Eagles Soar Past Lions In Record Setting Fashion
Sunday, September 23rd 2007, 5:56 pm
By: News On 6
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and Kevin Curtis treated Detroit's defense like a scout team.
McNabb threw for 381 yards and four touchdown passes, Curtis had 221 yards receiving and three scores and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Lions 56-21 on Sunday for their first win.
In a stunning offensive display, the Eagles (1-2) scored touchdowns on their first five possessions and had a franchise-record 42 points in the first half. It was their most points scored since a 56-17 victory at the Chicago Cardinals in 1953.
Brian Westbrook had 110 yards rushing, 111 more receiving and scored three TDs before leaving in the third quarter with injured ribs. X-rays were negative.
``I'm not surprised by what we were able to do,'' Westbrook said. ``It's a matter of guys continuing to connect. We're an explosive offense when things work out the way we want. We didn't have too many incomplete balls in practice and that rolled over.''
Jon Kitna threw for a franchise-record 446 yards and two TDs and Roy Williams had nine catches for 204 yards, including a 91-yard TD for the losing team from Detroit (2-1).
Just six days ago, the Eagles were booed off the field after losing 20-12 to Washington on Monday night. A day later, it got uglier when McNabb said on HBO that black quarterbacks face greater scrutiny than their white counterparts.
McNabb spent a lot of time this week answering questions about his comment he made in August that aired Tuesday. He came under heavy criticism for his statement and heard a mixture of boos in pregame introductions.
It didn't help that the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback played poorly in his first two games since tearing a knee ligament in Week 11 last year. Some were calling for rookie Kevin Kolb or backup A.J. Feeley to replace him.
Kolb made his NFL debut in the fourth quarter, while McNabb rested after an outstanding performance. McNabb completed 18 consecutive passes at one point, and finished 21-for-26.
``That wasn't part of my mind-set,'' McNabb said of his tumultuous week. ``With everything that happened, we still have to play football.''
The Lions came in looking for their first 3-0 start in 27 years, but they played like the hapless bunch that hasn't had a winning record since 2000.
``They outplayed us as a coaching staff,'' Detroit coach Rod Marinelli said. ``They outplayed us on offense, defense, and special teams in all areas.''
Desperate to avoid their first 0-3 start in nine years, the Eagles were fired up from the outset.
Despite missing All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins (neck) and Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard, the defense forced the Lions to go three-and out on four of their first five possessions.
Meanwhile, McNabb, Westbrook and Curtis were unstoppable. The Eagles led 35-7 less than 19 minutes in.
They were driving for a sixth consecutive score, but McNabb fumbled at Detroit's 4 after getting sacked.
Wearing powder blue and yellow uniforms to commemorate their 75-year anniversary, the Eagles looked more like the St. Louis Rams and played like ``The Greatest Show on Turf.''
``It was definitely needed,'' McNabb said. ``Coming out and not playing like ourselves, we had to make an explosion.''
Westbrook scampered 25 yards off left end, breaking one arm tackle to give Philly a 7-0 lead. Kevin Jones scored from the 2 on his first carry since injuring his foot last December to tie it at 7.
Westbrook ran in from the 5 to make it 14-7, and Philly needed just one play to find the end zone again after a punt. McNabb hit Curtis perfectly in stride down the middle for a 68-yard TD.
The Eagles hadn't scored three touchdowns in the first quarter since Andy Reid's first game as coach in 1999 against Arizona. The Cardinals rallied to win 25-24.
On the next drive, Curtis was alone in the corner of the end zone for a 12-yard TD pass. McNabb briefly went down, clutching his back after taking a shot from Dewayne White after the pass.
On his next play, McNabb connected with a wide-open Curtis for a 43-yard TD.
``It seemed like we couldn't do no wrong,'' Curtis said. ``Everything was going right. It doesn't take much sometimes to have that little difference.''
The Lions finally got going and Kitna's 11-yard TD pass to Shaun McDonald made it 35-14. After Corey Smith forced McNabb's fumble, Williams split the defense on a slant route and outraced the secondary for a 91-yard TD to cut it to 35-21.
Westbrook turned a short screen pass into a 43-yard TD by breaking a couple tackles to put the Eagles ahead 42-21 late in the second quarter.
Correll Buckhalter and Tony Hunt each had 1-yard TD runs in the second half.
Philly's defense finished with nine sacks.
``Their defense is predicated on putting pressure on the quarterback and they do a lot of different blitzes and things,'' Kitna said. ``What was surprising is for us to fall behind like we did early.