It's the BYE week edition, and frankly, not a moment too soon.
It seems like every year I write a post about how everyone on the team is on "no Madden/Gameboy/World of Warcraft" punishment because the Eagles always seem to slump before the bye.
So am I crazy? Over-reacting? Guilty of false memory syndrome?
Andy loses games the week before the bye. He's at .500. Which wouldn't be so odd if it weren't for the fact that he's .620 overall in his coaching career with the Eagles. He really does lose disproportionately prior to the bye, no matter when it lands.
On the other hand, the week AFTER the bye? Big Red is perfect, which will really be put to the test this year, with the Colts on tap and possibly no DeSean Jackson. Get healthy, guys.
Anyway, on to the picks:
Broncos at 49ers: 49ers. I've got a system this week. I'll tell you what it is if it works.
Jaguars at Cowboys: Jags. ("Oh no, she din't!" "Oh yes, I did!") Guess that whole "they'll win the NFC East" prediction is pretty much right out the window. Also, this pick goes against the system. But I still think I'm right.
Bills at Chiefs: Chiefs.
Panthers at Rams: Rams.
Redskins at Lions: Lions. (Ouch. I so want to be on Team Donovan.)
Dolphins at Bengals: Fins.
Packers at Jets: Jets. According to my system, this one's a push, though.
Titans at Chargers: Chargers. That's what the system says. (There may be a flaw in the system.)
Buccaneers at Cardinals: Bucs.
Vikings at Patriots: Favre? Jackson? Some dark horse candidate? Doesn't matter - the Pats are going to win this one regardless. Pats. (Which is also breaking the system.)
Seahawks at Raiders: Can the Raiders duplicate their trouncing of the Broncos last week? Probably not, but I don't know that it will matter. They won't need 59 points to beat the Seahawks. Raiders.
Steelers at Saints: Saints. Hey, that's what the system predicts! Also, I think they will rebound this week.
Texans at Colts: Colts. Damn, Former Team of Destiny. This just ain't your week.
On bye: Eagles, Giants, Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Browns (big group this week)
Photo credit: Ben Kepple (but you already guessed that)
Bye week, and it's just in time. Mike Vick can't get back under center fast enough. But we'll still be watching football, y'all.
1 pm: Redskins at Lions (secondary game Jags at Cowboys)
4 pm: Vikings at Patriots (open to requests on the secondary game)
SNF: Steelers at Saints (who better pull their heads out of their asses, or this is going to get ugly)
MNF: Texans at Colts
Menu: well, it's Halloween, so Chef Spouse plans to make some "eerie" drinks. Not sure what all that's going to involve, but it should be interesting. Menu? So far it's a surprise - Chef Spouse is feeling undecided. I'll post an update when he makes up his mind.
Also, come in costume if you can, since you'll be helping hand out candy once it gets dark. And because it's fun.
In attendance: Chef Spouse, Fellow Eagles Maniac and her friend The Bronx Bomber
Menu: burgers with a variety of fun toppings (caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, a variety of cheeses), fries (good but not great - I think I need to get Chef Spouse a deep fryer), AWESOME pumpkin cheesecake (homemade by Fellow Eagles Maniac), guacamole, and copious amounts of alcohol, at least in the 4th quarter.
Stud of the week: Riley Cooper, who fended off a sure pick with an acrobatic catch and, shortly thereafter, scored his first TD as a pro player. Chad Hall's a close #2. He battled hard for every yard he got, even though he's shorter than the grass.
Well, the thing about wins is they're fun to watch. The thing about losses are that they can be fun to write about. You know, because of the ranting. What ranting? Oh, just you wait.
Kevin Kolb: could you please stop keying on ONE receiver? You're telegraphing what you're going to do so clearly Martians are picking it up. Also, OK it was windy - you're a PRO FOOTBALL QB. Your arm should be able to overpower some wind.
Didn't the Eagles used to have a tight end named Brent Celek? Who was pretty good? I know McNabb loved him some tight ends and maybe K2 doesn't as much, but come on! Does he even play for us anymore?
