7:30 PM ET, August 26, 2005
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- No high-five, no handshake, not even a nod of approval.Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens already weren't speaking to each other. No surprise they aren't exchanging congratulations, either.The feuding stars hooked up for a 64-yard touchdown pass on the first play, helping the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-17 in a preseason game Friday night.Playing together for the first time since their public spat began in April, McNabb and Owens picked up where they left off last year. In just one half, Owens caught five passes for 131 yards, and McNabb threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns."It was business as usual," McNabb said.Carson Palmer played into the third quarter with the rest of Cincinnati's starters, but the Bengals (1-2) couldn't get into the end zone until the reserves scored twice in the fourth quarter. Palmer completed 13 of 25 passes for 136 yards."We weren't sharp," Palmer said. "There's no way around that. We got outplayed. It's tough and frustrating."After Rod Hood returned the opening kickoff 24 yards to Philadelphia's 36, McNabb connected with Owens on a deep pass down the right side. The All-Pro wideout caught McNabb's toss in full stride near the 20 and streaked into the end zone."I saw the mismatch with T.O. to the outside and I decided to take it," McNabb said. "I tried to put it in a decent spot. He did an excellent job accelerating to the ball and scoring the touchdown."Known for his flamboyant antics after scoring, Owens toned down his act. He spiked the ball, stood with his hands on his hips and nodded his head. Owens then ran to the sideline, stopping once to pound his chest and point toward the sky.While nearly everyone congratulated Owens and McNabb after the play, the two didn't even acknowledge each other. Owens twice walked past McNabb without looking at him and then sat on another bench just a few feet away from the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback."We were both excited whether we celebrated together or with other teammates," McNabb said. "Let's not blow this out of proportion. It's still early."The friction between Owens and McNabb started when the enigmatic Owens took a shot at McNabb's performance in Philadelphia's Super Bowl loss to New England. Owens also called McNabb a "hypocrite" earlier this month.Owens hasn't endeared himself to fans by demanding a new contract just one season into the seven-year, $48.97 million deal he signed in March 2004. But the notoriously boorish Philly fans didn't get a chance to give Owens an earful. He heard plenty of cheers after his score.Owens missed the first preseason game at Pittsburgh after he was sent home for a week following a heated dispute with Eagles coach Andy Reid. He was held out of last week's game at Baltimore because of a groin injury that he reaggravated late in the first half."They'll be fine. Sometimes actions speak louder than words," Reid said of McNabb and Owens.Without Owens, McNabb and the rest of the offense had some success in the first two games. But they were dominant with Owens on the field. McNabb completed 14 of 23 passes, Greg Lewis had four catches for 72 yards and one TD and rookie Reggie Brown had a TD catch."We are showing progression," McNabb said. "With the addition of having T.O. out there, we are able to do a little bit more things and it makes it exciting right now."McNabb threw 31 yards to Owens on Philadelphia's second play. McNabb twice overthrew Owens, but they didn't communicate after either play.McNabb's 8-yard TD pass to Brown gave the Eagles a 17-3 lead midway through the second quarter. Lewis made an outstanding, one-handed catch for a 27-yard TD reception that made it 27-3 at halftime."Everybody's getting involved and you can't just key on one person," Lewis said. "T.O.'s the headliner of the receiving corps and Reggie and myself try to get in where we can fit in."Casey Bramlet threw a 36-yard TD pass to Chris Henry to make it 27-10 midway through the fourth quarter. Craig Krenzel tossed a 41-yard TD pass to Kevin Walter in the final minute."We didn't play very well on offense, defense and special teams," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "We didn't tackle, we didn't block, we didn't cover, we didn't punt. The fortunate thing is it doesn't count."The Eagles (2-1) were home for the first time since beating Atlanta in the NFC championship game seven months ago. The whole team ran onto the field before the game rather than introducing the offense or defense individually.
Owens' injury doesn't appear serious. ... Last year, McNabb and Owens connected for an 81-yard TD pass against the Ravens on the Eagles' first play in their first preseason game at home. ... Bengals S Kim Herring injured his right shoulder in the second quarter and didn't return. ... Eagles T Tra Thomas, playing for the first time since returning from a blood clot in his leg, left with a lower back injury in the first quarter. .... Bengals Pro Bowl RB Rudi Johnson ran 17 times for 72 yards.
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