Philadelphia Eagles over St. Louis Cardinals, 48-20
The Philadelphia Eagles and Donovan McNabb rebounded from back-to-back abysmal performances to rout the Arizona Cardinals 48-20 at home on Thanksgiving Day. McNabb finally looked like the McNabb of old making plays with his arms and his legs. A healthy Brian Westbrook had a superb game with 110 yards rushing and four touchdowns, two coming via pass receptions. Maybe the short week allowing them to quickly forget their dismal performance and McNabb’s benching against the Ravens , along with having a Cardinals team that can’t seem to win on the East coast, was just what the Eagles needed to get back on track and look like the winning team most people thought they would be this season. It was an all around great performance by the Eagles. At 6-5-1 in the tough NFC East, it’s unlikely the Eagles make the playoffs, despite this win.
Meanwhile the Cardinals put up their second uncompetitive performance against an NFC East team after getting spanked by the Giants last Sunday. The Eagles had a great drive to open the game to put them up 7-0. This was followed by two Kurt Warner interceptions that ultimately resulted in a 21-0 Eagles lead. The Cardinals all but abandoned the running game at this point, which allowed the Eagles to mix up blitz and pass coverage schemes that the Cardinals couldn’t overcome. The great Cardinals receivers didn’t help much either, uncharacteristically dropping well thrown balls. The Cardinals were never in the game.
I am off the Cardinals bandwagon. They were the darlings of the NFL with their 7-4 record, prolific offense, and a resurgent Kurt Warner. Kurt Warner has even been talked about as a leading candidate for NFL MVP. And what a great story it is: a moribund franchise seemingly on the rise behind a likeable, Super Bowl winning, two time NFL MVP veteran quarterback who we never thought we’d see be a full-time starter again. But maybe it was all a chimera. The Cardinals’ recent three game winning streak was against losing teams. They are in the weakest conference in the NFL with the 49’ers, Seahawks, and Rams all having losing records. Now the Cardinals have put up a second poor showing in a row against higher caliber teams from the NFC East. Worse yet, they weren’t even competitive in either game. Their signature win of the season at home against the Dallas Cowboys was followed up with an away loss at a good Carolina team. With this ugly loss to the Eagles the luster is off the Cardinals. They will make the playoffs, but they haven’t proven they are capable of doing anything once they get there.
MVP: Brain Westbrook, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Thanksgiving Day Observations
I wasn’t able to watch the early games this year. Even though I have them taped I don’t plan to either. It’s a shame the Thanksgiving Day games pitted the woeful Detroit Lions against the one loss Tennessee Titans, and the rejuvenated Dallas Cowboys against a depleted and not very good Seattle Seahawks team. As nearly anybody could predict, both games were blowouts. That said, I’ve seen talk of taking the Thanksgiving Day game away from the Detroit Lions, which has been a tradition for that club since the 1930’s. I don’t agree with that either. I like the tradition and the Lions could, some day, be a decent team again.