This one will be tough
By Pat McManamon, Editor
October 23, 2004
They say stats are for losers, so it's best to
stick to facts.
And the facts about the unbeaten Philadelphia
Eagles show just how tough the Browns challenge
will be Sunday when the two teams play at the
Consider that the Eagles:
--have given up fewer points each week in their
wins (17, 16, 13, nine and eight points).
--have not trailed at the end of any quarter this
--have won all five of their games by
double-digit margins, becoming only the sixth
team in NFL history to start the season that way.
--are winning games by an average of 14.8 points,
the best in the NFL.
--are tied for the NFL lead in sacks with 20.
--have the league leader in touchdown receptions
(six) in Terrell Owens.
--have a quarterback (Donovan McNabb) who has won
69.6 percent of the games he has started.
--have the NFL's best road record since 2000
Add it up and it's easy to see why Philadelphia
is 5-0, and why Sunday's game will show the
Browns (3-3) how far they have come, and how far
they need to go.
"Just the fact that this team (Philadelphia) is
one of the top teams in the league -- if not the
top team in the league -- makes it one of those
opportunities to see where we stand in this
league and see what we are made of as far as our
character, heart and determination," quarterback
Jeff Garcia said.
Coach Butch Davis knows how good Philadelphia is.
When it was mentioned that the Eagles have a
great player, he stopped and said they have
several great players.
Owens, McNabb, tight end Chad Lewis, tackle Jon
Runyan, defensive end Jevon Kearse, defensive
tackle Corey Simon and safety Brian Dawkins are a
few. And though running back Brian Westbrook is
not consider "great," he is averaging 6.2 yards
every time he touches the ball.
So what's Davis worried about most?
The first period. The Browns have one offensive
first-period touchdown, and it came courtesy of a
99-yard pass from Jeff Garcia to Andre' Davis.
Philadelphia is getting off to excellent starts,
outscoring opponents 48-10 in the first period.
The Browns probably will face the Eagles without
their top two wide receivers. Andre' Davis is
suffering from a sprained big toe; the team won't
know if he'll play until game-time. Quincy Morgan
was traded this week to Dallas for Antonio
Bryant, who will play but isn't ready to start.
Dennis Northcutt and Andre King probably will
Guard Kelvin Garmon will start despite being
questionable all week with a strained quadriceps
muscle, but if he's slowed Simon could give him
The odds seem to be against the Browns.
But they are at home, where they are 3-0 this
season. And the Browns have nothing to lose. A
win would provide a huge lift heading into the
team's bye week, and would validate much of what
Davis has been saying about his team this
The Eagles are not going to go unbeaten this
season, so the Browns figure why not be the team
that beats them.
"This is a great chance," Butch Davis said, "to
win a game."