late in the game.

Mikell leaped in the air to swat away Nate Kaeding’s 40-yard attempt, Ware picked it up after one bounce and raced into the end zone.

The Chargers drove to Philadelphia’s 19 on the ensuing possession, but Sheldon Brown stripped Reche Caldwell and Darwin Walker recovered.

In a strange game that featured a ton of flags, including several that weren’t penalties, the stadium’s fire alarm went off late in the fourth quarter and fans were asked to head for the exits – but very few complied and play resumed with no delay. It wasn’t immediately known what set off the sirens.

Donovan McNabb set a team record with 35 completions in 54 attempts for 287 yards and one TD pass, and Terrell Owens caught his 100th career TD pass as the Eagles improved to 4-2.

McNabb, playing through a sports hernia that will require surgery, broke Randall Cunningham’s record of 34 completions against Washington in 1989 as the Eagles’ pass-heavy offense had just 10 rushing attempts, excluding McNabb’s scrambles and kneel-downs.

In his worst game as a pro, Tomlinson, who came in with 652 yards rushing and 13 TDs combined, lost yards on each of his first four carries and didn’t have positive yards until the fourth quarter. He shares the NFL record for consecutive games scoring touchdowns with Baltimore’s Lenny Moore, who scored in 18 straight from 1963-65.

Shut down for the first 21/2 quarters, the Chargers relied on Brees’ short passing to come back from a 10-0 deficit. Brees tossed a 19-yard TD pass to Keenan McCardell to cut the deficit to 10-7 late in the third quarter, and Antonio Gates’ 8-yard TD catch on the third play of the fourth quarter gave San Diego a 14-10 lead.

The Chargers (3-4) were seeking to win their second game against a conference champion on the road. They had an impressive 41-17 victory over two-time Super Bowl champion New England on Oct. 2 that ended the Patriots’ 21-game winning streak at Gillette Stadium.

The Eagles, who haven’t scored in the first quarter since Week 2 against San Francisco, needed plenty of help to find the end zone.

A penalty on Randall Godfrey for roughing the passer negated a fumble by L.J. Smith that was recovered by San Diego. The normally mild-mannered McNabb got in Godfrey’s face after he was driven hard into the ground, but backed away before a confrontation ensued. It was the second roughing call against the Chargers during the drive.

A few plays later, McNabb scrambled around and found Owens for a 4-yard TD catch as the Eagles took a 7-0 lead with 4:52 left in the first half. Owens, known for his flamboyant celebrations, pulled out a towel, wiped down the ball and walked away holding the ball up to the crowd as if he were a waiter serving a dish.

AP-ES-10-23-05 1653EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.