Did anyone notice that the Eagles may have some O-line problems? Don't tell me you weren't shitting yourself when King Dunlap went down. And King Dunlap's center of gravity is so high he gets pushed around by everyone. But he's better than nothing, and "nothing" is just about what the Eagles are down to at this point.
But all that is secondary to the secondary, aka Hobbs and Allen. They couldn't cover anything except maybe their eyes, which is what I was doing all during the fourth quarter, while Kenny Britt was burning the Eagles' asses. In case you haven't already read it on the millions of other blog posts so far, 225 yards is the most EVER by ANY receiver in 77 years of Eagles football.
And it never occurred to Sean McDermott to move Asante Samuel over? Or tie Britt's shoelaces together? Or turn Trent Cole loose on him and take up a collection to cover the fine? (Yes, I know Trent Cole is a defensive end whose job it to go after the QB. But desperate times call for desperate measures people!)
And who knew that that ridiculous handoff fumble in the 3rd quarter was the voice of doom? But it was - the Eagles couldn't do a single thing right after that, giving up 27 points in the 4th quarter alone. The whole team deserves a "C'mon man!" shout-out.
Around the rest of the NFL:
Falcons over Bengals: Roddy White had a big day, and the Falcons almost managed to give away the game anyway. But only the Eagles can squander a lead THAT big.
Steelers over Dolphins: OK, the Dolphins totally should have won this. That Roethlisberger fumble? The Fins came up with it, and the zebras screwed it up. Then again, the officiating has generally been terrible this year. Rules too complicated? Maybe.
Ravens over Bills: How did the Bills manage to get so close? How did they manage to put up 34 points on the Ravens? Apparently, that hasn't happened in Harbaugh's entire tenure as head coach. I'm guessing the rest of the AFC North is going to be watching this game tape closely.
Chiefs over Jaguars: The Chiefs are the real thing, I am buying, and they're going to win the AFC West this year.
Browns over Saints: What the hell happened? Apparently, Drew Brees has a new #1 receiver, only it's David Bowens, and he plays for the Browns. Former Saint Scott Fujita and former Eagle Sheldon Brown both contributed to the mayhem.
Redskins over Bears: Yes, I know everyone has already made this joke. Jay Cutler's found his #1 receiver, too - too bad it's DeAngelo Hall. That was one sloppy game - it was impossible to keep up with the turnovers, and we were using a 19" screen for this as the second game. Wasn't big enough.
Panthers over 49ers: Stick a fork in the 49ers. They're done.
Buccaneers over Rams: Hm - interesting. Apparently, Josh Freeman is money with the 4th quarter comebacks.
Seahawks over Cardinals: Amazing what losing a potential HOF QB can do to a team. Even if they do still have my secret wide receiver boyfriend Larry Fitzgerald. Have you seen his ass? Seriously.
Patriots over Chargers: Why was this game even close? The Chargers are a wreck this year.
Raiders over Broncos: Somebody should've invoked the mercy rule. Oh wait - there is no mercy rule. Someone should institute a mercy rule. Most points ever by the Raiders. And an ugly, ugly performance by the Broncos. When the other team scored 24 points in the first quarter, you're pretty much done.
Packers over Vikings: Another sloppy game, but the Packers pulled it out, thanks in part to 3 Favre picks in the second half. High risk, high reward? Well, more like you know he'll throw as many picks as TDs.
Eagles at Titans: I'm torn this week. On the one hand, you can't stop Chris Johnson - you can only hope to contain him. And the Eagles are not brilliant against the run. Also Mike Vick is likely still out, even though he returned to practice today. On the other hand (is that too many hands?), K2 did great last week against a Falcons team that EVERYONE expected to win. On the other hand, DeSean Jackson's likely out for awhile, too. Of course, so is Vince Young. And while he's not an amazing quarterback, he's better than Kerry Collins by a long shot.
Of course, I keep picking against the Eagles - and they keep winning. Chef Spouse says I'm overly superstitious, but...
And 4-2 in AFC South is different than 4-2 in NFC East, at least this year.
