29 October 2007

2007 Week 8 Recap

Eagles at Vikings, Sunday, October 28, 2007

In attendance: just me & Chef Spouse. Which was OK, because we were totally beat from working on The Money Pit.

Menu: Italian snackies, Longview Devil's Elbow CabSauv, and pasta with homemade tomato and sausage sauce. YUM!

So we’re watching the game, and it was pretty low-key (see above re: being exhausted from working on the house), and we get to the fourth quarter, and we’re only up by one possession, and I say to Chef Spouse: "We’re totally going to lose this game.” How sorry is that? I’ve become convinced that if we’re not up by, like, 40 points by the fourth quarter, we’re going to lose. That is not good.

Not that the win wasn’t good. It was. And the Vikings are out of it now. But, before we get all cocky, remember that we’re at the bottom of the NFC East, and, no matter what happens in the rest of our season (or their season, for that matter), we may not be able to catch the Cowboys. Of course, we’ve already played – and lost to – the teams that are surprisingly good this year (Packers, Lions). But there are some serious hurdles awaiting us: Cowboys. Patriots. Dolphins (sike! That’s one game we’re pretty much guaranteed to win.). But we haven’t beat a good team yet. The Lions aren’t bad this year, but the Jets are awful. And the only other team we’ve beat is the Vikings. That is not good. A continuing theme this week. Sure, we could get to .500 next week against the Cowboys, but I’ll be really surprised if that happens. Yeah, I’m feeling the 3-4 blues. Which would actually be really weird, because the blues just doesn’t work in 3/4 time.

Around the rest of the NFL…

Patriots/Redskins: One word: Bullies. One more word: Classless.

Saints/49ers: The return of Alex Smith proves ineffective in solving the 49ers total-lack-of-offense problem. Also, the Saints are looking a LOT better.

Texans/Chargers: Speaking of looking better, boy, was I wrong about this one. So wrong. Really wrong. Guess it’s actually easier to concentrate on the game when you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your 52” flat screen because IT MELTED.

Jags/Bucs: This is the game I switched to when I literally could not take the Skins game one more second because it was hurting my eyes. And the Bucs had at least two shots to win the game in the last quarter. I don’t mean two potential passes – I mean two drives once it was 24-23, and they just couldn’t put it away. Could that be because they have literally NO running backs? Maybe….

Bills/Jets: How surprising is the Jets collapse? Pretty damn surprising, I think. Also, the AFC East is so bad, they should be demoted to an NFC division.

Raiders/Titans: You know what was surprising about this game? The Titans only won by 4. I think they basically treated it as an extra bye week. I’m not positive, but I think they may have had MGD in the coolers rather than Gatorade. I’m pretty sure I saw them doing shots on the sideline right before halftime.

Steelers/Bengals: And the Steelers return to their below-the-radar winning ways. I don’t know if they’ll be able to take out the Colts and Pats, but they’re definitely repping the AFC North in the playoffs this year.

Lions/Bears: Perfect beat loop! How awesome is that?

Giants/Dolphins: Dear Brits: I am SOOOO sorry you had to watch the Dolphins. Really, American football is usually so much better than that. I swear. Also, maybe the Giants aren’t quite as good as they looked against, um, us, if they could only beat the sad-sack Fins by 3. PS: want to scare D-Mac to death? Show up on his doorstep Wednesday night dressed as Osi Umenyiora. You could pull the same trick on Jason Campbell with a Mike Vrabel costume if you happen to be in DC.

Browns/Rams: How bad are the Rams? The Rams are so bad…well, they’re really bad. They’re so bad, they made the Browns look like they might have some D. They’re so bad, they make the Raiders look pretty good. They’re so bad, I’m pretty sure West36’s alma mater could beat them. No, I don’t mean Villanova. I mean DeMatha.

Colts/Panthers: Have you seen the Priceless Pep Talks series? Those things are hilarious! You should definitely send one to someone right now. I realize I’m going to have to break my "no commenting on the Colts” rule next week, because I’ll spontaneously combust if I try to not remark on the Pats/Colts game. I’ll call it now: Colts. I think they’re the better team. They’ve certainly had the tougher schedule.

Packers/Broncos: I’m still calling Packers, even though I remain steadfast in my hate for Vicodin Boy (enhanced by the ridiculous ass-kissing pre-game profile). And Steely McGeek just showed up with hoagies! Gotta love a friend who’s regularly in the Philly area and brings treats!


26 October 2007

2007 Week 8 Picks

Eagles/Vikings: Guys, please. Please. That’s all I’m saying. Please.

Chargers/Texans: The Chargers are having a rough week. Much like the Saints in 2005, their stadium has been turned into a refugee camp and many of them are literally homeless. The difference, of course, is that the California wildfires have decimated rich, largely white areas, so Duhbya and FEMA actually give a damn this time. But I digress. The Chargers and Texans are probably both better teams than their records reflect, and while I think the Chargers are more better, if that makes sense, they're also REALLY distracted right now. It's hard to focus on football when all your worldly possessions have been reduced to ash. Texans.

Giants/Dolphins: The only way the Dolphins win this game is if the Giants accidentally go to NEW England. Or get held up at customs big-time. Giants.

Pats/Skins: Predictably, Tony K thinks there’s a chance the Skins win this one, and Michael Wilbon, ever the realist, understands that the Skins have a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup. Patriots.

