23 October 2007

2007 Week 7 Recap

Eagles v. Bears, Sunday, October 21, 2007

In attendance: Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Shoegal, Steelers Transplant, Chef Spouse

Menu: we finally have the kitchen in enough order that we can make food in there (even though we’re still lacking a ceiling, reliable cabinetry, and one wall), so Chef Spouse prepared a TexMex feast for us, including the famous homemade guacamole. Not that it helped.

Here’s the thing: when the Bears got the ball back just after the 2 minute warning, even though they got it at their own 3, they had no timeouts left, we’d kept them out of the endzone for the previous 58 minutes of football, they needed a TD to win, and they were dependent on Brian Griese to make it happen, I knew we were screwed. For the last 3? 4? years, every time we’re in that situation, we fall apart. That bend-don’t-break defense JJ runs sure seems inclined to break at the absolute worst time. If it’s a one-possession game and the other team gets that final possession, we find a way to lose rather than finding a way to win. Sure, Sean Considine blew his coverage at a critical juncture, but it’s hardly all his fault. And honestly, if it hadn’t been him blowing it, it would have been someone else.

Yeah, there was some pretty iffy officiating – that bogus holding call on William James that nullified Trent Cole’s sack and kept the Bears’ first second half drive alive, that ridiculous call on the Griese fumble that was ruled not a fumble (and yesterday, philly.com featured an article that noted that the Daily News had searched the official NFL rulebook in vain for any such rule, which seems to have mysteriously disappeared overnight), the fact that the Bears’ O-line was holding the HELL out of Trent Cole on every single pass play of the final drive, it was NEVER called (don’t believe me? Check your TiVo, assuming you haven’t already deleted the game), and on the last two pass plays that led to the winning TD, Trent clearly would have gotten to Brian Griese both times had he not been held – but I know, only a sore loser complains about the officiating. Guess what? I’m a sore loser.

Now I know that I’m always the one who says, "Don’t panic – we’ll be fine – AR & Co. will figure things out – we’ll right the ship” yackity-smackity. Yeah. Panic. Sure the NFC is the soft conference, and, as Cool Web Dude (Skins Fan) and I were discussing last night over beer and mussels at my neighborhood gastro-pub, any team in our division could, at this point, easily be 1-5 or 5-1 (well, OK, the Cowboys and Giants could be 1-6 or 6-1). And the Skins have generally enjoyed good luck on that one play that could change the game, while we’ve generally "enjoyed” bad luck. And the Cowboys have had a soft schedule. And the Giants were 6-2 last year before they fell apart. And we were 5-6 and went on to win our last 5 games and the divisional title for the 5th time in 6 years. But the window in which we can turn our season around is so close to closing someone’s about to get a finger pinched.

Things are so bad that, when I called Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom after the game to kvetch, she advised me to make myself a drink. And she’s also a life-long teetotaler. YIKES!

Around the rest of the NFL…

Broncos over Steelers – man, did that suck. Last minute losses are so dispiriting. Believe me, Eagles fans know. Of course, Big Ben turned the ball over so many times it’s kind of amazing it was that close. The Steelers really seem to have trouble on the road this year. Assuming they win their division – a pretty good assumption at this point – that’s gonna bite ‘em.

Cowboys over Vikings – apparently this was a pretty weird game, but I missed it because I was too busy watching us lose to the Bears. The Cowboys made a ton of mistakes, Tonyboy pulled up lame after one of them, and yet Brad Childress didn’t press that advantage nor did he let Adrian Peterson run wild, despite clear evidence he’s capable of precisely that. Hey, we know all about bad coaching decisions. Finding ways to win versus finding ways to lose….

Seahawks over Rams – do the Rams and Dolphins play each other this season? If not, they could BOTH go 0-16. That’d be funny. Well, not for their fans, but for me. And I could use a little humor right now.

Chiefs over Raiders – yeah, apparently this really was the Worst Game of the Week.

Bengals over Jets – how the mighty have fallen! At least Mangini’s post-loss press conferences are a little more entertaining than AR’s. But, sadly, he’s no Dennis Green.

Redskins over Cardinals – even though the Cardinals led in every possible category of offense, the Skins managed to squeak a win on a last-minute missed field goal that had the distance but went wide, just barely. See above re: good versus bad luck.

Saints over Falcons – the Saints still look pretty shaky, but the Falcons are more shaky. So which division do you think is worse: NFC South or NFC West? Either one could end up being won by an 8-8 team at this point. Ick.

Bills over Ravens – that was a surprise.

Giants over 49ers – that was not.

Titans over Texans – 8 field goals? 8? And I thought we had trouble getting into the endzone!

Lions over Bucs – maybe I should go back to picking against Philly South?

Pats over Dolphins – no surprises here.

Colts over Jaguars – David Garrard went down with a bad ankle sprain, and now the Jags are in the market for a seasoned QB. Good luck with that, dude. Tim Hasselbeck’s already been picked up, so we’re definitely in bottom of the barrel territory.

The sports bloviators have now moved on from "Aren’t the Cowboys awesome?” (well, they’re good, but they’re also playing some real dogs) to "Who’s more perfect – the Pats or the Colts?” Despite the Pats inhumanly good numbers, I would tend to go with the Colts who play in a much tougher division and have a much harder schedule. Guess we’ll find out in two weeks. Speaking of, I can report that DC Delusions of Greatness are fully operational – local sportswriters seem to think the Skins will beat the Pats next week. RIIIIIIGHT. Keep smokin’ up, buddy.

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