Green Bay (1-2) at Philadelphia (2-1)

Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EDT Mon Oct 2, 2006
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Philadelphia Eagles have had no shortage of offensive weapons this season, and Brian Westbrook may be the most dangerous even when he’s not completely healthy.

The speedy running back hopes to be back at full strength and continue his great start when the Eagles play the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.

Despite battling a nagging knee injury the last two weeks, Westbrook has been in the lineup every Sunday and opposing teams have paid the price. His 420 total yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns lead the NFL.

Westbrook has missed most practices the previous two weeks due to swelling in his knee, but an extra day off this week could help his recovery.

“I want it to be 100 percent,” Westbrook said. “I don’t want to keep doing this.”

While he is among the league leaders with 256 rushing yards and 5.8 per carry despite being limited to 44 attempts, Westbrook remains one of Donovan McNabb’s top targets. He has 15 receptions—one behind tight end L.J. Smith for the team lead—and tops all non-wideouts in the NFL this season with 164 receiving yards.

The fifth-year player has totaled 1,815 receiving yards and 16 touchdown catches over the last four seasons, the best marks for a running back.

“It’s one of those things when you’re in the offense for a number of years,” Westbrook said. “I know pretty much all the plays. I go to meetings. I watch tape.”

The Packers (1-2) have likely seen tape of Westbrook’s performance last week, which helped Philadelphia (2-1) beat San Francisco 38-24 and bounce back from a disappointing loss to the New York Giants in Week 2.

Westbrook carried the ball eight times for 117 yards and two touchdowns, including the longest of his career on a 71-yard run, and caught four passes for 47 yards and a TD. The highest rushing total of his career came against Green Bay in last season’s 19-14 victory on Nov. 27 when he ran for 120 yards and a TD on 20 carries.

Including a playoff matchup in 2004, the Eagles have won four in a row over the Packers and have won eight straight home games against them since 1962.

Those streaks are likely to continue if McNabb keeps up his hot play. He has a 105.3 passer rating, throwing for a league-high 960 yards and seven touchdowns this season with one interception.

One of his favorite targets has been newcomer Donte’ Stallworth, who caught 11 passes for 222 yards over the first two games but was sidelined last week with a hamstring spasm. Stallworth is probable for Monday’s game.

Without Stallworth last week, McNabb connected with second-year receiver Reggie Brown five times for 106 yards and a touchdown.

“We can be a great offense,” Brown said. “We need to be more consistent, but we know what we have here. We have to put it all together every week. That is our goal.”

The Eagles already lead the NFL in total offense with 436.0 yards per game. They have a good chance to at least maintain that pace when it meets a Green Bay squad ranked 31st in both passing defense, allowing 301.0 yards per game, and overall defense, giving up 388.3 per contest.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said his team’s biggest problem on defense is an inability to stop what he calls “explosive plays”—runs of 12 yards or more and passes of 16 yards or more.

“We need cleaner communication,” McCarthy said. “We’ve got to be more decisive, more urgent, and we’ll get that cleaned up.”

The Packers allowed a season-high 424 yards last week, but managed their first win of the season, 31-24 over Detroit.

Brett Favre came through with his best game of the season, completing 25 of 36 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns, and ended a run of 12 straight games of throwing an interception.

“I enjoyed the heck out of the game,” said Favre, who joined Dan Marino as the only players with 400 career touchdown passes. “There’s nothing like winning, but there’s nothing like playing—period. I hate to think if I was home and didn’t come back this year, what would I be thinking?”

Donald Driver, who leads the Packers with 18 receptions for 269 yards, was Favre’s go-to guy the first two games. Green Bay demonstrated versatility last week, however, as 10 different receivers caught a pass.

Green Bay’s offensive line allowed five sacks over the first two games, but didn’t give up one last week for the first time in 13 games. That may be hard to repeat Monday because the Eagles are tied for the league lead with 16 sacks this season.

Philadelphia also has forced seven fumbles, one of which defensive tackle Mike Patterson returned for a 98-yard touchdown last week—the sixth-longest in NFL history.

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