Colts/Panthers: John Fox is going to sit Vinny in favor of David Carr. I don’t think it will matter much either way, but wouldn’t it be awesome to see Vinny Testaverde lead the Panthers in an upset win? Colts.

Bears/Lions: Most people figure the Bears are pulling it together and will beat the Lions. I think it would be cool if the Lions won, once again forming a perfect Beat Loop (Eagles>Lions>Bears>Eagles). Make it so! Lions.

Steelers/Bengals: After last week’s last minute loss, the Steelers will be looking for some payback. They’re also the better team. Steelers.

Browns/Rams: The bad! It burns! The Browns will win the Worst Game of the Week.

Titans/Raiders: As I kept reminding you last season, Raiders, if you forfeit, you only lose 1-0 and you conserve valuable beer-drinking time. Titans.

Jets/Bills – Yawn. Bills. Maybe this is the Worst Game of the Week? Nah – neither the Dolphins nor the Rams has a bye, so that’s not possible.

Bucs/Jags: Tough one. I’m crossing my fingers for Philly South and calling Bucs, but the Jags do probably play in the toughest division in the NFL and the Bucs, well, don’t.

Saints/49ers: Alex Smith returns. To defeat. Sorry, babe. Saints.

Packers/Broncos: That was one highly surprising win the Broncos pulled off last Sunday night. Beginning of a streak? Broncos.


23 October 2007

2007 Week 7 Recap

Eagles v. Bears, Sunday, October 21, 2007

In attendance: Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Shoegal, Steelers Transplant, Chef Spouse

Menu: we finally have the kitchen in enough order that we can make food in there (even though we’re still lacking a ceiling, reliable cabinetry, and one wall), so Chef Spouse prepared a TexMex feast for us, including the famous homemade guacamole. Not that it helped.

Here’s the thing: when the Bears got the ball back just after the 2 minute warning, even though they got it at their own 3, they had no timeouts left, we’d kept them out of the endzone for the previous 58 minutes of football, they needed a TD to win, and they were dependent on Brian Griese to make it happen, I knew we were screwed. For the last 3? 4? years, every time we’re in that situation, we fall apart. That bend-don’t-break defense JJ runs sure seems inclined to break at the absolute worst time. If it’s a one-possession game and the other team gets that final possession, we find a way to lose rather than finding a way to win. Sure, Sean Considine blew his coverage at a critical juncture, but it’s hardly all his fault. And honestly, if it hadn’t been him blowing it, it would have been someone else.

Yeah, there was some pretty iffy officiating – that bogus holding call on William James that nullified Trent Cole’s sack and kept the Bears’ first second half drive alive, that ridiculous call on the Griese fumble that was ruled not a fumble (and yesterday, philly.com featured an article that noted that the Daily News had searched the official NFL rulebook in vain for any such rule, which seems to have mysteriously disappeared overnight), the fact that the Bears’ O-line was holding the HELL out of Trent Cole on every single pass play of the final drive, it was NEVER called (don’t believe me? Check your TiVo, assuming you haven’t already deleted the game), and on the last two pass plays that led to the winning TD, Trent clearly would have gotten to Brian Griese both times had he not been held – but I know, only a sore loser complains about the officiating. Guess what? I’m a sore loser.

Now I know that I’m always the one who says, "Don’t panic – we’ll be fine – AR & Co. will figure things out – we’ll right the ship” yackity-smackity. Yeah. Panic. Sure the NFC is the soft conference, and, as Cool Web Dude (Skins Fan) and I were discussing last night over beer and mussels at my neighborhood gastro-pub, any team in our division could, at this point, easily be 1-5 or 5-1 (well, OK, the Cowboys and Giants could be 1-6 or 6-1). And the Skins have generally enjoyed good luck on that one play that could change the game, while we’ve generally "enjoyed” bad luck. And the Cowboys have had a soft schedule. And the Giants were 6-2 last year before they fell apart. And we were 5-6 and went on to win our last 5 games and the divisional title for the 5th time in 6 years. But the window in which we can turn our season around is so close to closing someone’s about to get a finger pinched.

Things are so bad that, when I called Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom after the game to kvetch, she advised me to make myself a drink. And she’s also a life-long teetotaler. YIKES!

Around the rest of the NFL…

Broncos over Steelers – man, did that suck. Last minute losses are so dispiriting. Believe me, Eagles fans know. Of course, Big Ben turned the ball over so many times it’s kind of amazing it was that close. The Steelers really seem to have trouble on the road this year. Assuming they win their division – a pretty good assumption at this point – that’s gonna bite ‘em.

Cowboys over Vikings – apparently this was a pretty weird game, but I missed it because I was too busy watching us lose to the Bears. The Cowboys made a ton of mistakes, Tonyboy pulled up lame after one of them, and yet Brad Childress didn’t press that advantage nor did he let Adrian Peterson run wild, despite clear evidence he’s capable of precisely that. Hey, we know all about bad coaching decisions. Finding ways to win versus finding ways to lose….

Seahawks over Rams – do the Rams and Dolphins play each other this season? If not, they could BOTH go 0-16. That’d be funny. Well, not for their fans, but for me. And I could use a little humor right now.

Chiefs over Raiders – yeah, apparently this really was the Worst Game of the Week.

