27 September 2007

2007 Week 4 Picks

So I'm watching SportsCenter the other morning (and could baseball season please just hurry up and get over with so SportsCenter can concentrate on the IMPORTANT sport? That is all.), and I think it was Berman who mentioned that part of our decimating of the Lions could be attributable to the fact that the coaches decided to hold back an extra blocker for Big 5. Hmmm. Let's think about this. Our FRANCHISE QB is coming back about 3 months early from an ACL tear (which used to be a career-ending injury), and ONLY NOW, in WEEK 3, did it occur to anyone that HE COULD USE A LITTLE EXTRA PROTECTION?!?!? Aren't these guys supposed to be smarter than this? Sheesh.

Anyway, on to the picks:

Eagles/Giants: Eagles, of course. But I'm anticipating lots of the typical divisional game wacky highjinks. Plus, we gotta keep the Giants at the bottom of the division. I'd like to see the Cowboys there, of course, but one can't have everything. Oh, and someone get Plaxico's whiny ass a box of tissues, because he'll need them once Dawk gets done with him (assuming he's able to play. Otherwise, the task of making Plax cry will fall to Sheldon Brown).

Texans/Falcons: Can you believe it? I can't either - the Texans are actually an OK team. And the Falcons, well, are not. Texans.

Ravens/Browns: Derek Anderson seems like he might - might - be the real deal (or at least real enough to keep Brady's spot warm for him), and the Ravens are hurting, but the Browns aren't real enough to overcome a still mighty fine Ravens defense. Ravens.

Raiders/Dolphins: Worst Game of the Week

Bears/Lions: Rex is out, Brian's in, the Lions are hot, and potentially looking to make someone pay for last week's humiliation at our hands. I can't believe I'm doing this, but....Lions, God love 'em.

Jets/Bills: How many sports teams does New York have, anyway? Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Giants, Jets, Bills, Rangers - did I miss any? Wait, what was I saying? Oh, right, picks. Eh, who cares? Jets.

Packers/Vikings: Packers. Talk about hot.

Rams/Cowboys: Oof. This is gonna get ugly. Guess? We'll see Brad Johnson come in. Before the end of the half. Cowboys.

Seahawks/49ers: I gotta call my boys, the 49ers (since I picked them to win the division and all). But the NFC West is so crazy this year, anything could happen. Except the Rams beating the Cowboys, of course.

Bucs/Panthers: Bucs. You know, the last 4 years have seen 4 different divisional winners in NFC South. Might be the Bucs' turn coming around again.

Chiefs/Chargers: Witness the power of Norv Turner! You know, it's still pretty early, but the Broncos are the only AFC West team above .500. That ain't good. I can't believe I'm doing this either but...Chiefs. Good luck, Herm!

Broncos/Colts: Speaking of the Broncos, they will drop to .500 this week with a loss to the Colts.

Steelers/Cardinals: They're playing in Arizona. Think it's even worthwhile for Big Ben to get on the plane? I mean, it's not like they need him to beat the Cardinals. Steelers.

Patriots/Bengals: Funny, but this actually looked like it might be a good game at the beginning of the season. Actually, it still could be if it turns into a shootout. Which is possible, but unlikely. The Pats' D is too strong. Since the Bengals defense is non-existent, though, Randy Moss will probably score 38 points all by himself. In the first quarter. Patriots.


26 September 2007

Go West36!

West36 is not practicing this week. Which, generally speaking, is a good thing. As Chef Spouse points out, it's not like he and D-Mac need the extra reps to practice their timing at this point.

And I quote:
"Westbrook was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing 14 times for 110 yards and catching five passes for 111 yards against the Lions. Westbrook is the NFC's leading rusher.

He became the seventh player since 1970 to record more than 110 rushing yards and more than 110 receiving yards in a game.

This is Westbrook's first career offensive player of the week award. "
Read the full article.

Check out his website.

(Also, Rex Grossman appears to be out as Bears' starting QB. I'd pretend to be surprised, but I'd be lying.)


24 September 2007

2007 Week 3 Recap

Eagles v. Lions, Sunday, September 23, 2007

In attendance: Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom, You-Two-Calm-Down-Or-I’m-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad, Chef Spouse, Shoegal, Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Steelers Transplant

Menu: Homemade guac, crudities and tortilla chips (ExNC), Indian snacks (Shoegal), Popeye’s Chicken (which, according to Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom, is the official chicken of the Philadelphia Eagles), pizelles (also courtesy of Shoegal), Swetzel’s spice cookies (Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom). Ok, it was pretty random, but Chef Spouse and I were both out of town last week!

OK, that was frappin’ CRAZY. 42 points in the first half? A 100/100 day for Westy? 3 TDs each for Kevin Curtis AND Brian Westbrook? First pro TD for Tony Hunt? Nearly 1000 total yards of offense (both teams, of course)? The most points scored in over 50 years? 9 sacks, 3 by Trent Cole alone? That was some wild shit. Guess that knee brace was not helping Big D.

