Eagles' Loss Is Still A Success

Granted, it was just one series, but if the Eagles offense can do in the regular season what they did Sunday night, things will be okay. With a commitment to the running game, the Eagles first unit struck hard.

The Eagles insist that they're going to run the ball more in 2006 and they showed it on their first drive. Six of the nine plays that they ran were runs and they accounted for 32 of the 61 yards that the Eagles gained on the drive, culminating with Brian Westbrook going one yard to put the Eagles up 6-0.

Westbrook got all of the carries on the first drive and caught one of Donovan McNabb's three passes. Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett each caught a pass as McNabb went 3-for-3 in the pass department. David Akers added the extra point and later, added a 55 yard field goal, the longest in the history of the Hall of Fame contests.

Westbrook said he loved the idea of having the team run the ball more. "It felt great. Coach told us early that we wanted to kind of set the tone with the running game and that's what we did. The offensive line was out there early opening up holes," said Westbrook.

After their impressive drive, the Eagles first unit rested, handing things over to the reserves.

Backup quarterback Jeff Garcia had a pass intercepted late in the first quarter and Oakland took advantage of the turnover to tie the game 7-7 when Aaron Brooks connected on a 12 yard pass on the second play of the second quarter.

Sebastian Janikowski kicked field goals of 51, 50 and 24 yards to give the Raiders their 16-7 win.

While the Eagles first unit offense was shining, so was the defense. The Raiders were -3 yards on two drives against the Eagles starting defense, which was exactly what Jeremiah Trotter wanted to see happen. "Definitely, man. We started the first day of training camp setting the tone and this is just another opportunity for us to come out here and set the tone for the season," exclaimed Trotter. "Our goal when the season started was to be the number one defense in the league and this is the first step."

McNabb was happy with how things went on the Eagles' first drive and was happy just to be back in a game again. "It felt good. It was good that the offense got a chance to get out there and get things rolling. We also picked up some key blitzes and were able to spread the ball around to different receivers, give them the opportunity to get their feet wet a little bit," said McNabb.

The Eagles will have a day off Monday before returning to Lehigh for practice on Tuesday to prepare for their next game. They won't have much time to breath as they play the Cleveland Browns Thursday night in Philadelphia.

Running back Bruce Perry left the field on a stretcher with 1:14 left in the game. Medical personnel feared a head or neck injury, but x-rays and a CT scan were performed and came back negative. Perry was diagnosed with a concussion and was likely to accompany the team back from Canton. "He had some loss of feeling in his arms and legs initially," said Andy Reid on Perry's condition.

Among the reserves, Reno Mahe had a nice night, gaining 22 yards on 8 carries, with 17 of them coming on one carry. He also caught 3 passes for 31 yards.


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