Everybody's picking the Titans. Then again, everybody picked the Falcons last week.
But I think they're right this week - Titans. Or maybe I'm just superstitious.
In the rest of the matchups:
Bengals at Falcons: Falcons. Things are not well in Cincinnati.
Jaguars at Chiefs: Chiefs. The Jags got spanked on Monday and lost their quarterback in the process. Not good.
49ers at Panthers: 49ers. I still believe in Mike Singletary.
Browns at Saints: Seriously? This isn't even fair. Saints. Also, ouch.
Bills at Ravens: Also ouch. Ravens.
Rams at Buccaneers: This is an interesting matchup. Both teams are performing better than expected this year. People are mostly calling Bucs, but I'm going with Rams - just a hunch.
Redskins at Bears: Donovan tends to play well in his hometown of Chicago, and Jay Cutler's getting smacked around the way Jason Campbell did last year. Actually, come to think of it, so's Donovan. But he pops up like a Weeble, as long as it's not November. And it's not. Redskins.
Steelers at Dolphins: Can I pick a 3-2 team over a 4-1 team? Yep. Dolphins.
Cardinals at Seahawks: Tough call. Seahawks I think. But this one's really a push.
Raiders at Broncos: The Broncos are scoring an ass-load of points. I don't think the Raiders can keep up. Broncos.
Patriots at Chargers: Patriots. The Chargers are a mess.
Vikings at Packers: Packers all the way, baby! Team Rodgers!
Giants at Cowboys: I have a theory about the Giants and their slow starts - the team hates Tom Coughlin so much they're willing to throw some games at the beginning of the season in hopes that he'll literally have a stroke on the sidelines so they can get another coach. By the time they're about a month in, they're all like "Yeah, not this year. Sigh. OK, I guess we gotta play for this asshole another season. Let's pull it together." Which happened 3 weeks ago. Too bad for the Cowboys (not really)! Giants.
More potential traffic glitches this week, as the annual Army 10 Miler closes roads in the DC area. Check their website for details. Mem Bridge and one of the spans of the 14th Street bridge will be closed, as well as some streets on Capitol Hill.
On to the games:
1 pm: Eagles at Titans (secondary game will be Redskins at Bears)
4 pm: Patriots at Chargers
8 pm: Vikings at Packers
MNF: Giants at Cowboys
Menu: Chef Spouse is thinking burgers on the grill with homemade fries and some fancy toppings.
In attendance: only me. On business in Minneapolis. Chef Spouse was at home with some of his friends. But I was all alone with Supercast. F'ing business trips.
Menu: room service. Bleh.
Stud of the week: DeSean Jackson. No contest. He'd put up 14 points on the Falcons before the BS hit Dunta Robinson laid on him. Which, by the way, looked totally intentional. Fines? You bet. Suspension? Well, I wouldn't be opposed.
So this will be quick due to the business trip, but a few game notes:
I have to start with the cheap hit on Brent Celek late in the second quarter. I think it was the Falcons' safety, and it resulted in a pick and K2 drawing a 15 yard penalty for a horse-collar tackle, but what was up with that not being called in the first place?
I was loving that lights out D for entire first half and parts of the rest of the game. Where have these guys been for the past 6 weeks? Matty Ice is going to be having nightmares about Trent Cole.
I was freaking out about Akers missing those field goals. Uncharacteristically, he was visibly pissed, throwing his helmet twice. Just before he made the the 30 yarder in the 4th quarter, the problem became apparent: his shoes (or actually, I should say "shoe" on his left/kicking foot). David, I love that you want to show your support for breast cancer research, but not at the cost of missed field goals. Put the black shoe back on, hon.
Kolb looked good. He looked calm and confident, not least because of good play by the O-line. Maclin's clearly his go-to guy, but Jackson had a big day before that cheap hit, too.
The running game was clicking, too, more props to the O-line. LeSean McCoy continues to be a stud, and Eldra Buckley had a good day, too.
Finally, Jorrick Calvin, where have you been all my life? Let's get that rookie some more playing time, yo!