Actually, that’s an interesting point – I’m trying to remember who it was, and I think it was Berman on ESPN (who’s a bigger Philly homer than me), that pointed to Carson Palmer’s progress from his ACL injury during the 2005 season playoffs as a likely barometer of McNabb’s recovery trajectory. Sure enough, when CPalm came back mid-season, he was pretty rusty for a few games, and then things really took off for him. Looks like DMac might be following a similar path. Yeah, it was a win against the perennially sad-sack Lions, but still, a win’s a win. And this was a big one. Also, Lions? You might have wanted to think about assigning someone to cover Kevin Curtis after the first TD. You definitely should have thought about assigning someone to cover Kevin Curtis after the second TD. By the third, you know Rod Marinelli’s standing over on the sidelines thinking, "Kevin Curtis AGAIN? I hate that guy!”

Also, I actually liked the throwbacks. I think yellow and powder blue are a visually arresting combination (see previous posts for my abiding love of the Chargers’ throwbacks). It was weird to see our boys NOT in green, but I don’t agree with the nearly-universal condemnation of the throwbacks.

Around the rest of the NFL...

Speaking of the Chargers, told ya so. What is up with the Packers? Who knows, but I’m starting to think that my pick of the Bears for NFC North may be, um, NOT. Particularly after that sorry showing against the Cowboys last night.

A list of the teams that, in week 3, were able to stay in it for the first half on the strength of their defense, until the D got completely worn out in the second half by the fact that their offense kept going 3 and out, started giving up big plays, and the game went in the toilet:
  • Bears losing to the Cowboys (which was always iffy – and they got Bad Rex, and once that happened, well, to quote Ex-Navy Cheesehead, "Good night, the party’s over!”)
  • Redskins losing to the Giants (I’m frankly stunned by this one – the Skins looked DOMINANT in the first half. What happened? Other, of course, than fourth quarter play-calling whose level of bizarre-ness nearly matched what the Eagles experience when AR’s allowed to run our offense unchecked.)
A list of teams that pulled out close wins that should have been blowouts:
  • Ravens over Cardinals (who did cheat by calling up Kurt Warner, and it almost won them the game, much to the shock of the entire football watching world)
  • Colts over Texans (did you see that kee-razy flip TD by Joseph Addai? Are the Colts not as dominant as everyone says they are? One can only hope...)
  • Panthers over Falcons (who at least have a QB now in Byron Leftwich, but they’re going to have to COMPLETELY reorient their offense, so that could take at least a few weeks)
Games that were never in question:
  • Patriots over Bills (sadly, the Pats are as dominant as everyone says. Damn.)
  • Steelers over 49ers (Yay, Steelers! Yay, Pennsylvania!)
  • Bucs over Rams (go, Philadelphia expats!)
Games where, already, no one cares:
  • Chiefs over Vikings
  • Raiders over Browns (although the Raiders did manage to snap a losing streak that dated back to October 2006, so good on them!)
Other:
  • Jets over Dolphins – meh. Given the already-insane level of dominance the Patriots are demonstrating in AFC East, will it really matter?
  • Seahawks over Bengals. Huhn. That’s weird.
  • Jaguars over Broncos. As I expected. I got nothin'.
And the Titans/Saints game is, mid-way through the third quarter, a lot closer than I’d anticipated, even though the Saints had an offensively weak (in both senses of the word "offensive”) first half. But they seem to be pulling it together now, I hope, so Geaux Saints!

Who's spending too much time reading their own press clippings? Devin Hester, possibly the Saints.

Chad Johnson TD watch, week 3: no TD this week, unfortunately. So whatever he had planned will have to wait.

PS to Dawk - nice turn as the World's Most Intimidating Waterboy, homes!


22 September 2007

2007 Week 3 Picks: The No Frills Edition

AKA, "Just the Picks, Ma'am!"

Eagles/Lions: Eagles. Shoegal has a theory that if she's not watching the game with us, the Eagles lose. Chef Spouse has a theory that if he doesn't make guacamole, the Eagles lose. Both things have been the case in our 0-2 start. This week? Shoegal AND guacamole are on tap. Plus, my feeble brain can't comprehend the possibility that we'll start 0-3 and the Lions will be 3-0.

Rams/Bucs: Bucs

Chargers/Packers: Packers (seems like a crazy pick, I know, but I just have a feeling...)

Dolphins/Jets: Jets

Cardinals/Ravens: Ravens

Colts/Texans: Colts (much as I'd like to see someone take them down a peg)

Vikings/Chiefs: Vikings

Bills/Patriots: Patriots (much as I'd like to see someone take them down a peg)

49ers/Steelers: Steelers (things are nutty in the NFC West, but they aren't that nutty)

Browns/Raiders: Worst Game of the Week

Bengals/Seahawks: Bengals

Jaguars/Broncos: Jaguars

Giants/Redskins: Redskins (the Giants SUCK)

Panthers/Falcons: Panthers (the Falcons also SUCK)

Cowboys/Bears: Bears (as long as they can shut down the 'Boys offense. Fortunately, they're pretty good at that. X Factor? How many dumb mistakes will Sexy Rexy make?)

Titans/Saints: Titans (much as I'll hate to see the Saints lose their home opener and drop to 0-3, I don't think they'll get past the Titans)


18 September 2007

2007 Week 2 Recap, Part 2

Eagles versus Redskins, Monday, September 17, 2007

In attendance: just lil ole me, stuck up in the suburbs of NYC for a training class.