Bengals over Jets – how the mighty have fallen! At least Mangini’s post-loss press conferences are a little more entertaining than AR’s. But, sadly, he’s no Dennis Green.

Redskins over Cardinals – even though the Cardinals led in every possible category of offense, the Skins managed to squeak a win on a last-minute missed field goal that had the distance but went wide, just barely. See above re: good versus bad luck.

Saints over Falcons – the Saints still look pretty shaky, but the Falcons are more shaky. So which division do you think is worse: NFC South or NFC West? Either one could end up being won by an 8-8 team at this point. Ick.

Bills over Ravens – that was a surprise.

Giants over 49ers – that was not.

Titans over Texans – 8 field goals? 8? And I thought we had trouble getting into the endzone!

Lions over Bucs – maybe I should go back to picking against Philly South?

Pats over Dolphins – no surprises here.

Colts over Jaguars – David Garrard went down with a bad ankle sprain, and now the Jags are in the market for a seasoned QB. Good luck with that, dude. Tim Hasselbeck’s already been picked up, so we’re definitely in bottom of the barrel territory.

The sports bloviators have now moved on from "Aren’t the Cowboys awesome?” (well, they’re good, but they’re also playing some real dogs) to "Who’s more perfect – the Pats or the Colts?” Despite the Pats inhumanly good numbers, I would tend to go with the Colts who play in a much tougher division and have a much harder schedule. Guess we’ll find out in two weeks. Speaking of, I can report that DC Delusions of Greatness are fully operational – local sportswriters seem to think the Skins will beat the Pats next week. RIIIIIIGHT. Keep smokin’ up, buddy.


18 October 2007

2007 Week 7 Picks

On to the Bears. The Bears, in case you haven’t been paying attention, are terrible. Of course, on occasion, so are we. But still, if we can’t put some points up on their decimated defense and shut down Brian Griese, we should just phone in the rest of the season to improve our draft standing. For realz. I really hope we get to see West36 level Brian Urlacher, ‘cause that would be AWESOME. Also, Lito will be back, so pick a few off for me, cutie! Finally, remember what I said about Devin Hester: do NOT kick to him under ANY circumstances. I think you should seriously consider my "locking him Dawk’s trunk" idea too. Maybe put one of the assistant coaches on it.

Bucs/Lions: Sorry Jeff, I learned my lesson. Not picking against you again. Particularly since you don’t have to play the Patriots this season. Bucs.

Titans/Texans: Will he or won’t he? "Vince Young” and "play,” that is. No one knows at this point. If he doesn’t, Texans. Even if he does, he’s not going to be anything close to 100%. So maybe Texans anyway. Since the Titans don’t have a whole lot else going on on offense. They’re good at shutting down the run, but it’s not like that’s the Texans’ strong suit. What the hell. Texans.

Patriots/Dolphins: The Dolphins are still without Trent Green. Of course, this week, they could have Dan Marino back and it wouldn’t matter. Stupid Patriots.

49ers/Giants: I’d like to see the 49ers take this one, but the Giants seem to be on a roll. Of course, they were on a roll through week 8 last year, too, and then imploded, so I’m definitely hoping for a repeat. But it’s not due to start for two weeks. Giants.

Falcons/Saints: Byron Leftwich can’t save you! Unless of course the Saints forgot how to play football again in the last 6 days. But that’s pretty unlikely, right? Right? Saints (crosses fingers).

Cardinals/Skins: Skins will pull it together. Also, I’m not sure the Cardinals even have a QB at this point. Oh wait! They have Tim Rattay. Yeah, like I was saying. Skins.

Ravens/Bills: Disappointing last minute loss to the Cowboys. Bye week to stew. Return to the gridiron to get beat down by the Ravens. Start thinking fondly of moving to your beach house and selling kites for a living. Ravens.

Jets/Bengals: The Jets are a shell of their former selves. The Bengals are a shell of last year’s, um, Raiders. Yeowch! Jets pick up a win.

Chiefs/Raiders: You know how the Raiders were leading the AFC West for like a minute there? Boy, that was fun while it lasted. Their divisional losing streak will go to 0-17 this week. Chiefs. Also possibly Worst Game of the Week.

Rams/Seahawks: How bad do the Rams stink? I can smell them from here. And they’re on their way to Seattle. Shaun Alexander may not be the man he once was, but it ain’t gonna matter this week. Seahawks. This is my other contender for Worst Game of the Week.

Vikings/Cowboys: I really hope Adrian Peterson has another big week, because the Vikes are really going to need the help. Big time. And it’s probably still not going to be enough. Maybe the Cowboys will eat some bad shrimp the night before the game and all get food poisoning? Too much to hope? Yeah, the Cowboys are going to win this one. Damn.

Steelers/Broncos: Steelers. No question. Mike Tomlin’s looking to have a good rookie head coaching year, ‘cause the Steelers are pretty tough this year.

Colts/Jags: Colts. Sigh. If the Colts and Patriots weren’t playing each other later this season, we might see two undefeated AFC teams this year. If that ever does happen, I really think it’s only fair that we have an all-AFC Super Bowl. Basically, the NFC teams would all be disqualified for their insurmountable suckitude.



15 October 2007

2007 Week 6 Recap

Eagles at Jets, Sunday, October 14, 2007

In attendance: Just Shoegal and Chef Spouse.

