Westbrook won’t start against G-menby Joseph Birmingham
The Eagles are about to go up against their primary NFC East competition and they will be doing it without Brian Westbrook, who is still feeling symptoms from last weeks concussion.
I applaud this move on the part of Reid, the coaching staff and Jeff Lurie. While the Eagles have a much better record playing with their star running back over the past decade, they have a perfectly good replacement in McCoy. It probably didn’t hurt that commish Goodell was recently involved in hearings regarding concussions and their long term effects on NFL players but I believe this would have been the decision no matter what. The Eagles have a reputation for being conservative both in their play calling and personnel decisions.
What that means is that today’s game will essentially rest on the performance of Donovan McNabb and his two key receivers, Jackson and Macklin. The Eagles need this win to keep their NFC East record undefeated. A win will say a lot about how they match up the remainder of the year. They beat the Giants twice last year, and rarely does one NFC East team go 3-0 or 0-3 against a direct competitor. Even when a team is down and out, this division is so tough, to win three in a row is rarely done. Add that to the fact that the Giants have lost 2 in a row after starting the year 5-0 and it is more improbable the Eagles can pull this off.
If Donovan brings his A game, the Eagles will win a close one, in the 30-29 scoring range. If Donovan is ineffective the Giants can blow this one out. The Eagles traditionally start slow, so it might be the second quarter before we see how this one will play out. I personally think McNabb will pass for 300 yards and three touchdowns, Witherspoon will have 3-4 sacks and a takeaway and Assante Samuel will pick Eli twice as the defense steps up to help the Eagles win a close one in Philadelphia to set the stage for the second game being hosted in the city of brotherly love, World Series game 4 where the Phillies NEED the victory to have any hope of defending their title.