Menu: not good. Room service. And this ain’t exactly a 4 star hotel.

So does it all come down to the fact that the receivers can’t get open? Is it really that simple? Maybe. Stick with me here.

OK, so if the receivers don’t get open, D-Mac has nowhere to put the ball. He scrambles, but on a surgically repaired knee, and this isn’t 2001. So he takes a sack or dumps it off to one of the checkdown guys, because the receivers aren’t paying enough attention to see that he’s in trouble and cut back their routes. Occasionally, Big D gets frustrated enough to try the bomb anyway, and he throws too hot (which he tends to do until he gets into a rhythm), and Kevin Curtis, who was supposed to stretch the field for us, is consistently NOT stretching the field. Turn on the afterburners, dude! Or AR gets frustrated with the dink and dunk, and dials up the big pass play. And our young receivers drop passes they should catch, perhaps because D-Mac’s fired it a little too hot. Either way, we have short offensive series.

So Sav does his almighty best, but the opposing team still gets decent field position. The D starts out the game strong, and we have very few points scored in the first half (only 10 in each of the last two weeks). Since the other team starts with good field position, when we get the ball back, we tend to start with an awful lot of green in front of us regardless of whether or not they managed to score. And because our receivers aren’t getting open, our D is back on the field again before they’ve had a chance to rest. Sooner or later, the D starts to get tired, and the other team is able to score. Not a lot – topping 16 or 20 points has, in the Big Red/Big D era, not been a tough hurdle for us to clear. But so far this year, it’s enough.

So what was good about last night? I feel pretty good about what I saw on defense, even with Lito out for the whole game and Dawk – who was having a great night - out after the first series of the 4th quarter. Chef Spouse’s boy David Akers was perfect, nailing it from 22, 24, 26, and 39, providing ALL our points. Reno didn’t muff a single punt. Welcome back, baby! Westy broke some good runs.

But our offense as a whole just can’t seem to pull it together. The haters are going to blame their favorite whipping boy, #5. But I don’t see how you can pin it on him. As Jaws pointed out in his always excellent analysis (when Tony K and Charles Barkley shut up long enough to let him talk about football, that is, and could ESPN PLEASE kill the damn celebrity interviews? Sheesh!), the receivers were not getting open. Was that attributable to great coverage by the Skins, as New Boss suggested? Possibly, but a lot of times our receivers drew single coverage. I’m sorry, but in single coverage, a receiver’s JOB is to create enough space for the QB to sneak it in. And D-Mac doesn’t need a big window.

Tony K, when we stopped jabbering about dumb stuff for a few minutes, did point out that Philly’s had a Hall of Fame-level QB for the last 8 seasons, and the Front Office has supplied him with bargain bin receivers. And most years, he’s managed to make something out of that anyway, putting his own body on the line to do it, and sustaining serious injuries in 3 of the last 5 seasons as a result. He’ll be 31 in November, and maybe it’s time the rest of the team stepped it up. Maybe the Front Office needs to spend a little coin on some decent receivers. Maybe Donovan doesn’t have time to wait on another crop of rookies to see if any of them develops into something. Maybe he – and we – deserve better.


17 September 2007

2007 Week 2 Recap, Part 1

In attendance: Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Shoegal, Chef Spouse (but only for the first quarter of the Giants/Packers game, as he was headed to Sin City on business)

Menu: brats, crudites (courtesy of ExNC), Indian snacks (courtesy of Shoegal), Swetzel's spice cookies

Have we entered Bizarro Land? What the hell is going on here? Don't believe me? Check out the evidence and then tell me what you think...

The Texans beat the Panthers. Steve Smith had a great game, and the Texans still beat the Panthers.

In even more weirdness, the Cardinals beat the Seahawks. I think no one was more shocked by that than the Cardinals themselves.

The BROWNS beat the BENGALS. What? Seriously. What? 51-45? Are you KIDDING me? And I thought the Cowboys/Giants game last week was high scoring. This is what I expected the Colts/Saints season opener to look like. Speaking of....

What THE HELL is wrong with the Saints? I mean, yay, Jeff Garcia, but the Bucs beating the Saints seems unfathomable. Or at least it did until yesterday afternoon. The Saints look terrible so far. Who knew Joe Horn was that critical? Or did Sean Payton use up all his good ideas last year?

And then there's the "almosts" - the Titans almost beat the Colts, and the Raiders almost beat the Broncos. The RAIDERS. I'm speechless.

The 49ers squeaked a win over the Rams, and the Lions squeaked a win over the Vikings. You know, normally, whichever team gets to receive in OT wins. But not the Vikings, oh no. Of course, John "Ironman" Kitna really earned that one, not only coming back from a first half concussion but powering his team down the field almost single-handedly after the Vikings turned it over in their OT opening possession.

The Steelers KILLED the Bills, no shock there, and the Cowboys KILLED the Dolphins on a scorching hot afternoon in Miami. The Dolphins managed to hang in there for about 3 quarters, until their defense spontaneously combusted because they'd been on the field so long. It was so hot, the coaches were getting IVs.

