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Westbrook Comes Alive For Eagles

OAKLAND --Brian Westbrook is rounding into form. He showed flashes here and there in the three games he played prior to Sunday's contest against the Raiders, and then he stepped it up a notch in the Black Hole.

Westbrook carried 6 times for 50 yards and added a big plus in the passing game with 9 receptions for 91 yards. Westbrook looked quick, cut well and was just about the only explosive element for a struggling Eagles offense in a 13-9 loss.

It was an enouraging sight. Westbrook had averaged 4.2 yards on his 32 carries in three games prior to Sunday's game, but he had caught just 8 passes. That changed in Oakland. The Raiders concentrated their efforts on taking away receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, along with tight end Brent Celek. Those three, after a sensational first quarter of the season, were quiet. Jackson had 6 catches and 94 yards. Celek grabbed 4 passes for 75 yards. Maclin had only one catch for 6 yards.

Westbrook made some noise, just not enough.

"We're better than that. We didn't come out today and execute our offense very well at all," said Westbrook. "We had a couple of drives, but we weren't able to put the ball in the end zone. We're a lot better team than we played like today."

The Eagles didn't handle Oakland's rapid-fire blitz scheme at all. The running game generated just 67 yards on 14 carries and remains a question mark.

"We had some success running the ball. Hopefully if we had run the ball mroe, we would have had more success," said Westbrook.

Westbrook admitted that the Eagles needed to "jump on them early" and that the offense didn't "hold up our end of the bargain." That was true: The Eagles converted just 2 of 16 third downs.

Westbrook had a strong game alternating with rookie LeSean McCoy. He said he felt "pretty good" physically, a good sign. The lack of offensive production, however, is the lingering issue from this game.

"When you lose, especially in this fashion, you point your finger at a whole lot of stuff. Everybody has a part in it," he said. "We have to go out and find a way."

-- Posted by Dave Spadaro, 8:15 p.m., October 18, 2009

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