Stud of the week: the ENTIRE defense. Three forced fumbles, about a zillion sacks, three third-and-short stops, two fourth-and-short stops, a goal-line stand, another Kurt Coleman pick, and a partridge in a pear tree. Casey Matthews even managed three tackles and a sack!
(Also, Shady's one rushing TD from tying Steve Van Buren's record
that's stood since 1945. 66 years! So see, the Eagles' aversion to running the
football clearly predates Andy Reid. Kidding!)
It was so bad, Tony Sparano lost his job. Sure, we all knew that was coming, but in week 14? Harsh.
Where have these guys been the entire REST of the season? I don't trust it. In the continuing story of the 2011 Eagles season, we see flashes of excellent play, which then go AWOL for several weeks. Yeah, everyone's all "the Eagles aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet!" No, they aren't. But realistically, they aren't going to win out AND get BOTH the Giants and the Cowboys to lose out. So all the Eagles are doing at this point is teasing us, and messing up their draft position. And risking further injury to Vick, Maclin and a bunch of other guys who could be key to doing better NEXT year.
No, apparently, there's no pleasing me.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Steelers over Browns: They're holding Big Ben together with Bondo and duct tape at this point, but it seems to be working.
Ravens over Colts: The commentators are starting to pick up on the whole "the Colts' record proves that Peyton Manning really is the MVP." Chef Spouse said it first, WEEKS ago. Represent!
Falcons over Panthers: The Panthers had the upset win in the bag...until they had to play the fourth quarter. That sounds really familiar...
Texans over Bengals: The Texans, on the other hand, played the WHOLE game. Rookie TJ Yates led one hell of a drive to clinch the AFC South for the Texans, marking their first post-season appearance EVER. Way to go, former Team of Destiny.
Lions over Vikings: You know, there was a lot of shitty officiating yesterday, but perhaps none so bad at the total whiff on DeAndre Levy's facemask of Joe Webb that ended the Vikings' attempt to win it late. Still, this year's Team of Destiny managed to (maybe) halt a depressing slide after a promising start to the season and are still definitely in the post-season hunt themselves.
Jaguars over Bucs: MJD! No really, he was the difference maker in this game. Well, that, and the Bucs apparent COMPLETE inability to stop the run, or even slow it down much. And their complete inability to hang onto the ball. Yeah, seven turnovers really will never, ever equal a win. Ever.
Jets over Chiefs: Speaking of coaches getting fired, Todd Haley's gone, too. Is it just me, or does is seem kind of pointless to fire coaches this late in the season? Your season is over, just let the guy play out the rest of the games and fire your coach on January 2 with everyone else.
Saints over Titans: And Matt Hasslebeck tore up his calf. Which, come to think of it, handed the Texans the division and clinched the Saints to at least make the playoffs. Thanks, man! You did me a solid there!
Pats over Redskins: I have to give the Skins credit. If Tom Brady hadn't drawn some Brady calls - you know, the calls that Brady gets that NO OTHER QBs in the league get - the Skins might've managed to upset the Pats. And they played HARD. There may be cause for hope in DC. Uh oh.
Cards over 49ers: Huh. 49ers slacking off now that they've won the division? Maybe.
Broncos over Bears: OK, maybe God really does love Tim Tebow best. Did you see the game? I think Marion Barber should probably just STAY in Denver and send for his stuff. Or not - he's a football player. He can buy more stuff. I wouldn't go back to Chicago, though. Also, I know it's Mile High Stadium (or whatever dumb corporate name they've now attached to it "at Mile High"), but THREE field goals over 50 yards? And the game winner would have been good from at least 65. Wow.
Packers over Raiders: But it cost them Greg Jennings, at least for a while. Of course, last year they didn't seem to mind having, oh, PRACTICALLY THE ENTIRE TEAM on IR. So maybe it won't matter. Still, the pursuit of perfection is a dangerous game.
Chargers over Bills: And Buffalo's out of the playoffs. Again. Lucky #13 next year? I really thought this was going to be a better year for them. Guess not.
Giants over Cowboys: So last week was really busy, with a software users' group meeting, a technology conference at which I was presenting, the winter performance of my belly dance company, and a visit from Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom and You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad (tied to the performance). And I have a really bad cold - I even lost my voice for two days (fortunately, after I presented). And Chef Spouse left this morning at 6 am for a trip to Seattle (he's with the team from Cisco in box seats at Monday Night Football as I type this). And the game was exciting, with constant lead changes. But as we got to the end of the third quarter, it looked to me like the Cowboys were starting to pull away, and I needed to try to get some sleep. Yep, I went to bed and MISSED IT. The G-men mounted a furious comeback, thus marginally increasing the chances the Eagles could see the post-season.