Philadelphia Eagles 35, New England Patriots 28, Sunday, December 6, 2015
OK, that headline is not entirely fair to the Birds, who played a great game yesterday. A great game that NO ONE saw coming. Literally the only person I know of who picked the Eagles was this one nutty guy in Chef Spouse's work pick 'em league who intentionally picks the craziest things he can each week. And I'm pretty sure even HE was like, "OK, this seriously is too improbable to happen."
Chef Spouse and I were decorating for the holidays this weekend, and we intentionally planned to be working on the tree during the game because we figured we'd need the distraction. So we made some nog from scratch (including the raw eggs, because we're crazy like that) and settled in for what we assumed would be a MASSIVE DRUBBING.
Oh, lordy, were we wrong.
Stud of the week: Chris Maragos. Wait - who? After all Sunday's fireworks, Chris WHO? Special teams ace Chris Maragos, who, as the first half was winding down, and the Patriots had mis-managed the clock and had to punt, came through the line with the key block that Najee Goode scooped up to tie the game at the half, which swung the momentum pretty much permanently. THAT Chris Maragos.
Although, really, many people could've qualified for Stud this Week. Najee Goode, for scooping up the Maragos block and scoring, rather than just falling on it. Darren Sproles with the 83 yard punt return TD and a great game on both the running and receiving sides. SO GLAD to see the coaches using him more. You know what's better than Darren Sproles? MORE DARREN SPROLES. Walter Thurmond for batting the pass that Malcolm Jenkins grabbed for the 99 yard house call. Brandon Marshall with the pick in the end zone. Brandon Graham with two sacks. Connor Barwin with two sacks. The entire D for pressuring Tom Brady into happy feet. Sam Bradford with NO PICKS (on a night when Touchdown Tom threw TWO) and three truly outstanding throws: the Zach Ertz TD, the Jordan Matthews TD, and the key completion to Riley Cooper for a first down as the Birds were trying to hang on. Riley Cooper for using his two brain cells to bat the THIRD Pats onside kick attempt out of bounds. Lots of outstanding play from a team no one believed in (including me).
Not everything was perfect. Sam got lucky on a few passes that weren't picked but that could've been. DeMarco Murray continues to disappoint. Miles Austin was benched last night and cut today, and THANK GOD. It's about damn time. Someone tell rookie Kenjon Barner that he needs to get BOTH arms on the ball at the end of the game. Truly, had Gronk not been out when that turnover occurred with just over a minute left, the Pats would've tied the game and who KNOWS how things would've gone down in OT (probably not well for the Birds).
But this truly was, as the players pointed out on Twitter, a team win.
I also have to give credit to Pats fans, much as it kills me. I have several close peeps who are Pats fans, and they were universally great on social media. To quote one: "Any given Sunday, people. Philly deserved it." And then there's this. Pure class.
So where do we go from here? Damned if I know. But for now, just enjoy the win (and root for the Cowboys tonight, which...well, at least root against DC). First time for everything, including the Birds beating the Pats at home while Tom Brady is the QB.