27 November 2008
You've heard my rant about how we're a total disaster at the moment, right? So this won't come as a surprise.
Eagles/Cardinals: Cardinals. Kurt Warner is hot-hottie-hot. Our entire team is not-nottie-not. And we tend to have trouble going west. And playing at night. And McNabb's confidence HAS to be shaken. And Reid may have lost the locker room. Come on in - I'll put on a nice pot of bourbon....
Titans/Lions: The Titans will have no trouble rebounding from their loss to the Jets. And the Lions will continue their glorious tradition of losing on Thanksgiving. Firing: one turkey.
Cowboys/Seahawks: Speaking of turkeys, the only way the Cowboys lose this game is if the team eats their bird before the game and falls asleep.
49ers/Bills: Bills. They've been inconsistent this year, but not that inconsistent.
Ravens/Bengals: Ravens. The only chance the Bengals have is another tie, and they already played us.
Colts/Browns: Colts. Don't worry Browns - you get to play us in two weeks, so there's one likely win coming up.
Dolphins/Rams: Dolphins. How much do you want to bet the Rams are trying to figure out a way to get out of playing the rest of the season and still get paid? Suggestion? Get mono. You're welcome.
Giants/Redskins: Giants. They really are looking pretty solid this year, unfortunately.
Saints/Bucs: This could go either way, but I'm keeping the faith and calling Saints.
Panthers/Packers: Another game that could go either way. I'm calling Panthers, mostly because they have a better record in what, I think, is a better division this year.
Falcons/Chargers: Another interesting matchup. I'll stick with NFC South and call Falcons.
Broncos/Jets: OK, so the Jets beat the Titans and everyone's all, "They're the best team in the AFC!" Prove it. Two QBs who drive me up a wall. Who do I root for? I-N-J-U-R-I-E-S! INJURIES! INJURIES! INJURIES! Also, probably Jets.
Steelers/Patriots: As much as I want the Steelers to win, I think it's probably going to be Patriots.
Chiefs/Raiders: Oh my God. Worst Game of the Month.
Bears/Vikings: I think the Vikings are on an upswing. Vikings.
Jaguars/Texans: The Jags have been a real disappointment this year. But they'll still manage to beat the Texans on Monday night.
26 November 2008
We're playing on Thanksgiving, and Chef Spouse and I are heading out of town. We'll be back by Sunday and will be watching football, of course, but things will be pretty low-key.
1 pm - Giants/Skins
4 pm - Steelers/Patriots
8 pm - Bears/Vikings
Menu: everyone bring your Thanksgiving leftovers, we'll make some cocktails and we'll eat 'em up!
25 November 2008
Yes. Thank you. Not McNabb's fault. You think if Peyton Manning or Tom Brady had to run for their lives half the time and throw to Freddie Mitchell, Todd Pinkston, and Reggie Brown the other half, they'd do any better? No way, man.
Anyone could see McNabb played poorly in this [Sunday's] game. What is debatable is how this very talented, very successful quarterback got to this point. The short answer from here: He has been ground down by a coach who refuses to run the ball, who seldom keeps extra blockers in to protect him the way other elite quarterbacks are protected and who, with one notable exception, has insisted upon stocking his team with the most mediocre receivers available.
The offensive line is in marked decline. Brian Westbrook is at half speed due to injury. The play calling is hilariously bad. The tight end situation is incomprehensible. The defense is outstanding against rookie and backup quarterbacks. McNabb played poorly.
24 November 2008
Eagles at Ravens, Sunday, November 23, 2008
In attendance: me, Chef Spouse, about 70,000 screaming Ravens fans, and somewhere on the other side of the stadium, Fellow Eagles Maniac. With whom I spent large portions of the game texting.
Menu: crappy stadium hotdog, overly salty pretzel, beercicle.
Stud of the Week: Well, this is pretty obvious: Quitin Demps, whose 100-yard kickoff return was the longest ever by an Eagles rookie, provided our ONLY points, and was the first kickoff run back for a TD since the days of Brian Mitchell.
It was a weird day all around. It started off with a drive to Bal'mer for a tailgate that wasn't with some Ravens fans who couldn't get straight what lot they were in. We walked around M&T Bank Stadium for an hour trying to find them, carting two six packs and some really good brownies. By the time we found them, they were packing up. One of my co-workers had sold us his tickets, and when he gave them to me, he warned me that, while most of his neighbors were pretty decent, the guy to the left was "a real tool" and that the best we could hope for would be that he'd get drunk and pass out by halftime. Actually, turned out he has a lot of friends in Philly, likes the Eagles, and, while he was drunk & noisy, he was also really funny and nice to talk to. Fellow Eagles Maniac had a slightly different experience - she almost had to thrown down with an asshole Ravens fan who assumed that, since she's a girl, she wouldn't know what a safety was. And then finally, when we were on our way out of the stadium (about 1/2 way through the fourth quarter, because we were clearly not going to pull it out and Chef Spouse and Steelers Transplant had to get up to the Burgh last night), I GOT HIT IN THE FACE BY A RAVENS FAN. Lady, you're WINNING. Maybe popping the opposing team's fans one when they're minding their own business and leaving your stadium is a LITTLE EXCESSIVE?
