26 December 2011

2011 Week 16 Recap

Eagles at Cowboys, Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy holidays, y'all! Whatever you celebrate, and whoever you celebrate with, I hope you had a good time. I certainly did, watching the Eagles stomp the Cowboys for the second time this season.

Stud of the week: Alex Henery. On a day when David Akers set the single season field goal points record, Henery made his 14th straight and his first over 50 yards. I actually noted the Akers' record on Facebook and got "thank you" comments from a number of my 49ers-loving friends. I know, I know - who cares about a kicker? Well, I do. I was very fond of David Akers and very sorry to see him depart. I'm hoping that Henery can pick up where he left off. It seems unlikely that he'll be as good a final line of defense as our former Jiu-Jitsu trained kicker, although he did manage to slow down Dwayne Harris long enough for the cavalry to get there.

The Eagles blogging family has been fairly low-key about the win over the Cowboys. Sure, the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs by shortly after kick off, and sure, maybe the Cowboys didn't really care to win the game, since it comes down to next week's matchup against the Giants regardless. But I'm proud of our guys for not giving up and going out strong.

OK, sure, the Dolphins and Jets will be watching the playoffs from their couches too - hell, I think the Cowboys will as well, because my money's on the Giants to win next week - but again, they haven't given up.

To quote BGN: "too little, too late." And they're right. The Eagles blew games they should've won back when it mattered, giving up an epic number of fourth quarter leads and not even managing to pull off a divisional title in a sadly diminished NFC East. And even though the D has played MUCH better of late, Juan Castillo's job may still be on the line, particularly if Spags gets fired in St. Louis (which seems pretty likely to me).

On the other hand, our boys beat Dallas in THEIR house on Christmas Eve, and almost pitched a shut out to boot. Would I have preferred a different ending to the season? Hell yeah, but the team will go 8-8 and hopefully have something to build on for next year after they get rid of the dead weight (like Vince "Dream Team" Young - may he be traded to Vikings, who do need a QB - and Steve Smith).

Around the rest of the NFL....

 Colts over Texans: Damn, y'all! Ask the Colts about how well it works to go into the playoffs cold.

Ravens over Browns: Um, duh.

Bills over Broncos: Apparently, the Tebow magic is wearing off. Next week comes down to who wants it more in the West, with the Chiefs taking on the Broncos and fighting to maybe remove the  "interim" from interim head coach Romeo Crennel's title, and the Chargers, who have nothing to play for as far as I can tell (Norv Turner's O-U-T), facing the Raiders. Love to see the Raiders take the division back.

Panther over Buccaneers: And Cam Newton broke the rookie single season yardage record! Go Cam! The Panthers definitely have something to build on for next year. That switch to Ron Rivera's working out pretty well, too.

Bengals over Cardinals: Surely you've seen The Play, right? Wow. Bengals could still get to the playoffs, by the way. Ginger Power!



Raiders over Chiefs: I shouldn't have given up on the Raiders. They're not dead yet!

Pats over Dolphins: But just barely and after having gotten down by 17 points to a 5-9 team. If defense truly does win championships, the Pats won't be going very far this year.

Giants over Jets: Back at the beginning of the season, I called the Jets to win the AFC East. To quote myself, I put my money on "a quarterback who can manage the game." Over at the HuffPo, one of the commentors gave me shit for calling Sanchez "a quarterback who can manage the game." And he's right. That was giving Sanchez WAY too much credit. He's a punk, and so is Rex Ryan who, as far as I'm concerned, should never say another word in public ever again. Ah well, the Giants will win the division next week, and even though, at least from my experience at the new Meadowlands, their fans are a bunch of violent assholes, it's still better than the Cowboys. Also, the officiating was terrible, and it was nearly all terrible in favor of the Giants. Sour grapes? Maybe.

Steelers over Rams: Speaking of shut outs and Spags losing his job...

Titans over Jags: The Titans could still squeak into the playoffs, but pretty much all the scenarios require a Jets win, so...they're dead.

Vikings over Redskins: OK, I did not watch the game, but could someone please tell me how this happened? For chrissakes, Adrian Peterson wrecked his knee in the second quarter, Christian Ponder went down, too, and the Vikes still managed to put up 33 points. Could someone tell me how that happened? Seriously? I thought the Skins' strong suit was their defense. Anyone?

Lions over Chargers: The Lions are going to the playoffs for the first time since pretty much the invention of the non-leather helmet! Talk about over-delivering on their "Team of Destiny" status! Go Lions! Hang on to that fifth seed, though - you do NOT want to play your first playoff game in a zillion years against the Saints in the Superdome, trust me. Also, which is the biggest disappointment this year: Chargers, Eagles, or Jets? Discuss.

49ers over Seahawks: And David Akers matched and broke Neil Rackers' single-season field goal record, and then topped himself. OK, there is a down side to this: that many field goals means the 49ers are having trouble getting in the end zone. Still, they're 12-3 and have clinched the division, so it's not hurting them that bad. At least not as long as they can count on David Akers' left leg. He'll probably get a Pro Bowl bid - at least he should - but maybe he'll be too busy prepping for the Super Bowl to go to Hawaii?

Packers over Bears: I'm the 9,456,732nd person to observe this, but Aaron Rodgers is having one hell of a season, and it's a good thing, because the Packers' D is no great shakes, either. Hm...if defense really DOES win championships, maybe that "49ers in the Super Bowl" thing isn't as crazy as it sounds...


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