10 September 2007

2007 Week 1 Recap

Eagles at Packers, Sunday, September 9, 2007

The day after, with a little time and distance, I think I’ve gotten some perspective. AR is the winningest coach in Eagles history. But September tends not to be a good month for Andy. We’ve lost 6 of our 9 season openers under him, and in 3 of those years (2001, 2002, and 2003), we went to the NFC Championship game anyway. Each of which we proceeded to lose.

But I digress. Barring an undefeated season – which I wouldn’t turn up my nose at, don’t get me wrong, but come on – we have to lose some games. We tend to get off to a slow start, both in individual games and in the season as a whole. So, the little Voice of Reason in my head says, there’s no reason to panic.

D looked pretty good, which is reassuring given recent years and the fact that so many of our defenders are so new. O seemed a little, um, off. But Reggie tends to get hot later (hopefully not too much later), Avant is looking good, and McNabb and Curtis just need a little work on their timing. One would have hoped they would have accomplished that in training camp, of course, but they still managed to connect for a few big plays. So I give the D a B/B+, the O a gentleman’s C.

And then there’s the much louder voice that’s screaming, "PANIC!” Special teams...well, is there a grade lower than F? Because whatever that would be, that’s what they get. To be fair, I’m pretty sure Greg Lewis was hit before he had a chance to field that first punt, which means the first Packer TD should have been called back. But special teams play was just disastrous. Anyone know what Reno’s up to these days? And now AR is talking about having Westy return punts. Um, NO. Should Westy have fielded that final muffed punt that led to the Packers’ winning field goal? Hell, yes. Should he field every punt? No. Nononononono. NO! He’s too valuable to throw away on your bad decision-making, Andy. Cut JR Reed and pick up someone – anyone – who knows how to catch a punt. Or at least correctly signal a fair catch.

And of course, LJ’s still not looking good, and Lito’s hurt again. Why don’t you just give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?

Hopefully this stupid, stupid loss will serve as the usual kick in the pants we seem to need to get motivated. I hope. Otherwise, I shudder to think what’s going to happen to us at the hands of the Patriots, the Bears, and even the Cowboys.

Speaking of, around the rest of the NFL...

OK, I called the winner of the Saints/Colts game right, but I got EVERYTHING else wrong. Who would’ve thought it would be ELI Manning’s game that resulted in an insane amount of points? What happened to the Saints?

Of course, Eli didn’t manage to score enough points for the Giants to WIN or anything. I left the room for, like, 5 minutes during the 4th quarter of the Giants/Cowboys game, and then next thing I knew, the score was 257 to 192 or something ridiculous like that. Did both teams’ defensive players think they were playing in the Meadowlands and go to the wrong stadium? It looks like Jeremy Shockey got more ink in the off season. Think he’s going for a body suit?

Sticking with our division, the Skins surprised me with an OT win over the Fins. I’m obviously out of practice, because I didn’t think to set my Tivo to record the game before heading for Philly on Friday. Bad blogger – no donut. I probably shouldn’t have skipped blogger mini camp this spring to go party at Jazz Fest. Congrats to Deadhead Skins Fan and Spouse and to Cool Web Dude (Skins fan). We’re still gonna kill you with a vengeance next week, though.

Boy, I guess the Texans really are better this year – or the Chiefs are a hell of a lot worse than I thought. Apparently, all Matt Schaub needed was a chance, which he’s now getting. Bet the Falcons are sorry they got rid of him.

Turning to the Falcons, the Vikings are no great shakes, but they had more than enough juice to put the Falcons away. Bet Joey Harrington wishes he was still with the Lions. Who managed to beat the Raiders pretty soundly, coming back in the 4th quarter after losing the lead, and putting up 19 unanswered points. Of course, the Raiders are having some QB issues of their own, with JaMarcus Russell still unsigned and Daunte Culpepper and Josh McCown battling week to week over the starting spot. But I think the Raiders scored more points yesterday than they did all last year, so things seem to be looking up for them, too.

As predicted, the Steelers whupped up on the hapless Browns. Did you know that, after 75 years, the Steelers finally have a mascot? Steely McBeam. No, I’m not kidding. Check it out if you don’t believe me. And why is he orange, or is that just my computer?

Did you see the Titans beat the Jaguars? Notice how I smoked many of the experts there? We won’t talk about my miscue on the Jets/Patriots. Looks like Randy Moss is feeling OK and getting along with Tom Brady. Wait! I wasn’t going to talk about it. Yeah, we could be in big trouble when we play the Pats Thanksgiving weekend.

How did the Panthers manage to beat the Rams? Seriously, how did that happen? I didn’t see the game. Weird. The win, not me missing the game. See above RE: my lack of remembering of the power of Tivo.

The Bucs got stomped by the Seahawks, as I’d predicted. Literally stomped. Did you see what happened to Cadillac Williams and Jeff Garcia? Yikes.

The Chargers won, as I’d foreseen in my evidently very smudged crystal ball, but it looks like we weren’t the only team who forgot that this was the first game of the regular season, because both the Chargers and the Bears looked bad. BAD bad. Raiders bad. That's bad.

Broncos won, too, on a WILD last play. Kicker Jason Elam has NEVER missed 3 field goals in the same game, and the Broncos had managed to get into range with 14 seconds and no timeouts. They rushed the kicking team onto the field and put the game winning points on the board as time expired.

As far as MNF is concerned...

HEE! Chad Johnson’s funny. I like him! Also, loving Jaws on color commentary. What’s not funny? The mess the Ravens are creating so far. They gave up, like, 100 turnovers in the first quarter. It’s amazing the Bengals only scored 9 points off them and that the Ravens are only down by 2 midway through the second. Ray Lewis is looking like Return of the Mummy. What’s the story with the Bengals kicker? The (vastly improved) MNF crew alluded to problems, but I didn’t quite catch it. Hip injury? Anyway, I still think the Ravens will pull this out, but I could be wrong, as I often am.

Still not planning to stay up for the Cards/49ers, although since I’ve recently remembered that I can Tivo games, maybe I’ll watch it in the morning over breakfast. Football – the breakfast of champions.

And finally, on a serious note, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bills’ Kevin Everett for a complete and speedy recovery, and to his family and friends at this difficult time.

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