Yes, I'm fine. She didn't hit me hard, and, I regret to say, I didn't hit her back, mostly because I was so shocked. I've been a sports fan for decades and attended all kinds of games in all kinds of stadiums and NEVER had anything like that happen. It was a strange end to a strange day.
I can't delay any more, can I? Do I I have to talk about the game?
Our team is just a hot mess right now. And I think our head coach may have lost his mind. If you look up "flailing" in the dictionary, there's a big picture of Andy Reid next to it. Look, having NO clue what you're doing is fine when you're 14 and it's career day. When you're the head coach of the franchise that USED TO BE the class of the NFC, it's a problem.
First half: not good, not awful. Strong offensive series killed by a fumble. D-Mac has the best record in the NFL on picks to TDs. How many turnovers in the past two weeks (aka 6 quarters of football)? I think 5 picks and 2 fumbles, but feel free to correct me in the comments if I got that wrong. But the defense was playing well, and we were only down 10-7, thanks to Mr. Stud of the Week up there.
And then, I look at the huddle on the first offensive possession of the second half, did a double take, and texted "OH MYGOD. KOLB IS IN." to pretty much everyone I know. We were only down by THREE GODDAMN POINTS. Had Kolb even taken any snaps in an actual real game prior to Sunday? Had he had ANY reps with the first team offense since the pre-season? That reads like the act of a desperate man, and I can't for the life of me figure out why Andy would be that desperate. THREE GODDAMN POINTS.
Even I was calling for change, but I didn't expect that. Did Jeff Lurie threaten his job or something? Because Big Red is usually anything but rash.
So what' s my evidence that he's lost his mind? Today's press conference. I could understand if Andy took a look around the NFC (well, excepting the West, where only 1 team has anything close to a winning record), realized that, even with 5 games left to play, there is NO WAY we see the postseason this year, and decided to give the kid a shot. Which would've meant that today's PC went something like, "Who's the QB on Thursday? Kolb. Let's be realistic. It would take a miracle to get us into the playoffs this year. And by 'miracle' I mean the Redskins go to the Cowboys/Giants game on December 14 and an earthquake swallows Texas Stadium. So we're going with the kid for the rest of the season so we can see what we have here, if anything."
But, no! Don's back for Thursday and there's all this random talk about taking a step back to take a step forward and yackity smackity I don't know what all. Has Andy gone off his meds? Does he need meds?
I don't know.
But I do know that the team is in disarray, and I blame the coaching. You know how most teams achieve success? Sticking with what works. The Bengals kept throwing to TJ Houshmandzadeh last week. We weren't gonna cover him, it was working, why not? The Redskins have two offensive plays: hand it off to Clinton Portis to run and "Crap! Clinton needs a breather! What are we gonna do?" The Colts ALWAYS go to Tony Gonzalez on 3rd and long. The Eagles? "Hey, Buck had two good runs! That's it - you're done for the game, buddy. Miller time!" (Yes, I know about the MCL injury this week. That does not explain the previous 10 games.) Another example? It's 1st and goal, we need about 2 yards, Marty dials up a QB sneak that gets us about 1 1/2 yards - why not run it again? Oh no, not us! We have to get all tricky with the pass play and look how that turned out (Ed Reed running back the longest pick for TD in NFL history, for those who've blocked out the memory or killed those brain cells with booze in the past 24 hours). And then Kolb comes back with, "I should've tackled Ed Reed." Ya think?
One area where we are consistent? We have a strong defensive start, but then the offense can't sustain drives, so the guys get tired and eventually start giving up big plays. You know what you need to sustain drives? A running game. BWest is still struggling with a panoply of injuries, and so we go into Baltimore with ONE other running back and Lorenzo Booker inactive for the game.
But I have to come back to: who goes with someone totally untested at QB against the #3 ranked defense when you're only down 10-7? That is just crazy talk. Sure, the team needed a spark. Yes, McNabb has been struggling recently. Yes, he has a history of confidence problems (who wouldn't, with the Philly sports media and fans breathing down your neck all the damn time?). You know what's NOT going to help his or the team's confidence? Benching your starting, 5-time-pro bowl, acknowledged leader of the locker room franchise QB in favor of some kid who's barely taken a snap in a real game.
In the meantime, we have lots of vets with no contracts for 2009. Which may not be such a bad thing, but to me, signals some upcoming wilderness years.
Will McNabb be an Eagle next year? Sadly, I think probably not. And as much as I'd hate to lose him, I almost wish, for his sake, that he can go somewhere like Chicago where they have all the elements but a top QB and he can get his ring already.
