Sunday, October 11, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Eagles 33, Bucs 14
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
PHILADELPHIA -- Turns out the Eagles didn't need the Wildcat formation to beat the winless Buccaneers. They stuck with Donovan McNabb for most of the game, and he responded in a big way. In fact, he looked better running the ball than Michael Vick -- right from the opening possession.
McNabb was flushed out of the pocket on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage and he raced 13 yards. He followed it up by lofting a perfect pass to rookie Jeremy Maclin for a 51-yard touchdown. McNabb and Maclin hooked up for a 40-yard touchdown later in the half and the Eagles took a 21-7 halftime lead.
Coach Andy Reid virtually ignored the running game in the first half because he didn't need it. In the second half, Brian Westbrook finally got a piece of the action when he caught a pass for 20 yards to help set up another score. But this was McNabb's and Maclin's day. Wearing a protective vest to protect his injured rib, McNabb was 16-of-21 for 264 yards and three touchdowns.
Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson tried to keep his team in the game in the first half, but his interception in the end zone with no time left on the clock virtually ended Tampa Bay's hopes. The Eagles' defense did everything it could to confuse Johnson. Defensive end Victor Abiamiri lined up at linebacker at times, and Jeremiah Trotter blew up a couple of plays from his old middle linebacker spot.
The Eagles took control of the game in the first quarter and you never got the sense the Bucs were going to rally. With this win, Reid is now 11-0 after byes. I'm headed down to the locker room. I'll have a full report in a couple of hours.