<
>

T.O. who? Stallworth, McNabb power Eagles past Texans

HOUSTON (AP) -- For all the changes the Houston Texans made this offseason, they sure looked the same on Sunday.

They were sharp early but soon devolved into their old selves in a 24-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Donovan McNabb threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns, including one to Donte' Stallworth in the start of their first post-Terrell Owens season. It was Stallworth's debut with the Eagles after a trade from the Saints. It was also McNabb's regular-season return after missing the final seven games of last season after surgery to repair a sports hernia.

No. 1 pick Mario Williams had three tackles but failed to make much of an impact while being shifted up and down the line in his and coach Gary Kubiak's first game as Texans coach.

"I'm very disappointed," Kubiak said. "I don't think any of us saw this coming."

Houston finished with just 70 yards rushing. That combined with a quiet game from Williams will continue to fuel talk Houston made a mistake by passing on running back Reggie Bush to get him.

Williams, who was outdone by fellow rookie DeMeco Ryans, wasn't happy with his performance. Ryans led the team with 13 tackles.

"It wasn't good enough," Williams said. "I got doubled here and there but I have to get past that and I have to break through and keep putting pressure on the quarterback."

The Texans got out to a quick start, with David Carr going 4-of-4 and Houston marching down the field. Eric Moulds caught an over-the-shoulder pass and spun to evade a defender before dashing into the end zone untouched for the 25-yard touchdown. Things went downhill from there.

Houston's supposedly improved offensive line gave up five sacks -- the same as in the 2005 opener -- and the Texans didn't score in the second half.

"The sacks he's taking weren't his fault," center Mike Flanagan said of Carr. "He was making the right calls, he made the right throws, but we as an offense -- particularly the offensive line -- weren't good enough to give him a chance to let us win."

Trent Cole had two sacks as the Eagles took advantage of rookie left tackle Charles Spencer.

"They didn't do anything we didn't expect," Spencer said. The defensive ends were just a lot faster than I expected them to be."

The Eagles sputtered in the first quarter, with a punt ending their first possession and an interception by McNabb stopping the second.

They got things going in the second quarter when Stallworth flew past a seemingly unaware C.C. Brown and caught a 42-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 7. It was the first of several times the Eagles would exploit Houston's inexperienced secondary.

Stallworth struck again just before halftime when McNabb found him for a 37-yard reception to the 5. Reggie Brown scored on the next play to give the Eagles a 14-10 halftime lead.

"We had an idea of the caliber of athlete he was," McNabb said of Stallworth. "We just kind of visualized what he could do in this offense. This is just a start. What he was able to display today, we have big-play capability."

Stallworth had four receptions for 124 yards by halftime and finished with a career-high tying six for 141 yards for his 10th career 100-yard game.

"They brought me here to do a job and it feels good to get a win," Stallworth said. "I know I can get better every day, every week and make sure I'm really working with Donovan to make sure we're in sync."

The Eagles opened the second half with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 31-yard pass from McNabb to Brian Westbrook
that pushed Philadelphia's lead to 21-10. Westbrook also had a 17-yard run and caught a 17-yard pass on that drive.

He finished with 17 carries for 71 yards and had four receptions for 61 yards.

Philadelphia added a 42-yard field goal by David Akers in the fourth quarter.

Andre Johnson got in front of Sheldon Brown for a 44-yard catch that got Houston to the 5 late in the second quarter. But Carr was
sacked on second down and the Texans settled for a field goal and a 10-7 lead.

Johnson had six receptions for 101 yards and Moulds had six catches for 68 yards.

The boos that rained down beginning in the first quarter of most games last season didn't return until late in the third quarter this time. They were prompted by Carr tripping to the turf and following that play with a poorly thrown incompletion.

His frustration boiled over when he was sacked for the fourth time on Houston's first drive of the second half and he ripped off his chin strap angrily and screamed in the direction of his teammates.

"These fans want to win and I'm getting a little frustrated with losing too," he said. "It's not something we want to get going with. I think the guys...understand we're very capable of winning football games."

He wound up 18-of-27 for 208 yards and a touchdown.

Game notes
Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard injured his ankle in the first quarter and did not return, however, X-rays were negative.
... Carr's touchdown pass to Moulds was the 49th of both of their careers. ... The Texans wore white jerseys with white pants for the first time in team history.