|Other Week 1 Game Recaps|
|BUF at NE||CHI at GB||DAL at TB||DEN at CIN||DET at NO||JAX at IND||KC at BAL||MIA at ATL|
|MIN at CLE||NYJ at HOU||PHI at CAR||SD at OAK||SF at ARI||STL at SEA||TEN at PIT||WAS at NYG|
Week 1 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 38, Carolina Panthers 10
|QB Donovan McNabb, Pass: 10 - 18 - 79 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 27 - 1|
McNabb had a great fantasy game, right up until the point where he was injured in the third quarter. Working behind three-fifths of his projected starting offensive line, the Eagles gave McNabb enough time in the pocket to look up to 15-20 yards downfield and get the passes of with little pressure in his face. McNabb completed just over half of his 18 attempts but nothing very deep at all, but he did try to hit DeSean Jackson for a big play but was unsuccessful. McNabb showed excellent mobility both in the pocket and in shuffling around behind the line to buy him more time. He was also willing to tuck it and run when nothing else was available -- which is exactly what happened when he was injured. Not to fault McNabb as running the ball is part of the game (and he was hit after he was already in the end zone), but injuries are more prone to quarterbacks who are willing to escape the pocket to make plays. It remains to be seen if McNabb's broken rib injury will keep him out of Week 2 against the Saints. Fantasy owners should know that the Eagles have an early bye week (Week 4) so if McNabb takes the next two games off he will get almost a month to recover for Philadelphia's fourth game.
|QB Kevin Kolb, Pass: 7 - 11 - 23 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0|
Kolb entered the game after Donovan McNabb was injured in the third quarter. The game was mostly well in hand as the Eagles had a 28 point lead, but Philadelphia still wanted to get him in the mix and move the offense. Kolb threw 11 times in relief of McNabb, but only amassed 23 yards passing despite seven completions. He did not look downfield much at all, settling for short targets to TE Brent Celek or RB LeSean McCoy on several of his attempts. Only once did he look beyond 20 yards (to WR DeSean Jackson) but it was well off target. Should Kolb have to go in as a spot starter for Week 2 it could be a challenge for the Eagles to look for deeper throws, but if Andy Reid continues to use a West Coast Offense style of offense then Kolb only needs to be accurate and hit his receivers in stride for yards after the catch. Kolb looked to be serviceable as a backup and spot starter but not one many fantasy owners would enjoy going to for a big statistical game.
|QB Michael Vick|
Before you run to that waiver wire and try and grab Vick as a possible spot starter if Donovan McNabb cannot play due to his broken ribs, remember several things. First of all, Vick is suspended until Week 3, so he will not be starting for the Eagles next week against New Orleans. Also know that the Eagles have a bye in Week 4, so if McNabb only needs a few weeks to rest he would only miss the next two games and have nearly a month off to get ready for Week 5 -- meaning Vick would only have one shot at starting (Week 3). Lastly and most important -- even Vick knows that he is not ready to be a starting NFL quarterback, so more than likely he will not be the featured quarterback for the Eagles even if McNabb misses a few starts.
|RB Brian Westbrook, Rush: 13 - 64 - 0, Rec: 3 - 8 - 1 (4 targets)|
Westbrook had missed nearly all of the preseason workouts and games, yet when he took the field in Week 1 against the Panthers he looked like he never missed a step. Westbrook darted and dashed like he used to when he was a Pro Bowl caliber running back, catching short passes and running between the tackles and outside in space. The Eagles got Westbrook 16 total touches with three catches out of the backfield, and he made sharp cuts one after another, often making the first man miss. Philadelphia had only three of their normal front five on the offensive line starting yet they controlled the line of scrimmage, affording Westbrook room to get to the hole and gain a few yards before first contact. All of Westbrook's fantasy owners should be encouraged by this performance as he put up over 70 total yards in just three quarters as the Eagles pulled most starters in the second half with the game well in hand.
|RB LeSean McCoy, Rush: 9 - 46 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (3 targets)|
The bulk of McCoy's work came in the final twenty minutes of the game as the Eagles were up by 28 points and had the game well in hand. McCoy showed flashes of his skills as a tailback -- both as a receiver and as a rusher -- giving many observers a glimpse of why the Eagles made him their choice in Round 2 of the NFL Draft to be Brian Westbrook's backup. McCoy showed excellent hands on his one short catch, reaching low to snare a tough catch. He also ran hard and with good elusiveness behind a makeshift but effective offensive line, racking up over five yards per carry. McCoy will likely not see much more work than he did against Carolina (10 touches) but if Westbrook should begin to get banged up then McCoy is an excellent and capable insurance policy.
|WR DeSean Jackson, Rush: 2 - 33 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (7 targets)|
Jackson had a much bigger day than the stat sheet really said against the Panthers in Week 1. With the Eagles leading in a tight game at 10-7, Jackson returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown that started Philadelphia's scoring explosion. Jackson even ran the Wildcat formation a few times, either handing off inside to Brian Westbrook or running the ball himself. Jackson had a long 25 yard end around, one of two attempts at that play. The second demonstrated Jackson's increased football knowledge as he fumbled the exchange but knocked the ball out of bounds, keeping the ball in the Eagles' possession. Unfortunately Jackson also showed some signs of inexperience as well, picking up an excessive celebration penalty after TE Brent Celek's touchdown.
|WR Kevin Curtis, Rec: 2 - 26 - 0 (4 targets)|
Curtis had a quiet day with just five balls heading in his direction, but odds are that he is not as healthy as he could be. Curtis never attempted to truly stretch the field and even dropped an easy 15-20 yard pass from McNabb early in the contest. Curtis was on the field as the second starting wideout opposite of DeSean Jackson, but the timing between him and McNabb was either a little off or Curtis was not quite up to the caliber that usually makes him a deep threat and explosive receiver after the catch.
