22 September 2008

2008 Week 3 Recap

Eagles versus Steelers, Sunday, September 21, 2008

In attendance: Chef Spouse, Shoegal, Steelers Transplant, Tall Drink of Water Cousin, and a new addition: Limin' ABD, a good friend of mine from grad school who's just moved back to DC.

Menu: guacamole, four cheese pasta, salad, and dessert, courtesy of Shoegal, of peach pie and ice cream.

Stud of the Week: The entire Eagles defense, represented for us by Wolverine, Weapon X, Mr. B-Dawk, who may not do so well covering the speedy receivers downfield, but can still stuff the run and more importantly make QBs pay. (I was trying to find a photo of that pretty, pretty flying forced fumble and recovery he pulled late in the game on Big Ben, but no luck.)

Man, if we could get last week's offense and this week's defense playing together in the same game, we'd be unstoppable. Big Ben is going to have nightmares featuring Juqua Thomas, Trent Cole, and Omar Gaither for a long, long time. He spent more of that game on his ass than in any other position. Including standing on the sidelines. And the Steelers had 27+ minutes time of possession. Of which Big Ben spent 97.32% on his ass. This was a defensive battle on both sides, only our D was better, and, as long as D-Mac stays healthy, you CANNOT shut down our offense. Not completely, anyway.

Speaking of, D-Mac spent a significant amount of time running for his life, too. How freaked out were you when he wasn't on the field after the half? How much more freaked out were you when Kolb threw that pick about two seconds into the second half? And how weird was it to see him throw a pick? We really are spoiled, you know. And West36 messed up his right ankle - how seriously remains to be seen - trying not to stomp on a fellow Eagle. Which was nice and all, but for realz, dude: if he's not wearing #5, go ahead and step on him. Possibly a costly victory. Scrapple has a good point, though - we're now past the tough part of our early schedule and go into a slightly easier few weeks (Bears, Skins, 49ers, Bye, Falcons, and Seahawks before we see the Giants in the second week of November). Hopefully that will allow us time to get a few key players (oh, I don't know, BRIAN WESTBROOK) completely healthy before things get tough again in week 10 (after which we get the Bengals, Ravens, and Cardinals before we see the Giants again).

goeagles99 says it best, I think. I was too nervous to enjoy the game much. And unlike the Cowboys' shoot-out last week, it wasn't a thrill ride of scoring that left me loving it until the last hill. No, this was the edge-of-the-seat game where we all knew that one big mistake would be the end of it for either team. But our D totally elevated their game, particularly towards the end of the game, when it was clear they were getting tired, and JJ often makes the mistake of switching to a "prevent" defense, which never, ever works for us.

Speaking of elevating your game, how about our punter? Last year, the Sav Rocca experiment was looking like a boneheaded move. This year? Genius. Pure genius. At some point this season, Sav's gonna HAVE to be Stud of the Week. Now that he's figuring out American rules footie, he's rockin' it HARD. EVERY week. He's been helped by Quintin Demps' AWESOME special teams play, of course, which clearly means Mr. Demps will have to have his week in the sun, too.

We all noted the long hug between D-Mac and Big Ben at the end of the game. Tall Drink of Water Cuz noted: "I played a lot of sports in high school and college and I never got that close to another guy." Me: "They're not hugging. They're both about to fall down and they're propping each other up until the TV cameras move on."

Two more notes:

Reggie Brown, you're on notice. It's hit it or quit it this season. We need to see a breakout year, or he needs to go.

Did you notice that the NFC East teams combined have the best possible record at this point? Have you noticed that we're the only division in the entire NFL with 4 teams with winning records? Oh yeah. We're bad.

Finally, check Inside the Iggles for a nice highlight video.

Around the rest of the NFL....

Falcons over Chiefs. Well, duh. I believe someone recently described the Chiefs, in print, as "rancid." That's probably an insult to rancid things. Can we go 1-15? I think we can!

