Eagles' D Getting All A's

Last season, the Eagles was a sore point for the Eagles. After the lower units melted down Sunday night against Oakland, all stood strong against Cleveland as the Eagles beat the Browns 20-7 Thursday night.

Throughout the Eagles' 20-7 win over Cleveland, there were bright spots for the Eagles' defense. Linebcker Omar Gaither, who has been impressive in camp, pulled in his first interception on a tipped ball. Two other newcomers, Brodrick Bunkley and La Juan Ramsey, teamed up to be quite a tandem on defense against the Browns. Bunkley and Ramsey were playing off of each other to allow one or the other to keep Cleveland's quarterbacks from being able to complete any passes.

Jerome McDougle also put on a nice display, especially late in the first half when he shut down a potential Browns' scoring drive with a sack of quarterback Ken Dorsey.

In their first two games, the Eagles have held their opponents to a total of just 357 yards; 178 yards to Oakland and 179 to Cleveland. They've also pulled in three interceptions and have nine sacks; not bad for a team that couldn't seem to find their way to a quarterback just one season ago.

For the second game in a row, the Eagles scored on their first drive of the game. Donovan McNabb hooked up with Hank Baskett on a nice, over-the-shoulder catch that went for 33 yards to the Browns' two yard line. From there though, the Cleveland defense stiffened and the Eagles had to settle for a field goal to go up 3-0. Baskett, who is quickly moving toward a spot in the Eagles' starting lineup, caught two passes from McNabb in the game's early moments.

The game remained 7-0 until the third quarter when Jeff Garcia, who had a less than stellar showing against Oakland, connected with Dernerian McCants for a 32 yard touchdown pass. Eagles' quarterbacks finished the day going 16-for-21 for 205 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions.

The banged up Eagles backfield took another hit when Reno Mahe, seeing a lot of playing time because of injuries to other running backs, suffered a concussion, ending his night. It was the second game in a row that the Eagles lost a running back to a concussion. Thomas Tapeh and Jason Davis came to camp as fullbacks, but found themselves filling in for Mahe the rest of the way. Tapeh scored a third quarter touchdown on a four-yard carry as the Eagles took a 17-0 lead. The Eagles collected 104 yards on 39 carries.

If there was a downside to the game for coach Andy Reid, it was penalties. The Eagles were penalized 12 times for 87 yards and hurt their scoring chances with penalties on a couple of drives.

After playing two games in five days, the Eagles are now off until next Thursday when they travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens.


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