The offensive production the Eagles showed last Sunday against the Lions was amazing and something nobody expected. Posting 56-points against a Lions team many thought was on the verge of turning their dismal history around, the Eagles answered the call and rebounded from two devastating losses and showed a pulse.
Everything clicked. The offense hit on all cylinders. The defense pressured the Lions’ high-powered offense. And the special teams were solid. With everything going right for the Eagles on Sunday, the best moment was to see the return of No. 5.
Donovan McNabb had a game he will remember forever. The week leading up to the game against Detroit, McNabb was again in the middle of a controversy. McNabb stated that African American quarterbacks face much more pressure than their white counterparts. Those comments sparked a flame and a fire broke out.
When McNabb was introduced to the sold out crowd at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, an avalanche of boos tumbled down onto field level. McNabb responded to those boos with a memorable day where he completed 21-of-26 for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Now that’s how you respond to controversy.
So how can an offense that scored only one offensive touchdown in the two previous weeks come out against a 2 – 0 team and explode for seven touchdowns? Well, Brian Westbrook is a major reason, but the key to the Eagles next game is to get the receivers involved early and often. If the Eagles are able to do that, questions about their offense will suddenly fade away.
The Eagles travel to New York on Sunday night to take on the Giants, and we’ll know after this game if this Eagles team is for real. The one thing the Eagles have in their favor is that they face a defense that’s been struggling. The Giants’ defense compares favorably to the Lions’ defense. The Giants have some nice names, but as a unit they struggle.
This could be a game in which the Eagles are able to score a lot of points. They probably won’t manage 56 points, but they should be able to take advantage of the Giants secondary; Sam Madison and Corey Webster have been exposed this season. The one defensive back that’s played well is safety Gibril Wilson. Wilson ranks second on the team in tackles with 15, and has two interceptions through the first three weeks.
The game plan for the Eagles will to try to get the ball in the hands of Kevin Curtis. Curtis had a break out game against the Lions where he had 11 receptions for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Curtis torched the Lions secondary and figures to have a lot of success against a Giants secondary that isn’t very physical. On the opposite side of Curtis is third-year receiver Reggie Brown. Brown has yet to make a major impact and has seemed lost in the first three games. This could be a game that Brown makes an impact in.
What if Brown continues to struggle? Brown hasn’t been able to accomplish much offensively so far. He’s only had five catches for 64 yards through the first three games - a total that doesn’t resemble the work of a No. 1 receiver in the National Football League. Brown is a very good receiver who’s shown great ability in year’s past, but he’s been unable to get on the same page with McNabb this season.
Jason Avant could be a factor in this game as the slot receiver. The Giants’ linebackers are inconsistent and struggle in coverage. They over pursue and leave holes in the middle of the field. Avant or Matt Schobel, who’s replaced the injured L.J. Smith as the starting tight end, will be open over the middle and should be able to get big gains.
Just like all NFC East battles, this will be a close game into the third quarter. But as the game enters the final frame, one of these teams will runaway with it. If the Eagles stick to the offensive game plan and take advantage of the Giants secondary, they should come out of Sunday night with a 2 – 2 record entering the bye week.