Stopping Brian Wesbtrook Will Be Key for KC

Quick, name the biggest threat on the Philadelphia Eagles offense. I'll give you a hint. He gets more touches than some quarterbacks in the NFL. Nothing? I'll give you another hint. He gained over 200 yards and scored two touchdowns last week against the Oakland Raiders. If you said Brian Westbrook, give yourself a gold star.

Brian Westbrook is the most versatile threat in the NFL. Period. The Kansas City Chiefs are going to have their hands full against the Eagles running back out of Villanova. Westbrook is the most versatile back in the league, bar none. In the mold of Marshall Faulk and Priest Holmes, the Eagles use Westbrook all over the field, spread out wide, in the backfield and in the slot.

Of all the offensive players on the Eagles roster, Westbrook is the one that will give the Chiefs fits. Sure, Terrell Owens is explosive and one the best wide receivers in the game, but to a certain extent, you always know where he's going to be on the field. Westbrook, on the other hand, could be anywhere at anytime, and just because he starts a play at a certain position, doesn't necessarily mean he'll stay there.

Although he's overshadowed by other players on the Eagles team, Westbrook is supremely talented. At 5'8" and 203 pounds, he's very similar in stature to the Chiefs own Priest Holmes. Like Holmes, Westbrook uses his shorter stature to his advantage, hiding behind offensive linemen before picking his spot. Westbrook also can be a shifty runner, like Holmes, and uses his vision and patience to set up plays.

As a receiver, Westbrook can catch the short running back routes out of the backfield and has the hands and speed to spread out and make plays as a receiver. He has the ability to make game changing plays. In last week's game against the Raiders, Westbrook converted a third and one situation into a 62-yard reception for a touchdown.

Westbrook brings balance to the Eagles offense. With the presence of Owens, Westbrook forces defenses to play honest, preventing them from specifically keying on the preternaturally talented receiver. Eagles head coach Andy Reid does a great job of maximizing Westbrook's ability, consistently placing him in positions where he can make plays. Also, Westbrook serves as an excellent safety valve for quarterback Donovan McNabb in the passing game.

With McNabb slowed by a groin injury, Westbrook becomes even more valuable to the Eagles. Coach Reid needs to get the ball out of McNabb's hands quickly, to prevent him from taking hits from the Chiefs' defensive line and linebackers. The Eagles should try to get Westbrook going early from a variety of positions to confuse and slow the Chiefs' attack.

The Kansas City defense will have their hands full come Sunday in Arrowhead. Westbrook will be primed to go, and the Chiefs better find out where he is early and make sure someone accounts for him on every play. If not, it will be a long day for the Chiefs defense. Number 36 will be ready.

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