Has his erratic behavior lost Andy Reid the locker room? Maybe. What do I think are the odds of AR losing his job in the off-season? A lot is going to depend on the next month, but I don't think it looks very good for him. There really is no way into the playoffs for us this year, even if we win out and end up 10-5-1, unless we manage to get shifted to NFC West in the next 5 weeks.
So now I'm looking forward to Cards on Thanksgiving...with dread.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Steelers over Bengals. Dear Eagles: THAT's how you're supposed to handle a bad team.
Pats over the Dolphins. Damn it! Why will Bill Belichick never suffer the way he deserves to? How does everything always work out for him? I hate that guy!
Texans over Browns. Remember when the Browns beat the Giants back in September? Neither do they.
Cowboys over the 49ers. Is it just me, or do the Cowboys not seem to have much in the way of defense? How on earth did the 49ers manage to score 22 points against a team NOT in their division?
Jets over Titans. It was bound to happen eventually. If we have a Subway Bowl in February, though, I may have to boycott in protest. Ok, not really. But I would be tempted.
Bills over Chiefs. 54-31? What is this? College? Did all the defensive guys on both teams have a big bowl of Xanax for breakfast on Sunday? Washed down with a quart of bourbon?
Bears over Rams. Well, yeah.
Vikings over Jags. When you lose to Gus Frerotte, you know you're having a bad season.
Bucs over Lions. Hey! The Lions scored 20 points! In the end, it didn't matter, but apparently even a 17-0 lead is not enough to help the Lions this year. I think they need an act of God - or at least an act of Congress.
Raiders over Broncos. WHAT? Maybe everyone will finally stop kissing Jay Cutler's ass. Ego of TO, talent of Dan Marino. Now. I was right about the averting your eyes part, though.
Falcons over Panthers. Remember when we beat the Falcons in October? Neither does the team.
Redskins over Seahawks. I got home from Baltimore in time to catch the very end of that game. Two turnovers inside the last two minutes kept it exciting, but in the end, the outcome was never *really* in question. Time of possession doesn't lie.
Giants over Cardinals. The Cards played tough, particularly at the end, but they just couldn't pull it out. Don't worry, Cards - you'll probably pull it back together next week against us, pretty much locking up the NFC West I think.
Colts over Chargers. That was a pretty good game. Peyton's looking better. It's probably too late for the division, but it's definitely not too late for wildcard, with 3 AFC teams at 7-4.
And, as predicted, the Packers/Saints game is a shoot-out (at least through the first half). And I'm pulling for the Saints to stay up. Geaux Saints!
20 November 2008
The Ravens have beaten the Browns (twice) and Bengals, the Texans, the Raiders, and the Dolphins. They've lost to the Giants, Colts, Steelers, and Titans.
So it's not hopeless. We did beat the Steelers - man, does that seem like a million years ago - and the teams the Ravens have beat don't have the best combined record. The Dolphins are the only team they've beat that's won more than 3 games.
Sigh. I'm calling an Eagles win, but it's more out of hope than anything else.
Bengals/Steelers: Steelers. Wouldn't it be funny if they tied, too? Yeah, there's no way Mike Tomlin lets that happen. He'd put his foot up someone's ass first.
Jets/Titans: Titans. Dear Brett Favre: you, sir, are no Kerry Collins. Hee!
Buccaneers/Lions: Man, why don't we get to play the Lions this year? We could use an extra bye week. Buccaneers.
Vikings/Jaguars: Jaguars. I think. Or maybe Vikings....no, Jags. Probably.
Bills/Chiefs: Trent Edwards can throw as many picks as he wants - it won't matter. Bills.
Bears/Rams: Well, at least the Bears will get to recover nicely from that drubbing they took at the hands of the Packers last week, when they spank the Rams.
Patriots/Dolphins: Oooo - two rules in conflict. Never pick against Bill Belichick when leading the division is on the line versus the Dolphins only beat good teams. This is the real test of the theory. I'm going with the bold pick of the Dolphins.
49ers/Cowboys: Even if the Cowboys hadn't gotten their season back on track Sunday, it wouldn't matter. They'd beat the 49ers with my cat under center. Sigh. Cowboys.
Texans/Browns: I'm going with the Texans. What the hell - they have to win some games, right?
Raiders/Broncos: Oh, this is going to be FUGLY. Broncos. Also, avert your eyes.
Panthers/Falcons: OK, Panthers, if you're the real thing, this is the time to show it. I don't know - I have a feeling about this one. I think the Falcons are going to pull off the upset. Apparently, this is Offical Upset Pick Week here at the Snark. Should I switch that pick above to the Raiders? Nah - I'm not crazy.
Giants/Cardinals: OK, I'm putting my money where my mouth is. Well, not my ACTUAL money, but my reputation. Oh yeah - I usually get punked by both my divisional picks and my weekly picks. So really nothing's on the line here. Cardinals. I have to believe the Giants are not the behemouths everyone seems to think they are.