Menu: Shoegal supplied snacks and blueberry martinis, and we ordered Chinese. Chef Spouse whipped the kitchen back into some sort of shape, but ran out of steam for actually cooking anything. He promises a return to normalcy next week. Missing the ceiling and a wall. It’s the industrial look.

It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t sexy, but it was a win.

The good? West36 ripped some sweet runs, including finishing many of them off by demolishing any and all Jets standing in his way. "Take THAT, you blue-clad punk!” Reggie Bush is still trying to learn this – don’t juke, man, just make anyone in front of you pay. Kevin Curtis shucked Jets left and right on that 70+ yard TD run. Our D kept the Jets out of the endzone the entire game. Sheldon Brown came up with a key pick and a key deflected pass. West36 ran smart and stayed in bounds to help us run out the clock in the 4th quarter. Is he the key to our offense? Maybe. Our O line managed to keep the Jets not-exactly-dominant pass rush off our QB. Welcome back Tra! We had some long drives that helped us maintain our narrow lead and keep our D fresh to the end of the game, which turned out to be critical.

The bad? Other than that Curtis run, we couldn’t get into the end zone. We could not stop Thomas Jones in the first quarter. We adjusted, but things were looking a little scary for about 15 minutes there. We could only score one pick off Chad Pennington’s weak arm. Man, are we missing Lito.

The ugly? D-Mac’s pick. Akers’ two missed field goals (someone sacrifice a goat at the Meadowlands before next season please to help lift the curse). Sean Andrews’ penalty that called back a West36 TD.

Still, a win’s a win, and I’ll take it anyway I can get it at this point. AR’s now 9-0 career after the bye. If we could just play every other week, we’d never lose. Given the slow start, we’re going to need some serious help to get to the playoffs this year, but it ain’t over by a long shot.

Looking forward to next week, my advice is, no matter what, do NOT kick the ball to Devin Hester. Ever. For any reason. Y’all might want to lock him in Dawk’s trunk before the game starts. Or glue his hands together. Chef Spouse can attest to the effectiveness of superglue for that particular task, but that’s really a tale for another time.

Around the rest of the NFL…

Have I mentioned that we’re running out of QBs? ‘Cause we’re running out of QBs. Joey Harrington. Vinny Testaverde was courted by two teams, and the one that lost ended up playing Tim Rattay. TIM FREAKIN’ RATTAY. Gus Frerotte. Cleo Lemon (who the hell is that?). Kyle Boller. Kerry Collins. BRIAN GRIESE. At this rate, someone will be calling Drew Bledsoe by Halloween. They’re going to be calling up Jaws by Thanksgiving. Trent Green’s going to have to play BECAUSE THERE WILL BE NO ONE ELSE LEFT. Hasn’t he qualified for the free CAT scan yet?

The Saints got their sexy back over the Seahawks. Drew Brees looked like himself, 2006 edition. However, the fact that Reggie Bush is providing 98.73% of their offense may present a problem down the stretch. Some people are theorizing that Sean Alexander just isn’t playing as hard now that he got his fat contract. I think maybe he’s not playing as hard because he’s tired of playing on a crap team. Also, the Seattle fans may be even harder on their team than we are – that was a lot of booing I heard last night.

Vinny Testaverde, who is approximately 267 years old, became the oldest starting QB to win a game, leading the Panthers over the Cardinals (who were also trying to score ole Vinny). Aw! Someone get him a celebratory Ensure! Also, Steve Smith might want to lay off the double espressos, at least right before the game. He doesn’t need to be "miked up” – I can hear him from here. When I’m watching another game.

In the "Super Bowl Preview,” I did not get my wish for a meteor that would wipe out both teams plus the Cowboys’ fan base. Given that, I guess it’s a good thing that the Pats won. Rodney Harrison: "Tony, artificial turf. Artificial turf, Tony.” That was sweet. What wasn’t sweet was that superfluous final Pats TD with about 20 seconds left. That kind of stupidity just pisses me off. Wonder how Belichick would feel today if his golden boy got hurt on that unnecessary bit of foolishness?

I hope the Raiders enjoyed their extremely brief stay at the top of the AFC West. They now enjoy the longest divisional losing streak in NFL history. Did you know that Phillip Rivers has thrown 6 picks and only 3 TDs this season? LT ran for 4 TDs, which is good, but again, they might want to find at least one other guy who can provide some offense.

The Ravens flattened the Rams. Literally. I think they mailed Gus Frerotte home in an envelope. The Rams are now 0-6. I mean, at 2-3, we don’t have a lot of room to mock, but 0-6 is, well, REALLY bad.

Know who else is really bad? The Dolphins, who are also 0-6. Boy, those Browns sure can put up a lot of points, though. If they could pick themselves up a little defense, they might be on to something. As it is? Well, they might not be last in the AFC North this year, because there’s always the Bengals.

The Skins lost a heartbreaker to the Packers. Congratulations to Vicodin Boy, all time NFL interception leader. Great job, Brett! Santana Moss took himself out of the game. I know he wasn’t having a great day, but in retrospect, that might not have been the best decision ever, given that they were only down by 3 with time left.

The Jags surprised me by beating the Texans. Tough division.

Dear Jeff Garcia: I’m sorry I doubted you. Also, the currently-Vince-Young-less Titans could be in big trouble. I’m guessing they’ll be looking back at that win over the Falcons last week pretty fondly in a few weeks when they’ve dropped to 3-6. Or worse. Muscle strains tend to heal pretty slowly, and a strained quad? OW!

