The Eagles completely dominated yesterday on Thanksgiving, whupping up on the Turkeys....errr Cardinals 48-20. For most of the game, they were able to keep Arizona's dominant offense in check but did give up 3 TD drives. After jumping out to a commanding 21-0 lead in the second, the Cardinals marched down field easily to score on an 11 play, 81 yard drive, making the defense look bad at times. They also allowed one bad drive in the third and fourth.
It seems that Andy Reid's decision to bench Donovan McNabb for the entire second half last week really got into the head of the star quarterback. He was phenomenal in his return to the drivers seat as he cruised all day.
More after the jump:
Offense: The offense clicked on all cylinders yesterday. McNabb was doing the things we loved to see: passing accurately, avoiding the sack, and making big plays in the air and on the ground. He was sacked only once all game and had 24 yards rushing on 4 runs, which 3 of them came on the last drive of the second quarter. He completed 27/39 passes for 260 yards and 4 TDs. His best stat of the night: 0 interceptions.
His favorite targets were DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, and Hank Baskett. Jackson led the team with 6 catches for 76 yards and a TD. He also gave Big Red a chest bump after his score. During the post game press conference when asked about it, Reid said, "I thought a moth bounced off me."
Curtis had 5 catches for 59 yards, and Baskett had 5 catches for 42 yards, including a spectacular diving catch in the second quarter when McNabb pump faked the camera. Jasan Avant also had 4 catches for 25 yards and a TD. The frustrated Reggie Brown failed to make a catch and barely got any reps. His days may be numbered in Philly.
The star of the offense today was Brian Westbrook. He rushed 22 times for 110 yards and 2 TDs. He also had 3 catches for 20 yards and 2 TDs, giving him a total of 4. In the 4th, Kyle Eckel got some looks as he rushed 7 times for 24 yards. I don't completely hate Dan Klecko but I want to see the full back in Eckel get more reps as a blocker and see Klecko play on the D line because he as a couple sacks this year.
Defense: This unit played very good, minus the 3 scoring drives. They took the ball away from Arizona 4 times. They got an interception from Quinton Mikell, Brian Dawkins, and Jodelio Hansen. Akeem Jordan had the 4th turnover with a recovered fumble forced by a Dawkins hit. Dawkins let his presence known a couple times with big hits and big plays, showing shades of his youthful days but then looked bad on Arizona's scoring drives.
The defensive line was great against the run, but did not muster a sack, the first time all year the defense went sack-less. However, they forced Warner to hurry passes and it allowed the rest of the defense to intercept 3 passes.
If it wasn't for the interceptions, Warner had a good day completing 21/39 of his passes for 235 and 3 TDs with 3 interceptions. Most of his incompletions came on drops or last second plays by the secondary. Lito Sheppard was awful again as he got burnt so many times by Larry Fitzgerald that it was embarrassing. For a player who wants that big contract, he sure isn't playing like he deserves it. Editor's Note: Fitzgerald burns everyone and actually had one of his poorer games on the season. They've only been held under 23 points once since week 3...and that was last night.
Special Teams: Another solid game by this unit, minus one play by DeSean Jackson. On a punt to him in the third quarter, he thought the ball had bounced off of one of his teammates and he quickly dove on top of it but failed to hang on as Arizona was able to recover. It happens rookie.
Sav Rocca had a good game as he only had to see action 3 times, pinning Arizona inside the 20 two times. He averaged 42.7 yards a punt and had a day long of 58 yards. The Australian's average is up in his 2nd year as he is getting used to punting in America. David Akers continued his dominance inside the 45 yard mark as he nailed both his field goals.
Quinton Demps averaged 24 yards a return on 4 kick offs. Jackson fielded 3 punts and only averaged 3 yards, getting 9 yard return, a muff, and being shut down on the 3rd.
Best Number: 4 (number of TDs by McNabb and Westbrook)
Worst Number: 0 (number of sacks)
Best Play: even though it wasn't a game changer, Brian Dawkins intercepted his 34th career pass, tying Eric Allen and Bill Bradley for most in Eagles history.
Worst Play: the many times Anquan Boldin got open and made big catches. Editor's Note: The worst play was when DeSean Jackson went diving after the ball. However, at game speed it looked like it may have touched a player, so it was not exactly the dumbest play.
Next week. Philly plays the Giants in New York at 1pm.
Lehigh Valley Report
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