15 November 2005

2005 Week 10 Recap

Eagles v. Cowboys, Monday, November 14, 2005

That was a great 56 minutes and 16 seconds of football, wasn't it? We rushed more yards in one game than we have all season. The D was pressuring Drew Bledsoe. He was looking mighty jumpy back there in the pocket. You would, too, if Jeremiah Trotter was about to take your head off. My boy D-Mac rushed for some first downs. The D shut down Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn, who'd been our bete noir in week 5. D-Mac ran one in. Westy ran one in. The D was keeping up the pressure so that when Dallas did have to punt it away, we ended up with decent field position. A healthy David Akers kicked two field goals, one from 20 yards out, one from 48.

That first drive! That was football poetry! And we were controlling the clock. See, that can happen when you're doing some rushing, mixing it up. And then the D's not so exhausted they can barely move by the half. Just great, great football. TO? Who needs him?

...

Do we really have to talk about the final 3:44? Really? Because I'd just as soon forget it happened. For those who foolishly went to bed, thinking at 20-7 we had it wrapped up, and have been living under a rock - or without access to ESPN or the Internet - Dallas took over at their own 28 yard line with 3:44 left in the 4th quarter. All of a sudden, our D rolled over and played dead. In 36 seconds and 4 plays, Dallas took the ball 72 yards for a TD. No biggie, though, right? All we have to do is rush some, keep it in bounds, keep the clock running, burn time, get a few first downs, maybe get close enough for another FG, put it at a two score game, it's all over, right?

Oh no, not this year. Even though our rushing had been going so well, on the second play after Dallas kicked off, McNabb made a huge mistake, throwing an INT right to Roy Williams with NO ONE with any chance of stopping him except our already-battered QB. Predictably, Donovan tried to make the tackle, took a hard block and went down. Williams trotted into the end zone, and it was 21-20 with D-Mac too hurt to continue and 2:43 left on the clock.

So what happened? Did the intended receiver - rookie Reggie Brown, who'd been having a great night - run the wrong route? Did D-Mac get confused by the amount of grass stain on Williams' uniform and think he was an Eagle? As has happened far too often this season, was #5 trying to force something to happen, resulting in a critical error? My money's on option 3.

Still, there's no way this was *all* Big D's fault. Was he responsible for the nearly 100 yards lost to penalties? No. He wasn't even on the field when the D rolled over on the previous drive. And he wasn't on the field when Reggie Brown dropped a beautiful Mike McMahon pass he ABSOLUTELY should have held onto with about 10 seconds left that would've allowed David Akers to make a game winning field goal from about the 25 yard line rather than missing a 60 yarder.

But the sad truth is that our season is pretty much over. At the bottom of our division now, it would take an act of God - as in, the Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys ALL get injured (and I mean every single player on their respective teams) - for us to make the playoffs. And Donovan is finally hurt so bad that it looks like he's out for the rest of the season. So let's just call this season a chance for our rookies to learn Brad and Jim's complex O and D schemes, and for Mike McMahon, who interestingly has won the starting QB position over 9 year veteran backup QB Koy Detmer, to get some experience.

The $64,000 (actually, multi-million dollar) question: was the team better without TO? Of course the numbnuts on ESPN came down to a man on the no side, arguing that he would've caught the pass Reggie Brown dropped. Sure, TO probably would have caught the pass Reggie Brown dropped. On the other hand, after our week 5 drubbing at the hands of the Cowboys when we had TO, can I get a show of hands: how many people think it would have been 20-21 with 10 seconds left had TO been playing? (insert image of tumbleweed rolling by and sound of coyotes howling in the distance) I thought so.

Around the rest of the NFL...awww...who cares? We're in the NFC East cellar, dude. We haven't been down so low since AR's first year in the City of Brotherly Love.

Sigh.

That's OK, I still bleed midnight green. I survived Super Bowl XV, the Buddy Ryan years and Ray Rhoades. I can take this.

Fly, Eagles, fly
On the road to victory
Fight, Eagles, fight
Score a touch down 1-2-3
Hit 'em low
Hit 'em high
And we;ll watch our Eagles fly
Fly, Eagles, fly
On the road to victory
E-A-G-L-E-S
EAGLES!


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