What a beating
Eagles 34, Falcons 7
What a beating
Rich Hofmann, Daily News Sports Columnist
I mean, what a beating. No other way to characterize it. The Atlanta Falcons, missing their starting quarterback, best running back, a starting receiver and two starting offensive linemen, played like a team missing all of that and more. Unlike the previous two weeks, when the Eagles had to come from behind to beat struggling Chicago and Washington teams against whom they were favored, this one was precise and quite thorough. The final score -- Eagles 34, Falcons 7, with Atlanta scoring on the game's final play, with no time remaining -- was a pretty fair representation of the carnage.
Which brings us to the side issues:
Michael Vick scored his first touchdown as an Eagle on a 5-yard run in the third quarter, and then threw for a toucdown on a 5-yard pass to tight end Brent Celek. The fans here for Vick's homecoming game were entirely psychotic, booing him when he went out to participate in the coin toss before the game, cheering him when he scored the touchdown, and chanting "We Want Vick" before the Eagles gave Donovan McNabb his baseball cap early in the fourth quarter. But there was a complication: Vick left the game and was seen on the sidelines with his right (non-throwing) hand bandaged up. So, we'll see.
Andy Reid's contract extension draws near. ESPN reported before the game that it could come this week. The Eagles released a statement in the fourth quarter: "We're aware of the reports regarding Andy Reid's contract. The organization has acknowledged earlier that it expects to extend his contract at some point in the near future. Beyond that, the organization has no further comment."
Leonard Weaver continues to be a great off-season acquisition. The fullback combined for 100 passing and receiving yards, scoring on a 4-yard pass but also having another, 59-yard catch and run.
Falcons coach Mike Smith decided to go for it on fourth-and-2 near the end of the first half rather than kick a field goal that would have brought his team to within 13-3. It was a pretty bizarre decision, not that it ended up mattering. Oh, and the Eagles stopped them.
Sheldon Brown had the fifth interception of his season, a career high for him, and returned it 83 yards for a touchdown.
McNabb got banged around a little but was very good: 14-for-25 for 238 yards and a touchdown. Atlanta backup Chris Redmon got banged around a lot and was not very good. That is all.