The Jaguars surprised no one by beating the Falcons. Gonna be a long season in Atlanta. And the Ravens B Team took the Jets B Team. Well, OK, the Jets, but y'all better try to get some of those Black Birds healthy, because you will eventually need your A game is all I'm saying.

The Bears handled the Chiefs pretty easily. I'll be interested to see what happens when the Bears have to face a good team (of course, maybe the Browns are better than I think they are? Nah - Bengals are worse).

Another shocker? The Packers are actually looking like a good team this year. (Well, and the Giants are looking pretty bad. I'd say Eli should've sat, but he actually had a decent day. Maybe the REST of the team should've sat?) Which means Brett Favre is never, ever, ever going to retire, doesn't it? Damn.

Looking forward to when the Pack plays a really great team, which I would've said they'd be doing next week against the Chargers UNTIL LAST NIGHT. I quit watching at 31-14 'cause I just couldn't take it any more. Looks like those cameras Belichick was using were just back up for the MIND CONTROL CHIPS. "Phillip Rivers...you WILL throw another pick to us...Phillip Rivers...you WILL throw another pick to us...." Is it too early to use the word "juggernaut"? I really don't like the Patriots. Not that that accomplishes anything other than weekly irritation when they win, but I really don't like the Patriots.

A side note: I saw part of Tom Brady's post-game press conference on ESPN this evening. I swear, the lights are on, but nobody's home. Look at his eyes the next time you see him. Hopefully, their kid will get Bridget Moynahan's brains. Not that I have any idea if she has any, but she's gotta by sharper than Tommy Boy there.

Chad Johnson TD watch, week 2: Leap into the Dawg Pound, beer shower. I give it a C for originality, an A+ for bravery (or foolhardiness).

It's just over 60 minutes to kickoff. Eagles fans, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?


15 September 2007

2007 Week 2 Picks

How do we not beat the Skins? I surely do not know. But then again, I said the same thing about the Packers, and look how wrong I turned out to be there. Still, I don’t see us losing our home opener, particularly now that we have a punt returner who can actually field kicks. So that’s 10 points the Redskins won’t get. As long as our offense can find the keys, we should be in good shape.

There was a great article in today’s WaPo about what Jason Campbell and D-Mac. Unlike some quarterbacks I could mention who’ve gone on the record saying they refuse to mentor to new guy, D-Mac is not only working with our rookie, Kevin Kolb, but with other rookie QBs around the league. Pure class is all I can say.

In the other games:

Colts/Titans – well, since I went with the Titans to win the division, I better go with the Titans to win this game.

Packers/Giants – after beating us, the Packers BETTER take the Giants. ‘Cause they’re a mess, and it looks like they’ll be missing Little Eli Sunday. I can’t believe I’m rooting for the Packers. Of course, given that the alternative is rooting for the Giants...Packers. Definitely Packers.

Bengals/Browns – Bengals. ‘Nuff said.

Texans/Panthers – hmmm, this is a tough one. I didn’t see either team’s game last week. Panthers looked pretty bad in the pre-season, and Texans actually looked pretty decent. Given that the Panthers beat a better team last week (Rams, versus the Texans over the Chiefs), I’ll have to go with the Panthers, but it could go either way.

Saints/Bucs – Saints. The opener against the Colts was an aberration. Sadly, the Bucs dusting by the Seahawks last week probably wasn’t.

Bills/Steelers – Steelers, particularly since the Bills are likely to be somewhat distracted.

Falcons/Jaguars – Absolutely the Jaguars. The Falcons have NO shot. They might as well not even play.

49ers/Rams – OK, so the 49ers beat the Cardinals, who are probably going to be terrible again this year, and the Rams lost to the Panthers, who are going to be...who knows? But again, I called the 49ers to win the division, so they better take the Rams this week.

Vikings/Lions – Ugh. Worst Game of the Week. Vikings. Hey Brad, can you TRY to make your team better? Soon? Thanks, babe.

Seahawks/Cardinals – Seahawks. Cute as Matt Leinart is, he doesn’t seem to be making the transition to the NFL very well. Of course, the sucky rest of the team isn’t really helping him any.

Cowboys/Dolphins – the Skins barely squeaked by the Fins in OT last week. And doesn’t Trent Green run around with a big ole target on his back? Oy, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but...Cowboys. Now I’m just waiting for the lightning bolt to fall from the sky and strike me dead. DUCK!

Chiefs/Bears – Bears, even though their offense is TERRIBLE. But if they lose too many more defenders, they’re in BIG trouble.

Jets/Ravens – Both teams are likely to be missing their starting QBs, and the Ravens are probably short Ray Lewis, who will likely be on the sidelines playing the role of NFL’s Most Terrifying Cheerleader. I think the Jets are going to win, and I think the Ravens could be in trouble.

Raiders/Broncos – Broncos, despite the fact that it took everything they had to get past the Bills last week. But the Raiders are not the Bills. Not sure if that’s a bigger insult to the Raiders or to the Bills.

Chargers/Patriots – Pats, you big cheaters! I hope the Chargers smoke your asses. Should be a great game.


14 September 2007

Pats Punishment

The Commish has spoken:
  • Fine for Belichick
  • Fine for Kraft
  • Loss of draft picks for team to be determined by standing at the end of the 2007 season
Michael Wilbon would like to have seen Belichick suspended.

