In attendance: just me, Chef Spouse, and Shoegal. Sunday night games are tough, and Ex-Navy Cheesehead is recovering from getting a bionic ankle.
Menu: duck, chestnut soup, cauliflower and green beans, apple pie. Fall deliciousness.
Stud of the week: LeSean McCoy, who put the Eagles ahead for good with his 50 yard TD run on an almost-botched 4th-and-1 conversion attempt with about 4:30 left in the game. Shady had a good day, with over 100 yards, although most of them came on two big plays. I'm not complaining, though.
In some ways, this felt like the game where the Eagles couldn't do anything right. Well, except win. There was an awful lot of "YES!!! Wait! NOOOOOO!" in my living room last night. The receivers had the dropsiers, most notably with both DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant dropping TDs. Even Al Michaels pointed out that Avant is one of the most sure-handed wideouts in the NFL, so that was just bizarre.
The game also saw Michael Vick's first 2010 season turnover, although he still hasn't thrown any picks (knock wood).
Speaking of turnovers, Asante Samuel created one only to turn the ball over himself with a completely unnecessary run just after the Shady TD. Fortunately, as Shoegal observed, Eli Manning clearly doesn't know how to slide, either, leading to the Akers' field goal that iced the game with under 30 seconds left.
Speaking of, how often does Akers end up with a blocked kick? Of course, stats on SNF revealed that Akers has trouble against the Giants. It occurs to me, though, that the Giants' field goal coverage is what every team should study against the Eagles, since Akers holds the all-time franchise record for points scored. Good tackle, Sav. I guess that's why you want an Aussie rules punter - he's not afraid to knock guys down if it comes to it.
And the Eagles almost killed themselves with dumb penalties. There were like 120 yards of Eagles penalties. That is not good.
Of course, how many times did Trent Cole get obviously held and it's wasn't called? More than once, I saw a Giants lineman have him in a half-nelson (and to his credit, he just kept on driving his legs). I'm pretty sure that's not kosher.
Now, this game WOULD be a great example for other teams of how to defend Mike Vick...if it wasn't for the fact that the Eagles won anyway. The Giants certainly did a good job of limiting the big plays, and amazingly, this season, smart teams go ahead and let Mike Vick run, since he's changed his game so much that his arm is more dangerous than his legs.
A quick note: I've been very impressed with Dimitri Patterson over the past two weeks. It's not hard for a corner to impress against the Redskins, but remember that the Giants have the #2 ranked offense. Maybe he's finally found a home with the Eagles. One team's (well, actually three teams' - Redskins, Vikings and Chiefs) trash is another team's treasure.
The thing to take away from this, though, is that too many times over the years it's felt like the Eagles couldn't win close ones. DMac was always great at putting up a ton of points, but he wasn't necessarily always clutch (although he was more clutch than a lot of people give him credit for). It was good to see the team overcome some mistakes that really could have been devastating to gut out a tough win over one of the best teams in the NFC.
Around the rest of the NFL...
9 and 6 with MNF in progress, and although there were a lot of combacks this week, my pick of the Chargers is looking pretty solid so far, which would put me at 10-6 on the week.
Bears over Dolphins: The Bears pitched a shut out. That's gotta hurt. Having no Chads and no Brandon Marshall may be too much for the Fins to overcome. Plenty of teams are struggling with injury (see below, Colts, The), but the Fins are pretty much in the "decimated" category.
Ravens over Panthers: Duh.
Bills over Bengals: Oh my God. The Bills scored 35 unanswered points. 35! The Bengals couldn't hold a 28-7 lead. That's just pathetic. To quote TO: "We are terrible." Yes, TO, you are.
Cowboys over Lions: And in predictable fashion, many Cowboys fans are calling Jason Garrett the second coming of Tom Landry and talking about the playoffs. Sorry kids, 9-7 won't get you in this year. Your only possible role in the next 6 weeks is to play spoiler.
Jaguars over Browns: MJD is looking good. I know everyone's already heard this one, but rumor is that tackling him is like trying to tackle a Coke machine. Looking at him bull ahead, I believe it.
Chiefs over Cardinals: Speaking of rumors, I heard that Fitz might leave the Cards? I think he only has one more year on his contract, and since the Cards don't have anyone who can get him the ball...I'd suggest Philly, but the Eagles are actually pretty loaded at receiver at the moment. Wow. Feels weird to type that. I'd love to see what Fitz, DJax, and Vick could do together, though. Talk about explosive offense.
Packers over Vikings: Rumors of Ellis Hobbs' death have been greatly exaggerated (although he is out for the rest of the season - again - with a neck injury) - rumors of Brad Childress's have not. He's the second head coaching head to roll this season. Brett Favre may be done, too. And frankly, I blame him for a lot of the mess in Minnesota. I know - Chilly's to blame, too, because he made the decision to bring Favre back. But NFL.com is right - in this situation, either the QB gets benched or the head coach gets fired. Did the Vikings make a mistake? Let's put it this way: I think it's time to go to Tavaris Jackson.
Jets over Texans: Hey! The Jets managed a win in regular time! It was the very end of regular time, but still. You know what worries me? Playoff games tend to come down to the wire, and the Jets are getting PLENTY of practice winning those games. That means trouble for whoever faces them come January, which could (cross fingers) include the Eagles at the Super Bowl? That might be too much to ask, but a girl can dream right?
Steelers over Raiders: Oh, The System, why did you tempt me into picking the Raiders? Also, on the whole Richard Seymour smacking Big Ben in the head, Roethlisberger's all "I didn't say anything." I call bullshit.
Redskins over Titans: Center Casey Rabach went down, and that seems to have been a good thing, since the replacement center quit stepping on McNabb and knocking him over. It's not good when your center is the sack leader. People keep talking about Randy Moss not contributing, but what I see is that he's fulfilling one of the key roles of a #1 wideout: drawing double and triple coverage so OTHER guys can get open. Not that that was enough Sunday. And how odd is it that the Titans beat every other NFC East team than the Redskins? Who, by the way, need a new kicker. Again. Well, actually, still. Also, did you hear Vince Young threw a hissy fit when Jeff Fisher wouldn't let him and his busted thumb back in the game, reportedly throwing "part of his uniform" into the stands. I gotta figure that was a helmet, because most other uniform parts don't travel so well. Or maybe it was a shoe? You could probably fling a shoe for pretty good distance.
Saints over Seahawks: Of course. Even without Reggie Bush. But resting him one more week was a smart decision when the opponent is from the NFC West.
Bucs over 49ers: Another shut out and speaking of "the NFC West" and "stinks," case in point.
Falcons over Rams: The Falcons, at least as of last week, are still above the Eagles in the power rankings. Think that will continue to hold? They are one game up, but the Eagles did beat them back in week 6 and it was with K2 under center. I'm just sayin'.
Pats over Colts: Speaking of decimated by injury, the Colts have run through the active roster, the practice squad, the CFL, and most of the nearby colleges. I think they're starting to scout some Pop Warner prospects at this point.