|WR Hank Baskett, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)|
Baskett had only two targets and was only on the field in clear passing downs or late in the contest, but he was open deep once but McNabb was under pressure. His performance will be spotty at best and he will not be meaningful in fantasy circles unless another wideout (or two) suffers an injury.
|TE Brent Celek, Rec: 6 - 37 - 1 (7 targets)|
Very quietly, Brent Celek had a very productive game. Celek started for the Eagles and played the entire contest, unlike several others who left in the second half with the outcome decided. His participation for four quarters should not be viewed as a lack of his importance, however, as he scored the first offensive touchdown of the game for the Eagles. It is much more likely that Celek was kept in the game once Kevin Kolb entered to both solidify the offensive line in front of the backup QB and also afford Kolb a solid target over the middle for short passes. Celek was able to get open underneath the secondary and settle 5-10 yards from the line of scrimmage as a nice check down target all game.
|QB Jake Delhomme, Pass: 7 - 17 - 73 - 0 TD / 4 INT, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0|
Delhomme picked up right where he finished the 2008 postseason, which is not a good thing for Carolina. Delhomme completed 11 throws, but four of them went to Philadelphia. The Eagles had constant pressure on Delhomme but several of his attempts were 50-50 balls at best, including his fourth and final interception that was intended for Steve Smith deep. CB Asante Samuel leaped up for it and snared the final ball from Delhomme. The best news for Delhomme was that his backups did not fare any better, so odds are that Delhomme will be back under center for better or worse next week.
|QB Matt Moore, Pass: 6 - 11 - 63 - 0 TD / 1 INT|
Matt Moore had to enter the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter after Jake Delhomme was yanked due to four interceptions and then Josh McCown was injured. Moore completed over 50% of his attempts, which was the best performance of the three quarterbacks in Week 1. Moore is an intriguing QB option as he has been a starter before and could be next in line to challenge Delhomme if he cannot get the job done.
|QB Josh McCown, Pass: 1 - 6 - 2 - 0 TD / 0 INT|
McCown came in for Delhomme in relief after his four interceptions against Philadelphia, but he was forced from the game after a very rough hit from the side that injured McCown's knee. In the limited time that McCown was in the game he had an interception and completed just one of six attempts against a swarming Eagle defense. McCown has been placed on IR, and the Panthers have signed AJ Feeley to take his place.
|RB DeAngelo Williams, Rush: 14 - 37 - 1, Rec: 4 - 42 - 0 (5 targets)|
Williams was the starting rusher for Carolina, ultimately capping the first and only touchdown drive for the Panthers. Williams showed excellent cutting ability and vision, breaking quickly to open spaces. On the touchdown, Williams noticed that the Eagles lost containment around the end and Williams broke wide and had the corner in a heartbeat, easily scoring his first six points of the young year. After that score, however, the Eagles made adjustments and kept Williams in check for the remainder of the game. Williams also added four catches and 42 yards receiving, leading all Panthers in yardage as a pass catcher. Williams likely would have had over 100 combined yards easily if not for the game getting out of hand in the second half, but it is troubling that Jonathan Stewart had the same number of carries as Williams until the final drive of the game.
|RB Jonathan Stewart, Rush: 11 - 35 - 0, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (3 targets)|
Stewart was a question mark entering Week 1 with health concerns, but he looked very good as both a runner and a receiver. Stewart spelled DeAngelo Williams early in the first half, even getting a few carries inside the Eagles' 10 yard line. Stewart showed good speed and power, but Philadelphia's defense was too formidable to give up much on this occasion. Stewart had several shots from inside the five yard line but the Eagles held strong inside and forced the Panthers to make several tries before picking up a first down inside the one. After a penalty pushed them back, Williams took over and scored the touchdown. It remains to be seen if Stewart will assume his role from last season as the Panthers' goal line back.
|RB Mike Goodson, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0|
Goodson was a star in the preseason for Carolina, but he was only used as a kick returner and the third RB off of the bench late in the game. As long as Jonathan Stewart is healthy, Goodson will not be relevant from a fantasy perspective. He also lost a fumble, which won't help his bid for playing time.
|WR Steve Smith, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (13 targets)|
Smith had only two catches until late into the Week 1 game against the Eagles, partly due to QB Jake Delhomme's ineffectiveness but mostly due to excellent defense from Philadelphia. He was also involved more in the first half as he lined up in the shotgun for the snap in a Wildcat formation, where he ran the ball left for a modest gain. Smith did have a few balls that seemed very catchable that bounced off of his hands. Smith looked very frustrated at how the game was going for Carolina, something that is all too common for elite wideouts who do not see enough chances. Smith is an excellent player but when all three of your quarterbacks turn the ball over with regularity it can be a long day at the office.
|WR Muhsin Muhammad, Rec: 4 - 41 - 0 (9 targets)|
Carolina struggled in throwing the ball all game against a very stingy Eagles' defense, but Muhammad assumed his normal role as the possession receiver and complimentary option to Steve Smith. Muhammad led all Panthers in targets but was victimized by the struggles of Jake Delhomme, which limited Muhammad to just four receptions. A penalty also took away Muhammad's biggest catch of the game of over 20 yards. Late in the second half Muhammad was shaken up on a hard hit but was able to get up and continue in the game.
|TE Jeff King, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (2 targets)|
King was the only tight end to catch a pass for the Panthers. He was targeted on short passes twice in the second half, grabbing one of them. Carolina continues to not utilize the TE position much at all in their offensive scheme, preferring the TE to be more of an extension of their offensive line.