While Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts maintain their blistering assault on the record books, and the New England Patriots march towards their third Super Bowl appearance in four years with relentless efficiency, the efforts of the Philadelphia Eagles have often been overlooked this season.
The Eagles have taken advantage of an undemanding schedule to cruise to an impressive record of 11 wins from 12 games, but it is the manner of their recent victories that has caught the eye. Since being thrashed by the Pittsburgh Steelers last month, Philadelphia have responded by winning their last four by 20 points or more, and in overwhelming the Green Bay Packers 47-17 on Sunday, they were simply unstoppable.
They led 35-3 at half-time, with their quarterback, Donovan McNabb throwing five touchdowns, three claimed by Brian Westbrook. The Eagles eased after that, but McNabb still finished with 464 passing yards, a franchise record.
"Statistically, it felt like playing a video game," he said. "We were clicking on all cylinders, we spread the ball around. Everyone contributed."
Few passers can put McNabb in the shade, but then few have ever been as prolific as Manning, whose Colts topped the 40-point mark for the fourth consecutive game in a 51-24 rout of the Tennessee Titans.
By his standards, Manning was restrained, with 425 passing yards and three scoring passes. However, he now needs only five more to break Dan Marino's record of 48 touchdowns in a single season, and his Colts are on pace to shatter the record of 556 points in a season, set by Minnesota in 1998.
As for New England, no such excesses. Dull they may be, but they still excel in all phases of the game. Bethel Johnson returned the opening kick-off 93 yards for a score, Randall Gay added another touchdown on a fumble return, and Corey Dillon scored twice as the defending champions bewildered Cleveland, 42-15.
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