Eagles Carve Up the Cardinals

The Eagles provided everyone watching in the Philadelphia area a Happy Thanksgiving by handing the Arizona Cardinals a lopsided 48-20 loss. I hate to say this is a case of the fans knowing what to do better than the coaches, but what did the Eagles do to win this game... established the running game. Imagine that.

The Eagles received the opening kickoff and marched right down the field to score a touchdown capped off by a McNabb to Westbrook shovel pass. The Eagles fan the ball 7 times on the opening drive, including runs by McNabb, Eckel, and Jackson, to only 4 passes. By running the ball, the Eagles controlled the clock, controlled the line of scrimmage, and when they did pass, it gave McNabb the time to complete short passes to move down the field. Also, the Eagles found a way to convert short yardage situations with running. That came in the form of Kyle Eckel, who was activated for the first time this season as an Eagle. The Eagles ran the ball for 185 yards on 40 carries. Westbrook went over 100, and had 4 total TD's. Kyle Eckel, Lorenzo Booker, and even McNabb also contributed to the rushing attack, all having over 20 yards rushing. McNabb ended the day with 260 yards passing, 4 TD's, and 0 INT's.

On defense, the Eagles once again played very well. They did well controlling the line of scrimmage, holding the Cardinals to 25 rushing yards. By shutting down the run, the Eagles made the Cardinals one-dimensional, and were able to intercept Kurt Warner three times in the game. Even though Larry Fitzgerald scored 2 touchdowns, the Eagles did an excellent job overall on the Cardinals wide receivers. Boldin was short-arming passes all night, and fumbled twice. Brian Dawkins played a great game at safety, with multiple hard hits, and an interception. The interception by Dawkins was his 34th overall as an Eagle, tying him for the all-time lead in interceptions for this team with Eric Allen and Bill Bradley. Dawkins will most likely get another one to become the all-time leader, and he definitely deserves it.

The story of the game was not McNabb playing well. Any intelligent Philadelphia fan knows McNabb is capable of putting up the types of numbers he put up in this game. It wasn't surprising to see McNabb play well, the surprise was the play calling. Andy Reid or Marty Morningweg or whoever called the plays did a great job of mixing the run and pass effectively. The Eagles held the for 40 minutes this game. That's exactly what you need to do against an offense as good as the Cardinals. McNabb can still win games and put up big numbers, it is the coaches job to put him into the position to do so, and that wasn't happening in previous weeks. Hopefully the Eagles can build off of this big win, as they travel to the Meadowlands next weekend to play the hated Giants.

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