Sunday, September 07, 2008

McNabb, DJax Batter Rams

The Eagles jumped on the Rams from the opening possession and never looked back in beating the Rams by a score of 38 - 3.

The game featured a return to form for Donovan McNabb, who hit 7 different receivers en route to a 21 for 33 day, good for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns. The game was also something of a coming out party for the rookie receiver out of Cal, DeSean Jackson. Jackson caught 6 balls for 106 yards and made his presence felt on special teams with a couple of good punt returns.

The Eagles opened the scoring on the first drive of the game on a 1 yd shovel pass from McNabb to Brian Westbrook. That drive took 6 plays to go 80 yards and the Eagles made it look easy. After a subsequent Rams possession and punt, the Eagles scored again, this time on an 11 play, 52 yard drive that culminated in a 5 yd TD pass from McNabb to LJ Smith. These two scoring plays accounted for all of the scoring in a crisply played 1st quarter for the home team.

The 2nd quarter featured possessions on both sides, where the teams just traded punts. It was difficult to tell if the Rams were that bad offensively or if the Eagles played that well defensively. The Eagles got the lone TD of the 2nd quarter on a 90 yard catch and run by WR Hank Baskett. The score took place with about a minute to go in the half and the Eagles took a 21 - 0 lead into halftime.

The 3rd quarter opened and was all Eagles. Tony Hunt scored on a 1 yard plunge culminating a 9 play, 56 yard drive that was keyed by a 25 yard pass down the right sideline from McNabb to DeSean Jackson.

Jackson was also prominently involved in the Eagles' next scoring, when he returned a punt 60 yards to the Rams' 9 yard line. Unfortunately, the Eagles could not punch it in and had to settle for a 23 yd Akers field goal.

The scoring continued in the 4th quarter with a Brian Westbrook 6 yard run that finished a 7 play, 76 yard drive to make the score 38 - 0. From this point, the Eagles put in the 2nd team to finish up the game.

While the offensive exploits will grab all of the headlines, the defense compiled some pretty good numbers. They allowed only 8 first downs and 166 yards of total offense. They did not force any turnovers, but did manage to sack Mark Bulger 4 times. MLB Stew Bradley was active throughout the game, with 8 tackles and a sack.

Did You Notice?

- 3 Eagles receivers with 100 yards games (Jackson 106 yds, G. Lewis 104 yds, Baskett 102 yds).

- Sheldon Brown CRUSHED Stephen Jackson on a pass that Jackson caught down the seam in the 2nd quarter. Jackson lost his helmet on the play and danced around like he scored a touchdown, but make no mistake, Jackson felt every bit of that shot.

- DeSean Jackson's first career catch: 47 yards. Remember when we thought that Jackson wouldn't make much difference as a receiver his rookie year? Remember?

- Speaking of Jackson, he almost took a punt to the house at the 10:28 mark in the 3rd quarter. A shoestring tackle was all that was between Jackson and a punt return TD. He almost had another TD later in the 3rd quarter at the 3:26 mark when he turned in a 60 yard return to set the Eagles up with 1st and goal at the Rams' 9 yardline.

- That interference call against Quinton Mikell in the 2nd quarter, with the Rams backed down to their 2 yard line, was a ridiculous call.

- Asante Samuel should have had a pick 6 on the Rams' second possession in the 2nd half.

- Mark Bulger looks like a QB waiting to get hit as he sits in the pocket. If he's your fantasy football QB, go ahead and feel free to drop him.

- On the drive that the Eagles settled for a field goal, McNabb had an opportunity to run the ball in for a TD, but tried a shovel pass that (obviously) did not work. I suspect if the score were closer, McNabb would have run that ball.

- The Eagles ran (sort of) a jumbo backfield with both Tony Hunt and Dan Klecko in the backfield when they scored their 4th TD.

- Kevin Kolb doesn't look half-bad in doing some mopup work. This game definitely had the feel of a 5th preseason game, so I guess it was appropriate that Kolb spelled McNabb at the end. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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