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Monday, September 14, 2009

Eagles Cruise Passed Carolina, 38-10

The Eagles shocked plenty of people, including me, by coming out in their season opener and spanking the Carolina Panthers. Less shocking is the fact that Donovan McNabb went down with an injury that could sideline him for several weeks.

Despite the 38-10 score, there really wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about with the Eagles, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The fact is that the Eagles sustained only one scoring drive, with all of their other points being scored or set-up by the defense and special teams. In fact, two of their three offensive touchdowns and a field goal, which could easily be seen as a failed offensive drive, were scored after the defense got a turnover and delivered the ball to the offense inside Carolina’s 35 yard line.

Before he was injured McNabb only threw for 79 yards, which did include 2 TDs but also an interception. And once again, fair or not, the question of whether McNabb can stay healthy for any length of time is a real issue.

Kevin Kolb’s relief appearance did nothing to squash doubts that he’s ready to start in the NFL, and even in a game that was decided long before the final gun no one on the Eagles rushed for more than Brian Westbrook’s 64 yards.

Even the defense’s performance is tempered by the fact that Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme threw 5 interceptions in their playoff game last season – in other words, his previous game – and had three other games last year with more than one pick.

I don’t want to be a “glass half empty guy” – Philadelphia already has too many of them. A win is a win, especially with the Eagles on opening day. DeSean Jackson ran back another punt for a touchdown, and continues to be an exciting offensive weapon. They ended up not needing Westbrook, and there is certainly no reason to over use him. And there are signs the defense may be just fine without Jim Johnson.

It was a solid win for the Eagles. Let’s just hope it didn’t cost McNabb too much time, and that it wasn’t a more of a statement about where the Panthers headed.

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