Jeremy Maclin Helps Make Donovan McNabb's Return Easy
Jeremy Maclin had been watching and waiting. The rookie first-rounder from Missouri didn't even see action with McNabb in Week 1. He caught six passes for 45 yards in the next two weeks, though the Eagles racked up over 700 yards through the air. He had to have been antsy to get into the mix, especially watching second-year wideout DeSean Jackson put up big numbers.
Watching the McNabb and Maclin duo slice through the Buccaneers' secondary with ease Sunday, ultimately earning a 33-14 win, it was apparent the two had watched and waited long enough.
On the Eagles' second play from scrimmage, McNabb hit his rookie receiver in stride for a 51-yard touchdown pass. He would close another two-play drive with just over 1:30 left in the first half on a 40-yard touchdown strike to Maclin. All in all, the 21-year-old Maclin hauled in six passes for 142 yards and the aforementioned pair of scores. It was a career day in just the third game of his career -- one in which the future looks bright enough to foresee many more days like this.
McNabb wasn't hitting just Maclin, though. He picked through the porous Buccaneers defense as if he was yawning at times, connecting on 16-of-21 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns with nary a turnover. He also gained 30 yards on the ground on just two carries. The best news of all, though, was that McNabb never looked apprehensive about taking a hit to his hurting ribcage, once again proving himself among the toughest competitors in football.
Sure, one could take the angle that the Bucs don't provide much opposition. After all, Tampa is now 0-5 and has allowed 140 points thus far. The Eagles can only play who is put in front of them, and they'll have another easy test next week when they visit the hapless Oakland Raiders, who have been outscored 96-16 the past three weeks.
A healthy and confident McNabb was firing on all cylinders with a large arsenal of weaponry, now including the explosive Maclin, who is obviously fully entrenched in the Philly game plan.
It's just good news all around Sunday in the City of Brotherly Love -- perhaps it continues later when their Phillies play in Colorado?