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Week 1 Review

By: Michael J. Cheal

Well, Week One is in the books for our beloved Eagles, but it resembled a Charles Dickens story more than a football game. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” I think that pretty much describes the roller coaster ride we all experienced this afternoon.

Carolina controlled the ball for the first eight minute just moving the ball methodically down the field against an Eagles defense that was at times inconsistent in the pre-season. Juqua Parker helped Carolina with the facemask penalty that gave the Panthers a first down to keep the drive going. Carolina eventually scored a touchdown, and fans were shaking their heads saying once again. “Why did we let go of Brian Dawkins?” It just seemed like the defense had no heart at all in the first few minutes. It was about to be the worst of times.

Suddenly, in less than five minutes game time, it became the best of times. The Eagles responded with thirty-one unanswered points in the first half. What made the rally more impressive was all facets of the game, Offense, defense, and special teams accomplished the points. It has always been said to win a game, you must win two out of three of the goals stated. The Eagles did all three. At halftime the score was 31-10. Eagles fans and the team were on a high. Nothing could go wrong.

Unfortunately, the first few minutes of the first half reminded us how fast emotions can change in a game. Donovan McNabb ran in the touchdown to increase the Eagles lead to twenty-eight points, but took three wicked hits from Panthers defenders. When McNabb rolled on the ground in the end zone, it had become the worst of times again.

The offense never got back on track again after that. The defense was able to hold off Carolina’s offense and didn’t let them score another point the rest of the game forcing several turnovers. There has to be some concern going into next Sunday’s home opener against the New Orleans Saints. It isn’t known whether McNabb will be back next week, and the Saints’ offense is far more potent than Carolina’s was. The defense will be tested. It will be interesting to see if Kevin Kolb can step up and be a leader if McNabb can’t play. We’ll have to see if it will be the best or worst of times.

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