30 November 2009

2009 Week 12 Recap

Eagles v. Redskins, Sunday, November 29, 2009

In attendance: Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Shoegal, Prototypical Eagles Fan, Chef Spouse

Menu: etouffee, guac, crudities, homemade pralines (courtesy of Shoegal), prosecco (courtesy of Prototypical Eagles Fan)

Stud of the Week: Jason Avant ALMOST won it again. Right when we needed someone - anyone - to give us a spark, he did. LeSean McCoy was definitely in the running, too, after that amazing effort on the 2 point conversion. But I had to go with Eldra Buckley, who scored his first career TD to bring us within tying distance midway through the 4th quarter. Good job, Eldra!

Once again, we found a way to win. OK, you can definitely argue that it never should have been close in the first place (although the Redskins seem to have found new life in the past few weeks), but doing well in the post-season requires being able to win close games. We've needed points - we've gotten points (that may be because we finally have some skill players on offense who actually have, you know, some skills). We've needed long drives to eat up the clock - we've gotten long drives to eat up the clock (hello, run game!). We've needed our nearly linebacker-less defense to make big stops - we've gotten big stops. We needed decent clock management - we actually got decent clock management (maybe you *can* teach an old dog new tricks).

So details: I didn't like the onside kick decision to start the game. Not only did it not work, but it made me nervous right off the bat that Andy was going to try to get too tricky. Thankfully, that was the last of that. And we were clicking offensively early on. Our defense was pretty sorry, though, particularly in the 3rd quarter, when they could not BUY their way off the field, and our offense pretty much fell asleep on the field. We were lucky the Skins came away with only 7 points in the 3rd. Too many missed tackles, too many times we didn't quite get to Campbell. And special teams was not brilliant either - Rocca had another bad punt, Macho couldn't get free, and we let the Skins start with good field position far too often. Except when it counted!

The Redskins, after depriving us of Brian Westbrook about a month ago, took out two more of our top four offensive players (Peanut and Brent Celek, with DMac rounding out the quartet) - I'm just glad we're done with them for the season, as they seem to be really, really bad for our health. Speaking of Celek, you know how he missed, like, three totally catchable balls in a row? About 5 minutes later, the camera panned to him on the sideline getting his hand taped up. Sprained thumb. To go with Peanut's concussion.

Based on that, I'm having a hard time taking the excessive weeping and wailing about Juqua Parker's hard sack of Jason Campbell at the end of the game all that seriously. The WaPo was all, "He was unconscious - he lost feeling in his arms - he was drumming his fingers on the ground." Hm - last time I checked, when you're unconscious, you're NOT MOVING. You know, like y'all did to Westy a month ago. The last time I lost feeling in my arms, I wasn't drumming my fingers on anything. Was it a hard take down? You bet. Flagable? Maybe. But you know what happened when we tried *gentle* take downs earlier in the game? THEY DIDN'T WORK. And Jason Campbell is not exactly Mr. Evasive.

Of course, I probably shouldn't give the WaPo too much credit - their sportswriters were also complaining about Campbell being Mr. Checkdown and not being able to function in the West Coast offense. Um, short check down passes are THE DEFINITION of the West Coast offense. Jeez!

So we're done with the Skins - and with November - and we're sitting at 7-4, one game behind the Cowboys. And we're going into December. When we play our best - and the Boys play their worst. Just hope we have enough bodies left to get us through.

Around the rest of the NFL...

Packers over Lions. Well, sure, but Matt Stafford is still a total stud. If the Lions can't get any better, though, The Powers That Be HAVE to stop subjecting us to them on Thanksgiving. It's just cruel - there are no other games on opposite, people!

Cowboys over Raiders. Oh sure, the Raiders can pull off the upset over us, but can they cooperate and do the same to Dallas? NoooOOOOooooo. Don't worry, though. December starts tomorrow.

