23 August 2008

2008 Preseason: Games 2 and 3, aka Broadcastus Interruptus

Eagles v. Panthers, Thursday, August 14, 2008

Eagles at Patriots, Friday, August 22, 2008

This is going to be one of those good/bad/ugly posts.

Let's start with double bad: on Thursday, August 14, I was packing for a 6 day business trip in San Diego. So I TiVoed the game. As you all know, there was a 58 minute rain delay. Which means the "official" broadcast ended mid-way through the 3rd quarter. On the up side, I was no longer forced to listen to Troy Aikman and Joe Buck's inane commentary. Joe: "If Reggie Brown lives up to his potential, the Eagles are expecting a great year." Yeah, we've been waiting around for that train to arrive for 3 seasons.

To make matters worse, the win over the Pats last night wasn't even broadcast anywhere in DC. Stupid Olympics. Stupid NFL cheerleader coverage on the NFL Network. Stupid DC broadcast stations. You know what I could see here? Cowboys/Texans. Chef Spouse put it well: "If it's watch the Texans or not watch football, I'd rather skip it."

More bad: our top two receivers are hurt. Reggie Brown's down with a bad hamstring, a notoriously touchy injury, and Kevin Curtis has been bit by the sports hernia monster that's been stalking the Eagles for the past few seasons. Reggie's supposed to be OK by opening day (really anyone's guess), and Curtis is out until at least the bye week in October. Dawk's hurt, too, with an ankle strain. And Shawn Andrews is likely to be iffy for at least the next few weeks. And center Jamal Jackson went down with a concussion. But as long as he doesn't change his name to Trent Green, he should be OK.

Speaking of, could everyone please just pick one name and stick with it? Juqua and Tra, I'm looking at you.

So it's a good thing our rookies are showing some promise. DeSean Jackson and Quitin Demps both broke returns for TDs last night. Imagine that! We might actually have a return game this season! And I missed seeing Tony Hunt run away with the fourth quarter against the Panthers, but I definitely heard about it. (OK, he's not a rookie, but this is only the beginning of his second season, so I think that counts.)

Another good sign in our preseason game this year? Long offensive drives. I suspect the defense would appreciate it if the O could come up with more options than 3-and-score and 3-and-out. Those fellas get tired!

Bad? We're still having some trouble closing the deal. All the rushing yards and completed passes in the world won't help you if you can't get into the endzone, guys.

Speaking of not getting into the endzone, what was up with the trick field goal against the Panthers? I know Big Red likes to get clever in the preseason, but Sav Rocca's only been playing American rules football for about 14 months. Maybe let Akers try the pass? At least he knows who to throw to (tip: NOT a guy in a blue jersey).

On the up side, Dawk still hits like a Ton o' Bricks, at least when he can catch the guy (yes, Santonio Holmes, I remember how you spanked him in the first preseason game). Dawk rang Muhsid Muhammed's bell with BOTH hands and saved a TD in the process. He pretty much hit him into next week.

Another up side? Lito scored another pick. Down side? We didn't do anything with it. Our 2 minute drill takes about 5 minutes. Which is a problem. Also, I'm not sure how much longer my beloved number 26 is going to be an Eagle, particularly given Asante's arrival and our pressing need for a receiver with more than 3 preseason games' experience.

More bad? Exactly how many times can receivers drop passes in one quarter? 7? 19? 132? Yes, it was a wet night when we played Carolina. But see, that's the thing with football: it's often played in less than idea conditions. Receivers who can only catch when it's 68 degrees, low humidity, and breezy really don't do us a lot of good, because that's like one game per season.

And the cavalcade of dumb penalties continues. How can you tell it's football season? The Eagles lose 100 yards a game to stupid shit. How can you tell it's preseason? I don't have a coronary when it happens. But it's ON two weeks from tomorrow. Y'all might want to figure out how to tackle a guy without a block in the back or a face mask, or how to get the snap off without a false start.

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