Around the rest of the NFL...there were a lot of good games!
Dolphins over Packers. This game wouldn't have gone to OT if the Dolphins hadn't completely whiffed on the 4th and goal QB sneak that tied the game. Good thing for them they pulled it out, because I don't think firing your special teams coach AND your defensive coordinator within a week DURING the season is a very good idea.
Rams over Chargers. Well that was unexpected. What's wrong with the Chargers this year? Seriously, real question - if you know, post in the comments.
Patriots over Ravens. Another OT win. How did this happen? The Ravens were leading most of the game, Brady threw two picks. Being on a business trip during football season kills me - I missed the game AND all the commentary about why it went down the way it did!
Steelers over Browns. Well, duh.
Texans over Chiefs. Close game, though. I think the Chiefs just might win AFC West this year, at least if the Chargers keep stinking it up.
Giants over Lions. Again, not surprising. Again, close game. The Lions are missing, like, 1 thing, but whatever it is, it's key, because they lose ALL the time. They don't get blown out, of course, but they lose.
Seahawks over Bears. Also unexpected. What is wrong with the Bears O-line? Again, serious question. If they don't pull it together, Cutler's not going to last the season.
Saints over Buccaneers. Well, yes.
Jets over Broncos. Again, not that surprising, even thought Tebow got in and played well.
49ers over Raiders. FINALLY! Mike Singletary was about to blow a gasket.
Vikings over Cowboys. The hotel I'm staying in for my conference is the same hotel the Vikings stayed in the night before the game. And I didn't kick Brett Favre in the crotch or throw a drink on him or anything. And I totally had my boss lined up to bail me out. I know - wasted opportunity. Also, Cowboys? HA!
Colts over Redskins. Not surprising, although the Skins made a real game of it. You know it's killing McNabb that he's never beat Peyton Manning.
I'm currently watching Titans/ Jags, and BOTH starting QBs are out. I think Kerry Collins is preferable to Trent Edwards, but we'll see.
Another weekend of business travel during football season! ARGH! What is wrong with these people?!?
Thank DirecTV for Supercast, because Eagles/Falcons isn't being broadcast nationally, and I'll be in Minneapolis. Somehow I think the local 1 pm (well, technically, noon) games there are going to be NFC North games, because 3 of the 4 teams are playing in the early slot (Lions/Giants, Dolphins/Packers, and Seahawks/Bears).
Anyway, we're in "will he or won't he?" territory this week. You KNOW Mike Vick wants to face - and preferably kick the asses of - his old team. But can he play? Unknown. If he can't go, can K2 put up enough points - and avoid enough mistakes - to win?
The Falcons are a tough matchup. Not only are they looking solid this year, winning their last 4 games after a season-opening loss to the Steelers, but they're currently the #2 rushing team. Know where the Eagles rank against the run? Not #2 - try #24. Ouch. And that might be the story of the game right there.
The Eagles do have Brian Westbrook the Second, aka "Mr. Stud of the Week two weeks running" LeSean McCoy. (In other news, Nate Allen really is looking like the next Brian Dawkins - and not a moment too soon.) On the other hand, this is mostly a passing offense, at least for the past 12 years under Andy Reid. And there's better news there - the Falcons are #19 against the pass. Oddly enough, though, this year the team is ranked higher in rushing (#10) than in passing (#13) - at least so far, but I supsect some of that's due to K2's tendency to check down FIRST and some big runs from Mike Vick.
But enough stats - what does my gut say? My gut says Falcons. I know they're facing off at the Linc and homefield advantage and whatnot, but I truly believe the Falcons are the better team at this point.
In the rest of the matchups:
Dolphins at Packers: The Packers are REELING from injury. Big time. Aaron Rodgers' concussion is just adding the proverbial insult. Dolphins. Also, the Pack better start looking for some more players, STAT.
Chargers at Rams: The Chargers are struggling, but there is no way the Bad Luck Monster bites them this week the way he did last week. Two blocked punts? That's more in the territory of "Tom Cable sacrificed a goat to get a win." And, since they aren't blacked out at home, I can call Chargers.
