Oakland, CA - Donovan McNabb had little trouble directing the high-powered Philadelphia Eagles' offense in his return to the lineup last weekend. He likely won't face much resistance this week, either.
McNabb looks to lead the Eagles to their third straight win Sunday when they visit the lowly Oakland Raiders, who try to avoid losing their fourth in a row.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Eagles -14 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 83% of bets for this game have been placed on the Eagles -14 (View NFL bet percentages).
McNabb didn't miss a beat in Philadelphia's 33-14 win over Tampa Bay last Sunday, completing 16 of 21 passes for 264 yards, with three touchdowns and a 157.2 QB rating, the second highest in his career. It was the first start for the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback since suffering a rib injury in a season-opening 38-10 win over Carolina.
Despite missing two games for the Eagles (3-1), McNabb showed little rust and didn't hesitate to run. He scrambled for 13 yards on his first play from scrimmage and fired a perfect 51-yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin on the second.
"I was able to move around and be very effective doing different things, pick up a couple first downs with my legs,'' said McNabb, who also rushed for a team-high 30 yards. "I was able to let defenses know that can happen.''
Maclin finished with six catches for two touchdowns and 142 yards, third most by an Eagles rookie, and has emerged as yet another playmaker on a prolific Philadelphia offense.
In a lineup that already features McNabb and running back Brian Westbrook, Maclin became the third different player in three games to have 100 yards receiving for Philadelphia, joining wide receiver DeSean Jackson and tight end Brent Celek.
"With the talented group of guys we have, big games are going to rotate between different guys,'' Maclin said.
With this bevy of offensive weapons, the Eagles are second in the league in scoring (31.8) and eighth in total offense (379.5).
Philadelphia also boasts three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick, who entered last week's blowout in the fourth quarter to complete his first pass in 33 months and break off an 11-yard run.
With McNabb back and healthy, Vick likely won't get many more chances at quarterback unless the scores get lopsided.
That could potentially happen again this week.
The Raiders (1-4) have been outscored 96-16 during a three-game losing streak while gaining 426 total yards in that span - 57 fewer than they gave up in last Sunday's 44-7 loss to the New York Giants.
Oakland trailed the Giants 28-0 before recording its initial first down of the game.
"The third or fourth quarter I think they had their backups in the game and they were still doing whatever they wanted to offensively," defensive end Richard Seymour said. "There is no excuse for that and everybody has to look themselves in the mirror and say, 'I have to do a better job.'''
A potential distraction for the Raiders is coach Tom Cable's ongoing legal problems stemming from his alleged training camp assault on defensive assistant Randy Hanson, but the team appears to have far too many on-field issues to worry about that.
Oakland finished with a season-low 124 yards against the Giants and has failed to reach 200 yards of offense in four straight games, doubling the longest streak in franchise history. It won't be easy to get things turned around against a Philadelphia team that ranks fourth in total defense, allowing an average of 302.0 yards per game.
The Raiders' offensive ineptitude starts with quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who lost three fumbles and was 8 of 13 for 100 yards against New York. On the season, the top pick of the 2007 draft has a 42.1 completion percentage with one touchdown, four interceptions and a 47.1 QB rating.
"Obviously guys are frustrated. They aren't happy with how we're playing on offense,'' tight end Zach Miller said. "We're not going to win games the way we're playing on offense.''
This will be the first meeting between these teams since McNabb threw for 365 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in Philadelphia's 23-20 win on Sept. 25, 2005.
Posted: 10/14/09 8:20PM ET