Broncos over Giants. Just when you think the Broncos have had it, it turns out they haven't. We were watching the game in a bar in the French Quarter (Dear NFL: either get everyone to carry the NFL Network or stop putting games on there. Unless it's the Lions. That's OK.), and there was a Giants fan at the end of the bar. It was a New Orleans-style throw-down: "You guys Broncos fans?" "No, Eagles." "Damn, man - that's worse." "Enjoy your drink - and the game." "You, too." When you're in New Orleans, you're having too much fun to be mean, even to a Giants fan.

Falcons over Bucs. Talk about a costly victory - how long will Matt Ryan be out? The Falcons manged to pull off a last minute win without him, but it was against the Bucs. And Michael Turner aggravated his ankle sprain. Good news for us - bad news for the Falcons' playoff hopes.

Bills over Dolphins. OK, maybe the Fins *are* totally screwed without Ronnie Brown. Anyone know if the Bills have a new head coach yet? Of course, after this past week, they may decide they don't really need one for the moment. And it looks like TO decided to start playing like he might, maybe, give a damn again. What a freakin' drama queen.

Seahawks over Rams. Wilbon said it best today: never pick a team being led by Kyle Boller.

Jets over Panthers. Sanchez played a little better (the Jets only turned the ball over 3 times), Delhomme broke a finger (and the Panthers turned the ball over 4 times), but ultimately I don't think it will matter all that much, since I'll be shocked if either of these teams gets into the post-season. Delhomme is probably done, Sanchez probably just needs some more time to develop, but really, whatevs.

Bengals over Browns. And the Bengals sweep the division for the first time in...ever? Yes, I think ever. Good job, Bengals. You're wreaking havoc on my pre-season playoff picks, but you just can't be against a team that comes out of virtually nowhere and surprises everyone. And has OchoCinco. Who is hilarious on Twitter - seriously, you should follow him.

Colts over Texans. Oh Texans, I still have big love for you. Even though you keep letting me down. Also, you know Peyton must be thinking, "Marvin who?" about now.

Chargers over Chiefs. I would type, "well, sure," except the Chiefs did manage to beat the Steelers a week ago. Then again, they were, like, ALL the segments on tonight's Monday Night Countdown C'mon Man segment - it looked like the freakin' Keystone Cops out there. Was the football greased, or does the Chiefs center just have no idea what he's doing?

49ers over Jags. Can someone please explain the 49ers to me? No really - we play them in like 3 weeks and I'd really like to know. Actually, as I'm checking out their record, they may be a pretty decent team - they're 5-6, but they've lost to Vikings, Falcons, Texans, Colts, Titans, and the Packers, and the worst record in that group is 5-6. Hm. Should I be worried?

Vikings over Bears. I'll say it: Jay Cutler is not an NFL caliber quarterback. I'll also say it: Jared Allen is scary. I'll also say it: Brett Favre is never, ever going to go away, is he? It's like a Dorian Gray type thing, only Favre looks his age, so he's clearly not hiding some rapidly-aging portrait in his attic. Maybe *that's* what happened to Akili Smith...? Has anyone actually laid eyes on him, you know, recently?

Titans over Cardinals. Man, are the Titans getting hot at the right time! If they can keep this up, they should see the post-season. Meanwhile, you know who else is probably not an NFL caliber quarterback? Matt Leinart. High draft picks on quarterbacks don't always pan out. Jimmy Johnson (or maybe it was Mike Ditka?) said it last night: if you're looking to draft a QB, it usually makes more sense to shop at Walmart (Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Tony Romo) than at Tiffany (too many to name).

Ravens over Steelers. Oh man, is the shiz-nit flying in the Burgh - Hines Ward is basically calling Big Ben a baby for not playing after practicing all week and not giving the team time to adjust to Dennis Dixon - who, by the way, did great and DIDN'T get sacked. Maybe ol' Groceries problem isn't the o-line - maybe it's him not getting rid of the ball fast enough and not being able to move. And the once-feared Steelers D doesn't look nearly as terrifying without Polamalu. I don't think the Fat Lady is singing yet, but she's in the green room.

