23 January 2009

2008 Conference Championship Recap

Eagles at Cardinals, Sunday, January 18, 2009

In attendance: Shoegal, Chef Spouse, Ex-Navy Cheesehead, me, and Bitterness & Regret

Menu: Shoegal's gravy was delish, Ex-Navy Cheesehead brought great wine, and Chef Spouse's homemade pasta brought it all together. Of course, who really cares? Sigh.

Stud of the week: Had to be Peanut. Can you believe the Eagles web site does NOT have a picture of him making that insane catch that put us ahead - briefly - in the 3rd quarter? So no Peanut in his moment of glory, but he was DEFINITELY the Stud of the Week.

Where was our much-vaunted defense for the first half? Seriously - were those the cheerleaders in their uniforms (once you get the pads and helmets on, it's hard to tell)? Yeah, I know it's freakin' hard to cover Larry Fitzgerald. Call me crazy, but wouldn't a double team be in order? And how to we manage to SHUT DOWN Brandon Jacobs and then let the Edge run all over us? Really, this entire game came down to the fact that we were down 24-6 at the half, and that's mighty deep hole to try to climb out of. And I don't buy that the problem was that JJ was up in the booth - he was up in the booth during the Giants game, too.

Speaking of cilmbing out of the hole, people are complaining about McNabb, as usual. Sorry, but Big 5 was not the problem. Hell, he was nearly the solution. Yeah, he had a few bad throws. He also had - once again - a bunch of receivers dropping a bunch of shit they should've caught.

When David Akers missed that 47-yarder at the beginning of the second quarter, I had the feeling of impending doom. Has anyone other than me noticed that as goes Akers, so goes the team? Missing that FG, then the extra point, then us having to go for 2 and not getting that either totally changed the outcome of the game, not least of which because our final drive required a TD.

Oh, and let's talk about the final drive and the AWFUL officiating. So apparently, you can knock down a receiver anywhere on the field at any time and it's JUST FINE - as long as the intended receiver is an Eagle. I know that only bad losers complain about the officiating as the reason for the loss. And the first half mess was ALL on us, even with the bad calls. BUT COME ON! HOW DO YOU NOT CALL THAT? It was our last chance. OUR LAST CHANCE.

Of course, that was only an issue because, once we took the lead after an amazing offensive assault in the 3rd quarter, the defense couldn't hold. Again. And allowed the Cards to chew up 8 minutes of clock and score the go-ahead TD.

So what's up for our beloved Iggles next (other than watching the Super Bowl from their couches...again...)? I think we need some help on the Oline for our ancient guys. Yep, Runyan, I think you're out. Reggie Brown? Gone. LJ? Gone. I'm on the Brett Celek love train. The D? Young linebackers, aging secondary. Is Dawk back? He had a weak early season and then brought it in the second half, but he just can't cover the young receivers. I think he needs to retire and assume Hugh Douglas's old Bad Assador mantle, because he's still the heart of the D. D-Mac's back unless he wants to be gone, as is Reid and his rapidly dwindling coaching staff. He's a victim of his own success. I love Westy, and Buck's been coming on strong, but we need a young back. But without an Oline upgrade, it's pretty pointless.

Sigh. Here's hoping for a good draft. And (say it with me) THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR.

Steelers over Ravens. Well, duh. Are there ANY undamaged Ravens after that game? They pretty much had to extend halftime so they could give the Ravens' cart its 3000 mile servicing. Sooner or later, Joe Flacco's rookie-ness was going to bite him. And that happened at around 10 minutes into the fourth quarter, when (who else but) Troy Polamalu picked him off for 6. The only amazing part of this game was that Ben Rothliesberger DIDN'T sustain another concussion. It was the slug fest we all anticipated. And the outcome was as anticpated as well. It's not that easy for the 6 seed to get to the show after all.

On to the Super Bowl. Without us. Again.


Unknown said...

Great remark about the Raven's cart needing its 3,000 mile servicing...and how about the music guy at Heinz Field playing "Down On The Corner" by CCR while McGahee lie prone on the turf?

As for the Iggs, you are so right on the need for a new running back. They need power and explosiveness back there.

Anonymous said...

RE: the music, yeah, that was pretty bizarre wasn't it?

Any good backs up in the draft this year?