PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Brian Dawkins gave teams another reason to
Question on the Texans: Will the running game develop enough at some point to take some pressure off David Carr?
The basic problem in Houston is that there are new teammates who are trying to gel. Carr will be a good QB, I believe, but Carr-to-Bradford won't be able to keep defenses honest alone. That has to start with the running game, which is still a question mark.
Question on the Eagles: Have the Texans, Cowboys and Redskins been good enough tests to fairly judge the Eagles?
The Eagles are a terrific defensive team with an awesome quarterback. The teams they've played are the best judges of that, and they would agree wholeheartedly. The key for the Eagles' offense is that no one has yet stepped up to take some pressure off McNabb, especially in the running game. Duce Staley or Dorsey Levens must step up if the Eagles are to be serious contenders, because it's too much to expect McNabb to be the quarterback and running back.
Eric Allen played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
Dawkins, an All-Pro safety, caught his first career touchdown
pass, had an interception, a sack and a fumble recovery, leading
the Philadelphia Eagles to a 35-17 victory over the expansion
Houston Texans on Sunday.
He became the first player in NFL history to get all four in the
"I never thought I'd get it all the way,'' Dawkins said of the
TD catch. "I just wanted to get the first down. When I looked up,
I saw one guy to beat and I knew the two guys coming behind me
weren't going to catch me.''
Since wasting a 14-point halftime lead in a season-opening loss
at Tennessee, the Eagles (3-1) have beaten Washington, Dallas and
Houston by a combined 79 points.
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Dawkins has earned a reputation
for being a fierce hitter who has a knack for making big plays in
the secondary. Now he proved he has some offensive skills, too.
"Dawkins has some goods hands,'' McNabb said. "When you have a
guy who can roam the backfield like that and is a good blitzer, you
have to keep your eyes on him.''
David Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft, was
16-of-29 for 188 yards and two touchdowns to Corey Bradford. The
Texans (1-3) have lost three in a row since beating the Cowboys in
"Respect is nice, but wins are a lot better than respect,''
Texans defensive tackle Seth Payne said. "I'd rather be
disrespected and go 16-0.''
After Carr's 23-yard pass to Bradford gave Houston a 7-0 lead,
the Eagles scored the next 28 points.
The Eagles, who converted a fake field goal last week, lined up
for a punt from their 43. Mitchell took the direct snap, ran to his
left and shoveled a pass to Dawkins, who cut inside and ran
untouched into the end zone.
"We've been practicing it for a long time,'' Mitchell said.
"We finally got to use it.''
Houston came right back on a 29-yard TD pass from Carr to
But the Texans failed to take advantage of two fumbles inside
Philadelphia territory and the Eagles put it away on a 38-yard
catch-and-run TD pass from McNabb to James Thrash.
A 48-yard field goal by Kris Brown got Houston within 28-17, and
the Texans again got the ball at Philadelphia's 42 after a fumble
by Cecil Martin. But after moving to the Eagles' 31, two incomplete
passes and two penalties pushed the Texans out of field-goal range.
"We were able to come up with three turnovers, but we weren't
able to turn them into points,'' Texans coach Dom Capers said.
"That's the big difference.''
McNabb, who signed a 12-year, $115 million contract Friday,
wasn't as sharp as for his first three games. He misfired on his
first three passes and threw an interception on his fourth attempt.
Houston sacked McNabb three times and had two more sacks negated by
Trailing 7-0, Philadelphia settled for a 25-yard field goal by
David Akers. But on Houston's next possession, Darwin Walker
stripped the ball from Carr after the rookie quarterback had run 9
yards on third-and-6. Dawkins recovered, and Staley later ran in
from the 1 to make it 10-7.
The drive was kept alive when McNabb was sacked on third-and-10,
but a facemask penalty on Jay Foreman gave the Eagles a first down.
Staley's second 1-yard run made it 17-7. Again, a crucial
penalty cost Houston. McNabb was sacked on third-and-11 from
Philadelphia's 48, but a holding call on safety Chris Carter kept
the drive going.
After Carr was intercepted by Dawkins on the next drive, Akers
hit a 41-yarder to make it 20-7 at halftime.
Mitchell and CB Troy Vincent became the first players in NFL
history to play against 32 teams. ... The Eagles have scored at
least 20 points in the first half of each game. ... Houston CB
Jason Bell broke his left wrist in the first half. There was no
immediate word on how long he'll be out. ... McNabb went 85 passes
without throwing an interception before Eric Brown picked him off
in the first quarter. ... Carr was sacked seven times, brining his
season total to 26.
The Seahawks drafted three running backs last week, but Thomas Rawls is still in line to be the team's primary ball-carrier, says NFL Nation's Sheil Kapadia.
The Vikings will continue an initiative that provides part-time trainers to city schools' athletic programs.
The basketball legend became a fan of the Bills' draft pick when he saw his name pop up on Google Alerts while searching his own name.
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ESPN Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez, who joined Raiders owner Mark Davis on his flight back to Oakland from a Las Vegas meeting, explains how a move can happen.
Fans at the team's draft party last Saturday were overjoyed to meet some of their favorite players -- who dropped in behind them while they were having their photos taken.