McNabb injured, Eagles tame Panthers

September 13, 2009 7:02:28 PM PDT
Donovan McNabb limped to the locker room with a cracked rib. Jake Delhomme was booed off the field. The veteran quarterbacks had rough games for different reasons Sunday, putting both franchises in flux after the Philadelphia Eagles routed the Carolina Panthers 38-10.

A dominant performance by the Eagles thanks to Delhomme's five turnovers was tempered by concerns about McNabb, who cracked a single rib when he was crunched by several defenders on his 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

With the suspended Michael Vick watching from a luxury suite, Kevin Kolb finished the game at quarterback as the Eagles ran out the clock on a miserable day for the Panthers.

Playing his first meaningful game since committing six turnovers against Arizona in the playoffs, Delhomme was nearly as bad. With the boos increasing before he was finally replaced in the third quarter, Delhomme was 7 of 17 for 73 yards with four interceptions and a lost fumble.

Then, backup Josh McCown was carted to the locker room with a left knee injury, leaving third-stringer Matt Moore to inherit a big deficit. Fittingly, he threw his own interception, one of seven Carolina turnovers.

Victor Abiamiri picked up Delhomme's fumble, caused by Trent Cole's sack, and plunged 2 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Moments later, DeSean Jackson returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown - the second longest in franchise history.

Delhomme collapsed under the weight of relentless pressure from the Eagles, who were playing their first game since the death of longtime defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Sheldon Brown had two of the interceptions and Akeem Jordan and Asante Samuel each had one on consecutive Delhomme throws in the third quarter.

McNabb, who finished 10 of 18 for 79 yards with touchdown passes to Brent Celek and Brian Westbrook, rumbled for a TD after the Jordan pick for the game's final score.

He was on the ground for several minutes after a hard hit by several would-be tacklers. Vick, wearing a suit and watching from Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie's suite, looked concerned as McNabb got up, slapped a high-five with tight end Brent Celek and walked to the bench.

McNabb was limping a few minutes later when he walked to the locker room. McNabb last year started all 16 games for the first time since 2003.

With Vick not eligible to return until Week 3 from penalties related to his dogfighting conviction, the Eagles could have uncertainty at quarterback next week against New Orleans.

Fresh off receiving a five-year, $42.5 million deal in the offseason that includes $20 million in guaranteed money, Delhomme and the Panthers may have bigger worries.

Delhomme, who has 11 turnovers in two games, got the Panthers off to a 7-0 lead after DeAngelo Williams' shifty 11-yard on the opening drive.

Delhomme's follies would soon start.

Brown's first big play, picking off a deflected pass thrown behind Steve Smith, led to a field goal, and it only got worse from there.

Williams, held to 37 yards on 14 carries, was stopped short of the goal line on fourth down in the final minute. Philadelphia's defense, wearing a decal on the helmets in memory of Johnson, ran off the field in celebration.


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