Redskins/Seahawks: Chin up, Skins! You'll win this week!
Colts/Chargers: Remember when this used to be a good game? Colts? Chargers? Who cares? This isn't the Worst Game of the Week, but it is going to be the biggest disappointment.
Packers/Saints: Two 5-5 teams, NFC South is looking tougher than North this year, could go either way....who am I kidding? I'm calling Saints! And probably etouffee for Monday Night Football.
19 November 2008
No football watching party this week. We'll be up in Baltimore at the game. About which I'm not feeling particularly sanguine at the moment. But maybe the team will surprise me and play well in all 3 phases. Or maybe the Ravens will forget to show up, or think that it's a 4 pm game. Or maybe I'll be really drunk Sunday by the time the game starts and won't care. Maybe I should start drinking Saturday just to be sure. All in favor, raise your cocktail glasses!
14 November 2008
Eagles at Bengals, Sunday, November 16, 2008
In attendance: Shoegal, Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Steelers Transplant, Chef Spouse, me, and Jack. Jack Daniels that is.
Menu: guacamole, chips, and fresh from Pittsburgh salsa (surprisingly good), shrimp, crudites, Popeye's friend chicken, beer, and bile.
Stud of the Week: Trent Cole. Who keeps getting unfairly penalized for roughing the passer when he's not and keeps bringing the heat anyway. He's a bad ass.
Sunday's game brings to mind a whole host of questions. To wit:
So what the hell was that steaming pile of crap?
A TIE? Who TIES the Bengals? The 1-8-1 Bengals?
Who was that guy wearing #5, and what did he do with Donovan McNabb?
3 picks and a fumble? Who do you think you are, Brett Favre?
How did DMac not know that a regular season game can end in a tie?
Did he think they were just going to let them keep playing until the Bengals gave up?
Was that the strategy?
Is there something wrong with Westy or is there something wrong with Marty or is there something wrong with Big Red? He had 14 carries for 60 yards, which...wait, actually that's not too bad. WAY too few attempts, but 4.3 yards per attempt. Not many receptions either.
How was T.J. Houshmandzadeh open on EVERY SINGLE PLAY? Who was supposed to be covering him? JJ?
On Sunday Night Football, J.Mad. asked the rhetorical question: "What's the opposite of playing with urgency?" May I offer the Philadelphia Eagles by way of a reply?
When you look at the game stats, they aren't horrible - other than that glaring 3 in the Interceptions column. Does that explain it all? This particular group of Eagles generally isn't a team that's great at battling back from adversity. But your QB should be able to have an off day once in a while without the entire team collapsing like wet tissue paper. And if the QB *is* having an off day, why not, oh, I don't know, try RUNNING THE BALL A LITTLE?
Looking at the post-Super Bowl years, in 2005, everyone was injured. Everyone. Even the guy who hands out the Gatorade spent two weeks on IR with carpal tunnel syndrome. In 2006, McNabb tore his ACL, the team came together under Jeff Garcia, and we did surprisingly well in the playoffs. In 2007, McNabb came back too soon from the ACL tear, The Powers That Be set us up with short bus-style "special" special teams, and we still managed to pull it together in the stretch and finish 8-8, out of playoff contention, but not bad after our slow start. What's our excuse this year? Solar flares? The guys are mostly healthy, but they're playing like there's an unlimited number of games/amount of time left for them to pull it together. Guys! Wake up! Only 6 more games! Do you WANT to watch the playoffs from David Akers' rec room?
I quote goeagles99:
I spent much of the game staring at the TV with a sense of disbelief. We've all seen a good team struggle against a bad team. The good team normally wakes up at some point and pulls out the win. That's what I was waiting for.Aw hell, just go read the whole post. Tommy says it beter than I could. And don't skip the comments - they're worth it.
IgglesBlog has some good stuff, too, particularly this comment:
Anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I'm not one to call for regime change. I don't start throwing people under the bus left and right if things start going wrong. I'm usually Little Miss Stay Calm, Everything Will Work Out. I'm a loyalist, a homer - a pessimist, but a true fan. If we miss the playoffs again this year - which is looking increasingly likely - I'm thinking there have to be some major changes in the F.O., among the coaching staff, or on the team. Or all three.
They are choosing to be one dimensional!
It's also why this team is presently incapable of winning a close game. Either Plan A works (let's call it the Shock and Awe Pass Attack) or we see three and outs. They'll either jump out to huge leads and take teams out or lose the tough, grind it out kind of games.
Around the rest of the NFL....
Jets over Patriots: In OT. In what was apparently a pretty exciting game. I don't know. I skipped it in protest because of those annoying NFL Network "HERO" spots about Brett Favre. Hero, my sweet round ass! Will he never just GO AWAY?
Broncos over Falcons. Hm. Surprising. Particularly given all the injuries the Broncos are battling.
