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Westbrook not 100%, dinged again? (1 Viewer)


Eagles RB Brian Westbrook, responding to a comment made by coach Andy Reid on Monday, told WPEN-AM in Philadelphia Monday night that he's still battling injuries and took the blame for the team's running woes vs. the Giants in Week 10. Reid had said earlier in the day that Westbrook wasn't at 100 percent, and the stud running back agreed. "There's no question I'm not 100 percent. My goal is to be out there and try to help this team," Westbrook said. "I want to be out there until coach feels I'm not able to help this team anymore. I think I'm still able to help this team win football games. ... The thing about a high-ankle sprain is that it doesn't go away very quickly ... throughout a game, at any point, it can come right back, and that pain can come right back."

(Updated 11/11/2008).

Fantasy Analysis

Let's also give some credit to the Giants' run defense for being one of the top units in the NFL. If this was a bad run defense, like Cincinnati for example, then there would be cause for concern. That said, Westbrook and the Eagles play at the Bengals in Week 11, and there is no doubt that a healthy Westbrook should dominate this defense. It's expected that he will, but we're going to have to keep an eye on his health leading up to and during the game. For now, expect him to be a No. 1 Fantasy RB for your team this week.
I knew that he was not 100%, but the way I read this is that he might have injured himself more in this weeks game.Thoughts?

Here's an article out of Philly that talks along the same lines.. problems with oline contribute... They'll find ways to get Westy going..

PHILADELPHIA — Brian Westbrook only managed 26 yards on 13 carries? Last year's all-pro first-team tailback and NFL total offense leader hasn't looked that bad running the football since ... hmm ... last week?

Westbrook's performance against the Giants Sunday night continued an alarming trend that's seen him average 3.2 yards per carry or worse in five of the last six games he's played.

“I think I have the best back in the business,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said yesterday, a day after the Eagles fell to 5-4 after a 36-31 loss to the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. “It's important that I get him going.”

Westbrook, whose 4.7 career rushing average is highest among all active NFL players with 1,000 or more attempts and seventh-best in NFL history, ran 20 times for just 61 yards in Seattle two weeks ago.

It was the same story against the Cowboys (18-58), Steelers (5-12 before he got hurt) and Redskins (12-33).

In division games this year, Westbrook is averaging 2.7 yards per carry and 32 yards per game. In 31 previous division games, he averaged 4.6 per carry.

With his numbers the last two weeks, Westbrook is the first Eagle back in six years to average 3.2 yards per carry or less in consecutive games with double-digit carries since Duce Staley the last two weeks of the 2002 season.

Only against the Rams (19-91) and the Falcons (22-167, a career-high) did Westbrook resemble the guy who rushed for 1,333 yards last year with a beefy 4.8 average.

The Rams and Falcons rank 30th and 21st, respectively, in the NFL in rush defense.

“We need to be able to run the football better and we need to do that at the end of the game,” Reid said. “We have to execute, we have to be physical, and we have to be able to move the chains by getting first downs.”

There are two schools of thought regarding Westbrook's ineffectiveness, one having to do with him, the other the people around him.

The first is that the offensive line isn't as good as it used to be. With all-pro Shawn Andrews out with back surgery and Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan both a year older — Thomas turns 34 and Runyan 35 this month — the holes just don't seem to be there like in previous years. Especially on critical short-yardage plays like the third-and-3 and fourth-and-1 on the ill-fated final drive Sunday night.

Donovan McNabb, asked after the game Sunday night, what the solution was to the Eagles' running woes, said simply, “Open up holes and give Westbrook the opportunity.”

Then again, Correll Buckhalter had just two carries Sunday and on the first blasted 20 yards for a first down, gaining only six fewer yards on one carry than Westbrook did on 13. The line looked fine when Buckhalter had the ball.

The second theory is that Westbrook's problems are a product of his injuries — so far he's had a serious ankle injury that cost him a game, broken ribs that cost him a game and knee swelling that limited him in practice. Combine that with Westbrook's age — he turns 30 in September — and maybe he's just not physically the guy he used to be.

“I'm not going to say he's 100 percent,” Reid said. “But at the same time, he's good enough to where he can be effective as long as we take care of business up front.”

Reid, as usual, provided no specifics yesterday when asked numerous times in numerous different ways why the running game has been so inconsistent. The Eagles are ranked 22nd overall in the NFL in rushing offense a year after ranking eighth.

At their current pace, the Eagles will finish with their third-lowest rushing total since 1985.

Westbrook blamed himself for the failed running plays at the end of the game.

“I have to find a way to get those first downs,” he said. “If I do that, then we can move the ball down the field. I'm going to go back and look at the film and see if I can do something different. And if I can, than I'm going to correct it.”

Reid called the Eagles' running woes “a combination of things” and said, “There's no reason we should be stopped in the running game like that.”

Contact Reuben Frank at rfrank@phillyburbs.com.

Westbrook's lack of yardage in games he has played this year is quite startling; in particular, his lack of receiving numbers. He has been scoring a lot, so many have not noticed, but his yardage is way down.

I suspect the injuries to the receiving corps early on also affected how defenses could devote more time and effort to keying on Westy.

I bet his dumpoff receiving #'s increase. That's the easiest way to get him the ball without taking the pounding of going up the middle through the line.

Teams have certainly game-planned him better, especially in the passing game. The screen plays have been far less succesful this year as teams have almost always kept an athletic backer spying for it.

Also, Philly has far more/better receiving options then in years past, so they've had to rely on Westy less in the passing game. In the running game...the holes are NOT there like they have been the last couple of years. At anything less then 100%, he simply isn't as effective this year. Still a RB1 (esp. in PPR), just not the dominant RB1 he has been the last couple of seasons.

I don't think there's any question Westbrook isn't 100% - in the past few weeks he suffered a high ankle sprain and broken ribs.

He won't be 100% and will be dinged all season.

Luckily that's SOP for Westbrook.

westbrook owners (including myself) must realize that this is the healthiest he is going to be the rest of the year.

He's about to get real healthy this week vs. CINCI.... He also looked pretty healthy a couple weeks ago agianst ATL and I have not heard he re-injured himself...

Bottom line he went against a bad A D in NY Giants and got stuffed on two plays.. They will give you lip service like he's not a 100% well look for him to look 100% this weekend.


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