First Look: The Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday that Donovan McNabb would be the starting quarterback this week against the Seattle Seahawks if his thumb and ankle injuries heal. McNabb sprained his right ankle and jammed the thumb on his throwing hand two weeks ago in the second quarter of the Eagles' 17-7 win over Miami.

He was replaced in that game by A.J. Feeley, who also started in McNabb's place Sunday night and nearly led the Eagles to a monumental upset of the New England Patriots.

Feeley threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to the Patriots. He also had three interceptions. But the offense seemed to have a lot more energy with Feeley behind center than it did with the struggling McNabb.

Reid indicated that McNabb's ankle and thumb would need to be perfect for him to start Sunday.

"I want to try to get him back to 100 percent before we stick him in the game," Reid said. "As a coach, you'd be foolish to stick somebody out there with a bad thumb and bad ankle."

Feeley has led the Eagles to six touchdowns in six quarters since replacing McNabb. Two of his three TD passes against the Patriots went to wide receiver Greg Lewis, who had caught a total of four passes all season before Sunday.

"A.J. played well," Reid said. "He was confident and decisive with his decisions. For the most part, he got the ball out on time and did a nice job. He had good command of the huddle. He didn't let the crowd or anything affect his play."


--The Eagles defense has had trouble getting pressure on quarterbacks of late. The unit went into the New England game with just one sack in the previous three games, but the Eagles sacked Patriots QB Tom Brady three times. It equaled the most times he had been sacked this season. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson went with a 3-3-5 alignment against the Patriots' four-wide receiver sets and frequently had SLB Chris Gocong put his hand on the ground and be a rush end. Gocong sacked Brady once and pressured him a couple of other times. "We had a lot of different guys giving pressure," Johnson said.

"We were mixing things up, and they went to a lot of four-wide. We felt anytime they did that, we would pressure them. Basically, that was our game plan, and we felt every chance we had, we had to bring pressure."

--The Eagles have a poor minus-7 turnover ratio. They've turned the ball over 11 times in the past four games, including three interceptions against the Patriots. Their defense, meanwhile, hasn't been able to force many turnovers. They've got a league-low 11 takeaways, including three in the past six games. "When you're playing a good football team, turnovers can affect the game," coach Andy Reid said. "We had too many of them (against the Patriots), and we need to start causing them."


--QB Donovan McNabb, who sat out Sunday's game with ankle and thumb injuries, may play Sunday against Seattle, but coach Andy Reid said he must be 100 percent.
--QB A.J. Feeley threw three touchdown passes and three interceptions in Sunday's three-point loss to the Patriots.
--RB Brian Westbrook suffered a knee contusion in Sunday's loss to the Patriots. He was sore Monday and probably won't practice much this week.
--DT Brodrick Bunkley has an MCL knee sprain that caused his hamstring to spasm. It's uncertain whether he'll be able to play this week. If he can't play, La Juan Ramsey would start in his place.
--S Quintin Mikell, who sat out Sunday's game with an MCL knee sprain, is making progress, according to coach Andy Reid. But it's unlikely he'd be able to play this week against Seattle.



PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus -- A.J. Feeley's three interceptions, including an early one that was returned for a touchdown and a late one that killed a potential go-ahead scoring drive, marred an otherwise impressive three-touchdown performance.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- The Eagles pretty much abandoned the run in the second half after the Patriots held Brian Westbrook to 3.3 yards per carry in the first half. Westbrook was limited to 52 yards on 17 carries.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Tom Brady threw for almost 400 yards, but the Eagles held him to a season-low one touchdown pass and forced 20 incompletions from a guy who had 88 in the first 10 games. Led by CB Lito Sheppard, the Eagles held Randy Moss to five catches for 43 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- The Patriots only ran the ball 16 times, but the Eagles held them to 3.0 yards per carry. Two of the Patriots' three offensive touchdowns came on running plays.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The Eagles successfully executed an onside kick, but that was the extent of the special teams good news. They gave up a 40-yard kickoff return to Ellis Hobbs that kick-started one of the Patriots' scoring drives, and their return game again contributed nothing to help field position.

COACHING: A - Jim Johnson was at his X's-and-O's best, using SLB Chris Gocong frequently as a fourth down-lineman, as the Eagles sacked Tom Brady three times and hit him four other times. Andy Reid was a wild and crazy guy, going for it on fourth down, trying an onside kick and employing several gadget plays. Top Stories