The Saints are currently up 17-7 over the Pats after blown coverage led to a HUGE TD to Devery Henderson. The camera just panned to the entire Pats defense huddled up with Belichick in the center. I think he was saying, "Did I mention I could trade you to THE LIONS?" We just left New Orleans Saturday, and hot damn, do I wish I was back there tonight.

27 November 2009

Sunday Schedule: November 28, 2009

Yes, we will be back from vacation and open for bidness!

1 pm: Eagles/Redskins
4 pm: Bears/Vikings
8 pm: Steelers/Ravens


Menu: Chef Spouse is feeling very easy - very BIG Easy, that is - and says, "How 'bout some etouffee, y'all?" Bring something to go with (that doesn't require the oven, as ours is currently on the blink).

26 November 2009

2009 Week 12 Picks

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! These are going to be quick, because Lions/Packers has already started and I'm in a carb coma after breakfast at Brennan's and need to try to go for a walk or something so I have room for my tasty, tasty Thanksgiving dinner at Commander's Palace in about 5 hours.

What am I thankful for this year? Chef Spouse, my wonderful family and friends, my job, this past week's vacation in New Orleans (my favorite place in the world), and the fact that after dropping two games we should've won (I'll give us the Saints and Chargers, but there is no way we should've lost either the Raiders or the Cowboys games), we're still well in the playoff hunt.

The Redskins are resurgent, with a win over the Broncos and a narrow loss to the Cowboys. Looks like Sherm "B-17" Lewis has been good for the team, and as long as Jim Zorn's willing to lie there and take it, the team may actually improve to finish 8-8. But we're in crunch time, and one thing Reid and McNabb have excelled at over the years is pulling it together in the final weeks of the season to get us into the playoffs. We'll beat the Skins at home Sunday to keep pushing for that wildcard spot, or even our 6th division win in 9 seasons.

Lions/Packers - Packers. Even though the Lions scored first, I just don't see them pulling off the upset.

Raiders/Cowboys - I SO want to call Raiders. And they did beat the Bengals last week. And it's almost December. And the Cowboys have not looked brilliant the last few weeks. And they did lose to the Packers two weeks ago. I think I just talked myself into calling the Raiders. Particularly since Jason Witten may not be able to go.

Giants/Broncos - I SO want to call the Broncos, but I just don't think I can. You know things are bad when Kyle Orton has to come back in on a bum ankle because Chris Sims IS a bum. Sigh. Giants. Keeping the pressure on us.

Dolphins/Bills - Dolphins. They're in trouble without Ronnie Brown but they're not in THAT much trouble.

Seahawks/Rams - Ew. Well, at least the Seahawks will get to win a game. Not that you want to watch it. Really. Trust me. No watch.

Colts/Texans - Texans! Team of Destiny! Colts gotta lose sometime, right?

Browns/Bengals - You remember that whole mercy rule thing I proposed a few weeks ago? This is another game that will need it. Bengals. Who should maybe handicap themselves to keep it from being totally ridiculous. Maybe Ocho Cinco could play with his shoelaces tied together or Carson Palmer could throw from his off hand every other play or something.

Panthers/Jets - You know how the Jets aren't actually a very good team? Neither are the Panthers. But they're good enough for this. Panthers.

Bucs/Falcons - Falcons. I can't think of a single funny thing to write about the Bucs at this point. That's a shame.

Chiefs/Chargers - You know how the Chiefs shocked everyone and beat the Steelers last week? That was pretty cool, wasn't it? Hope they enjoyed the positive attention while they had it. Chargers.

Jaguars/49ers - Jaguars. Who seem to have turned their season around. Dear Jags fans: man up and buy some tickets so the games stop getting blacked out already!

Bears/Vikings - Vikings. What's the over/under on Jay Cutler picks in this game? I've got $20 on 4.

