Monday Morning Review

Sunday, September 7, 2008 ·

In the season opener for the 2008 Philadelphia Eagles, they flew high. The Eagles took care of the visiting St. Louis Rams, winning easily 38-3.

Offense: Donovan McNabb shook any suspicion of being rusty, washed up, or what ever the critics dubbed him to be. He was sharp, accurate, agile, and poised, showing shades of the McNabb we all remember. He threw for an impressive 361 yards and 3 TDs, completing 21 of 33 passes. Kevin Kolb looked decent too in his debut as he threw 5/6 for 53 yards.

Brian Westbrook was excellent too, taking a lot of attention away from the receivers. He ran for 91 yards on 19 carries and scored a touchdown. He also caught a touchdown pass from McNabb on a shovel pass in the first.

Offensively, I would have liked to have seen the Eagles establish the run a little more, but they could not help but continue to exploit the pass defense of St. Louis. McNabb looked great on the deeper routes as he put the ball only in spots where his receivers could make the play on it. The offense will face a big test next week in Dallas. [JE]

The position that impressed the most were the wide receivers. DeSean Jackson, Greg Lewis, and Hank Baskett all had over 100 yards receiving. Baskett had the only TD of the receiving corps. His TD came on a 90 yard pass in the 2nd quarter. LJ Smith had 5 catches for 39 yards and a TD. Westbrook had the first TD thrown by McNabb.

LJ Smith proved quickly how much he was missed in the red zone last year with a nice touch down catch in the first quarter. For the Eagles offense to continue to be prosperous, they will need a healthy TE of Smith's caliber. Multiple weapons on the field at once helped out the young receiving corps. [JE]

The offense as a whole had 522 yards, 414 passing. The offensive didn't allow one sack, keeping McNabb on his feet most of the game. As a whole, this unit looked very good, good news going into a big week 2 match up versus Dallas.

Defense: The Eagles defense may be their best of the three units. Today they shut down arguably a top 10 QB, a top 5 RB, and a top 10 WR. The defensive line got good pressure on Marc Bulger, forcing him to make bad throws and forcing the o-line to jump early. They racked up 4 sacks, with Quinton Mikell, Stewart Bradley, and Dan Klecko getting a sack and Mike Patterson and Darren Howard splitting one.

Could the Eagles secondary be nicknamed the "super secondary"? Asante Samuel made his presence felt early as he knocked down a few passes and nearly had two interceptions. The defense had no turnovers, but they forced St. Louis to punt 10 times.

Stewart Bradley led the team in tackles, a sign that he is going to be a force in the run defense as they held Stephen Jackson to 40 yards on 14 carries.

Normally, we've been used to the bend, but don't break defense that had to rely on turnovers or allowing only field goals. Today, the defense didn't even bother to bend, they just dominated. They only allowed 166 total yards and just flat out controlled the tempo and made the Rams try to adapt to their gameplan. [JE]

Special Teams: DeSean Jackson showed how dangerous he can truly be when he is given room to run with the 60 yard return he had in the 4th. Sav Rocca dropped 3/4 kicks inside the 20, thanks to Quinton Demps back-to-back stops at the 2. He also boomed a 59 yarder. David Akers made went 1/1, hitting a 23 yarder.

Both coverage teams did great today as they didn't give St. Louis good field position. [JE]

Eagles Best number: 361 (number of passing yards by McNabb)

Eagles Worst number: 77 reception yards allowed to TE Randy McMichael.

Eagles Best Play: McNabb's 90 yard touch down pass to Hank Baskett on third down.

Eagles Worst Play: Bulger's pass to Randy McMichael for 31 yards, setting up St. Louis' only score, a field goal

Offensive Player of the Game: Donovan McNabb

Defensive Player of the Game: Stewart Bradley

Special Teams Player of the Game: DeSean Jackson

Next Week: The Eagles is the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. It is an early match-up to help determine the king of the NFC.

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We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

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