Lions at Giants: I really think the Lions are a better team than their 1-4 record indicates. Unfortunately, I don't think they're good enough to beat the Giants.
Ravens at Patriots: Ravens all the way! Also, I'm watching the NFL Network right now, and Sterling Sharpe literally just said, "The Baltimore Ravens win this one, 33-23." See, he knows.
Browns at Steelers: Big Ben (who I now pretty much hate more than the Cowboys) is back this week - and the Steelers are going to end the Browns winning streak at 1. Edited October 17 add: as was pointed out to me in the comments, the Browns actually lost last week to the Falcons. They had won the prior week, beating the Bengals 23-20. Not that any of that's really going to matter, since they're going to lose this week regardless.
Saints at Buccaneers: The Saints are looking downright...ordinary lately. And the Bucs are technically ahead of them in division due to not having a divisional loss. That'll end this week. Saints.
Chiefs at Texans: The Texans are trying to break my heart this year. But I still believe. Also, 3-2 in the AFC South is a better record than 3-1 in the West. Texans.
Seahawks at Bears: If the Bears can turn the ball over 1,463,638 times and STILL win (thank you very much Matt Forte), they'll get past the surprisingly competent (talk about damning by faint praise) Seahawks. Bears.
Raiders at 49ers: OK, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the 49ers stink. Raiders.
Jets at Broncos: Talk about dominant - the Jets look awesome this year. The Broncos? Not so much. The air's pretty thin in Denver, but I don't think that'll slow down the Jets or Rex Ryan's highly entertaining and R-rated patter. Jets.
Cowboys at Vikings: I know I rail against Brett Favre a lot here, but (so far) I haven't touched the sexual harassment allegations, the whining about his elbow (but I notice it only seems to bother him when he's playing bad), and the whole "my streak is more important than the good of the team" BS. Yeah. He's a complete ass. So are the Cowboys, but they're going to win this week.
Colts at Redskins: I SO want to call Redskins here, and they've been pulling off some improbable wins this season, but come on. The Redskins were 4-12 last year, and they're up against the Colts. DMac and Shanny haven't had enough time to make THAT much of a difference. I don't think. Also (and this is unverified), I don't think McNabb has EVER beat the Colts. I'm calling Colts, but I'd love to be wrong.
Titans at Jaguars: Titans. You can't stop Chris Johnson, and I don't think the Jags can even contain him.
I will be out of town this week, but Steelers Transplant will be back in town for a visit/boys' weekend, so make sure to stop by to see him Sunday.
1 pm - Falcons at Eagles - there will be no secondary game on in the 1 pm timeslot, as I'll be using the Supercast login to watch this from my business trip to Minneapolis, since the game is not scheduled to be broadcast nationally.
4 pm - It's up to you all of course, but if I were picking, I'd go with Cowboys at Vikings. I'll be back to work at that point, so you can watch a secondary game, and again, if I were choosing, I'd probably go with Jets at Broncos.
8 pm - Colts at Redskins. Think the Skins can steal another improbable win? Don't know, but I'm sure it will be fun to watch them try.
MNF - I'm actually going to be skipping a reception to watch the Titans take on the Jaguars.
(Why on earth do people schedule conferences over weekends during football season!?!?)
Menu - it won't be the same as Steelers Transplant's awesome home-smoke 'que, but Chef Spouse is planning to get takeout from the newly opened Chuck's Wagon BBQ on H Street.
One note for Sunday: there will be possible parking issues on our block due to the Ludlow Taylor plant swap. Of course, you should feel free to come early and participate.
In attendance: Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Chef Spouse, me, The Executive Committee, Mad Kitchen Scientist
Menu: It was a Food Lab weekend, so we were finishing up our butter doughs. Conclusion? Brunch dishes - homemade brioche and croissants, omelettes to order, homemade apple and fig compotes, bacon and sausage, mimosas, bourbon milk punch, really delicious Calvados. So health food.
