01 January 2008

2007 Week 17 Recap

Eagles at Bills, Sunday, December 30, 2007

In attendance: Just Shoegal. Steelers Transplant and Steely McMeow were out of town for the holidays, and Ex-Navy Cheesehead was helping a friend prepare for a family wedding.

Menu: Grilled cheese and cream of tomato soup! Yum!

First of all, Happy 2008, Eagles Fans! Anybody make any interesting resolutions? Continuing my tradition of only making fun resolutions, this year, I’ll be buying skates and attempting to become Minor Meat and possibly join a team for the DC Rollergirls. I have the BEST roller derby name EVER chosen, but it’s top secret for now (don’t want it to be snatched up by someone else). Wish me luck!

We had a strong showing against the Bills, and indeed over our final 6 games – 3 wins and 3 losses to playoff teams in very close games. As I mentioned last week, McNabb seems to be regaining his Pro Bowl form, he and the receivers seem to be getting on the same page finally, and our young defensive corps seems to be coming together nicely. Special teams is still an issue, with Akers looking less sure this year and our return game still up in the air, but Sav Rocca seems to be adjusting to American-rules football well. And of course West36 had a record breaking year (thank heavens the Front Office in their wisdom already has him locked up). Hopefully Big Red can get his personal life straight in the off-season and regain his focus. There are definitely questions going into the off-season, and I hate that our guys will be watching the playoffs from their couches, but we had a strong end to a shaky season, and sometimes that’s the best you can do.

As I’d hoped, we finished the season at .500, one of only two conferences in which all 4 teams were at or better than .500, AFC South being the other. Notice anything else about that? NFC East supplied 3 of the NFC playoff teams for the second year in a row, and AFC South supplied 3 of the AFC playoff teams. Are these two divisions emerging as the dominant divisions in their respective conferences? With all the league’s parity-inducing elements, it is hard to maintain quality year after year, so I’m hesitant to say yes, but I’ll definitely give it a strong maybe.

In other divisional notes, AFC East, AFC West, and NFC South each had only one team above .500 – the divisional winner. Are the Patriots a good team? Undoubtedly. But do they also benefit from a soft schedule? Oh HELL yes.

Around the rest of the NFL…

Pats over Giants. Well, the sports bloviators wasted all their asinine hypothetical football comparisons during the regular season. What’s next? "2007 Pats versus the 1980 US Olympic hockey team” – "2007 Pats versus the Harlem Globetrotters” – "2008 Pats versus Muhammad Ali” – "2007 Pats versus Godzilla, Mothra, Alien AND Predator”. I can’t take it (but the smart money is on Godzilla et. al.). Please, God, let the Pats lose their first playoff game.

Falcons over Seahawks: Um, Falcons? It would’ve been a lot smarter to lose this game and improve your draft position. That is all.

Bears over Saints: Memo to Lovie Smith – that Kyle Orton kid doesn’t seem too bad. You might want to give him a shot at the starting QB position next year. Just a thought.

Browns over 49ers: I was wrong about the Browns on two counts. They DID beat the 49ers, but they DID NOT take the final AFC Wildcard spot. Still, Romeo Crennel really managed to turn that team around, finishing 10-6. The Steelers might have to watch their backs next season if the Browns can hang onto Derek Anderson. Start filling up that convoy of dump trucks with cash, Lerner family.

Packers over Lions: Even though Mike McCarthy decided to rest most of his first team after the half, the Lions still couldn’t pull it together to win a game that was meaningless to the Packers but might have helped them save a little face. Way to just roll over and die, guys.

Texans over Jaguars: Is this the first time the Texans have finished at .500? Not bad, considering this is only their 6th season. Better luck next year – y’all are going to need it in your division.

Panthers over Bucs: Aw! They let Vinny take the final snap! Isn’t that nice? If you want to have a second career before you qualify for Social Security, though, you better get a move on.

Bengals over Dolphins: Well, duh. When we were kids and all the aunts, uncles and cousins used to gather at my grandma’s for New Year’s (before my generation of the family grew up, moved away, married, started families, etc.), the cousins used to play a game of touch football in Gram’s backyard while waiting on the pork and sauerkraut to be ready. And we could’ve beat the Dolphins. And there were only 6-8 people playing, depending on if any of our dates and/or uncles joined in. Enjoy that #1 pick, Fins! Whoever you choose should work out, since y’all need help at EVERYTHING.

Jets over Chiefs: This game went into OVERTIME? Why bother? Seriously. Just call it a tie and get the hell out of there. I’m sure the 27 fans who actually stayed until the end of the game would've really appreciated it.

Ravens over Steelers: It was nice of Mike Tomlin to pull his starters and let the Ravens end their dismal losing streak. But it wasn’t enough to save Brian Billick’s job. More about that later this week.

Skins over Cowboys: HA! I TOLD Y’ALL THE SKINS WOULD WIN! Also, the Cowboys first team looked REALLY bad. Do I smell an end of season collapse coming on? Maybe the Packers will get to go to The Show this year after all.

Cardinals over Rams: Did anyone even watch this game? I include the zebras who were assigned to officiate and both teams' coaching staffs.

Broncos over Vikings: Not that it mattered, since the Vikings gave away control over their own destiny with that stupid loss to the Redskins last week, but talk about late season collapses. Everyone keeps talking about how the Vikings want to trade for D-Mac. Um, that’s lovely, but there’s been no indication by Jeff Lurie, Joe Banner, Andy Reid or Big 5 himself that he’ll even be available, so doesn’t that seem to be putting the cart before the horse? I know y’all need some help at QB, but unless Brad Childress has some magic wand he can wave (and if he does, why didn’t he use it to make Tarvaris Jackson better?), that doesn’t make it so.

Chargers over Raiders: See, the Raiders were smart. Not that they could’ve won this game, anyway, but they really didn’t even try from what I could tell, thus improving their draft position. Of course, they’ve been drafting high for the past several years, and it doesn’t appear to be helping them at all, but it seems unlikely to hurt, and you never know when you might get lucky and pick the next Adrian Peterson or Ben Roethlisberger, right? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Titans over Colts: Wait – the Colts actually HAVE a number 2 QB?!? Who knew? Also, Pam Oliver should be fired immediately due to that ridiculous, "Vince Young’s not hurt – he’s just pouting” comment. What a moron. But Jeff Fisher might want to think about letting Kerry Collins take some snaps when they face the Chargers this coming weekend, because he looked a hell of a lot better than Mr. Young, pouting or not.

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