Bills over Raiders: My Secret Sportswriter Boyfriend puts it best: Raiders snatch ax from the jaws of victory. Also, with the Bills as their best team, I can state with some degree of confidence, that the AFC East truly sucks. Particularly without the Pats. Because....

Dolphins over Pats. DAY-UM. Maybe this was the week the wheels came off the Pats' season. Also, the Dolphins might want to look at playing Ronnie Brown at QB. He has better stats than Chad Pennington at this point.

Bucs over Bears. In OT. Sorry, Jeff. Brian Griese may have the hold on the starting job - at least for now. How long is Devin Hester out? Hopefully for at least one more week....

Vikings over Panthers. Hm. That was surprising. Apparently Gus Frerotte still has some legs. I need to see what happened. Think this game will make NFL Replay this week? Yeah, probably not.

Giants over Bengals. Barely. Um, I'm not feeling so worried about the Giants. Yeah, they've won three games. Against the Skins (barely), the Rams (uh - EVERYONE should beat the Rams), and the Bengals (barely - and EVERYONE should ALSO beat the Bengals).

Titans over Texans. Also, with the duh. AFC South is fairly surprising so far.

Skins over Cardinals. OK, the Cardinals were undefeated. But they're in the NFC West. Which is the JV division. So it doesn't count. Too bad for the Skins that they play in the NFC East. Otherwise, they might be at the top of their division. As it is, the NFC East is going to supply both the NFC wildcard team this year, and the Skins won't be one of them. You heard it here first.

Broncos over Saints. Damn. Sorry Saints. But the Broncos are putting up a crazy amount of points this year. They are some hard mo-fos to beat. Is this Jay Cutlers break-out year? Maybe....

49ers over Lions. Yuck. Can you believe the 49ers are 2-1? Like I said, NFC West.

Seahawks over Rams. Like I was saying...

Ravens over Browns. I was right (calling the Ravens). Also, I was wrong (calling the Browns to win the division. Yep, I'm giving up on them. Call it! 8:44 pm)

Jags over Colts. OK, my divisional pick is showing some life! Of course, as long as the Titans can keep Vince Young off the field, it may not matter. And what's up with the Colts this year? Anyway, at least they won a game, so they aren't dead yet.

Cowboys over Packers. Crap. The Pack did hit Romo, and the Cowboys didn't look good, and they still managed to win. The Pack shut down TO. Unfortunately, they couldn't shut down ANYONE else. Including some second-third year guy named Miles Austin I'd never heard of. And the Cowboys managed to win. And Al Harris is seriously hurt and may lose his spleen. So not a good night for the Pack.

In the meantime, end of the first quarter in Jets/Chargers, and the Chargers are up by 3. Did I mention that the Chargers HAVE to win this game to save their seaon? Yes, it's already that bad. Wouldn't it be interesting if the Super Bowl this year were Eagles/Chargers? Two teams that should've won a Super Bowl at least a few years ago? Oh - and Vicodin Boy just got picked off again, for another Chargers TD. Consecutive games and most TDs? Whatevs. Most picks? HA!...And huge Jets run back. And Jets TD. And the Jets try an on-side kick (and fail). This is shaping up to be a wild game.


Unknown said...

Herm Edwards took over what was a pretty decent Chiefs squad and has driven it into the ground. I'm not sure if it's all on Herm, but he's got be on the hot seat soon.

The Pats being blown out - could not have happened to a nicer team. At home yet. Biggest loss in the history of Razor-Blade Stadium.

A blurb in Newsweek last week pointed out that in the span of 10 minutes of football, the Pats lost an unbeaten season, a championship, and their starting QB. "Karma?" they asked. I think so. They deserve this after all the crap they pulled last year, including all those run-it-up college football style blowouts.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing about the Pats and running up the score during our week 1 game with the Rams in which, if you'll recall, Big Red took most of the first team O and D out early in the 4th quarter and kneed it out at the 2 minute warning rather than scoring again (which they were easily in position to do).

I think Satan has come to collect on the bargain he made with Belichick....