Maybe The Offense Should Slow Down

The Eagles offense has been impressive. But have they been too impressive? Their efficiency isn't giving the defense much of a chance to rest and time-of-possession is tilting away from the Eagles' favor.

The Eagles are second in the NFL in scoring, averaging 31.0 points per game in their first five games. But all those points haven't translated into a ball-control advantage.

The Eagles have lost the time-of-possession battle in each of their last three games, including Sunday's 38-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys had the ball nearly 14 minutes longer than the Eagles.

The Eagles' five scoring drives - their final score came on a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown by Lito Sheppard with 16 seconds left in the game - averaged just three plays and 63 seconds.

The defense was on the field for nearly 37 minutes against the Cowboys, although it didn't seem to affect them much. They sacked Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe seven times in the game.

"It's not like basketball where you play the four-corner deal," coach Andy Reid said. "When and if you can score in the NFL, you want to get as many points up there as you can."

Reid said the Eagles lead the league in touchdown drives of less than a minute-and-a-half.

"On the one hand, your defense is out there a little bit long," he said. "On the other hand, we'll take those touchdowns any way we can get them."

Notes from the 'Nest...

  • QB Donovan McNabb is playing the best football of his career. He leads the league in passing yards, touchdown passes and yards per attempt and has thrown just interception this season.
  • RB Brian Westbrook came out of Sunday's game with minimal swelling in his sore knee and the Eagles are cautiously optimistic that the worst is over. He still likely will be listed as questionable on Wednesday's injury report.
  • WR Donte Stallworth, who has missed two of the last three games with a hamstring strain, isn't expected to practice until later in the week. But coach Andy Reid is hopeful he'll be able to play against his former team, the Saints.
  • WR Reggie Brown has 12 catches in the last three games after catching just three in the first two. He picked up the slack in the passing game last week with Donte Stallworth out.
  • TE L.J. Smith only had two catches Sunday, but one was a seam-buster for 60 yards. Smith could have a big day Sunday against a Saints defense that has struggled to contain good pass-catching tight ends.
  • CB Rod Hood is hoping to play this week after missing the last two games with a heel strain. Joselio Hanson has replaced him as the nickel corner in his absence.
  • WLB Matt McCoy, who faces a big challenge Sunday in Saints RB Reggie Bush, who has a league-best 34 catches and is tough to bring down in space, is nursing a hip-pointer that probably will have him listed as questionable this week.

  • War Nest Top Stories