Hot Topic & Player Notes: Eagles

Brian Westbrook finally got a chance to play the role of a typical running back Sunday in the Eagles' 19-14 win over the Green Bay Packers. Westbrook, an all-purpose back who is used as much as a receiver in the Eagles offense as he as is a runner, notched just the third 100-yard rushing performance of his career, punching out 117 yards on a season-high 21 carries.

"I have the ability to run routes as well as run the ball," Westbrook said. "Whatever way I touch the ball, I'm happy. I just want to touch the ball. But as a running back, you always want to run the ball first."

For much of the first half of the season, the Eagles and their pass-happy head coach, Andy Reid, eschewed the run. In the first 26 quarters this season, they threw the ball 388 times and ran it just 109. It was one of the most lopsided pass-run ratios in league history.

But that has changed significantly in the past several games. For the first time this season, the Eagles ran the ball more than they threw it (34 to 28) against the Packers. In the past 18 quarters, they've thrown it 157 times and run it 135 times.

They racked up 180 rushing yards against the Packers, which is a bit surprising considering that they had three starters on their offensive line with a total of two NFL starts between them.

"The games have been a little closer, and it's given us more opportunities to call some more running plays," Reid said.

Reid also doesn't want quarterback Mike McMahon, who has replaced injured Donovan McNabb, throwing the ball a great deal. McMahon completed just 12 of 28 passes against the Packers.


The Eagles took advantage of five Green Bay turnovers to snap a four-game losing streak and edge the Packers 19-14.

Philadelphia's pass defense has taken a beating this season, but it played well against Brett Favre and the Packers, intercepting Favre twice and holding him to 15 completions on 33 attempts.

Running back Brian Westbrook notched just the third 100-yard rushing game of his career, picking up 117 yards on 21 carries. He scored the Eagles' only touchdown, on a 27-yard run in the first quarter. The Eagles' other points came on four David Akers' field goals.


--LG Artis Hicks didn't play against Green Bay because of a knee injury. He was replaced by Adrien Clarke. Hicks should be ready for this week's game against Seattle, though Clarke is playing well.

--RB Lamar Gordon left the Green Bay game in the third quarter with a concussion and didn't return. Gordon had just 10 yards on three carries before getting hurt.

--RB Brian Westbrook doesn't seem to be having any durability problems. He had a season-high 27 touches against Green Bay and has 90 in the last four games.

--DT Sam Rayburn injured his shoulder against Green Bay and will have an MRI on Monday. He returned to the game and played.

--LT Todd Herremans, who got his first NFL start Sunday against Green Bay, held his own against Packers DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. The Eagles rushed for 180 yards, much of it to Herremans' side.

War Nest Top Stories