CZAR: Eagles have crash-landed

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We can forgive coach Andy Reid for forgetting the name of his starting free safety, . When you lose the NFL's best safety in and replace him with someone (Hart) who never played college ball, plus get blamed for being shut out in your home opener, it's understandable if your coaching brain is fried. The sure sound like they are in trouble. In the history of the Super Bowl, no team that was zipped in Week 1 has ever played in the championship game. But then, the current look like a team that might be lucky to finish second to the in the NFC East. The defense, always the brainy domain of Jim Johnson, is now minus four defensive linemen, including , who was supposed to make everyone forget that Hugh Douglas is playing in Jacksonville. But when the equally shell-shocked come to Philadelphia Sunday, quarterback should fare better than he did in Buffalo. The secondary will not only be minus Dawkins, but also left cornerback . The loss of two Pro Bowl performers means that Johnson will have to curtail his blitzing tactics because he'll be without his two best cover men. It's either that or risk putting a couple youngsters, like Hart and nickel back , on an island. Reid, who calls the plays, never rolled McNabb out against the Bucs on Monday night. Plus, there were 12 minutes left in the third quarter before McNabb actually ran past the line of scrimmage. He denies that Reid has put him on a leash, but it sure looked like it. In this last three games against the Bucs, McNabb has completed 52 percent of his passes for a meager 4.7 yards per attempt. Scouts say he totally ignored three open receivers deep against the Bucs.

Woodson, Porter out

The are still fuming about being called for 17 penalties in Tennessee Sunday night, but what's worse is that both starting safeties — and — probably will be replaced by rookie and in the home opener against the Cincinnati . Lucky for the , they are facing the Bungles. , the ' super deep threat, went to see more doctors on Thursday about an abdominal strain. The don't believe it is anything serious right now, but they don't think he'll play, either. Without Porter, the might junk their three-receiver set for either double tight ends or using two backs — and — and simply run at the . But we all know how much the hate to run the ball. Woodson had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday for a torn meniscus of his left knee, hoping that he might be able to play in Denver on Monday night, Sept. 22. That's the only tough game the have over the next five weeks until they host Kansas City on Oct. 20, another Monday night game.

Florida reunion

quarterback will be competing against his former college coach, Washington's Steve Spurrier, when the two teams meet in Atlanta. Everyone knows that the two men had an awful relationship at the U. of Florida. In fact, Spurrier bad-mouthed Johnson enough that he wasn't drafted in 2000. He signed with Atlanta for $17,000 as a free agent. On Wednesday, Johnson, who is 2-0 as a Mike Vick replacement, was asked about Spurrier and all he said was that he respected his former coach. Said Johnson: "You all can keep asking, trying to sneak in the back door or the front door, but the answers are not going to change." Johnson, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, has already caused the some problems. Spurrier still uses the same audible lingo he used at Florida. "I'm sure that Doug will go in there and tell the defensive coaches a lot of our audibles," said quarterbacks coach Noah Brindise. "So we're going to have to find a way to combat that." On a lighter side, cornerback presented Johnson with a jug of Listerine on Monday. The two players have had a running gag all summer about which one has the worse breath. Buchanan said the gift served as a compliment for Johnson's second-half play against the while reminding him "that his breath still stinks."

Notes and thoughts

Now here's a misleading stat, compliments of QB . He passed for a career-best 268 yards last Sunday, giving him seven consecutive 200-yard passing games, something FOX's Troy Aikman never did in the regular season. The last QB to do it was Danny White in 1983. He had a streak of 10 games. . . . head coach Jim Fassel is 1-7 on Monday night; his only win was against the . . . . coach Dan Reeves is going for career win No. 200 against the . . . . Bucs DE had two sacks Monday night and collected four against the last season, so new starter better have his head on a swivel. . . . San Francisco's hasn¿t fared too well in St. Louis, losing four straight and posting a 43.6 QB rating in the dome.
Tagged: Falcons, Cowboys, Raiders, Patriots, Giants, Eagles, 49ers, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Jaguars, Charlie Garner, Tom Brady, Jake Delhomme, Derrick Burgess, Hugh Douglas, Brian Dawkins, Bobby Taylor, Jeff Garcia, Sheldon Brown, Siddeeq Shabazz, Clinton Hart

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