19 September 2005

2005 Week 2 Recap

Week Two: Eagles v. 49ers, Sunday, September 18, 2005

First the good news - we won! Nice to put a tick in the right column and come up to .500. Whatever off-field issues they had and may still be having, TO and D-Mac seem to be able to work together on the field, to everyone's immense relief after the constant miscues against the Falcons in week 1. Also, just in case the relationship goes south, my boy was spreading the receiving love to, well, everyone. It was good to see the Eagles offense clicking again - we even got some rushing yards! D-Mac had an insane QB rating - that bruised chest didn't seem to slow him down any as he threw for 4 TDs - and all was well in the Linc.

Now for the bad news: Akers' hamstring. Is it serious? Don't know yet – he didn't have to do too much in the game. But Marc Simoneau kicked an extra point or two, which doesn't seem good. How do you replace the #2 kicker in the entire league? We have no backup kicker, and certainly no one who can nail 'em at 40+ yards out. If we do need to pick up a replacement, unless he's Adam Vinatieri, we're in trouble. And the news on philly.com indicates that they're trying out other kickers – "just in case." Ruh-roh Shaggy.

Also, this was the 49ers. The 49ers. Think about that for a minute. The NFC is the weak conference, and of that weak conference, the West is the weak division. And of that division, the 49ers are the worst team. Not to put too fine a point on it, they suck. So yes, we stomped THE WORST TEAM IN THE ENTIRE NFL 42-3. So let's not start taking everyone's ring sizes just yet. I'm a life-long Eagles fan. There's still plenty of time for it all to go to hell.

Around the rest of the league:

Sportscasters have been speculating that this might be the year the Packers finally fall off the cliff. Only a fool would make a sweeping pronouncement based only on two games, but by God, I am that fool. Yes, I think this is the year that it all catches up with Mr. Favre – his age, the hits, the fact that he’s never been particularly accurate, his penchant for throwing interceptions. Time to hang up the spikes, Vicodin Boy. Good thing y'all picked up Aaron Rodgers in the draft. He may have to step up a little earlier than planned.

Meanwhile, the Vikings lost to the Bengals 8 to 37. The same Vikings who have been predicted by many to win the NFC north this year. Looks like they shouldn't have dumped Randy Moss after all. Dante Culpeper seems to be in a tail spin, and between the Vikings and Packers, it's a race to the bottom between the NFC North and the NFC West.

The NFC South, now, that's another story. The Panthers beat the Patriots, believed by many to be invincible. Speculation was that Brady and/or Belichick had sold his soul to the devil. Looks like that's not true – or they should've read the fine print before signing. The thing that's likely to hurt the Pats this year is the loss of key coaching staff more than the loss of a few important players. There's a reason that nobody 3-peats in the NFL, and the Pats may be about to learn it the hard way. On the other hand, the Falcons followed up their big season opener against us with a loss to the Seahawks. Yes, Seattle, part of the universally reviled (by me at least) NFC West. Yes, THAT Seattle. Where Mike Holmgren will probably lose his job after this season unless a miracle occurs and they get to the Super Bowl.

The Steelers continue their run of excellence. Looks like Big Ben may not have the rough sophomore year many people predicted, as long as the Bus manages to hold together for one more season or Duce Staley finally gets healthy. Sorry as I was to see him leave Philly, looks like Reid and Banner made the right decision there. Now if we could just offload Correll Buckhalter for someone who stays healthy long enough to actually play in one or two games, we'll be all right.

The big surprise? The Bears stomped all over the Detroit Lions. The same Bears who couldn't hold off the Redskins in week 1. Of course, see above re: the total suckitude of the NFC North. So apparently nothing should surprise us there - including all the NFC North teams managing to lose to each other. And the 49ers. And probably the Cardinals.

The other big shocker was the 'Skins/Cowboys game. The hapless Skins broke at TEN YEAR losing streak at Texas Stadium, and a 14 game losing streak against the Cowboys. In the final 5 minutes of the game. When it looked like it was going to be a shutout. And yes, I did go to bed before the end of the game, but I TiVoed it so I could watch the end today (thank God!). The battle of the over the hill QBs went the 'Skins' way. At the moment, they have a better record than the Eagles. Yeah, I don't expect that to last either, but it was the 'Skins Super Bowl in Dallas last night - closest they're likely to get any time soon anyway.

And finally, even though the Saints lost to the Giants (who seem to have improved dramatically in the off season - good thing somebody made Eli Manning practice), I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a Cinderella year for the beleaguered - and currently homeless - Saints.

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