After a slow start because of his ailing knee, Brian Westbrook appears to have overcome the injury quite nicely. Sunday's performance in Tampa Bay seems to prove that Westbrook is back.
If Brian Westbrook
's knee still is bothering him, it's not showing in his play.
The Eagles running back became only the second player in franchise history to notch 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game Sunday against Tampa Bay. Westbrook rushed for 101 yards on just 13 carries and had 113 receiving yards on 7 catches, including a nifty 52-yard catch-and-run late in the game that temporarily gave the Eagles the lead before the Bucs' Matt Bryant kicked a game-winning 62-yard field goal.
Westbrook is one of only two active players to turn the 100-100 trick, and the other, Kansas City's Priest Holmes, who did it twice, is essentially retired.
Westbrook has been bothered by a sore knee much of the season. Even last week, he was held out of one practice and was listed as questionable two days before the game. With the exception of the first two games, coach Andy Reid has monitored his touches. His 20 against the Bucs were the most he's had since his 26 against the Giants in Week Two.
He has been very effective running out of spread formations. In the last two games, he's averaged 6.0 yards per carry. For the season, he's averaging 5.5 yards per carry, which is the highest among NFL running backs with at least 80
rushing attempts. He's also averaging 11.1 yards per catch, which top all NFL running backs with at least 20 receptions.
He's averaging 7.0 yards per touch from scrimmage.
Notes from the 'Nest...
The Eagles lost a game on the final play for the 3rd time this season. The last time the Eagles did that was in 1999.
Westbrook now joins Reggie Brown (twice), Donte Stallworth, Hank Baskett, and L.J. Smith as the five Eagles with 100-yard receiving games this season. Add Greg Lewis to that list and those are the six different players to lead the Eagles in receiving over the first seven games.
QB Donovan McNabb was 35-22-302-3-3TDs passing. It was his 4th 300-yard passing game of the season and 17th of his career. His third TD pass was the 150th of his career tying Randall Cunningham for 2nd on the Eagles all-time list. With 1,862 career completions, he now needs just 12 to tie Cunningham for 2nd in franchise history….He has now thrown for 2-or-more TDs in all seven games this season.
The last time the Eagles had a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game was on 10/1/00 vs. Atlanta (McNabb, Brian Mitchell and Torrance Small reached those plateaus).
WR Reggie Brown and Westbrook have now scored TDs in five of seven games this season. Westbrook has 7 for the season and Brown has 6.
The Eagles totaled 500 net yards of offense, including 208 yards rushing. It was the sixth time under Andy Reid that the Eagles topped the 200-yard rushing mark and the first time they didn't win when doing so.
FB Thomas Tapeh caught the first touchdown pass of his career Sunday. He injured his groin on the play, though, and is questionable for Sunday's game. Tapeh is the only fullback the Eagles have on their roster.
WR Donte Stallworth, who has missed four of the last five games with a hamstring strain, is expected to practice this week and probably will play this weekend against Jacksonville. Though he practiced last week as well and didn't play
against Tampa Bay.
WR Reggie Brown is developing into the best drafted receiver of the Andy Reid era. Brown has 14 catches for 277 yards and three touchdowns in the last three games. He's also got a rushing touchdown.
TE L.J. Smith is benefiting from the coverage attention that WR Reggie Brown and RB Brian Westbrook are drawing. Smith has eight catches in the last two games.
PK David Akers hasn't gotten a lot of field goal work this season. He's attempted just 8 field goals in the first seven games. He's made six of them.
CB Rod Hood could be returning this week after missing the last four games with a heel injury.
LB Jeremiah Trotter, who has struggled in coverage, didn't play much in passing situations Sunday. When the Eagles went to their two-linebacker, five-DB nickel package, Trotter was replaced by rookie Omar Gaither.
DB Sean Considine started at strong safety Sunday against the Bucs and took about 50 percent of the snaps. The man he replaced, Mike Lewis, played when the Bucs went to a two-tight end formation, which they were in about 50 percent of the time.