At the quarter pole of the Eagles' season, we know as much about this team now as we did when players arrived at Lehigh University for the start of training camp 11 weeks ago.
They are 3-1 after a sloppy 33-14 win over the wretched Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday at Lincoln Financial Field that included the return of Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook, limited action for Michael Vick and the Wildcat offense, and an alarming 10 penalties for 111 yards.
The Eagles' three wins have come against teams that have combined for one victory. The Birds' one defeat came without McNabb against a team that has not lost. Next stop is Oakland and a date with the Raiders, another opponent that is among the worst in the NFL.
"It's difficult for anybody to know where they're at right now," McNabb said after completing 16 of 21 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns. "I've been at this game for a while where you've seen a lot of teams come out hot and everybody is saying they're the best team in the league, and all of a sudden they don't make the playoffs and things don't work out well for them.
"I think for all of us in this league, this is a time when you're gauging the different players that you have and what you can do on offense. Quarterbacks are getting comfortable with the guys around them."
McNabb, in what had to be considered the biggest positive for the Eagles' offense, seemed to become quite comfortable with Jeremy Maclin in the quarterback's first game since suffering a fractured rib on opening day at Carolina.
Six of McNabb's 16 completions went to the Eagles' first-round pick, including two for touchdowns. Maclin, who had just six catches for 45 yards in his first three NFL games, got behind cornerback Elbert Mack for a 51-yard touchdown on the Eagles' second offensive play.
The rookie added a 40-yard touchdown catch late in the first half and finished with 142 receiving yards.
"When the ball is thrown my way, I expect to make the play," Maclin said. "You just have to make the best of your opportunity."
It was an odd day for the offense. The Eagles had three touchdown drives that took just two plays each, including the two touchdowns to Maclin.
Westbrook's return from a sprained ankle included a third-quarter touchdown on a 7-yard run, but he finished the game with just eight touches for 35 yards.
"It was different from the previous six or seven years," Westbrook said of his limited touches. "It just worked out that way today. I guess it's one of those things that I have to learn how to do a little bit better."
Vick and the Wildcat offense generated 7 yards on six plays and one of coach Andy Reid's funnier quotes.
"It wasn't blowing my blouse up," Reid said after he earned the 100th regular-season victory of his career.
DeSean Jackson, the team's top receiver, had just one catch for 1 yard, and that came after Vick had replaced McNabb at quarterback in the fourth quarter. He was not available for comment after the game.
"We made too many mistakes," center Jamaal Jackson said. "The penalties, the three-and-outs . . . those things right there kill drives. We were just fortunate enough a couple of times that the defense got us in good field position with the turnovers and stopped them on fourth down. We have some things to clean up."
The Eagles' defensive players felt the same way about a game in which they came up with three interceptions - two by Asante Samuel and one by Sheldon Brown - and sacked quarterback Josh Johnson three times.
"It was one of those games where we won and I think we played well enough, but I don't think we played well enough to beat championship teams," middle linebacker Omar Gaither said. "We were kind of sloppy, but we got the win and that's all you can ask for."
Safety Quintin Mikell said the Eagles' concerns about a 19-point victory are the sign of a good team.
"I think around here, we are used to excellence," Mikell said. "I think when you come out of a game like that and know that we could have played better and everybody is upset about it, that's a good thing because now we can go back to work and fix things."
And even if they don't, the Raiders and another probable victory are awaiting Sunday in Oakland.