Cardinals/Titans - Talk about another team that's turning it around! The Titans have won 4 straight since their bye, but it very well might be too late already. And Kurt Warner's supposed to be good to go. Cardinals.

Steelers/Ravens - Talk about two teams that are not living up to expectations. The Steelers are struggling with injury - Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Charlie Batch - and the Ravens, well, I'm not sure *what's* going on there. The Steelers are only one game back, although the Bengals hold the advantage of beating them twice, but they are the very definition of clutch, and they're now playing for their season. I think it's going to be a nasty game, but I think the Steelers will pull off the win.

Patriots/Saints - GAME OF THE WEEK. I can't wait for this one. I think we've all realized the Saints are totally for real this year. After Monday night, I think we'll have a good sense of how far they'll go into the playoffs. And I think the Saints win this one. And I think these Saints very well may go marchin' in to Miami in February.

24 November 2009

2009 Week 11 Recap

Eagles at Bears, Sunday, November 22, 2009

In attendance: me & Chef Spouse, plus a bunch of screaming Bears fans (we were in a sports bar in NOLA)

Menu: margaritas and nachos (see above RE: sports bar)

Stud of the Game: Mike Vick FINALLY ripped a big run. This isn't the photo I wanted, but I just spent 20 minutes looking for one of him actually running during the game, and no dice. Second runner up? LeSean McCoy, who had a big game AND scored the winning TD. But I had to give Vick a little love since his entire previous 11 weeks have consisted pretty much of a few short runs, a few incomplete passes, and lots of holding a clip board.

The guys had me freaking out. This looked like one of THOSE games - you know, a game where the other team does everything they can to give it away to us and we still can't seem to pull it together to take it. Cutler consistently overthrew every single Bear on the field. Man, is he antsy these days. They couldn't get in the end zone to save their lives. OK, that's partially credit to the effort put up by our seriously depleted defense (Trot's really our best option at MLB? Really? He's like 327 in football years! Although he did manage to chase Devin Hester out of bounds...), but still. They didn't give the ball to Matt Forte nearly as much as I would've, which to me indicates problems with their run blocking. Hell, Devin Hester even got pantsed.

I love the way Tommy described the game:
Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Did it occur to anyone Sunday night
that we were living that movie out? We're trapped in a loop playing the
Bears in close games until we finally get it right and then we can move
on. In 2007 we can from behind, but couldn't protect a lead.
Last year we couldn't punch the ball in and lost 24-20.

We finally won in prime time, we finally won in Chicago, and Big5 led us to a win in the 4th quarter of a close game. Does that mean we finally get to win a Super Bowl?

A few weeks ago, Donovan was quoted as saying (I'm paraphrasing here) that while he loves working with all the young guys on offense (377 total yards? I'd love it, too), but he doesn't always know where they're going to be. Nowhere was that more evident than on DMac's scramble in the first quarter. He's running around trying to direct the guys down the field, and I'm pretty sure I heard Brent Celek yell to Peanut: "He wants you to steal second!"

We had a few white-knuckle turnovers, but I can't really blame our guys too much - Charles Tillman is a BEAST. And both Peanut and Maclin otherwise had great games, as did Macho Harris on kick returns. No juking for him - he finds whatever lane there is and HITS IT. I see some return TDs in his future.

IgglesBlog has a new favorite play, and I agree: Peanut runs straight at the deep safety, who realizes about a 1/2 second too late that it's happening, by which point Peanut's already gone. I agree. Let's do that more.

They also pointed out that, while blow outs are more fun and far less stressful to watch, that's not what our young players need right now. To go deep into the playoffs, you need to learn how to gut out close wins against teams that are as good - or maybe even better -than you. Our vets - DMac, lots of the guys on D, Akers - have been there. But too many of our skill players haven't. Seeing that they can pull out a close win in the last minutes of a game is hopefully a real character builder for them that will serve them well in January.

Around the rest of the NFL...

Dolphins over Panthers. And without Ronnie Brown, who's now on IR. Which, to be honest, is probably the end of the Dolphins playoff hopes. But at least they won this one.

