27 November 2007

2007 Week 12 Recap

Eagles at Patriots, Sunday, November 25, 2007

In attendance: Shoegal, Steelers Transplant, Steely McGeek, Chef Spouse

Menu: Thanksgiving leftovers for the early game, then Steelers Transplant provided chili for the late game.

How can I feel so good after a loss? I don’t know, but I do. We are, as I mentioned in my immediate post-game recap, the ONLY team that’s hung with the Patriots so far this season. The only other team that scored within 10 points of the Pats was the Colts, and they were outplayed and outclassed for an entire half. We weren’t. We all pulled together and played great. I know AJ’s really upset about that last pick, but I really don’t blame him. I blame the coaches. That was some dumb play calling. Lets say AJ hits intended receiver Kevin Curtis. We then hand the ball BACK to the Pats up by only 4 with 4 minutes left. Like they’re not going to pull ahead in that amount of time? Once again, AR’s lack of clock understanding bites us. Not that AJ was blameless – that was one really rotten time to throw a pick – but come on, Big Red. Gotta put the guys in a position to win.

Speaking of being in a position to win, the sports bloviators keep talking about how we’re provided the blueprint (Steelers) for every other team (Steelers) that’s playing the Pats this year (Steelers) to win (Steelers). Yeah, it comes down to "shut down Randy Moss.” Every head coach the Pats have faced who WASN’T able to figure that out, raise your hands.

Y’all are fired! Actually, that’s not fair – shutting down Randy Moss may require resources their teams don’t have, namely Lito Shepard and Brian Dawkins/Sheldon Brown/JR Reed. Box o’ Rocks Brady (“dumber than a…”) can’t just throw up a million jump balls like he’s been doing all season when Randy’s being covered by Lito in combination with one of those other three guys, since they’ll come down with a reasonable percentage of them. So other coaches, if you lack Lito and the three-headed monster that is Dawk/Sheldon/JR, you may be SOL. Sorry.

Anybody feeling some 2006 deja-vu all over again? We’re now 5-6 after losing to a really good team, we have our backup QB at least temporarily at the helm, and we need to run the table to have a hope of getting to the post-season.

I’m about to advocate something radical: we need to bench McNabb for the rest of the season.

Now, before y’all think I’ve become a hater, it’s not entirely – or perhaps even largely – McNabb’s fault. He’s having a hard time adjusting to the fact that he’s not 23 any more (aka, he holds the ball way too long assuming he can avoid the sack which, at least this year, he can’t) and he’s still rehabbing a pretty serious injury, but most of the fault lies with the coaches and the rest of the team. The coaches call the game differently – and better – when he’s not in the lineup, and the team plays the game differently – and better – when they aren’t relying on him to save their bacon no matter what dumb stuff they pull on the field.

I definitely loved all the wacky trick play stuff though. When you’re the underdog by 24 points, you gotta pull out all the stops, and we did. And we got closer to pulling it off than any team has so far this season. Suck on that, Cowboys. If we can GET to the playoffs, we’re coming for you.

Speaking of the playoffs, joining us at 5-6 in the hunt for that final NFC playoff spot are: Vikings, Redskins, Bears, Saints, and (believe it or not) Cardinals. December is going to be interesting.

Around the rest of the NFL…

Packers over Lions: As I’d predicted, this was the only game worth watching on Thanksgiving. How long y’all think the Lions are going to hang onto that last wildcard spot, facing the resurgent Vikings (more on that below), the Cowboys, the Chargers, the Chiefs, and the Packers (again)? Yeah, they’re going down. In the meantime, I sincerely hope the Pack beats the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game preview on Thursday, beats them again in the ACTUAL NFC Championship, and goes on to the Super Bowl so Vicodin Boy will JUST RETIRE ALREADY. Sheesh. It’s like trying to get rid of a Jehovah’s Witness!

Cowboys over Jets: Surprised? Yeah, me neither. Fortunately, we ate around 6, so I was spared watching the end of this stinker.

