Sunday, September 13, 2009

Eagles crush Panthers, McNabb hurts ribs

(AP Photo/Rick Havner)
Except for one little thing, you couldn't ask for a much better way to start the season for the Eagles as they dominated the Panthers in every facet of the game, winning 38-10. Of course, that "one little thing" I'm referring to could be huge: Donovan McNabb got injured.

McNabb was injured while running for a touchdown when two Panthers landed on his back. As he lay on his back in pain, the entire city of Philadelphia held his breath hoping for the best, knowing that the season could already be over. Eventually, McNabb got to his feet and limped off the field under his own power. He then went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game. The early word is that McNabb injured his ribs but there is no report on how severe the damage is. With Michael Vick still suspended, Kevin Kolb would be the starter next week if McNabb can't go.

On the field, the Eagles defense led the way. Taking advantage of a shaky Jake Delhomme, the Eagles defense had 5 sacks, 5 interceptions, two forced fumbles and a touchdown. The Eagles did so much damage that the Panthers eventually benched Delhomme for Josh McCown, who subsequently got injured and forced the Panthers to go with Matt Moore at QB. Needless to say, those that were worried about how the Eagles defense would do with Jim Johnson gone need not worry anymore. They are still an attacking, turnover-producing machine.

Offensively, the Eagles didn't do much because they didn't need to. Due to all the turnovers, the Eagles had a short field all day, leading them to score three offensive TD's yet have no standout receiver or runner. On special teams, DeSean Jackson also added a nice punt return for a touchdown.

The Eagles dominated this game from start to finish, but, unfortunately, the story will now be whether Donovan McNabb will be able to play next week. McNabb was wincing in pain after he returned to the sidelines late in the game, so the initial prognosis might not be good. Of course, McNabb could have been wincing because he had to watch Kevin Kolb attempt to play quarterback. With the Saints explosive offense looming next week, the Eagles are going to need a great QB behind center to keep up. Let's keep our fingers crossed for McNabb.

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