John Clayton agrees that they got off easy.

Rich Hofmann, on the other hand, seems to think the infraction is no big deal, as does King Kaufman, and Paul Domowitch makes the point that this may finally force owners' hands on the issue of radio headsets for the defense. Guess they'll just have to figure out a way to deal with the problem that there is no defensive equivalent of the QB, someone who absolutely on the field the entire time and who runs the plays. Will we now see defensive huddles?

What do you think, Eagles fans? Too tough? Too lenient? Discuss....


13 September 2007

You have to laugh...

No, really, you do, because it's in The Onion:

Eagles Fans Give McNabb Three-Week Deadline To Win Super Bowl

HEE!


12 September 2007

All the News That's Fit to Blog

Reno's back - that didn't take long. I think he was on a plane on his way back from Utah before the team was on their plane on their way back from Wisconsin. You know, Reno was never really able to break a big run back. Funny how unimportant that seems right now.

Charlie Frye's gone - OK, the Browns got DESTROYED by the Steelers, but I don't think it was all - or nearly all - Charlie's fault. They're really gonna start Brady Quinn? Guess they're writing off this year....

The Patriots are big cheaters - I say throw the book at them! Sports commentators have been talking about The Commish possibly yanking their victory over the Jets Sunday. Can he do anything about Super Bowl XXIX?

It's only Week 1, and people are dropping like flies - Steve McNair, Ray Lewis, Eli Manning, Chad Pennington, Dusty Dvoracek and Mike Brown, Terry Glenn, Jason Ferguson, Josh Scobee, Osi Umenyiora, Brandon Jacobs, Josh McCown, DJ Hackett, TJ Duckett, Cadillac Williams, Jon Jansen... Guess we should be happy we survived Sunday with only minor injuries to Lito and LJ. Sheesh!

And finally, some GOOD news: Kevin Everett has shown some independent movement of his limbs.


10 September 2007

2007 Week 1 Recap

Eagles at Packers, Sunday, September 9, 2007

The day after, with a little time and distance, I think I’ve gotten some perspective. AR is the winningest coach in Eagles history. But September tends not to be a good month for Andy. We’ve lost 6 of our 9 season openers under him, and in 3 of those years (2001, 2002, and 2003), we went to the NFC Championship game anyway. Each of which we proceeded to lose.

But I digress. Barring an undefeated season – which I wouldn’t turn up my nose at, don’t get me wrong, but come on – we have to lose some games. We tend to get off to a slow start, both in individual games and in the season as a whole. So, the little Voice of Reason in my head says, there’s no reason to panic.

D looked pretty good, which is reassuring given recent years and the fact that so many of our defenders are so new. O seemed a little, um, off. But Reggie tends to get hot later (hopefully not too much later), Avant is looking good, and McNabb and Curtis just need a little work on their timing. One would have hoped they would have accomplished that in training camp, of course, but they still managed to connect for a few big plays. So I give the D a B/B+, the O a gentleman’s C.

And then there’s the much louder voice that’s screaming, "PANIC!” Special teams...well, is there a grade lower than F? Because whatever that would be, that’s what they get. To be fair, I’m pretty sure Greg Lewis was hit before he had a chance to field that first punt, which means the first Packer TD should have been called back. But special teams play was just disastrous. Anyone know what Reno’s up to these days? And now AR is talking about having Westy return punts. Um, NO. Should Westy have fielded that final muffed punt that led to the Packers’ winning field goal? Hell, yes. Should he field every punt? No. Nononononono. NO! He’s too valuable to throw away on your bad decision-making, Andy. Cut JR Reed and pick up someone – anyone – who knows how to catch a punt. Or at least correctly signal a fair catch.

And of course, LJ’s still not looking good, and Lito’s hurt again. Why don’t you just give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?

Hopefully this stupid, stupid loss will serve as the usual kick in the pants we seem to need to get motivated. I hope. Otherwise, I shudder to think what’s going to happen to us at the hands of the Patriots, the Bears, and even the Cowboys.

Speaking of, around the rest of the NFL...

OK, I called the winner of the Saints/Colts game right, but I got EVERYTHING else wrong. Who would’ve thought it would be ELI Manning’s game that resulted in an insane amount of points? What happened to the Saints?

Of course, Eli didn’t manage to score enough points for the Giants to WIN or anything. I left the room for, like, 5 minutes during the 4th quarter of the Giants/Cowboys game, and then next thing I knew, the score was 257 to 192 or something ridiculous like that. Did both teams’ defensive players think they were playing in the Meadowlands and go to the wrong stadium? It looks like Jeremy Shockey got more ink in the off season. Think he’s going for a body suit?

Sticking with our division, the Skins surprised me with an OT win over the Fins. I’m obviously out of practice, because I didn’t think to set my Tivo to record the game before heading for Philly on Friday. Bad blogger – no donut. I probably shouldn’t have skipped blogger mini camp this spring to go party at Jazz Fest. Congrats to Deadhead Skins Fan and Spouse and to Cool Web Dude (Skins fan). We’re still gonna kill you with a vengeance next week, though.

Boy, I guess the Texans really are better this year – or the Chiefs are a hell of a lot worse than I thought. Apparently, all Matt Schaub needed was a chance, which he’s now getting. Bet the Falcons are sorry they got rid of him.