Stud of the week: It's unusual for me to pick the same guy two weeks in a row, but how do I NOT go with LeSean McCoy? 92 yards on the ground, 138 total, a TD...with a BROKEN RIB. He truly is Shady. But in a good way. Brent Celek had a pretty good day too. I also have to give props to Quintin Mikell, who bagged his first career TD. And to fireplug Chad Hall, who saw some playing time with Riley Cooper benched by a concussion. And Nate Allen, who had a truly key tipped pass late in the 4th that kept Frank Gore from catching what almost definitely would have led to scoring the go-ahead TD.
So the good news is that it was a win. And, as I mentioned in my picks for this week, that's never sure thing when the Eagles play in prime time and go west. The Eagles were competent, and beat a team that's now 0-5. OK then.
But the real interest was on the 49ers side of the ball. What is going on with Alex Smith? He played like crap, up until the San Fran fans started booing him so loud I could hear them WITHOUT the TV on and chanting for backup David Carr. Mike Singletary clearly chewed him out - and he came back and kicked butt, scoring 14 points and pulling the 49ers to within 3 points.
Is it just me, or do injuries seem to be kicking extra ass this year? Brod Bunkley is the latest to go down, with (apparently) a season ending elbow injury. I know you think I'm joking, but seriously, the team is going to run out of players.
Speaking of, it looks like Mike Vick, who Andy Reid swears on a stack of Bibles is still the starting QB, will be back for Atlanta next week. You *know* Vick's gotta want that, and I'd feel a lot better with him back, since right now we're one bad play away from a Kafkaesque season.
A final note: special teams! GAH! What the hell is wrong with those guys? I mean, Ted Ginn is not exactly your grandma or anything, but (say it with me) "C'mon, man!" Those long returns are killing, if it's not using the #1 receiver on special teams and him getting hurt (like, oh, last night).
Around the rest of the NFL....
Jaguars over Bills - OK, so I guess there wasn't a "we just beat the Colts!" letdown. And Bills? An 0-5 hole is pretty hard to dig out of. Did you know that all 4 AFC South teams are 3-2 right now?
Ravens over Broncos - Did I hear right that the Broncos have never beat the Ravens at home? I know winning on the road is tough, but damn!
Colts over Chiefs - The Chiefs had to lose eventually, but they're still looking solid to make a run at the West. But Peyton threw no TDs for the first time since...ever? They won and all, but he looked pretty cranky.
Skins over Packers - Wow. Didn't call that one. This was definitely a case of "if you let them hang around, it'll bite you." The Packers were - are - the better team. But the Redskins hung in and didn't get too far behind, McNabb came up clutch when he needed to (which, carping Philly fans aside, is mostly what he does), and the D came through big when they needed it. The Skins just wanted it more. Also, how about that LaRon Landry? 13 tackles and 2 turnovers (a pick and a FF). And everyone was in a panic about the 5 sacks McNabb took. Um, it's not November. He never gets hurt until November, no matter what happens. Come November 1? All bets are off.
Lions over Rams - WAY over. 44-6 over. Yikes. Sam Bradford looked like the rookie he is, throwing two picks and never getting the Rams in the endzone. He had to take a step back at some point. Guess that was this week.
Bears over Panthers - Speaking of QB trouble, the Bears had plenty. Fortunately, they were playing the Panthers, so it didn't matter. Seriously, backup QB Todd Collins threw for 32 yards and 4 picks. I think I could do better than that.
Bucs over Bengals - I'm calling it. The Bungles are back.
Falcons over Browns - Well sure, but maybe I should've called the Falcons to win the south. Oh well - coulda, shoulda, woudla. Seneca Wallace went down before halftime, leaving the Browns playing a gimpy Jake Delhomme, who went on to throw two picks. It's amazing the game was as close as it was (and the Falcons won by 10).
Giants over Texans - Hm. Interesting. The Giants figured out how to shut down the run, and it killed the Texans.
Cardinals over Saints - OK, I couldn't really expect the Saints to have another magic season like last year, but they lost to a team that was starting an undrafted rookie at QB for the first time. Really? REALLY? Of course, it's pretty hard to overcome 4 turnovers.
