2003 NFL PLAYOFFS

Mcnabb ready for No. 1 defense


Published: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 1:48 a.m.

PHILADELPHIA - Donovan McNabb had little trouble running away from Atlanta's Keith Brooking and Patrick Kerney. It won't be easy to escape Tampa Bay's Simeon Rice, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks.

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb throws a pass during practice, Wednesday, in Philadelphia in preparation for the Eagles NFC Championship game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be played Sunday.

(AP Photo/William Thomas Cain)

In his first game after missing two months with a broken right ankle, McNabb showed few signs that he'd been away, leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a 20-6 playoff victory over the Falcons last Saturday.

The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback completed 20 of 30 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 24 yards, including a 19-yard gain on his second play. But that was against Atlanta's 19th-ranked defense.

The top-ranked defense belongs to the Buccaneers (13-4), the team Philadelphia (13-4) will face in the NFC championship game Sunday at Veterans Stadium. It will be the last game at that facility.

"They have great core linebackers, their defensive line plays great. You have to be able to attack them," McNabb said Wednesday. "If you're able to do that, then you put yourself in great positions to do other things."

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