Turning to the Falcons, the Vikings are no great shakes, but they had more than enough juice to put the Falcons away. Bet Joey Harrington wishes he was still with the Lions. Who managed to beat the Raiders pretty soundly, coming back in the 4th quarter after losing the lead, and putting up 19 unanswered points. Of course, the Raiders are having some QB issues of their own, with JaMarcus Russell still unsigned and Daunte Culpepper and Josh McCown battling week to week over the starting spot. But I think the Raiders scored more points yesterday than they did all last year, so things seem to be looking up for them, too.

As predicted, the Steelers whupped up on the hapless Browns. Did you know that, after 75 years, the Steelers finally have a mascot? Steely McBeam. No, I’m not kidding. Check it out if you don’t believe me. And why is he orange, or is that just my computer?

Did you see the Titans beat the Jaguars? Notice how I smoked many of the experts there? We won’t talk about my miscue on the Jets/Patriots. Looks like Randy Moss is feeling OK and getting along with Tom Brady. Wait! I wasn’t going to talk about it. Yeah, we could be in big trouble when we play the Pats Thanksgiving weekend.

How did the Panthers manage to beat the Rams? Seriously, how did that happen? I didn’t see the game. Weird. The win, not me missing the game. See above RE: my lack of remembering of the power of Tivo.

The Bucs got stomped by the Seahawks, as I’d predicted. Literally stomped. Did you see what happened to Cadillac Williams and Jeff Garcia? Yikes.

The Chargers won, as I’d foreseen in my evidently very smudged crystal ball, but it looks like we weren’t the only team who forgot that this was the first game of the regular season, because both the Chargers and the Bears looked bad. BAD bad. Raiders bad. That's bad.

Broncos won, too, on a WILD last play. Kicker Jason Elam has NEVER missed 3 field goals in the same game, and the Broncos had managed to get into range with 14 seconds and no timeouts. They rushed the kicking team onto the field and put the game winning points on the board as time expired.

As far as MNF is concerned...

HEE! Chad Johnson’s funny. I like him! Also, loving Jaws on color commentary. What’s not funny? The mess the Ravens are creating so far. They gave up, like, 100 turnovers in the first quarter. It’s amazing the Bengals only scored 9 points off them and that the Ravens are only down by 2 midway through the second. Ray Lewis is looking like Return of the Mummy. What’s the story with the Bengals kicker? The (vastly improved) MNF crew alluded to problems, but I didn’t quite catch it. Hip injury? Anyway, I still think the Ravens will pull this out, but I could be wrong, as I often am.

Still not planning to stay up for the Cards/49ers, although since I’ve recently remembered that I can Tivo games, maybe I’ll watch it in the morning over breakfast. Football – the breakfast of champions.

And finally, on a serious note, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bills’ Kevin Everett for a complete and speedy recovery, and to his family and friends at this difficult time.


09 September 2007

you HAVE to be kidding me

That's it - our special teams people have to walk home.

I'm completely disgusted.

After that piece of shit stupidity, we deserve to lose.


2007 Week 1 Live Blogging - 4th Quarter Two Minute Warning

Damn, I sure hope that wasn't our last chance to score, because after that big forced fumble by Trent Cole, our offense did NOTHING. And our defense is not exactly known for putting up the big stops inside 2 minutes to give the offense a chance to do....something. And today I'm not even sure what that something would be.

Everybody cross your fingers for a Favre pick run back for a TD, because without that, I'm starting to have a bad feeling...


Is it just me...

Or does Andy look like he's gained weight?

Of course, it has been a tough year for him and, being Mormon, it's not like he could unwind with a nice, relaxing Scotch or anything.

Looks like he's been hitting the Tastykakes pretty hard.....


2007 Week 1 Live Blogging - 4th Quarter Second Drive

NO GREG! BAD GREG!

No Wii for you this week, Mister!


2007 Week 1 Live Blogging - 4th Quarter First Drive

No Andy, DON'T GET ALL PASS-HAPPY NOW!

BUGGER


2007 Week 1 Live Blogging - End of the 3rd Quarter

They're just doing this to keep it exciting, right? Why are we letting the Packers, THE PACKERS for God's sake, hang around with us?

How in the hell did we let them get away with that last drive? On the up side, Favre's starting to pull his usual stupid shit, but on the down side, he's getting away with it. AARRRRGGHH!!

Tied up, 4th quarter, it's time to BRING it.

PS to Buck - CATCH first, THEN run. I know you're a running back so this isn't your forte, but you can write it on your sleeve if you need to.

PS to all of you - if you've never watched a game from Chickie's & Pete's Packer Avenue, you haven't lived.


2007 Week 1 Live Blogging - At the Half

OK, that was a nice drive we put together to get that TD. 5 minutes off the clock, nice mix of run and pass, couple guys involved (LJ, Westy, Avant). Our D was giving me fits on that last series, though. Having the D that gives up the most 3rd-and-longs in the league is not something to brag about. And having a D that can't make stops at important times - like when the other team is driving at the end of the half or the game - is even less brag-worthy. Still, although we allowed some key completions, we got a nice sack and did enough to keep the Pack out of range. Crisis averted.