Colts over Falcons: We spent Thanksgiving at the home of my brother, Dorkman and his wife, the lovely Mrs. Dorkman. Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom and You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I’m-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad joined us. And the Terrible Three (nieces Ms. Lily Fantastico and Red and nephew Duce) provided the entertainment. And thank God for that, because this game required distractions. Yuck.

Browns over Texans: No surprises there. Steelers better watch your back. Raise your hand if you think Derek Anderson is GETTIN’ PAID next year. Me, too.

Vikings over Giants: WAY over. Looks like the annual Giants collapse is rearing its welcome head. It’s about 2-3 weeks late, so I was getting a little worried. But you know what they say: better late than pregnant. How long do you think they’ll keep their tenuous hold on the OTHER NFC wildcard spot? HA! Nah-nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah-nah, hey-hey-hey, GIANTS SUCK.

Bengals over Titans: Huh. I can’t figure the Bengals out. I can’t figure the Titans out. I give up. Loved Chad’s taking over the camera TD celebration, though. Glad to see he has his sexy back.

Jags over Bills: You know, you might take it as a bad sign if your QB’s last name is Losman. Just a thought.

Bucs over Redskins: BOO-ya! Go Jeff! Go Bruce Gradkowski! Also, two out of three NFC East losses in one week is not bad. It would’ve been better if at least one of them was the Cowboys, but you can’t have everything I guess. I do have to give props to the Skins for making it a close one after SIX turnovers, though. That’s not easy.

Saints over Panthers: C’mon Saints! It’s you and us for the wildcard spots! You gotta believe!

Seahawks over Rams: And Gus Frerotte is back at QB! Guess that spark the Rams showed in beating the Saints has already fizzled out. No, the win over the 49ers does not count. My regular Sunday crew could beat the 49ers. AFTER we start drinking.

Raiders over Chiefs: OK, last week the Chiefs nearly manage to upset the Colts. This week, they lose to the (now) 3-8 Raiders. The whole damn NFL makes no damn sense this year!

49ers over Cardinals: See? Like I was saying, NO DAMN SENSE.

Bears over Broncos: Again with the NO DAMN SENSE. And just when I was starting to buy the Jay Cutler hype. Of course, the Broncos, with the same record as our beloved Eagles, are only 1 game out of leading their division. I think we should revisit that idea of relocating the Eagles to Vegas so we can switch conferences. Who’s with me?

Chargers over Ravens: The real shocker of this game? The Ravens scored into the double-digits.

Steelers over Dolphins: Cool Web Dude (Skins Fan) and Hottie Web Chick invited us over to watch the Mud Bowl. We reminisced fondly about other games that took place in terrible weather, notably the 1988 Eagles/Bears Fog Bowl, ate a yummy Caribbean-themed dinner, and consumed many Red Stripes and much wine. Chef Spouse and I had planned to be good and split at the half, it being a school night and all, but Cool Web Dude broke out the Wii at half time. Buzzed Wii boxing? Hilarious. By the time we got back to the game, it was mid-way through the third quarter, it was still scoreless, and neither team had managed a SINGLE trip to the red zone. You have to stay to see the end of that mess, right? So on the Steelers SOLE trip to the red zone with fewer than 20 seconds left in the game, Steelers kicker Jeff Reed finally managed to knock one through leading to a win in one of the lowest scoring contests in recent memory. I think the highlights video on nfl.com is about 2 seconds long. What a mess. And the Dolphins fall to 0-11. What are the chances they’re the team that ends the Pats winning streak? Yeah, I know it’s REALLY unlikely, but wouldn’t that be cool?

Final note: I don’t know what happened in the Sean Taylor situation. Could’ve been engineered by his fiancĂ©/baby momma, could’ve been thug life catching up with him, could’ve been supremely bad luck. And, don’t get me wrong, I hated facing him on the football field. But it’s a shame to see a young man cut down like that. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and team mates.

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