Eagles over Cowboys, Sunday, December 12, 2010
In attendance: Shoegal, Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom, You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad, Chef Spouse, and a friend of mine from Florida. The YAPstars, sadly, blew us off. Too bad for them, because it was a GREAT game.
Menu: Chef Spouse made all kinds of yummy snacks, Shoegal brought cheese, Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom made brisket and mac&cheese. URP!
Stud of the Week: DeSean Jackson, who, as Chef Spouse observed and Cris Collinsworth confirmed, should NOT have been penalized for his TD celebration. Apparently, the Cowboys didn't like it. Well, stop him from scoring a 91 yard TD and you won't have to see it, donkeys!
But I want to see it again:
Revisiting the keys to the game I identified last week, which happened and which didn't?
Well, Dez Bryant was out. That's indisputable.
Did they get DeSean Jackson going? Um, yeah. 210 yards on 4 receptions and a TD.
Did they get LeSean McCoy going? Yes again. 149 yards on the ground, including masterfully executing virtually every play to run out the clock in the final 4:22 of the game.
Did the O-line protect Michael Vick? No. He gets hit, he pops up. He gets hit, he pops up. He gets hit out of bounds, he pops up. And then Andy Reid screams at the zebras. The funny thing is that Terry McAulay's crew is usually one of the better ones, in my opinion, because they're more likely to just let the guys play. And that was borderline - an Eagles fan (or coach) would've seen it as a penalty, but a Cowboys fan (or coach) probably wouldn't. But it's good to see Andy stepping up for his QB, particularly since every time Vick goes down, I worry that THIS is the time he's not going to pop back up.
Asante Samuel wasn't back, but Kitna's mostly a short yardage guy, so it probably wasn't that big a deal. And the D did great shutting down the Cowboys running game.
Michael Vick? Good game - 2 picks, but only 1 was his fault (and by the way Maclin, you need to catch that pass, buddy), 3 TDs (two passing, one rushing), Kitna had more yards on the ground, but I'm loving that any play can be a big play. I'm loving that the D can give up a lead in the third quarter, and the team can fight back. I'm loving the chemistry. I'm loving that if the special teams can get the offense at least to around the 40, they're getting at least 3 points out of it.
And speaking of, how about some love for Chef Spouse's boy David Akers with that 50 yard field goal that turned out to be the margin of victory?
And did you see the postgame Vick and Jackson interview with Andrea Kramer? DJax was jumping around like a 5 year old who'd had too much sugar. It was hilarious.
Not so good?
The Eagles red zone D is bad. Like, historically bad. And they're terrible in the 3rd quarter. The offense is coming up clutch, and when they enter the fourth quarter down, I actually have hope. But it's better not to be down.
Speaking of down, Jon Kitna should NEVER be able to pick up a 4th and 8 on his feet. That is shameful. So were penalties that extended Dallas drives - Dimitri Patterson, I'm looking at you - and backed us up at critical times. Jorrick Calvin, you're a rookie, so I'm not going to bust your chops about the running around in the endzone. Your heart was in the right place, even if you didn't know what you were doing. But that punch? Unacceptable.
Speaking of unacceptable, what was with Collinsworth (who I normally love) kissing the Cowboys' asses all game? Newsflash: the Cowboys think they're the center of the goddamn universe, but in reality they are not the sun around which the entire NFL revolves. Teams, even NFC East teams, occasionally do stuff for reasons that have NOTHING to do with the Cowboys. Shocking, I know.
You know what else is unacceptable? Stewart Bradley dislocated his elbow and Brandon Graham tore his ACL. We can't be losing any more players here, people!
And now the Eagles/Vikings matchup on Dec 26 has been flexed to prime time. The Eagles have killed in ratings in this year as well as on the field, and so far, the team is loving the night games, 5-0.
There's been a lot of tweeting about playoff scenarios, a surprising amount of them incorrect. Here's the deal: if the Eagles beat the Giants AND win one of their last two games, they will win the NFC East regardless of what else the Giants do. If the Bears win out, the Eagles will be the #3 seed regardless. If the Eagles win out and the Bears drop either the Jets or Packers game (possible if not likely), the Eagles will sneak into the #2 seed. Don't speculate - get the facts at the NFL site. They do a good job of keeping the playoff picture section up to date.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Colts over Titans. Barely. The Colts were way up until the 4th quarter, and almost gave up the game. That's not the way it usually goes. The way it usually goes is that the Colts are down by 13 at the 2 minute warning and win anyway. I had actually stopped watching the game and gone to bed at the end of the third quarter, because it looked like it was over. Not this year.
Bills over Browns. Browns are out of the playoffs now. I mean, it would've required the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals to just up and quit for them to get there, but now they're officially out. The Bills have been officially out since August.
Falcons over Panthers. Duh.
Lions over Packers. Raise your hand if you called this one. If you recall, I said that the key to the Packers season, given all the injuries they've sustained, was to keep Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews vertical. Well, now they're down to 50%, with the Pats, Giants, and Bears coming up. Yikes.
Jaguars over Raiders. The Raiders managed to tie up the game and then let the Jags score in 2 plays - a great kick off return, and an even better run by MoJo. You tie the game and then let the opponent score in 20 seconds? Not gonna win a whole lot of games that way.
Steelers over Bengals. If this was a Steelers blog, the stud of the week would be Troy Polamalu. Just sayin'.
Bucs over Redskins. There was an article in the WaPo Sunday magazine focusing on Billy Cundiff and talking about how tough it is to be an NFL kicker. Well, if you're kicking like Graham Gano anyway. Thank God we have David Akers, aka Mr. Reliable. Wanna bet Gano is playing for the Panthers (or the CFL) by Thursday? Bleeding Green Nation put it best: "Redskins lose in the most hilarious fashion of the season."
Saints over Rams. Again, duh.
49ers over Seahawks. I "like" Brian Westbrook on Facebook. Aside from "liking" his sexy shirtless profile picture, I also "like" his current comment: "Had a great day at the office yesterday." Yes, sir, you did. 110 combined yards and a TD. I'm telling you, the West is going to be won by a 7-9 team.
Cardinals over Broncos. Guess the New Head Coach Magic has been all used up for this season.
Pats over Bears. Ex-Navy Cheesehead is still recovering from getting his new ankle, so he wasn't able to make it out again yesterday. But he did email about being worried about the Pats. I find that charmingly optimistic, considering that the Eagles first have to get into the playoffs (likely but far from certain at this point), then WIN the NFC, then we can worry about the Pats. But if we have a repeat of Super Bowl 39 including the outcome, I'm going to start taking hostages.
Dolphins over Jets. First of all, people were complaining about DeSean Jackson having no class for his Nestea plunge. Two words for you: Sal Alosi. Also, what is wrong with the Jets? Standings-wise they're still right in it. But they got their butts whupped by the Pats and then couldn't put the Dolphins away in what was a very sloppy game. And they have the Steelers up next. Things are looking a little shaky for Gang Green.
Chargers over Chiefs. A Chargers shutout of the Chiefs is more like what we're used to seeing. But the Chargers' slow start may doom them this year.
I was supposed to be able to recap Giants at Vikings during Ravens at Texans, until this happened:
If the Giants could manage to lose this game (which is looking pretty unlikely here at halftime), that would be awesome. If they could manage to get snowed in in Detroit, further shortening their week, that would be even more awesome.