Panthers over Lions. How the hell did the Lions manage to put up 22 points against the Panthers? Think they can go totally defeated? The Dolphins did manage to win *a* game last year - and they're a LOT better this year, so maybe the Lions should intentionally try to win only one game in hopes they'll follow in Miami's footsteps? How long does Rod Marinelli get to keep his job, anyway?
Colts over Texans. Have the Texans *ever* beat the Colts? Poor Texans.
Saints over Chiefs. Well, yes.
Giants over Ravens. Damn. Which probably means they'll be pissed next week, when we play them. Great. More good news.
Buccaneers over Vikings. Go, Jeff, it's your birthday. We're gonna party like it's your birthday. OK, not really, but he's having a Kurt Warner-like career revival. Speaking of Kurt Warner....
Cardinals over Seahawks. And the way the rest of the NFC West is playing this year, they could probably lose all their remaining games and still win the division.
Dolphins over Raiders. OK, so I was right. Which means I'm wrong about my "the Dolphins only beat good teams" theory. Unless that theory only holds for teams that are actually professional football teams. Maybe the Raiders are playing like this in an attempt to hold on to their amateur status in case American football ever becomes an Olympic sport?
Packers over Bears. WAY over. WAY WAY over. Yao Ming over. I wasn't watching the game, and when I was following the score, I assumed that Turnoversaurus Rex was playing. Uhn-uh. Or if he was, he was wearing a really good Kyle Orton disguise. My prediction about this being a good game? Not so much.
49ers over Rams. Well, duh.
Titans over Jaguars. Going up by 11 points is clearly not enough. Chef Spouse was telling me that what he really hopes happens is that the Titans go undefeated all season, and then go on to lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl. While that would be funny, what would be better is if the Titans were to go undefeated all season and then lose to the EAGLES in the Super Bowl. But I think our chances of going to the Super Bowl this year are about the same as President-Elect Obama naming Bill O'Reilly to be his press secretary.
Steelers over Chargers. What an odd ending to the game. And the cavalcade of officiating problems continues! Are the officials just not paying attention? Have the rules gotten too complicated? I think Big5 would probably say, "yes," although that OT rule has been in effect for some time now. But old Groceries is still ending up ass over tea kettle way too often. Yes, he's a big, tough guy, but he's not indestructible, for God's sake!
Cowboys over Redskins. Damn. You know, at least when the Eagles and the Skins both lose on Sunday, I can distract myself from the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth in the Philly media with the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth in the WaPo. It's pretty cold comfort on a day when we TIED THE BENGALS and the Skins dropped one to the DAMN COWBOYS, but at least it's something. A very, very tiny something.
And I'm now watching Trent Edward's 4 millionth pick of the game. In the first quarter. And the Browns have only managed two field goals out of it. That's almost as pathetic as, well, the Bengals. Sigh.
13 November 2008
Jets/Patriots: Patriots. Who are looking pretty good, Rocks Brady or no Rocks Brady.
Broncos/Falcons: Are the Falcons for real? I think we find out this week. Falcons.
Saints/Chiefs: OK, Saints, shake it off. You can DEFINITELY beat the Chiefs. Saints.
Ravens/Giants: If they weren't playing opposite us, this is the game I would watch. Ravens. Please. We need the help.
Vikings/Buccaneers: You know how I said Gus Frerotte wasn't the answer? Bucs.
Raiders/Dolphins: Ah - this will be a good test of my theory. If, in fact, the Dolphins do only beat good teams, there's no question. The Raiders are not anyone's definition of a good team. Then again, Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom could lead pretty much any team (other than the Lions) to victory over the Raiders. Dolphins. Which means if I'm wrong and they lose, I'm right. Or something like that.
Lions/Panthers: Jeez! When do the poor Lions get their bye week? Oh wait - they already had it. Man, this just keeps getting worse and worse. Panthers.
Bears/Packers: Can Good Rex keep it up (maybe)? Or will Kyle Orton be back (probably not)? Should be a good game. Bears.
Texans/Colts: Colts. Duh. Even if Marvin Harrison is concussed. Or out. Or out cold.
Rams/49ers: What did I say about all-NFC West games? Worst Game of the Week.
Cardinals/Seahawks: OK, this isn't funny. Think of the children!
Titans/Jaguars: Titans. Hope the Jags enjoyed that one-game winning streak.
Cowboys/Redskins: Go Skins! We need the help in the wildcard race! And we might not be able to catch you, either! So take down the Cowboys for us, aight?
Edited Friday, November 14 to add: Also, no more bye weeks, so now's the time to go all in, fellas.
12 November 2008
1 pm - Eagles/Bengals
4 pm - I'm taking votes on Titans/Jaguars or Chargers/Steelers. The Titans/Jags is likely to be the better game, but it's hard to say no to watching the Steelers win.
8 pm - Big showdown! Redskins/Cowboys. Man am I hoping for a Redskins win!
Menu: Ex-Navy Cheesehead will be providing us with tasty, tasty Popeye's friend chicken. Bring something to go with!
