DMac Hurts Ribs

UPDATING: Ruh-roh. Donovan McNabb just bulled into the end zone for a TD that made it 38-10, but he was hit lying on the ground by Charles Johnson and stayed down for quite a while. The Birds have the ball back now, after Jake Delhomme's fourth pick, and Kevin Kolb is quarterbacking, while team orthopedist Peter DeLuca seems to be working on McNabb's upper back. Now McNabb has left for the locker room. This is certainly a wild and crazy day

The early word from the locker room is a rib injury, no prognosis offered.

McNabb returned to the bench for the early part of the fourth quarter, but took off his shoulder pads and headed back to the locker room with about 7 minutes remaining.

Oh, and no penalty on Johnson. Yeah, he was trying to prevent the touchdown, but ...

Previously: Panthers drove for a 22-yard field goal, leaving them down 31-10 with 1:42 left in the half. Birds subsequent drive dies near midfield, with 30 seconds left. Half over now,

Previously: The Eagles' offense really needed to start holding up its end, and it just did, driving 74 yards in 10 plays to build the lead to 31-7. Brian Westbrook scored the TD on a 4-yard shovel pass.

Raise your hand out there if you saw this coming. Donovan McNabb looks sharp (not a surprise). Sean McDermott is having a lovely debut, after a bad first series. Winston Justice is playing well.

Previously: OK, another pick by Sheldon Brown sets up another Eagles TD, nice 11-yard rollout from Donovan McNabb to Brent Celek, who fights his way in.The first downs are 7-2, Carolina, but the score is 24-7, Eagles. Amazing. Carolina fans are booing, not chanting Delhooooooome, I think.

 Good lord. An 85-yard punt return by DeSean Jackson, untouched down the left sideline. Kudos Ted Daisher. Looked like maybe a missed block from behind on Jason Avant.

If you're scoring at home, the Eagles have a 17-7 lead even  though their offense has done absolutely zilch. As Marty Mornhinweg noted last week, openers are crazy.

Previously: So Trent Cole lined up at middle linebacker -- there's an idea -- and went in unblocked on Jake Delhomme, who obligingly projectile-fumbled backward on third and 10 from his 25. Victor Abiamiri scooped up the ball and rolled into the end zone with the easiest touchdown he will ever score. Eagles 10-7 early in the second.

Previously: Well, Sheldon Brown picked off a tipped pass and set up a field goal; the Eagles' offense wasn't able to do much before David Akers hit from 48 to make it 7-3. Jason Peters is on pace for a false start record. But Winston Justice seems to be playing pretty well so far. Bad drop by Kevin Curtis blew a first down.

Previously: Really awful penalty taken by Juqua Parker, grabbing Jake Delhomme's facemask on a third down incompletion, after the ball was gone. Kept alive what came to seem like the longest opening drive in the history of football.

The final total was 13 plays, 70 yards, ending in an 11-yard touchdown run by DeAngelo Williams. Quintin Mikell coouldn't quite reach Williams in the backfield, and nobody else wandered over to the left side of the field. Panthers, 7-0.

Welcome to Week 1 of the NFL season and the long-awaited season opener between the Eagles and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C.

It's a very warm, sunny day in the Queen City. The Birds' inactive list contained no surprises -- WRs Brandon Gibson and Reggie Brown, safety Sean Jones, linebacker Joe Mays, offensive linemen Shawn Andrews, Todd Herremans and Mike McGlynn, and defensive end Jason Babin. Mays, Herremans and Andrews are injured.

The Eagles say Macho Harris will be the first rookie safety to start the opener for the team since Wes Hopkins in 1983, the first defensive rookie starter since Corey Simon in 2000. Simon was the sixth overall pick, whereas Harris was chosen in the fifth round.

Nobody you ever heard of is inactive for the Panthers.

Each Sunday, Eagletarian will kick off the day with staff predictions, Paul Domowitch's key matchups and more. Then stick with us all day for news and analysis before, during and after the game.


Here is how the Daily News staff sees today's game ...

Les Bowen: Panthers, 33-31 (To read more of Les' analysis, click here)

Ed Barkowitz: Panthers, 24-20

Bill Conlin: Eagles, 23-17

Paul Domowitch: Eagles, 20-17

Marcus Hayes: Eagles, 24-19

John Smallwood: Panthers, 24-20

Vegas Vic: Panthers, 27-24 (To read Vic's Week 1 selections, click here)


Eagles LT Jason Peters vs. Panthers RDE Julius Peppers:
Peppers is coming off a 14 1/2–sack season. That’s only three sacks more than Peters gave up with the Bills last year. Edge: Panthers

Eagles MLB Omar Gaither vs. Panthers RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart:
Williams and Stewart combined for more than 2,300 rushing yards last season. Gaither is replacing injured Stewart Bradley. Edge: Panthers

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson vs. Panthers CB Chris Gamble:
Panthers will roll their coverage toward the dangerous Jackson, who caught 62 passes as a rookie. But Gamble likely will spend much of the day shadowing him. Edge: Eagles

Much more to come ...