The Vikings beat the Bears! I rule! Actually, Adrian Peterson rules. But that’s a lot of pressure to put on a rookie. The Bears are doing the Super Bowl Loser Implosion right on schedule. We’ve been there, guys, and I know it sucks, but please manage to be terrible for at least one more week, mmkay?

I picked the Chiefs last week, and they lost. I picked against the Chiefs this week, and they beat the Bengals, whose offense seems to have joined their defense in the black hole of We’ve Forgotten How To Play Football. Offense was the one thing they had going for them. Also, apparently, the Chiefs not only enjoy winning, they enjoy making me look foolish. You’re welcome, Herm. Sadly, Chad seems to have called off the escalating TD celebrations. Of course, he’s also not getting in the endzone. I miss the antics.

And, at the moment, the Giants are, as predicted, stomping the Falcons. What is up with all the all-one-color uniforms? I hate them. HHHHAAATE! The Falcons look ridiculous all in black. The Saints look ridiculous all in black. The Seahawks always look ridiculous. The Cardinals look ridiculous – and radioactive – all in red. HATEHATEHATE. On the up side, the Chargers wore their awesome powder blue throwbacks this week. They should totally dump the current look in favor of the powder blue. Either way, it’s not going to help the Falcons, though. We’re not even in the fourth quarter, and it looks like pretty much all their fans have left. Punks! Sit your ass down and watch your team lose like a real fan!

Speaking of real fans, I might closely resemble this guy. Except I don’t sound quite as much like a sailor. OK. I’m lying. I totally swear like a sailor. At least when we’re playing badly. Enjoy.


12 October 2007

2007 Week 6 Picks

First of all, go read King Kaufman for a hilarious take on the Patriots/Cowboys hype. Go ahead...I'll wait...

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See? Funny, funny stuff. Now on to my picks:

Eagles/Jets - last year, both teams made a strong showing in the playoffs (well, OK, we did anyway - the Jets got punked by the Patriots in the wildcard round. But you get my point). This year, through week 5, they've won 2 games between them. I might've already mentioned this, but strange things are afoot in the NFL this year. Both teams are desperate for a win - don't let AR's typically "move along - nothing to see here" press conferences and the Philly sportswriters tell you otherwise. This game is going to come down to who wants it more, because both teams need a serious 180 right now to save their seasons. I hope that's us, but I fear it's the Jets. I'm calling us to win, but y'all better bring your A Game.

Titans/Bucs: this should be a great game. I think the Titans will win, but I think it's gonna be close. Good luck to Philly South.

Rams/Ravens: this should NOT be a great game. More teams that were predicted to go deep into the post-season in August who are looking pretty damn shaky now. Ravens'll take this one, but not nearly as easily as they should.

Bengals/Chiefs: The Bengals have NO defense, but since the Chiefs have no offense, that really shouldn't pose a big problem. Bengals.

Vikings/Bears: Who knows, dude? The NFC North is one of MANY inexplicable divisions this year. Given that the Bears upset the Packers (and who thought I'd be writing that sentence a few months ago?), I'm thinking that the Vikings might upset the Bears. And given that the Vikings lost to the Lions, if the Packers can beat the Lions (which shouldn't be tough), we'd have a perfect beat loop! Therefore, I'm picking the Vikings, just because it would be really funny.

Dolphins/Browns: Apparently, Trent Green wants to play. Yeah, that's a great idea. Browns.

Redskins/Packers: Packers (sorry, Deadhead Skins Fan and Spouse and Cool Web Dude Skins Fan)

Texans/Jaguars: I know this sounds crazy, but I'm liking me some Texans.

Panthers/Cardinals: Go Vinny! Win one for...uh, yourself, since you're almost as old as George Gipp.

Raiders/Chargers: Did I mention that the Raiders are currently leading the AFC West? If they manage to beat the Chargers on Sunday, that becomes more than a weird statistical fluke. Scary. I think the Chargers will win this one, since they seem to have righted their ship in Denver last week. Unless that was the fluke. My brain hurts.

Patriots/Cowboys: The battle of the 5-0 teams. Yeah but there's 5-0 and then there's 5-0. Patriots.

Saints/Seahawks: C'mon Saints! Pull it together! Yeah, I think they're gonna drop this one to the Seahawks, too, but they can't lose every single game, right? I mean, even the Raiders and Lions won some games last year.

Giants/Falcons: Much as I'd like to see the Giants drop this one (we need all the help we can get), I can't see it actually happening. Giants


11 October 2007

It was only a matter of time...

Right on schedule, a team in QB trouble adheres to tradition, as the Panthers sign Vinny Testaverde. With Jake Delhomme out and David Carr looking shaky due to his back injury, I guess they were afraid of being down to a rookie nobody wanted.

Michael Wilbon provides more reasons to hate Dallas (like we needed any).

QBs are dropping like fruit flies (see above RE: Vinny Testaverde).

Various NFL Power Rankings are now available, and generally speaking, things don't look too good for our Birds.

Finally, I don't want to cause a mass panic, but THE RAIDERS currently TOP the AFC West. That can't be a good sign.


08 October 2007

2007 Week 5 Recap

Bye Week

In attendance: Just me & Shoegal.