Colts over Ravens. I was sure the Ravens were going to take this one. But it's pretty hard to beat the Colts if you can't get in the end zone.

Cowboys over Redskins. GAHHHH! So close! The Cowboys didn't score until late int he 4th an the Skins still had a chance to take it, but for a batted Jason Campbell pass that was intercepted. The Boys are a mess, though. And Tony Romo got nailed Sunday. And we're about to go into December. Hopefully the Raiders can pull off another upset in two days.

Lions over Browns. High scoring game, and totally butch move by Matt Stafford throwing the winning TD with a dislocated (?) left shoulder. But still, yawn. Although Mangenius looks closer and closer to bursting a blood vessel every week. And now he's suggesting that Lions players were faking injuries. Sore loser much?

Packers over 49ers. You know, if you manage to hang onto the ball for more than 40 minutes, you're probably going to win. Unless you're playing the Colts.

Jaguars over the (head coach-less) Bills. So Dick Jauron was the first coaching casualty of the 2009 season, NOT Jim Zorn (technically)? I'm pretty sure I owe someone some money. Here's how I envision the conversation must've gone between Jauron and owner Ralph Wilson:

Wilson: "So, Dick, we're thinking we need to make a coaching change."

Jauron: "What? Why?"

Wilson: "Well, you haven't won a Super Bowl yet."

Jauron: "With all due respect, it's only week 11."

Wilson: "Yeah, but hasn't Belichick won like, 2 Super Bowls already this season? And it would've been more if not for that brain cramp against the Colts!"

Jauron: "......"

Wilson: "And we got you TO!"

Jauron: "Yeah, but Trent Freakin' Edwards is still under center!"

Wilson: "....."

Chiefs over Steelers. You know, we were wandering around the French Quarter Sunday morning looking for a good place to watch the 1 pm games. We really wanted to see Saints/Buccaneers, seeing as we're in Saints country and it would be fun to be surrounded by a bunch of cheering Saints fans. We passed what was clearly the local Steelers bar and contemplated going in, but I was like, "Nah - I want to hear the Saints audio and it's going to be a total blow out." Wrong on that one, babe. They better hope Polamalu gets healthy in a big hurry, or they're going to have to write off this season. Also, Big Ben took a hard shot to the head, and Charlie Batch broke his wrist. Paging Jeff Garcia?

Vikings over Seahawks. Rumor has it that Holmgren might be thinking about returning to the Seahawks. Well, they need SOMETHING.

Giants over Falcons. In OT. Damn. The Falcons need to get Michael Turner back in a hurry or they might as well write off their season.

Saints over Bucs. OK, so back to us wandering around the French Quarter. There are plenty of bars that have the Sunday ticket, but we're passing bar after bar, and it's getting closer and closer to 1 pm, and most of them are pretty empty. Then I spot two slightly older ladies walking down the street FULLY decked out in black and gold, up to and including big feather boas and giant fleur de lys costume jewelry. "We're going wherever THEY'RE going!" I remarked to Chef Spouse. Good choice - they took us to a cozy man cave looking bar with Saints fans and good bar food and shared a bottle of champagne with us.

Cardinals over Rams. Duh. Anyone know how serious that Kurt Warner injury is? Because Matt Leinart is no Kurt Warner, and the playoffs are looming.

Chargers over Broncos. Holy crap. 3 points? Dissention on the sideline? Annual Broncos collapse? Yes, yes, and probably yes. Even Wolverine's magical powers may not be enough to pull them out of their tailspin.

Pats over Jets. The Jets, September notwithstanding, are just not a very good team.
Raiders over Bengals. When Al and Cris were reviewing the day's games on Sunday night football, they both burst into hysterical laughter when talking about this game. That's not a good sign for the Bengals. Who are still leading the AFC North, by the way, but losing to the Raiders is not a good sign. Who knew Bruce Gradkowski had it in him? Maybe the Bucs shouldn't have been so quick to let him go.

