PHILADELPHIA - A gimpy Donovan McNabb watched from the sideline in a hooded coat and oversized mittens as backup A.J. Feeley put the Philadelphia Eagles back in the playoff picture.
Feeley led a pair of second-half scoring drives after McNabb sprained his right ankle, Brian Westbrook had a career-best 148 yards rushing, and the Eagles beat Miami, 17-7, yesterday, dropping the Dolphins to 0-10.
Considering McNabb struggled in the first half and many in Philadelphia have called for his benching this season, the stage was set for a quarterback controversy.
Coach Andy Reid immediately squelched it.
"If Donovan's healthy, he's the quarterback," Reid said.
McNabb's status for next Sunday's night's game at New England is unknown. X-rays were negative, and McNabb stood on the sideline for the second half.
"It's a little sore. I'll be fine," McNabb said. "Could I have played? I don't think so."
"I'm going to make sure I'm right to get back out there," he said.
Led by Feeley, the Eagles (5-5) won consecutive games and improved to .500 for the first time. They moved within one game of Detroit (6-4) for the final playoff spot in the NFC.
Meanwhile, the lowly Dolphins moved closer toward becoming the first team to finish 0-16. Tampa Bay went 0-14 in 1976.
"I'm tired of searching for a positive. We need to win a game," guard Rex Hadnot said.
John Beck made his NFL debut for Miami, throwing for 109 yards. The 26-year-old rookie from BYU didn't commit any turnovers. Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt 87 yards for the Dolphins' only score.
With McNabb playing cheerleader, Feeley finally got the offense going on the first drive of the second half.
Feeley completed all three of his passes for 41 yards, including a 17-yard toss to Kevin Curtis on third and 7 to the Miami 13. After an offside penalty negated Feeley's fumble, Correll Buckhalter ran in from the 8 for a 10-7 lead.
Feeley connected with Jason Avant on a 4-yard TD pass to make it 17-7 early in the fourth period.
A goal-line stand preserved the 10-point lead. The Dolphins had a first down at the 1, but didn't move any closer after two runs and a pass. Then defensive end Juqua Thomas, starting for the benched Jevon Kearse, stopped Jesse Chatman for a 13-yard loss on fourth down.
The Eagles took over with just under seven minutes left and Miami didn't get the ball again until the final minute.
Feeley finished 13 of 19 for 116 yards, one TD, and one interception. Westbrook had a career-best 32 carries. His previous high in yards was 141 against the Giants last January, and his most carries were 26 against Dallas last December.