Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch tells you the things he will keep his eyes on during that week's game. Here is how things panned out last night:
1. Hitting Warner. The Eagles were hoping to put Kurt Warner on the ground early and often. That didn't happen, although the Eagles did pressure him into two early picks, one that led to a touchdown. Warner rebounded nicely, though, on that 11-play, 81-yard drive that led to the Cards' first score.
2. Slumping McNabb. Andy Reid put Donovan McNabb back in charge after last weekend's awful first-half performance. He quickly showed that something clicked while he patrolled the sideline against the Ravens. He engineered four first-half scoring drives, including three touchdowns, and was 15-for-19 for 112 yards in the first half. McNabb also showed some of that old scrambling ability.
3. Secondary performance. Asante Samuel was inactive and the Eagles had just one interception in the four games prior to last night. That changed quickly, when cornerback Joselio Hanson and safety Quintin Mikell picked off Kurt Warner in the first quarter. Coverage softened considerably in the second half and the secondary also had lots of trouble pulling down Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. But Brian Dawkins forced a Boldin fumble in the fourth quarter that set up the Eagles' fifth TD and squashed any hope of an Arizona comeback.
4. Third-down woes. Before last night, the Eagles had converted just 18 of 70 (25.7 percent) third-down opportunities in their five previous games. They improved on that mightily in the first half, converting four of five third-down tries. They cooled off a bit in the second half, but finished the game a strong 10-for-15 on third down.
5. Many happy returns. The Cardinals kept Quintin Demps and DeSean Jackson out of the end zone on kickoff and punt coverage, but Demps averaged nearly 25 yards on four returns and gave the Eagles solid field position. One glitch: The Cards recovered Jackson's muffed punt late in the third quarter, setting up a touchdown.