10 November 2008
Eagles v. Giants, Sunday, November 9, 2008
In attendance: Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom, You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad, Chef Spouse, Shoegal, and a few surprise guests: Steelers Transplant, down from the Burgh again on a whim, and Tall Drink of Water Cousin with his BRAND NEW fiancee (and her sister). Suggestions for a nickname for the new relation are now being taken.
Menu: RIBS baby! That's what I call a birthday dinner. And apple pie a la mode. And LOTS of bourbon. But we'll get to that in a minute.
Stud of the Week: Had to be Hank Baskett. I'm pretty sure it's in the Snark's contract that any Eagle who both runs a sweet fade route in the end zone and hauls in a TD giving us a (temporary) lead over the Giants AND gets engaged to a Playboy bunny all in one week is *automatically* Stud of the Week. Possibly of the Month.
If you'll recall, I predicted that we'd lose to the Giants. But I didn't think we'd lose like that.
Yes, we continued to have problems stopping the run. Then again, I know Sherman tanks that have trouble stopping Brandon Jacobs. And yes, once again, we were unable to get crucial short yardage. Don't get me wrong. Short yardage = give the ball to Westy is not a bad play. I'm just saying that maybe it shouldn't be our ONLY play. Indiginous people in the Amazon rainforest who've never seen TV nor heard of American rules football know that that's our only play in that situation. Maybe having an option #2 wouldn't kill us?
But all that really goes for naught when the zebras hand the other team 14 points. Depressed Fan breaks it all down, but it really comes down to Eli was over the line of scrimmage (7 points there), Brandon Jacobs did fumble the fall before he got in the end zone (another 7 points - and we had come up with it), and a crucial Giants drive was kept alive on 3rd and 1 by a completely BS face mask call on Stewart Bradley. I was so pissed after the TD was awarded when Jacobs clearly fumbled the ball before he was in that I had to stop watching the game. So I took my mint julep out on the deck and enjoyed the lovely evening. Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom was so pissed she was still pissed when she came down to breakfast this morning.
To quote the inimitable Dennis Green: "If you want to crown them, then crown their asses!"
So what were Cowboys and Redskins fans thinking during our game? I would guess that it depends on whether they think the Giants are catchable or not. If the Giants can be caught, they were rooting for us. If they think the Giants have a stranglehold on the NFC East, they were definitely rooting for the Giants. Because the wildcard race is going to be tough this year. While I've been blithely predicting that both slots will go to the NFC East, the number 2 and 3 NFC South teams have managed to amass 6-3 records. 9-7 isn't going to cut it for a wildcard spot in the NFC this year. 10-6 probably won't even cut it. And "strength of schedule" only comes into play once you're even on wins. Forget winning the division: if we don't get it together in a big hurry, we're not even going to be the position to take a wildcard seat. I think Andy thinks so too, otherwise, why did EVERYONE get called into the NovaCare complex today?
I'm so frustrated by this team, I can't write any more about this game, or I'll break my promise to myself and get back into the sauce, so go read EaglesBlitz or Bleeding Green Nation for more commentary.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Broncos over Browns. A much closer game than I'd anticipated, with about a gajillion lead changes, but the Broncos did manage to pull it out in the end. Brady Quinn might not be the second coming of D-Mac, but he might be the second coming of, well, Jay Cutler.
Dolphins over Seahawks. Either there's a flaw in my "the Dolphins only beat good teams" theory, or the Seahawks are actually a good team. Not sure which is more improbable, but I'm guessing my theory is wrong.
Vikings over Packers. Man, if the Vikings could just get themselves a QB, they could dominate the NFC North. Dear Brad Childress: Gus Frerotte is not the answer.
Falcons over Saints. Damn, dude, the Saints are not looking good, they're running out of players, and losing Mike McKenzie is not going to help the situation. Drew Brees may be throwing for 9 million yards a game, but the man could use a little help from the rest of the team! Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. Amuse yourself by reading Nolachick rip Shockey a new one. Glad to see she's continuing my tradition of, "How is Jeremy Shockey a tool? Let me count the ways..." Shame he actually plays for her team, though. But that Matt Ryan kid looks pretty good. On the other hand, it's not uncommon for rookie players - or head coaches - to start hot and then struggle in their sophomore years as the other teams figure them out.
Titans over Bears. Not exactly a cakewalk, but the Titans remain undefeated. And you just KNOW Peyton Manning is not happy.
Ravens over Texans. Blowout.
Jets over Rams. Another blowout.
Patriots over Bills. As The Slant in today's WaPo says, "Never go in against Bill Belichick when first place in the division is on the line." Why he couldn't have mentioned this BEFORE I picked the Bills to win, I do not know.
Jaguars over Lions. See, I told you a game against the Lions was just the thing to get your season back on track!
Panthers over Raiders. As expected. The score was way closer than I would've predicted, but the outcome was never in doubt.