Menu: Shoegal supplied a picnic of champagne, pate, caviar, accoutrements, chocolate cake, and sour morelo cherries, as I am still sans kitchen (and may be for some time, as the dried out cabinets are looking pretty poorly). And also in need of comfort food. What? Champagne and caviar is so comfort food. You scarf ho-hos if you want.

Ah, the bye week. I couldn't have handled one more piece of bad news this week, so thank you Eagles, for taking time off now. Did you get your act together? I hope so. Also, Andy Reid pretty much always wins the week after the bye, so next Sunday should be good, too.

Around the rest of the NFL...

Saints, Saints, Saints. What is going on? There were moments yesterday when you they looked like the 2006 Saints. And then there were all the Brees throws that looked like vintage Ron Jaworski. No offense, Jaws, you know I love you, but there were a lot of high, wobbly, floaty passes going on there at the end. And there were a lot of ugly floaters from Brees yesterday, too. Also, Andy Reid-level inexplicable play calling. Dude, if you need 12 yards, don't check down to a guy at 6 yards on 3rd down. Multiple times. YIKES! The Panthers were playing their freakin' towel boy at QB (now that Jake Delhomme is out for the year and David Carr wasn't having a great day, either) and you STILL couldn't take 'em. That does not bode well for the other 12 games you're facing this season.

(Hey, Tony Romo just threw his second pick in about 3 minutes! I will be SOOOOO pleased if the Bills manage to upset the Cowboys tonight. Am I the only one who's totally sick of the fact that the sports bloviators have pretty much already voted Romo into the Hall of Fame? He hasn't even started a full season yet - or had Captain ME! turn on him. Trust me, there's PLENTY of time for this to go wrong.)

Speaking of upsets, I cannot even believe that Bad Brett showed back up last night. Packers, y'all had it in the bag - until the end of the 3rd quarter. And frankly it never should have been that close in the first place. Is that the fat lady I hear singing for James Jones? Word of advice? Stay away from Charles Tillman. And Brian Urlacher.

The Chargers appear to have their sexy back. You know, or the Broncos totally suck. I'm bummed that we won't get to see LT's weekly "we're terrible" press conference. They were getting to be kind of funny.

The Ravens/49ers game was a real shoot-out. NOT. HA! So glad I picked the Steelers for AFC North, against conventional wisdom. If the Ravens can only manage to beat the 49ers by a score of 9-7, that does not bode well for remaining 11 games they have to play.

Speaking of the Steelers, they KILLED the Seahawks. OK, not as bad as the Seahawks killed us on MNF in 2005, but still, the Steelers visited a big time hurt on the Hawks. PS to Steeley McGeek: the smack talking ain't gonna happen. I like the Steelers too much. See, I'm a true Pennsylvanian - I don't buy the whole west side/east side rivalry. I love all things PA. Unlike some people who claim to love PA.

Speaking of delivering a whuppin', the Skins beat the Lions as bad as WE beat the Lions. Apparently, it's their year to get smoked by the NFC East. Personally, I'm hoping for a Cowboys repeat loss to the Lions in December. That would be cool.

The Bucs (aka Philly South, according to the observant rocketman) got smoked by the Colts. Not surprising, but still sad. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Jeff Garcia will be able to cap off his career with leading teams to NFC East and NFC South titles in consecutive seasons. Because, realistically, how long can he keep playing? (Yes, I know I picked the Saints to win NFC South, but clearly, that was before they reverted to form.)

Memo to Trent Green: seriously, man, quit before you die on the field. The universe is trying to tell you something, and that something is "RETIRE, fool!" I like football a whole lot, too, and I don't even make money at it, but you seem to be wearing a HUGE target, buddy. And then, to add insult to injury, y'all lost on a last second, 57 yard field goal. It's time for a career change, homes, before somebody knocks your brain clear out of your skull.

The Cardinals did manage to pull off a win over the Rams. But Matt Leinart is out with a broken collarbone, and who knows if Kurt Warner has enough left in him to start for the remaining 11 games they have to play. Also, if you can't beat a team that's being QBed by Gus Frerotte (what, was Vinny Testaverde busy?), you should just pack it in now. Bet the Rams are actually wishing they could get ole Kurt back. In other news, it's been a tough year for QBs so far.

The Titans did beat the Falcons, although the Falcons did better than I thought they would. And without that weird tipped INT run back late in the 3rd quarter, they probably would have won. Are the Falcons better than I thought, or are the Titans worse?

Jags managed to pull it together to beat the Chiefs, the Pats surprised no one by beating the Browns (who did better than many of the Pats' earlier opponents have done against them), and the stupid Jets completely fell apart in the second half, blowing a huge lead, and definitely NOT helping us in the division. Punks.

As we're nearing half time, the Bills are up, but probably not enough, as the Cowboys have been a strong second half team this year. C'mon Bills, you can do this!

Edited to add: literally TWO SECONDS after I posted this, Bills' defensive end Chris Kelsay tipped a Tony Romo pass to himself and ran it in about 5 yards for a TD. Go Bills!

Edited to add: literally TWO SECONDS after that, Tonyboy threw his FOURTH pick. We haven't even hit the two minute warning in the half yet. Think Captain ME! is still being all encouraging on the sidelines? Me, either.


Being an Eagles Fan

Hilarious YouTube.



