EFL Home 2005 Season

« Week 14 EFL 2005 Playoffs — Semi-Finals Championship »



  1. Providence Steam Roller (10-4), Northern Div. champion
  2. Richmond Rebels (9-5), Southern Div. champion
  3. Philadelphia Lakers (8-6), Central Div. champion
  4. Washington Capitols (8-6), wild card — 2nd, Southern


FavoriteSpread (O/U)Underdog
Saturday, November 19
RICHMOND2½ (42)Philadelphia
Sunday, November 20
PROVIDENCE4 (46)Washington
home team in CAPS

Regular Season Head-to-Head

  • Providence 25, Washington 6— week 10 at Providence
    Box   Drive Chart

  • Richmond 23, Philadelphia 20 — week 14 at Richmond
    Box   Drive Chart


These players are injured and will miss the playoffs:
  • DT Cornelius Griffin, RIC
  • TE Jerame Tuman, RIC
  • WR Tim Carter, WAS

Semi-Finals Results

November 19, 2005
at Richmond
Richmond 20, Philadelphia 16   Box   Drive Chart
Donovan McNabb completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Marshall Faulk with 0:52 to go to lift Richmond (10‑5) over Philadelphia (8‑7) and into the championship game.

The winning score was redemption for Faulk. His fumble with 8:20 left and the score tied at 13 gave a short field to the Lakers, and they drove to the Rebels 15 before settling for a 32‑yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes and a 16‑13 lead.

Philadelphia dominated the first half but failed to put away the Rebels. The Lakers rolled up 252 yards and held Richmond to only 96, but the Lakers could manage only a 10‑3 lead at the break. The Rebels were able to stay in the game thanks to these failures on the Lakers’ part:

  • Tynes missed field goal attempts of 45 and 38 yards.
  • Jamal Lewis marred a productive game — 131 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown — by losing a fumble on 3rd and goal at the Richmond 3 with 9:08 remaining in the second quarter.
  • Given the ball on the Rebels 22 in the last minute of the half thanks to a McNabb fumble — and subsequently having the drive prolonged by a roughing the kicker penalty — the Lakers were able to get only a 25‑yard Tynes field goal.

The Lakers offense went south in the second half as Brett Favre missed open receivers several times on his way to a 19-for-42 performance. Richmond tied the game at 10 with 8:31 left in the third quarter on an 8‑yard touchdown pass from McNabb to Muhsin Muhammad and took the lead five minutes later on a 36‑yard boot by Matt Stover.

At that point Philadelphia sustained its only drive of the second half, moving 54 yards in 10 plays, and tieing the score, 13‑13, on a 37‑yard Tynes field goal. Neither team could muster a first down on their next possessions. Then on first down Faulk made his miscue. The recovery by Mike Vrabel put the Lakers in business at the Richmond 45. They regained the lead nine plays later.

Trailing by three, McNabb and the Rebels started from their own 27 with 3:50 to go. On 3rd and 2, McNabb found Amani Toomer for the first down, and then hooked up with Toomer again, this time for 14 yards to the Philadelphia 45.

A third consecutive pass to Toomer fell incomplete. Then Faulk played the redemption card.

  • Two short Faulk runs moved Richmond to the 38 but put the hosts in a do-or-die 4th and 3 situation.
  • Faulk came through. Running behind tackle Kevin Barry, Faulk powered 9 yards putting the Rebels within range of a potential Stover tying field goal.
  • Running the hurry-up offense with 1:15 to go, McNabb called Faulk’s number on a quick screen to the right. The running back found open field after the catch and scooted down to the 14.
  • Staying in the hurry-up, McNabb caught the Lakers off-balance with the same play. Faulk made the catch on the 9 and high-tailed it for the pylon and the winning score.

A touchback left Philadelphia with 0:37 and three timeouts to work with. On first down, trying to make a play to Plaxico Burress, Favre bashed his hand on the helmet of an oncoming rusher and had to leave the game. His replacement, Tommy Maddox, the starter for last season’s Lakers championship team, came in cold, and the Rebels defense refused to allow Maddox to get out of Park.

With the Richmond crowd howling, Aeneas Williams dropped Maddox just behind the line of scrimmage. Then Maddox tried to force the ball on a crossing route to Shaun McDonald who was being double-teamed. Will Allen got a break on the ball and made a diving interception to seal the deal with 0:15 left.