Colts over Steelers. Damn. The Steelers are still leading AFC North, but not by much. I was really hoping that the Ravens would have nothing to play for when we face them in Baltimore in two weeks.
Chargers over Chiefs. The Chargers barely managed to hang on, batting away a two point conversion attempt for the win (rather than the standard extra point for the tie) right at the end of the game. Why did we all call them to win AFC West again? Of course, even at 4-5, they're only one game out. Think we could manage to get reallocated into one of the West divisions? They seem WAY easier.
So, football fans, speaking of West divisions do I even bother to watch the Cardinals/49ers matchup tonight? In the interests of this blog, I feel like I should. But doesn't it constitute cruel & unusual punishment?
07 November 2008
We have a fun weekend plan. They should arrive tomorrow in time to catch lunch at a new Italian deli, run by Philly natives, that just opened in my neighborhood. It's going to be warm and sunny tomorrow, so we're probably going to hit some of the monuments (they've never seen the Korean War or WWII memorials), and Chef Spouse is going to make homemade pasta for dinner. Saturday, we may head out to the Smithsonian's Udvar Hazy Center, and then Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom requested we go get Ethiopian food for dinner.
And then Sunday....
Damn, do I have to talk about Sunday? Because I think it's REALLY unlikely we beat the Giants. In September, it was easy to dismiss them - they'd only beaten bad teams, and they lost to the Browns, for God's sake. Then the whupped up on an admittedly-Tony-Romo-less Cowboys team and on the Steelers and old Groceries. Much tougher to dismiss now.
If D-Mac doesn't come out flat...
If B-West has a big day...
If our receivers get over their dropsies....
If Asante Samuel finally shows he's worth all the coin we paid him....
If our D can get to lil' Eli and stop Brandon Jacobs...
We could win this thing. Which would rock. And be an awesome birthday present for You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad. And shock more than a few of the sports bloviators. And me. Giants.
Saints/Falcons: It pains me to say it, but Falcons. Drew Brees is hot-hottie-hot, but the rest of the team's not keeping up, and the Falcons are the better all around squad at this point.
Titans/Bears: The Titans have to lose eventually. But I don't think it's going to be this week. Titans.
Jaguars/Lions: The Jaguars need a little help to get their season back on track. Help is arriving in the form of the hapless Lions.
Ravens/Texans: Here's the thing about the Texans - I think they're probably better than 3-5. But not better enough to take out John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco, who are definitely enjoying some beginner's luck this year.
Seahawks/Dolphins: Based on my theory that the Dolphins only beat good teams, Seahawks. Also Upset Pick of the Week. Amazing that picking *against* the Dolphins is the upset pick.
Packers/Vikings: Divisional grudge match between two teams that are trying to catch the Bears. This should be a good game. Packers.
Bills/Patriots: I think the Bills resume their winning ways and step out in a division with THREE 5-3 teams. Bills.
Rams/Jets: Rams. SIKE! Jets. No matter how many picks Vicodin Boy throws.
Panthers/Raiders: Panthers. You know how I've spent the last several seasons urging the Raiders to just forfeit most of their games and go straight to the bar? They've ignored me for years, but this time, guys, I'm serious. Forget the game. Just go someplace where they have cheap pitchers of margaritas. Or a build-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar. Or hell, both. Panthers.
Colts/Steelers: Steelers. But they might want to let Byron Leftwich keep playing and let Groceries get his bearings a little. It won't be much of an adjustment for the rest of the team - trading in one really big, totally imobile QB with a huge arm for...a really big, totally imobile QB with a huge arm. TomAYto, tomAHto.
Chiefs/Chargers: The Chargers are SUCH a disappointment this year. But not SUCH a disappointment that they lose to the Chiefs.
49ers/Cardinals: Seriously? This is the Monday Night Football game? I really think the NFL should have invoked the little known "No all-NFC West matchup in prime time" rule here. Cardinals. Not that anyone's likely to watch.
Byes: Bengals, Buccaneers, Cowboys, and Redskins (both of which will likely spend the bye week trying to figure out what went wrong. Here's a tip. Cowboys - crazy owner, head case players, and Mr. Nice Guy head coach is not a winning combo. Redskins - damn, y'all! Don't sell all your tickets to the opposing team's fans!)
06 November 2008
These short weeks are brutal!
Players? Who cares about the players? They're getting paid millions of dollars. They can suck it up.
I'm talking about us bloggers. Hard to keep up, man.
I actually realized that Thursday night football started this week late this afternoon. But I got home late and, long story short, this is the first chance I've had to sit down with my picks.
So this pick post, part 1, is the Thursday night game only, since the first quarter's pretty much done now, and it's tied up.
Broncos/Browns: Hey Romeo, I don't think Derek Anderson's the problem. Unless Brady Quinn turns out to be the second coming of Donovan McNabb, the Broncos should have no trouble taking this one. Broncos.