And, while you're following links, check out Beatpath, too. Cool, if a little visually confusing. They should hire a graphics guy.

I may not have a kitchen, but I will shortly have a fresh-n-tasty week 5 recap for your reading pleasure.


04 October 2007

2007 Week 5 Picks: Noah's Flood Edition

aka, I need to hurry up and post these, because the plague of locusts is due any minute now, and I might lose power with the arrival of the 40 days of darkness.

Wednesday morning, the alarm clock went off before God gets up so I could rouse Chef Spouse to catch an early train to Philly for a business trip. Within about 2 minutes, he was hysterically shrieking things that I can't post because Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom reads it. Needless to say, the F-bomb was dropped in a totally indiscriminate manner. During the night, a gasket in our second floor bathroom decided it was bored with its life choices and chose to quit being a gasket, resulting in LARGE amounts of water cascading through the kitchen ceiling (which caved in) on its way to its eventual resting place in the basement. LARGE amounts. Biblical amounts. This was some serious flooding. My water bill this month will likely exceed the GNP of about 75% of the countries in the world. BIG. WATER.

The industrial strength drying equipment is now in place (thank you, Randy and Pedro from ServPro!), the insurance company's involved, Contractor Friend and his crew have begun demolition, and massive amounts of soaked drywall and possessions have been taken to the dump. Needless to say, it's been an interesting week. Chef Spouse still had to go to Philly this morning, but fortunately my good friend C The Lawyer Lady has invited me to stay with her for the duration, because I don't think I could stand it one more minute. My closet (next to the source of the flood) did get wet, but the Manolos are, thank the almighty Deity of the Shoe Lovers, safe.

Enough about my tale of woe, and on to the NFL tales of woe...

Can I just say, thank heavens for the bye week? The Iggles obviously need some time to pull their heads out of their asses and get their shiz-nit together. Which better be happening right now. Y'all have been put on notice.

Browns/Patriots: Yeah, the Browns are definitely looking better this year, but if they're the team that stops the Pats' juggernaut (see, I did decide it was time to pull out the "j" word), I'll eat said Manolos (well, not all of them, but at least 1 pair). Patriots.

Seahawks/Steelers: OK, that loss to the Cardinals last week was a real shocker, but I think it was also an anomaly. Steelers.

Panthers/Saints: I still believe. Saints.

Lions/Redskins: Which Lions will show up? The Lions we spanked, or the Lions who spanked the Bears? I really don't know who to call here, so in deference to Deadhead Skins Fan, Deadhead Skins Fan's Spouse, and Cool Web Dude (Skins Fan), I'll call the Skins. But I do so with much trepidation. Because I also don't know which Redskins will show up.

Jets/Giants: What is it with all these all-New York games? Jets better win this one - we need the help.

Dolphins/Texans: Look for the Texans to rebound in a big way against a perennially sorry team. Did I really call the Dolphins to win AFC East last year? Was I on crack?

Falcons/Titans: I don't see how the Titans don't win this one. I expect to see the entire Falcons offense burst into nostalgic tears at the sight of a mobile, athletic QB.

Jaguars/Chiefs: I love me some Herm Edwards, and our next door neighbors are big Chiefs fans, so I'm calling Chiefs in their honor. Which is almost definitely a mistake. They did pull off the big (OK, medium) upset of the Chargers last week, though.

Cardinals/Rams: Could the NFC West be any weirder this year? Cardinals? Rams? Who knows? Based on record, it will definitely be the Cardinals, but I'm betting we'll see 4 8-8 teams in the West this year. Which means the Rams better get moving, because they're way behind. Worst Game of the Week.

Bucs/Colts: Look for Jeff Garcia's great year to run into a blue & white speed bump. Stupid Colts.

Charges/Broncos: Two months ago, I would've said the Broncos had no chance. Now? Chance, big chance. I think the Broncos will actually win this one. Marty-ball is looking damn good right now.

Ravens/49ers: I know the Ravens are struggling, and I called the 49ers to win NFC West, but there's 2-2 and then there's 2-2. Ravens.

Bears/Packers: Man, the Bears have fallen almost as far as the Saints...and the Chargers...and us...this year. The Pack is going to 5-0 this week.

Cowboys/Bills: The Bills suck. The Cowboys, unfortunately for us, definitely do not. Cowboys. Ugh.


01 October 2007

2007 Week 4 Recap

Eagles at Giants, Sunday, September 30, 2007

In attendance: Chef Spouse, Steelers Transplant (Ex-Navy Cheesehead and Shoegal were around earlier, but did not stay for our late game)

Menu: No Shoegal, and no guacamole either. Hmmmm. I see a pattern. Chef Spouse broke his "this little piggy had none” toe earlier this week, so the football peeps came through. ExNC brought the nibbles, Steelers Transplant made an awesomely delicious brisket, and Shoegal supplied the sides.

Nanosecond: the amount of time it takes between when the light changes and when the idiot behind you starts honking.

Nanosecond: the amount of time between the snap and when Osi Umenyiora is all up in Donovan McNabb’s cream cheese

Normally in a loss, it’s like: "Well, the defense did this, and the offense did that, and the special teams did the other thing” and it all contributed to things going wrong. Not last night. That loss was 100% the offensive line’s fault. The O-line tore like wet tissue paper. Actually, I take that back. Wet tissue paper, in sufficient quantities, probably would have been more effective at stopping the Giants' front 5. Notice I said "front 5." Did they blitz constantly? Hell, no. The Giants were getting to D-Mac without bringing extra guys. If I weren’t in DC, I’d be driving around leaving flaming bags of dog poo on each of their doorsteps right now.