Titans over Cowboys - HAHAHAHAHA! I can't believe I got punked into calling the Cowboys to win the division. At the rate they're going, they'll be lucky to finish 8-8. And they're doing it to themselves, which makes it even better. Penalties, penalties, penalties, and mostly dumb shit. How awesome it that?
Raiders over Chargers - TWO blocked punts?!? I thought we had special teams troubles. No wonder the Raiders were able to win this.
Right now, I'm just waiting to see if the Vikings/Jets contest will EVER start. And the commentators have clearly totally run out of stuff to talk about.
So there was this post on Philly.com today about how the Eagles are so terrible, and it either means the coaches are awful or the team has no talent.
Here's a hypothesis: the team's average age is 15. They're not terrible - the coaches aren't the worst since Bum Phillips - they're YOUNG. Many of our starters are within their first couple of years in the NFL. Yeah, no one wants to say "rebuilding" but that's what we're doing.
Oh - and Sunday's game? We don't do well historically in prime time or going west, and we're missing a lot of guys (Vick, Asante Samuel, Riley Cooper, in addition to the guys who are out for the season) - and LeSean McCoy is playing with a broken rib. And we're terrible against the run - ever heard of a guy named Frank Gore?
Yes, I'm calling 49ers. They have to win sometime
In the rest of the matchups:
Bears at Panthers: Da Bears. They might not be as good as they looked at 3-0, but they're not as bad as the Panthers.
Falcons at Browns: Falcons. That thing with the Bengals last week? Fluke.
Packers at Redskins: Packers. Although I'd love to see McNabb smoke the team that busted our asses in the first week. But I'm pretty sure the Packers offense is too high powered for the still-adjusting-to-the-3-4-system Redskins
Rams at Lions: Rams. Who have apparently improved this year. Go Spags!
Chiefs at Colts: Colts. I'm still not buying the Chiefs, and the Colts are better than their 2-2 record.
Broncos at Ravens: Ravens. Kyle Orton tries to throw for a million yards, he's going to get picked a million times.
Buccaneers at Bengals: Bengals. I think. But they could be imploding already. Which is a little ahead of schedule, to be honest.
Jaguars at Bills: Bills. Jags are in for a let down after their win over the Colts.
Giants at Texans: Texans. Despite their win over the Bears last week, I really don't think the Giants are all that good this year. And I do think the Texans are good, despite their loss to the bloody Cowboys.
Saints at Cardinals: Saints. They have to lose eventually, but I don't think it's going to be this week,
even with Drew Brees hurting.
Titans at Cowboys: Titans. But this one's kind of a push, because the Titans are all about the run and the Cowboys have been stout against the run so far this year. Then again, you can't stop Chris Johnson - you can only hope to contain him.
Chargers at Raiders: Chargers. I can call them if they're not blacked out at home.
Vikings at Jets: Jets, although now that Randy Moss is back in purple, this is going to be a much more interesting game.
This week brings our first prime-time game of the 2010 season, where we will be facing a 49ers team desperate for a win. But prior to that:
1 pm: Packers at Redskins (we'll have Giants at Texans on the computer)
4 pm: Titans at Cowboys
8 pm: Eagles at 49ers
MNF: Vikings at Jets
Menu: we'll be Food Labbing this weekend, doing our first ever two day lab on butter-based doughs. Which automatically leads to: all day brunch! We'll be making brioche and croissants (or at least trying to), which will lead to filled croissants, brioche, brioche French toast, omelettes, fruit compote, brunchy drinks...bring something to go with. And up your game, because we'll have 6 serious cooks in the house.
In attendance: HUGE crowd. Chef Spouse, Shoegal, Black & Gold Raquette (newbie), Tweety Monster, Fellow Eagles Maniac, McLovin, KiKi & the fam (newbie), Wingman, Mr. Wingman, and Theater Geek, Hon (newbie). It was nice of everyone to show up and try to distract me from the horror on the field.
Menu: guacamole and chips, cheese and crackers, fruit, veg and dip, and Chef Spouse's amazing guacamole. And many, many watermelon margaritas.
