Donovan McNabb was supposed to be the pilot for the Eagles' Super Bowl flight this season. But just two weeks into the journey, the Eagles are 0-2 and McNabb is dead last in the NFL in passing with a 41.4 passer rating and a pitiful 45.1 completion percentage.
McNabb turned in the worst performance of
his NFL career Sunday in an ugly 31-10 loss to the New England Patriots. He
completed just 18 of 46 passes for 186 yards, turned the ball over four times
(two fumbles, two interceptions) and was sacked seven times.
was off-target all afternoon, throwing short passes into the ground and badly
overthrowing open receivers down the field.
"It isn't me,"
McNabb said. "I'm way better than I've been going. I just need to get more
McNabb's problems couldn't have come at a worse
time. The Eagles' defense has been devastated by injuries to both the defensive
line and secondary and needs their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback to keep them
off the field for longer stretches. But in the first two games, the defense has
been on the field for more than 74 of 120 minutes. They've already given up five
touchdown passes after allowing just 18 all of last season.
Eagles coach Andy Reid defended his quarterback Monday though.
"The first thing people want to do is point fingers at Donovan," he said. "But a
lot goes into a quarterback's performance that is overlooked. That's everything
from the play-calling to the offensive line to the receivers to the running
backs. They all have a part of that. We're all in this together and we all need
to improve our performances."
Pressed again about McNabb's poor
play, Reid said, "Does Donovan have things he has to go back and work on? Yeah.
But it has to be understood that it's not just Donovan that's not where all the
focus should be put on."
--RB/PR/KR Brian Westbrook will
continue to handle the punt return duties, coach Andy Reid said, even though his
first-half fumble set up a New England touchdown. Westbrook also figures to see
his role in the club's offense grow after an impressive six-carry, 29-yard
--RB Correll Buckhalter only had one touch
Sunday and has had just two in the Eagles' first two games. But coach Andy Reid
said Buckhalter will get more touches in the future.
--DT Paul Grasmanis is out for the season after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon in
Sunday's game against the Patriots. The Eagles are expected to sign a
replacement, but it's not clear whether they'll bring in a tackle or move Darwin Walker back inside from end and sign a DE.
--WR Billy McMullen,
the club's fourth-round draft pick, was active for Sunday's game but didn't
--TE L.J. Smith, the club's second-round pick, doesn't
have any receptions in the first two games. He dropped a touchdown pass in the
Eagles' Week One loss to Tampa Bay, and while he played about 12 snaps Sunday,
he didn't have a ball thrown in his direction.
The Day After; Philadelphia
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