Eagles 31, Packers 9
Tuesday, October 3rd 2006, 5:01 am
News On 6
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Donovan McNabb went back to his scrambling days. Brett Favre reverted to his erratic ways.
McNabb ran for 2 touchdowns and threw for a pair, leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a 31-9 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.
Meanwhile, Favre, who has enjoyed many memorable moments on the national stage throughout his 16 year career, had another miserable game that has become too common for the star quarterback in recent years. Favre misfired badly on several passes, including 2 interceptions that led to Philadelphia scores.
He left with a slight head injury late in the 4th quarter, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he didn't think the injury was serious.
McNabb finished 16-30 for 288 yards and had 47 yards rushing. He scored on runs of 6 and 15 yards, and connected with Greg Lewis on TD passes of 45 and 30 yards.
``I decided to go back to my style of play,'' McNabb said, ``and if the opportunity is there, take full advantage.''
Once a feared runner, McNabb had just 55 yards rushing last season when he was limited by injuries and missed the final 7 games because of a sports hernia.
``McNabb is the kind of player that makes plays,'' Packers linebacker Nick Barnett said. ``He will run out of the pocket and you have to stop him.''
Favre was 22-40 for 205 yards and had a passer rating of 44.2. He didn't speak to reporters after the game, and a team spokesman said he was complaining of headaches.
``It's in his head, a stinger,'' McCarthy said. ``I think he will be fine.''
Playing without injured running back Brian Westbrook, the Eagles started slow and trailed 9-7 at halftime following 3 field goals from Green Bay's Dave Rayner, including a 54 yarder that was right down the middle with plenty of distance. Correll Buckhalter, starting for Westbrook, lost 2 fumbles inside the Packers 5 in the 1st half.
But McNabb used his legs in the 3rd quarter to ignite the offense and lead the Eagles (3-1) to their third victory by a double digit margin.
``Donovan is not only the leader, he's the playmaker on the field,'' linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said. ``He makes it happen on offense.''
On the opening possession of the 3rd quarter, McNabb twice kept the drive going by running for 1st downs on 3rd & 10. He got 14 yards on his first dash and juked for 12 more to the Packers 42 on the second one.
David Akers then kicked a 40 yard field goal to give the Eagles a 10-9 lead, and they never looked back.
On Philly's next drive, Lewis blew past cornerback Ahmad Carroll, caught McNabb's pass in stride inside the 5 and scored to give the Eagles a 17-9 lead.
After rookie defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey intercepted a tipped pass and lost 12 yards on the return, McNabb and Lewis hooked up again to put Philadelphia ahead 24-9.
On the next series, Michael Lewis intercepted Favre's overthrown pass at the Eagles 13 and returned it to the 34.
McNabb scored from 15 yards to put the Eagles ahead 31-9. It was the first time in his career he had 2 rushing TDs in a game.
``I saw that Peyton Manning scored, so I had to outdo him,'' McNabb joked.
Green Bay played without running back Ahman Green (hamstring) while cornerbacks Lito Sheppard (ankle) and Rod Hood (heel) joined Westbrook (knee) on the sideline for the Eagles.
The Packers (1-3) have lost 9 straight to the Eagles in Philly since a 49-0 victory in 1962, when Vince Lombardi was coaching Green Bay.
Both teams squandered opportunities early.
The Eagles drove to the Packers 2 on their second possession, but Buckhalter mishandled the handoff from McNabb and Barnett fell on the ball.
Buckhalter fumbled again in the 2nd quarter and Charles Woodson recovered at the 3.
But Vernand Morency, who started in Green's place, gave it back when he muffed the handoff 2 plays later and Darren Howard recovered it at the Packers 6. McNabb ran it in from there to give the Eagles a 7-3 lead.
``Big plays equal points and I thought that was a big factor in the way the game got away from us,'' McCarthy said.
Rayner's 54 yarder in the 2nd quarter got the Packers within 7-6. It tied Chris Jacke (1994) and Ryan Longwell (2001) for longest field goal in team history.