It was evident early on that this would be a big day for Donovan McNabb.
Already up 7-0 in the first quarter, McNabb and the Eagles were well positioned to pile on more points with the ball at the Giants' 7-yard line. McNabb took the snap out of the shotgun, and in vintage form, scrambled around until a window opened where he fired a bullet to Brent Celek for a touchdown.
The points didn't last long as they were nullified by a penalty.
Two plays later, McNabb threw yet another perfect pass to Celek deep down the middle and the Eagles were in business ahead 13-0. McNabb finished 17-of-23 for 240 yards and three touchdowns against no interceptions in the Eagles' 40-17 dismantling of the New York Giants on Sunday. McNabb's first seven passes were caught by seven different receivers (including himself on a tipped pass) and each of the touchdowns were caught by different teammates.
"It's always big when you can spread it around," McNabb said. "I think being able to establish the run game and the screen game opens up a lot of things, and the play-action game and the drop back game and vice versa. I thought today we were very balanced, and had a way of attacking their defense, knowing that they like to blitz at times. ... We were able to pick up big plays all throughout the drives, which led to touchdowns for us."
McNabb finished with a 146.7 QB rating that was, believe it or not, just the second highest for him this season. A week ago against Washington, McNabb put up decent numbers in a 27-17 win, but stated that he needed to be more accurate with his passing.
That certainly wasn't an issue on this day.
The Eagles put the game away over a span of three passes in the second quarter. McNabb found DeSean Jackson wide open down the left sideline after the Giants blew their coverage assignment for a 54-yard touchdown. To start their next drive, McNabb connected with Celek over the middle for a 20-yard gain before throwing a gorgeous pass that was hauled in by Jeremy Maclin for a 23-yard touchdown.
The Eagles led at that point 30-7, which would be the score at halftime.
"I got position on the defensive back and Don drove it in there and gave me a chance to make a play on the ball," Maclin said. "That's also a great throw, keeping it away from the safety but at the same time giving me a chance to make a play."
Even without Brian Westbrook, who was sidelined after suffering a concussion last week, the Eagles posted 40 points on the scoreboard. And McNabb orchestrated the offense Sunday with a with a rookie in Maclin, a second-year receiver in Jackson, a first-year starter in Celek plus a rookie running back in LeSean McCoy, who chipped in a 66-yard touchdown run of his own. The key, McNabb said, is that no matter how green his weapons are in the end it comes down to trust.
"I've always said that I trust these guys. We always table about Brent Celek and DeSean and the way that they've been able to flourish in this offense. And now you see Maclin really stepping up and making big plays for us. And the list goes on."
It all comes back to the man distributing the ball, and when McNabb is as sharp as he was on Sunday - it's hard not to argue just how good he is.
"That was a great situation to see him like that," Jackson said. "It felt like he was back in his young days. As long as he keeps playing like that, he's unstoppable."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 6:37 p.m., November 1