Week 1 rankings; scouts' take on Eagles

Here are Paul Domowitch's NFL rankings heading into Week 1 of the season:

1. Packers
2. Bengals
3. Colts
4. Saints
5. Texans
6. Vikings
7. Chargers
8. Cowboys
9. Ravens
10. Patriots
11. Jets
12. Dolphins
13. Eagles
14. 49ers
15. Falcons
16. Giants
17. Titans
18. Steelers
19. Raiders
20. Cardinals
21. Bears
22. Bills
23. Browns
24. Panthers
25. Lions
26. Broncos
27. Redskins
28. Chiefs
29. Jaguars
30. Bucs
31. Rams
32. Seahawks


As part of its coverage, the Green Bay Press Gazette asked several scouts to break down the Eagles. Here are a few of the observations:

On Kevin Kolb: “I know they’re putting a lot of the eggs in the basket on that guy. Andy does a nice job of evaluating quarterbacks though. If he feels like this guy can play over McNabb, then you have to believe it. The most important thing I’m hearing out of Philly is their confidence, they’re really confident in this guy.”

On DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin: “(Jackson) is dynamic. Maclin can fly, but he doesn’t catch the ball as well, and he’s a little more of a straight-line runner. The other guy (i.e., Jackson) is really good.”

On Brent Celek: “Celek is a really athletic guy. Decent enough point of attack blocker, but he’s really good catching the football. He knows how to get open, catches the ball with guys on his back, that kind of thing. Really good red-zone player too.”

On LeSean McCoy: “The thing where Westbrook was always dangerous, he was always going to catch a red-zone screen on you or take a play that was supposed to go about seven yards and all of a sudden it’s going 47 yards. McCoy is a better (running) back, but I don’t know if he can do all the things Westbrook can do, the catching, the loose plays.”

On pass defense: “If you pick up all their stunts and blitzes, you have a chance to make a play on them. Their thing is, ‘We’re going to get to you before you make a play.’”

On Asante Samuel: “Oh my lord, he’s the best corner, he’s as good as any corner that there is,” another scout said. “He’s a prime-time player, (Charles) Woodson-good, and whoever the other top guys would be, Champ Bailey, he’s in the elite category ....  He’s elite as far as a cover guy. He’s a total dog as far as playing the run. He doesn’t like anything to do with the physical side of the game. When you take the ball at him, he absolutely wanted nothing to do with the physical tackling part of the game.”

On the defensive tackles: “They have extreme quickness in there (at tackle), but bigger guys can kind of push them around.”


The Eagles amazingly have no one on the injury report for Sunday's game. Here is the rundown for the Packers:

OUT: CB Brandon Underwood (Shoulder)

QUESTIONABLE:  LB Desmond Bishop (Hamstring), DE Mike Neal (Abdomen)

PROBABLE: T Chad Clifton (knee), S Derrick Martin (Ankle), T Bryan Bulaga (Hip), DE Cullen Jenkins (Calf), LB Brad Jones (Shoulder),  LB Clay Matthews (Hamstring), LB Brady Poppinga (Knee), CB Charles Woodson (Toe).


Donovan McNabb is listed as questionable for his Redskins debut Sunday night against Dallas.

In case you were wondering where NBC's coverage might go, here is what Bob Costas said during Thursday night's halftime show to promote the game:

“Star quarterbacks have made big moves to new teams before, of course. Fran Tarkenton from the Vikings to the Giants and back again. Joe Montana from the Niners to the Chiefs. Brett Favre, of course. But never has a quarterback still so close to the prime of his career gone directly from one division rival to another, then again, the 33-year-old McNabb has always been something of a curious case.

“In just over a decade in Philadelphia, he took the Eagles to five NFC Championship Games, and a Super Bowl, but as one magazine headline put it recently, McNabb’s career has often seemed at once wildly successful, and oddly disappointing. Using his team’s successes, and his six Pro Bowl appearances, you could make a Hall of Fame case for him, but, so often falling just short in the postseason amped up the criticism while muting the appreciation and after 11 often turbulent seasons, Andy Reid and the organization finally decided that McNabb was no longer the guy best suited to take them to a title.


“In Super Bowl XXXIX, with the clock ticking down, McNabb could not quite pull off a comeback win. Now, with two-time Super Bowl winner Mike Shanahan, but with a team that was 4-12 a year ago, the clock starts anew for McNabb in Washington. The question now: Can Shanahan build a contender in time, before McNabb’s time runs out?”


For more information contact:

Chris McCloskey
NBC Universal Sports & Olympics


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