Of course, when Michael Strahan talks about how bad he feels for Winston Justice, and the fact that the coaches hung him (and McNabb in the process) out to dry, you know that ain’t good. McNabb spent so much time on his butt, it’s probably more sore today than his sprained left hand. You know what the difference is between McNabb and Tom Brady? No, it’s not just Super Bowl rings. Tom doesn't spend 9 out of 10 plays running for his life. I wonder what McNabb could accomplish if he could get that kind of protection? Oh wait – I know. A gazillion yards of offense and 8 TDs, like LAST week.

Even David Akers had a bad night, going 1 for 2.

What went well? The defense played well. The Giants offense never got in a rhythm (translation: it could have been WAY WAY WAY worse). Sure, Plax got his standard TD against us, but given that he’s always covered by Sheldon Brown, who’s, like, 8 inches shorter than him, that’s to be expected. But the offense only scored 3 more points. As has been the case in all 3 of our defeats, the D played well.

What else went well? Running the ball, even with West36 sidelined. Buck posted his first 100+ rushing game in 4 years. So did we run the ball consistently? Oh, HELL no. Not Andy. Dude, seriously run the ball, Run The Ball, RUN THE BALL. I can’t use words that are any shorter. For realz.

Around the rest of the NFL...

The Pack is now 4-0. Vicodin Boy now holds the record on career TD passes. And he managed to get there about a minute before passing George Blanda for career INTs. The Minnesota fans were very gracious in participating in the Favre TD celebration, particularly given how much the Viking and Packer fans hate each other. I mean, it’s the Midwest, so it’s not like the "fire of 1000 suns” hatred Eagles and Cowboys fans hold for each other, but it’s at least the fire of, you know, a couple of suns. OK, maybe one sun. OK, a moon? A Maglite?

Speaking of the Cowboys, boy did they spank the Rams. As expected. Here’s the thing: I don’t think Troy Aikman should be allowed to call Cowboys games. He made some asinine comment (OK, one of many asinine comments over the course of the game, but this is the one I remember) about how Tony Romo is the only QB making plays with his legs in the NFL. Heard of Vince Young? Daunte Culpepper? Um, DONOVAN MCNABB? What a tool that guy is. Now that the magical power of my deep loathing has managed to get Michael Irvin off the air, perhaps I should direct the full force of my ire to getting Troy booted next.

Speaking of Daunte, he (and the Raiders) had a great day against the Dolphins – Culpepper had 5 total TDs, throwing for 2 and running for 3. Guess his knee is feeling better. Also, nice "piss off!” to his former team. The Raiders now have a better record than we do. Not to worry you, but I think that may mean that the end of the world is nigh.

Lions/Bears – I was right on the Lions. Also if Brian Griese is your upgrade, you are in deep doo-doo.

Chiefs/Chargers – I was right on the Chiefs, too. Which is very, very weird. I’d say that what’s going on in San Diego is inexplicable, except it’s not. Two words: Norv Turner. Moral of the story? If you go 14-2, don’t fire your head coach, no matter WHAT happens in the playoffs.

Something else inexplicable? The Browns beat the Ravens. I saw part of that game, and I STILL don’t know how that happened.

If the Jets fall to the Bills, does anyone outside New York care?

The Falcons surprised me – and many others – by beating the Texans with Joey Harrington still at the helm. You know, there’s a real dearth of good QBs in the world. Just saying.

For instance, Alex Smith is still developing, but the 49ers had been winning with him. Trent Dilfer? Not so much, and the Seahawks walked all over them. Twice. While wearing golf spikes.

Jeff Garcia continues to do well down in Florida, leading the Bucs to a win over the Panthers. He’s now missing Cadillac Williams for the rest of the year, but given that he seems to be able to make it work with two guys from the practice squad, a couple NFL Europe hacks and the equipment manager, I suspect the Bucs will be OK. Also, the NFC South sucks.

The Colts surprised no one by beating the Broncos. I’m going to stop commenting on their games, because it's boring, and talk about Peyton Manning’s commercials instead. I’m not crazy about the new Sony commercial – it’s dull – but, damn, is he tall!

I don’t even know how to talk about the Steelers’ loss to the Cardinals. Memo from Ken Whisenhunt to Dan Rooney: how you like me now, beeyotch? Not sure how long that two starting QB idea is going to work for the Cardinals, but it seemed OK yesterday. And the Steelers sure seemed to miss Troy Polamalu in the second half. Not as much as we missed West36, Dawk, LJ, Lito, and ESPECIALLY William (Tra) Thomas, but still, a lot.

On MNF, the Patriots (another team I’m sick of) are up at the half. But I really wish Tony Kornheiser would STFU about the Patriots going undefeated this year. It’s the FOURTH game. Give me a break! We’re only 1/4 of the way through the season. Which probably means the damn Patriots will go undefeated, just to piss me off.

Finally, WAY TO GO, PHILLIES! I don't think they'll get very far in the playoffs, but at least they're going. Which may be more than the Eagles will manage this year.