In attendance: Life-long Eagles Fan Mom, Chef Spouse, You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad, and about 50 of their closest friends and our assorted relatives. (We were up in PA celebrating a milestone birthday for my pops and warming their newly renovated kitchen.)
Menu: all kinds of yummy goodness cooked by Life-long Eagles Fan Mom, birthday cake, and something else...what was it?...oh yeah: don't forget the tears, recriminations, and bile.
Stud of the Week: well, of course, it was Mike Vick, who had a career day for all the good it did. Given the way this season is going, I'm thinking of renaming this feature Goat of the Week, only there are WAY too many candidates.
It probably comes as no surprise to hear that many people who know me casually are aware that I love the NFL. One of the first questions I always get is about fantasy football. The thing is, I don't play fantasy football. Why? Because I'm much more interested in team chemistry and how players function as a team than in people's individual stats.
I'm sure you can see where this is going.
Week 4 passing leader: Mike Vick. Number 2 in receiving yards: DeSean Jackson. Jason Babin had three sacks. Jason Avant had at least one circus catch. Tight end Clay Harbor had a great day, too.
That does not a team make.
For years, we've all mocked lil' Danny Snyder and the LOLSkins for putting together a fantasy football team and thinking it was the same thing as a functioning football team. Now that the shoe's on the other foot, I think we can all say it's damned uncomfortable.
How does a team this talented blow their third second half lead in as many weeks?
Even with the re-jiggered linebackers, the Eagles still can't stop the run. Worse? They have (purportedly) three of the top cornerbacks in the NFL and they can't stop the pass, either. Was it just me or did Asante Samuel quit on the play on the 49ers last TD? You know - the one that won the game? And I'm thinking about putting Nnamdi Asomugha's picture on the side of a milk carton because I have no idea where in the hell he's gone.
While the defense deserves the heat they're taking, the offense isn't blameless. For the second? third? year running, this team is terrible in the red zone. What was Ronnie Brown thinking? Even worse, it appears to have been a designed play. DUMBEST. PLAY. EVER. Have the coaches turned the creation of plays over to a bunch of sugared-up Pop Warner 6 year olds? The team seriously has NO WAY to power it in from the one? NO WAY? That seems like a rather urgent problem to address.
How does the team put up nine MILLION yards of offense and only score THREE points in the ENTIRE SECOND HALF?
Watching Maclin's fumble right before the two minute warning was pretty much the equivalent of ripping out my still-beating heart, stomping on it, and then turning it over to a Cowboys fan, but honestly, prior to that when Alex Henery missed that second field goal, I knew in my gut the team was going down.
Speaking of missed field goals, it was a terrible day for both teams' kickers. Chef Spouse has a theory that The Linc was so confused at seeing Akers there in red and gold, the stadium itself was literally rejecting field goals. I do not know, but I do know that missing two field goals from inside the 40 is ridiculous.
You know how when you're watching a game, you'll sometimes get that feeling that a big comeback is starting? Your team is down, but you just know, you KNOW, that they're going to pull it out? Why does it feel like the Eagles are never that team? They're always the team that is come-back-ed upon.
What it comes down to is that the Eagles have a bunch of guys to whom they paid a bunch of money running around on the field wearing the same uniforms, but they aren't a team.
And then the Phillies lost, y'all. Damn. At least the Cowboys blew an even bigger lead than the Eagles - it should divert a little of the national media attention.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Bears over Panthers: Well, sure, but Cam Newton had another solid performance and the Panthers actually had a chance to win it. Also, special teams coaches? Write this down in pen: do NOT kick it to Devin Hester. Also, keep an eye on Matt Forte.
Bengals over Bills: Trap game. Letdown after the big win over the Pats last week. Ouch.
Titans over Browns: Looks like the Titans weren't as wrecked by the loss of Kenny Britt as I thought they would be.
Lions over Cowboys: I'm not certain, but I think Tony Romo may have thrown more TDs for the Lions thean he did for the Cowboys. To quote the SportsBlog Nation recaps: "Calvin Johnson will drink your milkshake." Yes, he will. He'll even have seconds. The Lions are 4-0 y'all. Team of Destiny! Also, Tony Romo doesn't need a coach - he needs a psychiatrist.
Texans over Steelers: The final score makes the game look much closer than it actually was. Is it time to start asking how good Mike Tomlin is? Or did he Gruden his way to greatness?
Saints over Jags: Duh.
Chiefs over Vikings: Oh my God, I hate to see McNabb going down like this.
Redskins over Rams: Again, duh. How much do I hate that the Redskins are leading the NFC East? I live in DC. You guess.
Giants over Cardinals: Calls like the "Victor Cruz gave himself up" BS make me wonder if the games are fixed. Seriously.
Falcons over Seahawks: Barely. What was with the second half rallies this week? Man! On the one hand, it's not easy to win at Qwest Field. On the other hand, it's the Seahawks. THE SEAHAWKS.
Packers over Broncos: Again with the Duh. The Packers are scary good this year. Repeat? Maybe.
Pats over Raiders: Well, yes.
Chargers over Dolphins: Again, duh.
Ravens over Jets: It was either Al or Cris, but I think it was Al, who remarked that you had a better chance of scoring while on defense on Sunday night. He's not wrong.