1 pm - Saints/Falcons
4 pm - Colts/Steelers (not least of which because the other games in that timeslot will SUCK)
8 pm - Eagles/Giants in prime time, baby!
Menu: Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom and You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad will be visiting this weekend for a belated birthday celebration, so I'm making ribs and apple pie, two of You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad's favorite things. Bring something to go with!
04 November 2008
03 November 2008
Eagles at Seahawks, Sunday, November 2, 2008
In attendance: Shoegal, Steelers Transplant (back from the Burgh for the weekend), Chef Spouse, Ex-Navy Cheesehead, and, in a special Sunday surprise, Cool Web Dude (Skins Fan) and Hottie Web Chick!
Menu: Steelers Transplant brought an Italian meat bonanza with him from The Strip in the Burgh, everyone else contributed tasty veg, crackers, bread, cheese, olives, and dips for antipasto, and Chef Spouse made homemad fettuccini.
Stud of the Week: It was ALMOST Todd Herremans, who recorded his very first TD, but I just couldn't pass up backup tight end Brent Celek, playing for the injured LJ Smith, who, in his second year with the Eagles, had his best game ever. Way to go, Brent!
So yeah, the Seahawks are REALLY bad. But in the first half of the first quarter, I was more than a little worried.
And then it was like the Eagles realized the game had started, and the Seahawks completely checked out. Yeah, they're banged up, but I can't be the only one to speculate that having a head coach who's already announced that he's done is not the best thing in the world for your focus and motivation. Neither is losing your starting QB, but we've managed to win a few games in that situation in the past.
I was also very encouraged that, other than that BS personal foul call on Stuart Bradley right at the end of the game, we had not ONE penalty the entire game. Not one holding call - not one offsides - not one false start in the famously loud Qwest Stadium (of course, given how many Seattle "fans" ditched on their team, it probably wasn't too hard to hear, at least not after half time).
Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but 4 field goals? Really? Four? So yeah, after their first fluke score, the Seahawks weren't even in the game, but we still seem to be having some trouble punching it in. Akers is looking better, though. The longest kick they asked him to make was 42 yards, but at least it was good.
And of course, McNabb started the game STONE cold. Yeah, we can't have that next week against the Giants, or we're screwed.
So speaking of, we're heading into the game on a 3 game winning streak, but the 3 teams we've beat have been the Seahawks, the49ers, and the Falcons. OK, the Falcons are a good team, but I think this next week is going to be very telling. It'll be telling us whether we have any real shot at a post-season run.
One small tip to the Eagles D: Eli's been throwing a fair amount of picks this year. Y'all might want to plan to pay attention to that.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Vikings over Texans. Just when you start thinking that maybe the Texans don't suck, they continue to suck. I shouldn't give them shit, though. They currently have the same record as the Jaguars....
Bengals over Jaguars....who lost to the Bengals. THE BENGALS.
Jets over Bills. And Vicodin Boy continues his uncontested possession of the all time interception record! Also, having 3 5-3 teams in the same division is confusing.
Bears over Lions. The Lions almost caught a lucky break when Kyle Orton went down with a bum ankle right before the half, and up by 10 points. Unfortunately, they couldn't even beat Turnoversaurus Rex. Who was Good Rex this week. But it's a good thing Orton doesn't seem to be seriously hurt, because Good Rex never lasts. Also, is it too early to start rooting for 0-16?
Ravens over Browns. Derek Anderson circa 2007 seems to have gone missing so badly they're actually going to start playing Brad Quinn. Who so far has mostly been known for his slick clipboard work and goofy commercials.
Titans over Packers. Too early for 16-0 talk? Um, yes. The Titans are squeaking a lot of wins. That's not going to last forever. But it - and LenDale White - was good this week.
Cardinals over Rams. That brief spurt of non-craptacularity the Rams were enjoying? Gone. We now return you to your previously scheduled execrable season.
Buccaneers over Chiefs: They needed overtime to get it done, but get it done they did. Which is not a good sign playing a 1-7 team.
Dolphins over Broncos. I called it again. This thing with the Dolphins is getting a little scary. Head coach Tony Sparano should see if he can bribe Roger Goodell into changing the schedule so the Dolphins only have to face teams that are over .500 the rest of the season. Say - if their winning-over-winners ways continue, they could have one hell of a post-season.
Falcons over Raiders. When was the last time the Raiders had a winning season? Has it been more recent than when they beat us in Super Bowl XV?
Giants over Cowboys. BWAHAHAHA! Not that I'm *happy* exactly that the Giants won, but man have the Cowboys hit the skids. Vindication my friends. Vindication.
Colts over Patriots. BOR-ing. Also Bill Belechick mis-coached the game and ran out of time outs. HA!
Based on historical correlation with the presidential elections, I'm hoping the Steelers will win, but I think the Redskins will win. It hasn't been a good year for the Steelers versus the NFC East. Don't worry, Biltzburgh - y'all will at least get to whup the Cowboys.
And, finally, VOTE!