Stud of the game: I can't say Donovan, can I? Then my second choice would have to be LeSean McCoy who, although he didn't get in the endzone, had 174 yards combined rushing and receiving...up until he broke his rib. DJax? Nothing. Maclin? Nothing? Celek? The TD grab, but otherwise nothing.
We were just outplayed, out coached, and out passioned. You would not believe how many player interviews there have been in DC about how much the whole team wanted to win this for McNabb. And Shanny gamed planned what we've all been screaming for AR to do for years - not place the ENTIRE success of the offense on Donny's arm.
Speaking of Big Red, is Andy Reid's main problem as a coach that he just can't make quick decisions? Case in point 1: the timeout debacle at the end of the first half. Case in point 2: the LeSean McCoy fumble that was originally not counted as a fumble, until we didn't get the next play off and Shanny had time to challenge - and win.
And penalties! Why do we ALWAYS have so many PENALTIES? How can the guys - both coaches and players - not understand how that just DESTROYS drives? And at home! We don't even have the hostile crowd noise excuse.
Our special teams continues to be the kind of special that involves the short bus.
And the thing that really worried me was that after Vick went down and K2 went in with a chance to win the game and earn the starting job back, he mostly just looked lost.
At the end, we were left hoping DMac would throw a pick. And considering that he'd already thrown one, which is rare enough, it would've been more likely for Sasquatch and Nessie to show up at my front door toting seven layer dip. That is not a game plan.
And now Vick is injured and it was on a play when he didn't get into the endzone in the first place AND the whole play got called back because of a (say it with me, kids) PENALTY.
I quote DJax: “We’ve just got to find different ways of getting open and sitting in the holes, we’re not always going to be able to be running down the field and scoring these long touchdowns.”
Except that's pretty much been the sum total of the offense for the past 11 years. "O-line, you stay in to block. Everyone else, go long. Donovan, bomb it on down there." And it mostly worked, most of the time.
On the up side, I hear Jeff Garcia's available.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Jets over Bills: Raise your hand if this surprises you. (cue the tumbleweeds and coyotes)
Browns over Bengals: Of course, TO got a TD, so as far as he's concerned, HE won. In other news, I think Carson Palmer may be pretty much done. And the Browns actually won a game! I'm guessing they should continue to sit Jake Delhomme indefinitely.
Ravens over Steelers: Helluva game. Black & Gold Raquette about had a heart attack. Every time I start thinking Joe Flacco's not that special, he pulls off a game winning drive in about 35 seconds. And this was his first win in the Burgh.
Broncos over Titans: Do the Broncos even have any running backs on the roster at this point? You wouldn't know it from the way they're playing. And who knew Kyle Orton had those kind of throws in him?
Packers over Lions: But just barely. The Lions do seem to be improving. Now if they could just improve enough to, you know, actually WIN some games. Still, good effort!
Falcons over 49ers: Also just barely. We were watching Ravens/Steelers on the TV with Panthers/Saints on the computer, but it looked like the 49ers were going to walk away with this one...at least in the first quarter. I like Singletary, and he's fun to watch, but this team has got to pull it together and fast.
Saints over Panthers: Barely, and it didn't look like the Saints were going to pull it off. I guess every team needs a good scare now and again.
Rams over Seahawks: Hm. Are the Rams better, or are the Seahawks who we thought they were (prior to those 2 wins)? At least the Rams didn't let them off the hook.
Jaguars over Colts: 59 yard field goal at the buzzer! Oh man, we've been there...
Texans over Raiders: Notice who's atop the AFC South so far? Told you so!
Chargers over Cardinals: Whatever. I'm still picking against the Chargers at home every time they're blacked out. Punk-ass fans. This is FOOTBALL, bitches!
Giants over Bears: The Bears STUNK IT UP. Cutler got sacked 9 times. Oh man, we're been there, too. I guess this Halloween you should show up at Jay Cutler's house dressed as Osi Umenyiora. It's amazing he still knows his name and where he lives.