Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

McNabb leads offensive explosion

Against the Raiders and Redskins, Donovan McNabb was in a funk.

McNabb leads offensive explosion

Against the Raiders and Redskins, Donovan McNabb was in a funk.

Out of rhythm, rushed in the pocket. He just looked uncomfortable overall.

But that all changed this afternoon in the Eagles' 40-17 win over the Giants.

McNabb looked as good as he has all season, completing 17 of 23 passes for 240 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

What was the biggest touchdown play for the Eagles against the Giants?
Leonard Weaver’s 41-yard run.
DeSean Jackson’s 54-yard pass from Donovan McNabb.
Jeremy Maclin’s 23-yard pass from McNabb to end the half.
LeSean McCoy’s 66-yard run.

Most of the damage came in the first half when he hit on 11 of 15 attempts for 201 yards and three scores. It was McNabb at his best - comfortable in the pocket, running when he needed to, spreading the ball around.

There were a couple plays in particular that stood out.

After the Giants got on the board to cut the Eagles' lead to 16-7 in the first quarter, McNabb found a wide open DeSean Jackson on a play that looked similar to last week's touchdown. This time, it was a 54-yard score on the first play of the drive as the Birds took a 23-7 lead and snatched any momentum the Giants were building.

Later in the second quarter, McNabb showed great trust in rookie wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, allowing him to fight for a ball in the air and make a spectacular 23-yard grab.

Eli Manning and McNabb are different quarterbacks. McNabb is more conservative. He's less of a threat to be picked off. But also less likely to hit on some big plays by allowing his weapons to go get the ball.

Manning is the opposite. He can be careless (see the last three weeks), but also gives his guys chances.

Interesting to see McNabb do that a little more today without throwing an interception.

Earlier in the first half, he found Brent Celek over the middle on a beautiful throw for a 17-yard touchdown. McNabb had hit Celek for a score seconds earlier on a nice pass, but that play was called back because of a Jason Peters penalty.

Other notes:

** Jason Avant, who's been quiet, got back in on the action with a third-down conversion in the first half that went for 28 yards.

** Unofficially, it seemed like Stacy Andrews saw the most playing time he's seen since losing the starting job. He and Nick Cole rotated at right guard throughout.

** Tight end Alex Smith had his first catch of the season.

** Michael Vick had just one carry, but it went for a first down.

** Brian Westbrook has been a Giants killer, but the Birds got great contributions from his replacements. In probably the biggest surprise of the game, Leonard Weaver broke a 41-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Overall he had eight carries for 75 yards.

** LeSean McCoy was held in check for three quarters, but then broke a 66-yarder in the fourth. He finished with 11 carries for 82 yards.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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