The Eagles started their season with an impressive 38-10 win over the Carolina Panthers today in Charlotte. Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme was booed off the field by the Carolina fans after a wretched performance of 7-17, with 4 big interceptions, including two by cornerback Sheldon Brown. Carrying on Jim Johnson's tradition, the defense's blitzes kept Delhomme off balance and wreaked havoc on the Carolina offense, prompting Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith to say, "Offensively, we just sucked. Let's be honest." The Birds' defense scored one touchdown with a fumble return, and shut down the Carolina offense. The Eagles held Carolina to 72 rushing yards and only 136 passing yards, with two quarterbacks combining for a bad 13-28 with 5 interceptions. DeSean Jackson had an incendiary 85 yard punt return for a touchdown.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that Donovan McNabb broke a rib on a third quarter touchdown run that put the Birds up 38-10 when he took a cheap shot after the play had already ended. The terribly unimpressive Kevin Kolb finished the game with a 7-11 performance for only 23 yards. It appears likely that McNabb may miss some time as a consequence of the broken rib, and the thought of Kolb starting at quarterback next week against New Orleans scares me to no end, as I am far from impressed by what I've seen from him so far in his career.
And so the Eagles begin the season with a dominating win on the road over a good Carolina team, but they may have lost their leader, McNabb, to a broken rib in the process. "Don is very resilient," declared Brian Westbrook, who had 64 yards on 13 carries, "He heals fast." Let's hope that Westbrook is right, because I just have no confidence at all in Kevin Kolb's ability to lead this team.