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Eagles Offense Explosive, Yet Balanced In Decisive Win

Donovan McNabb's first seven passes were caught by seven different players. Five touchdowns were scored by five different players. Three of the Eagles' five touchdowns were of 41 yards or more. McNabb threw for 240 yards. The Eagles gain 180 more on the ground.

The bottom line? The Eagles were balanced, explosive and thorough in their 40-17 win Sunday over the New York Giants. The Giants simply never knew what was hitting them or who was attacking them. And now the Eagles are perched atop the NFC East tied with the Dallas Cowboys in possession a 5-2 record.

"It's a great situation, an ideal look. That's how you want it to be," wide receiver DeSean Jackson said. "Sometimes some guys are going to do a lot more than other guys. Some guys are going to have two or three touchdowns. Some guys are going to have none. It's just football. We go out there and handle our business like we need to it'll be like this a lot more."

The Eagles scored on the opening drive of the game as fullback Leonard Weaver scampered 41 yards for a touchdown. On their next drive, McNabb found tight end Brent Celek for a 17-yard scoring strike, which was more impressive after a previous touchdown grab by Celek earlier in the drive was wiped out by a penalty. And in the final two minutes of the first half, McNabb hit Jackson for a 54-yard touchdown and Jeremy Maclin for a 23-yard touchdown to put the Eagles ahead 30-7 at halftime.

"It just shows us we can score on any given play. We can drive down the field and score at will," Celek said. "I think we did that today. We proved to teams around the league that at some points we can be one of the greatest offenses out there."

The Eagles offense showed its explosiveness, but also its balance as well. At the end of the first half, the Eagles called 16 pass plays and 12 run plays. The Eagles were also opportunistic converting three takeaways into 17 points. The Eagles have scored 27-or-more points in five games this season (30-plus in four games). The Eagles have also done a good job taking care of the football not committing a turnover in the first half all season.

But the big plays scored on this Sunday were not just icing on the cake. The Giants cut the Eagles' early lead to 16-7 in the second quarter when Kevin Boss caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning. But on the very next play came Jackson's big score and just like that it was 23-7. It certainly wasn't the first highlight of 2009 for the second-year receiver. Jackson has scored six touchdowns this season and all have been of 50 yards or more which tied the team record (Timmy Brown, 1962) and is just two off tying the NFL record (Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, 1951 and Devin Hester, 2007).

"When you have huge plays like that, I think it just deflates the opposing team's defense," Celek said. "Teams always hate giving up big plays. We had a few of them that kind of broke their back there. We have to continue to have those and if we can continue to do that we're going to be successful as a team.

"When a team can consistently score on you left and right, it hurts you as a team. We were just able to put the pedal to the metal and we played well today."

The Eagles proved on Sunday that their offense is not just a one-trick pony. And while it may serve as a wake up call to other teams around the NFL, it also provided a confidence boost for the players in the Eagles locker room.

"I don't it was more so a message to everybody else as a message to ourselves that we can do that against anybody," Maclin said. "I think that's what we want to do and I think that's something we'll do."

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 7:23 p.m., November 1

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