Speaking of range, I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate the Packers' rookie kicker Mason Crosby on that 53 yard boot. Doesn't help us any, but still, way to start your pro career, kid.

All in all, I feel pretty comfortable going into the locker room tied up. Favre's going to start getting frustrated - well, OK, more frustrated - in the second half and start throwing up some more of those crazy jump balls. Odds are, Lito and Sheldon will come down with more than their fair share. Which should work out well for us.

Two items of concern: Kearse pulled up lame after that big sack on Favre (looked like Cole might have fallen into him) and Dawk seems to be MIA so far. Both situations bear watching.

Next post at the end of the 3rd....


2007 Week 1 Live Blogging - End of the 1st Quarter

MMMOOOOO.....mentun shift. I hope.

OK, the Packers have basically stolen their points to date. What is with that head ref? How was that TD allowed? See, as I understand the game, you have to actually give the guy who's back for the punt the chance to catch the punt before you hit him. Also, it sure looked to me like Greg Lewis was trying to call a fair catch. So that's a whole lotta BS. I have no idea why Andy didn't challenge.

Oh - and then there was that crap INT. Bad communication between Hank Baskett and McNabb? Don't know, but it sure sucked.

Nice catch by Kevin Curtis, though.

...

Ah, Akers just had to take the 3. At least we're back to a single possession game. Still, our offense is really sputtering so far.

More at the half....


2007 Week 1 Live Blogging - T-Minus 15 Minutes and Counting

In attendance: Chef Spouse, Life Long Eagles Fan Mom, and You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad...and about 500 of my closest friends!

Yes, we're at Chickie's & Pete's Packer Avenue, ready for the first kick off of the 2007 football season.

We've been here about 90 minutes - long enough to snag a good table, take down some crab fries, and for me to spill Chef Spouse's beer. Good times.

Anyway, I have the laptop and the broadband wireless card, but I have no access to power, so I'll update at the end of each quarter to save power.

If you're here, stop by and say hi. I'm the one in the Westbrook jersey. SIKE! We're sitting along the windows to the left as you come in. I'm the REDHEAD in the Westbrook jersey. Chef Spouse is in his usual #2. Dad has on a training camp polo, and Mom is wearing Eagles Mardi Gras beads that have already been admired by the WMGK babes.

I'll catch you all at the end of the first quarter. My prediction? Lito Sheppard is going to have a BIG day.


06 September 2007

2007 Week 1 Picks

Welcome to the opening of the 2007 football season, Eagles fans! Can I just say: ENOUGH WITH THE HYPE ALREADY! COULD WE JUST START THE DAMN GAME? (which will hopefully be better than that awful national anthem)

OK, so my picks for week one are as follows:

Season opener
Saints/Colts: This is going to be a major shoot out. Think we'll see a combined score over 100 points? Could happen. Could also be a Super Bowl preview, I hear, but since I didn't pick the Colts for the playoffs, maybe not. But I'm picking the Colts tonight.

The Sunday games
Eagles/Packers: Please! Has Vicodin Boy ever won a game against us in the Big Red/Big D era? And that's not gonna change this weekend either.

Chiefs/Texans: Supposedly the Texans are better this year. I certainly hope so. Chiefs.

Dolphins/Skins: Most Painful Game of the Week? Nah...there are worse things coming. The Dolphins finished 6-10 in AFC East last year, and the Skins finished 5-11 in NFC East. 'Nuff said. Dolphins.

Broncos/Bills: Look for Champ Bailey to have a big day. Broncos.

Panthers/Rams: Look, the NFC West is pathetic. But the NFC South is now more pathetic. And Jake Delhomme looked seriously shaky in the pre-season. Julius Peppers remains the Terrifying Sack Machine, but I don't think it will be enough. Rams. PS - thanks for Kevin Curtis. I think he'll do well in Philly.

Steelers/Browns: Remember how the Browns managed to pick up Brady Quinn because he hung around surprisingly long in the draft this spring? Yeah, they're still starting Charlie Frye. Steelers, in a potential blow out.

Falcons/Vikings: What, is this these two teams' community service gig for the week? The Falcons are a complete mess at this point. Feel bad for new head coach Bobby Petrino. The Vikings are pretty sorry too, but not as sorry as the Falcons. Vikings.

Titans/Jaguars: Don't let me down, Vince Young. I've (perhaps foolishly) picked your team to win the division. Of course I'm going to call Titans.

Patriots/Jets: Don't let me down, Jets. I've (perhaps foolishly) picked your team to win the division. Of course I'm going to call Jets.

Lions/Raiders: Ugh. How can there be a game that will be this bad this early? Most Painful Game of the Week. The Raiders were 2-14 last year, and the Lions were 3-13. I'm going with the Raiders, simply because they play in the AFC.

Bears/Chargers: No way Rex & da Bears get it together enough to stop the LT TD train. Chargers.

Bucs/Seahawks: Sorry, Chuckie, even lucking into two of our warriors won't help you. Seahawks. PS - good luck to you, Trot and Garcia.

SNF
Giants/Cowboys: The only way the Cowboys lose this game is if they miss the plane. Oh wait. They're playing in Dallas. Maybe the Giants could figure out a way to lock them in the locker room? Or tell them the game got moved to 4 pm? Or Monday night?