Back when the evening started, Philadelphia got the ball first and on 3rd down Favre hit Burress for 48 yards to the Rebels 22. Two plays later Jamal Lewis ran in from the 6 giving the Lakers a 7‑0 lead barely two minutes into the game.

In the 58 minutes that followed, Richmond refused to allow the visitors to reenter the end zone. That, paired with Faulk’s fourth quarter rags-to-riches scenario, enabled the Rebels to extend their seven game winning streak and advance to next Sunday’s championship game.


November 20, 2005
at Providence
Providence 27, Washington 20   Box   Drive Chart
With just 0:37 remaining, Marc Bulger sneaked in from the 1‑yard line to boost Providence (11‑4) past Washington (8‑7) and into the host role for the championship game against Richmond.

The winning score, which capped a 14‑play, 73‑yard drive, erased a 20‑19 Capitols lead. As an encore, Bulger sneaked for the two point conversion. The drive was aided near its conclusion by a pair of major penalties against the visitors.

Patience on offense was key for the Steam Roller. On both the winning drive and on the 17‑play, 71‑yard drive for a 24‑yard Doug Brien field goal that preceded the winning drive, Providence relied heavily on the running of Priest Holmes. They called on Holmes 13 times over the course of the two drives, and the running back responded with 42 timely, clock-eating yards. All told the Steam Roller held the ball for all but three minutes of the fourth quarter.

Holmes, who finished with 120 yards on 24 carries, also caught an 11-yard pass from Bulger on 4th and 5 from the Providence 32 on the first series of the game-winning drive.

Washington went out to an early seven point lead thanks to a Steam Roller turnover. On Providence’s first offensive play, Torry Holt, their leading receiver, caught a Bulger pass in the left flat. He was then hit and coughed up the ball. Will Peterson picked it up for the Capitols and advanced it to the Providence 22. Five plays later, on 3rd and 1 from the 3, Joe Burns ran up the middle and into the end zone.

Holmes burst 33 yards through the Washington defense for a touchdown early in the second quarter, but the Capitols blocked Brien’s point after attempt to stay in front, 7‑6. Washington took the ensuing kickoff and drove for a 42‑yard David Akers field goal, increasing their lead to four.

The Steam Roller responded with a nine-play, 80-yard drive. Derrick Blaylock jump-started the drive with 33 yards on three carries, while Holmes rested, and finished it by running off tackle into the end zone from the 1 with 3:39 to go in the half. In between, the Capitols were called for pass interference on a long pass to Holt, moving Providence from the Washington 40 to the 15.

The Blaylock touchdown gave the Steam Roller their first lead, 13‑10. They were able to maintain that lead into the break because Akers missed a 49‑yard field goal attempt on the last play of the half.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter. Then on the first play of the fourth quarter, the Capitols regained the lead, 20‑16, on a 9‑yard pass from Daunte Culpepper to tight end Brandon Manumaleuna.

Consuming eight minutes, Holmes and Providence drove to the Washington 2. Down by four points with 6:45 remaining, they decided to go for the touchdown on 4th and goal. They were whistled for offsides, though, and settled for Brien’s short field goal. The difference at that point was the blocked PAT back in the second quarter.

After the kickoff, Duce Staley of the Capitols got seven yards on first down. The Steam Roller defense then stiffened, throwing Staley for losses on second and third down, forcing Washington to punt and setting the stage for the final drive.

On 3rd and 9 from the Capitols 44 with 1:30 to go, Bulger tried to hit a quick slant to tight end Jeremy Shockey, who was his favorite target for the game with six catches for 46 yards. The pass fell incomplete, but Washington was called for roughing Bulger giving Providence a first down on the 29. Two plays later, the Capitols horse-collared Holmes after a five-yard gain. The personal foul penalty moved the ball to the 7.

Blaylock was stopped for no gain running off left tackle, but he immediately tried that path again and powered to the 1. On the next snap Bulger faked to fullback Dan Kreider and then threaded his way through open space created by Kreider into the end zone, sending the Providence faithful into spasms of joy. On the second play after the kickoff, Michael Hawthorne picked off Culpepper’s pass intended for Troy Brown to clinch the victory.

Bulger completed 16 of 24 passes for 170 yards. Culpepper was 17 for 29 for only 150 yards and a touchdown. In addition to the interception by Hawthorne, Dewayne Robertson also had one at Culpepper’s expense.