LAST NIGHT'S impressive performance by the Eagles' wide-receiving corps probably will do little to silence the perpetual talk-show whining about their insufficient level of talent.
And you know what? Andy Reid really doesn't care.
Joe from Fishtown can squawk about the lack of a true game-changing No. 1 wideout all he wants. As far as Reid is concerned, he loves the guys he has. As far as Reid is concerned, he can win a Super Bowl with the guys he has.
The five wide receivers Reid suited up last night - DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis - combined for 18 catches, 248 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles' 30-10 win over the Browns.
Reid never has been an advocate of the star system. Going back to his days as an assistant with the Green Bay Packers, who managed to win a Super Bowl without a receiver catching more than 60 passes, he has preferred to have his quarterback, Donovan McNabb, spread the ball around rather than focus on an individual.
And that was the case against the Browns. McNabb, who completed 26 of 35 passes for 290 yards and two TDs, hit nine receivers.
Jackson, the impressive rookie who was held without a catch last week against the Giants for the first time this season, rebounded with an impressive five-catch, 77-yard performance. It was his seventh game this season with at least 70 receiving yards.
Avant, the team's sure-handed slot receiver, notched his first career 100-yard receiving game. He had five receptions for 101 yards.
Curtis, who missed the first six games of the season recovering from sports-hernia surgery, had four catches for 45 yards, including a 14-yard TD catch that kick-started the Eagles' 418-yard offensive explosion. Baskett and Lewis combined for four catches for 25 yards, including Lewis' 10-yard scoring catch.
Eagles wideouts have 166 receptions this season, including 10 TDs. Jackson has a team-high 58, Baskett 33, Curtis 32 and Avant 30. That might not be your idea of pass-catching nirvana, but it is Reid's.
"We are good enough on offense that if different people touch the ball, they all can make plays," said running back Brian Westbrook, who had 333 rushing and receiving yards in the two wins over Arizona and the Giants, but only 67 against the Browns.
"Whether it's DeSean, Kevin or Jason, we have guys that can make plays. When they are doing a good job, we spread the ball around."
The Eagles' wideouts had been having trouble finding the end zone lately. Had just one touchdown in the previous four games after notching four in the first meeting against the Giants. But they had two against the Browns.
"Offensively, we're getting back to what we know," McNabb said. "I thought we got a little away from things [earlier in the season], but now we're on key. And guys are making plays, getting back to business, trusting the guys, trusting me. We're putting the ball out there and guys are catching it and getting upfield."
The one place the offense wasn't running on all cylinders was in the red zone. The Eagles converted just two of seven trips inside the 20 into touchdowns. Turned it over twice and settled for David Akers field goals the other three times. In the last two games, the Eagles are just 2-for-10 in the red zone.
"We know we [struggled in the red zone]," McNabb said. "But that's correctable. We had the problem earlier on [in the season] and we corrected that. So we know we can correct that and get going."
Did you notice?
* .50.RAG]With Correll Buckhalter back after missing the last two games, Kyle Eckel was activated as the Eagles' third running back rather than Lorenzo Booker.
* Donovan McNabb's first seven completions went to five receivers. He completed 15 passes in the first half to seven receivers.
* Jim Johnson frequently used a three-safety, one-cornerback package in which he replaced Asante Samuel with Quintin Demps so that the Eagles could better defend the run out of their base defense.
* The Eagles used three- or four-wide receiver sets on 19 of their 39 offensive plays in the first half. Twenty-nine of Brian Westbrook's 48 first-half rushing yards came out of three-wide receiver formations.
* To Andy Reid and/or Marty Mornhinweg for getting cute and going to the "Wildcat" formation on third-and-goal from the Cleveland 7 in the second quarter. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson took the direct snap, faked a run up the middle, then attempted a poorly thrown pass to Hank Baskett, who had a step on strong safety Sean Jones, in the end zone. But Jackson's pass was behind Baskett and Jones picked it off. It was one of two red-zone interceptions by the Eagles. McNabb threw one later in the second quarter from the Cleveland 1.
* To cornerback Asante Samuel, who became the second Eagle this season to forget that you have to cross the goal line before you throw away the football. Samuel stepped in front of a Ken Dorsey pass intended for Donté Stallworth in the second quarter and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown, sort of. He boneheadedly threw the ball away just before he crossed the goal line, making it a free ball. Fortunately for Samuel, linebacker Stewart Bradley realized Samuel's gaffe and alerted him to pick up the ball before the Browns recovered it.
* Don't look now, but the Eagles' red-zone problems have returned. They converted just two of five red-zone trips into touchdowns after going 0-for-3 inside the 20 against the Giants. Overall, they are 27-for-56 (48.2 percent) in the red zone this season.
* To quarterback Kevin Kolb, who threw another interception that was returned for a touchdown in his fourth-quarter cameo against the Browns. Kolb has thrown four picks in just 34 attempts this season, which is no way to convince an organization you're ready to be the starting quarterback in 2009.
* To Reid, for having the good sense to get McNabb and Westbrook out of the game early in the fourth quarter with a 27-point lead. A no-brainer, you say? Well, there have been plenty of instances during the Reid era in which he's been a little slow getting his key personnel out of lopsided games.
By the numbers
* In the last three games, Donovan McNabb has completed 69.2 percent of his passes and thrown seven touchdown passes and one interception. In the five games prior to that, he had a .529 completion percentage and threw six TDs and seven interceptions.
* The Eagles scored on their first possession for the sixth time in 14 games. The defense gave up a first-possession score for the sixth time this season.
* The Eagles, who had converted 22 of 31 goal-to-go situations into touchdowns going into last night's game, were 0-for-3 in goal-to-go opportunities against the Browns.
* The Eagles are 11-7 under Andy Reid on "Monday Night Football.'' Last night's win was just their third in the last nine "MNF" games.
* Since 2005, the Eagles' record in November and December is just 17-14-1. From 2000 to '04, they were 34-8.
* Brian Westbrook has lost just eight fumbles in 1,677 career touches. He's lost just one fumble in the last two seasons.
* Donovan McNabb, who was sacked twice, has been sacked just 21 times in 525 pass plays this season. That's an average of one sack every 25.0 pass plays, which is far and away the best ratio of his career. His previous best was in '05 when he was sacked an average of once every 19.8 pass plays.
* Eagles linebackers haven't had a quarterback sack in the last six games. They have 5 1/2 this season, which still is the most by the unit since 2003 when they had six.
* The Eagles' defense had two interceptions against the Browns, one by Asante Samuel, another by Stewart Bradley. It was the fifth time this season they've had multiple interceptions in a game.
* David Akers has converted just three of 13 field-goal attempts from 45 yards or longer since the start of the '07 season.
* DeSean Jackson's 17-yard catch in the first quarter was his first reception since the third quarter of the Arizona game.
* Jason Avant notched his first career 100-yard receiving game. The wide receiver had five receptions for 101 yards.