Sunday, September 7, 2008

Eagles crush Rams in season opener

(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Could you ask for a better start to the Eagles season? The Eagles dominated the Rams in every facet of the game in a convincing 38-3 win in their first game of the season. The Birds looked good on offense, racking up over 500 yards of total offense. They looked good on defense as they kept the Rams out of the end zone. They also looked good on special teams as DeSean Jackson had some great returns. It was exactly the game you wanted to see from the Eagles against a weak opponent like the Rams.

From the opening drive, the game was never in question. The Eagles got the ball first and marched it right down the field, finishing the drive with a Donovan McNabb 1 yard pass to Brian Westbrook. The Eagles then stopped the Rams and marched right down the field again, this time scoring on a L.J. Smith touchdown reception. Then, after a short lull, the offense exploded with a 90 yard pass from McNabb to Hank Baskett. The Rams blew the coverage as a wide open Baskett took it the distance. The Eagles built their lead to 21-0 and never looked back.

The second half featured more of the same. DeSean Jackson capped a great day at wide receiver by making a 60 yard punt return that led to an Eagles field goal. The Eagles also added two rushing touchdowns and could have scored again but they downed the ball in the red zone to melt the clock and secure the victory.

The offense was the story of the day, putting up huge numbers and coming up with tons of big plays. McNabb finished with 361 yards and 3 touchdowns and looked fluid and strong in the pocket. Westbrook rushed for 91 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards per carry. The Rams couldn't stop him all day. Three receivers also had 100 yard days for the Eagles. DeSean Jackson had 106 yards, Greg Lewis 104 and Hank Baskett 102. Who needs Kevin Curtis or Reggie Brown?

Even Kevin Kolb had a good day as he subbed in for McNabb late in the game. Kolb made several nice passes and drove the Eagles right down the field. He looked like he could have led the Eagles to victory today, too.

The offense put up the big numbers, but the defense also came through for the Eagles, sacking Marc Bulger 4 times and coming up with several big stops. They didn't pick off any passes, although several balls went in and out of defenders hands, including an interception Asante Samuel dropped that would have been returned for a touchdown. Samuel made up for it by allowing the Rams best receiver, Torry Holt, to catch only 1 pass all day.

Sheldon Brown also had the hit of the game, crushing Steven Jackson after he caught a pass. Brown knocked Jackson's helmet right off his head:
All in all, the Eagles looked dominant. This game was partly a showing of how good the Eagles are and partly a showing of how terrible the Rams are. The Rams offense was abysmal as they repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with bad penalties. Their defense was also confused most of the time as several Eagle receivers were wide open. The Rams have a long season ahead of them and they'll be lucky to win 5 games.

Great start of the season for the Eagles. Of course, the real season begins next Monday night as the Eagles look to take the momentum they got today to Dallas. Expect things to be much harder for the Birds in that game.

Click here for my Live Blog from the game.

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