MNF
Ravens/Bengals: Ravens over the Blazing Saddles team.

Cardinals/49ers: Huh? Is anyone going to stay up to see this? 49ers.


05 September 2007

In the media...

Great article about our Iggles and D-Mac on Yahoo! sports - "Lightning Rod of Criticism" (and shout out to Shoegal for pointing it out)

The shitstorm continues in New York - Tiki Barber, apparently done with throwing Eli Manning under the bus (for the time being), has turned his ire on Tom Coughlin. Look, I think Coughlin's a jerk, too, but way to lose friends and alienate people there, Tiki.

My secret sportswriter boyfriend, King Kaufman, has his 2007 AFC picks ready to go (finally). I suspect his NFC picks will show up tomorrow.

Speaking of picks, it looks like I will end up writing my week one preview during the season opener game tomorrow night. If they were playing in the Superdome, I would definitely pick the Saints. As it is, I suspect the Colts will win, despite the fact that I want the Saints to win. Ah well. The rest of week 1 picks tomorrow....


03 September 2007

2007 Divisional Picks

Happy last weekend of summer, Eagles fans. I just put Chef Spouse on the train back to Philly for Week 2 of his business trip, and I'm sitting here, mint julep in hand (because September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, so drink up!), ready to make my annual divisional picks, aka The Post That Will COMPLETELY Embarrass Me In December. So let me get on with the annual personal humiliation.

AFC East: Jets

I know, I know. I'm picking against the Patriots. For the second year running. Which is almost definitely a mistake. But Mangini's Jets came on strong last year, the Patriots have serious receiver problems, and Tom Brady will be distracted by the arrival of his new son. Maybe. Yeah, the Patriots are definitely going to win the Super Bowl, just to spite me. Curse you, Bill Belichick!

AFC North: Steelers

Conventional wisdom - aka everyone other than me - says that the Ravens will take it. The Steelers have a new coach in Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger's been struggling, and they've lost key players to retirement or other teams. The thing is, I think the Ravens are vulnerable offensively. Yeah, defense wins championships, but in order to get there, you have to win at least a few games. And few defenses are so good that they prevent the other team from scoring any points at all. Which the Ravens D may have to do. With every single team. All season long. In other news, sports pundits have been talking all off-season about how much the Browns have upgraded and how much of a difference Brady Quinn is going to make. But unless they've magically become the Patriots, they still finish at the bottom of a very tough division.

AFC South: Titans

This is probably another stupid pick. But Vince Young rocked it out last year once he became the starter, and even though everyone with an ounce of sense is calling Colts, I think they'll fall off this year now that Peyton no longer has anything to prove. Which means the Colts will definitely win the Super Bowl, just to spite me. Curse you, Peyton Manning! Although that commercial with Reggie Bush gets funnier every time I see it.

AFC West: Chargers

LT continues to be inhumanly good, and the Chargers will not fall victim to Martyball in the playoffs this year. The Chargers are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Which probably means the Raiders are going to shock the hell out of all of us and win the Super Bowl. You know, just to spite me. At least their fans have way cool costumes. Gotta love a pirate. Speaking of, mark your calendars now for National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Man, I am just a fount of useless trivia tonight!

NFC East: Eagles

Even the experts agree that NFC East will come down to us and the Cowboys. And most of them are calling Eagles. Cross every limb you have that McNabb stays healthy. The Skins still have the worst owner in the universe, and nothing good will ever come of it. Although they'll be #3 in NFC East this year, because the Giants are a complete mess. Michael Strahan decided to stick with it another year, for all the good it will do them. Their locker room is in such bad shape, picking up TO would actually improve things. Speaking of TO, how many mistakes do you think Romo will get to make before Captain ME! starts trashing him out on a regular basis? Of course, now that ESPN's seen the light and dumped Mike Irvin, TO has lost his direct conduit to broadcast media, which might slow him down. A little. We can only hope.

NFC North: Lions

Sike! I'm actually calling da Bears. Although Rex Grossman is as fragile as a vintage 1920's silk velvet evening gown. And opposing teams' defenses are going to tear him up. Just like, well, a vintage 1920's silk velvet evening gown. Man, is this a sorry division. Think Aaron Rodgers will ever get to play? Poor kid.

NFC South: Saints

Saints are going to the Super Bowl this year, baby! Seriously, who else do you think will rep the NFC? Sean Payton will continue to be unpredictable, Reggie Bush is just going to get better, as will Marques Colston, and Drew Brees still has some miles left on him. And the rest of the division is no great shakes. But it wouldn't matter. The Saints could take a good division. OK, not an AFC division, let's not get crazy here, but a good division. For the NFC. Am I damning by faint praise? Geaux Saints!

NFC West: 49ers

I know everyone else is calling the Seahawks. This division could easily have 3 8-8 teams. But I think Alex Smith is ready to have a breakout year. The 49ers had some good moments last year, and the Seahawks are weak. They've been winning the West by default, which can't continue forever.

Tired of my dumb ideas? For some informed picks, see ESPN, rocketman on the AFC and NFC, Outside the Eagles, and Deadspin.