Titans over Texans. So yesterday, Chef Spouse and I got breakfast from Community Coffee, stopped by the famous Louisiana Music Factory and picked up a bunch of used CDs by local musicians, bought tickets for a benefit concert Ivan Neville is putting on Wednesday for Marva Wright, had lunch at the fab Restaurant August, spent the afternoon hanging out in Louis Armstrong park, stopped by the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone for their famous Ramos Gin Fizzes, walked over to Fauborg Marigny and caught a set by the Frenchman Street All-Stars at the Spotted Cat on our way over the hear Charmaine Neville's regular Monday night gig at Snug Harbor. Then we were able to catch the last quarter of MNF over snacks in the bar at Marigny Brasserie. Would've been a perfect day if freakin' Kris Brown had been able to knock through his stupid field goal. Oh well - can't have everything I guess. Here's hoping the Texans can knock off the Colts next week. Team of Destiny!

19 November 2009

2009 Week 11 Picks

In the midst of my packing frenzy, I stop to give you Just the Picks, Ma'am:

Eagles/Bears - Under Andy, we don't do well in prime time or in Chicago. But the Cowboys helped us last week by playing against the Packers like I expected them to play against us, and we still hold the tie-breaker over the Giants. (Despite beating the Broncos last week, I still don't view the Redskins as a threat. I could be wrong. But I doubt it.) I fully expect us to recover from our recent swoon and start winning some damn games! Like this one! Pull it together, Coach!

Dolphins/Panthers - Dolphins. Jake might not be done-done, but I don't see him doing well this week. The Panthers are bad against the rush. You know who's good at rushing? The Dolphins. Who will wildcat all over the Panthers. Dolphins.

Colts/Ravens - The Colts have to lose some time, and I think it will be this week. As long as Harbaugh doesn't have a brain fart and hand the ball back to Peyton Manning with 2 minutes to cover 30 yards. Ravens.

Redskins/Cowboys - I hope the Redskins can keep the momentum going long enough to beat the 'Boys. Redskins (she picks, hopefully).

Browns/Lions - OH THE HUMANITY.

49ers/Packers - I like the 49ers. Unless it's snowing at Lambeau Sunday.

Bills/Jaguars - Bills. Go MoJoDrew!

Steelers/Chiefs - Steelers. Also, that's a shame.

Seahawks/Vikings - Vikings. Stupid Brett Favre.

Falcons/Giants - I can make an argument in my little head either way for this one. But I think the 4 game slump Giants are the real Giants. Falcons.

Saints/Buccaneers - The Saints also have to lose sometime. But it's not going to be this week. And we'll get to cheer for the Saints surrounded by lots of Saints fans, since we'll be in NOLA! Geaux Saints!

Cardinals/Rams - Cards. Call me, Fitz!

Chargers/Broncos - I predict the winner of this game will win AFC West. I also predict that it will be the Chargers on both counts.

Jets/Patriots - I heard Belichick just got a fresh shipment of kittens. Patriots.

Bengals/Raiders - Bengals. Also, this, too, is a shame.

Titans/Texans - Texans! Team of Destiny!

Also - no more bye weeks! YAY!

Sunday Schedule: November 22, 2009

No football Chez Shark this week, as we'll be on vacation down in NOLA.

But these are the games I recommend (and we'll be watching at least some of them):

ThNF: Dolphins/Panthers
1 pm: Best game? Colts/Ravens. Game I want to watch? Redskins/Cowboys. Game we'll probably *be* watching? Saints/Bucs, since that's what will be on locally. Falcons/Giants should be pretty good, too.
4 pm: Chargers/Broncos. Who will win the AFC West this year? We'll probably have a pretty good idea by 8 pm Sunday.
8 pm: Eagles/Bears
MNF: Titans/Texans

16 November 2009

2009 Week 10 Recap

Eagles at Chargers, Sunday, November 15, 2009

In attendance: Chef Spouse, Shoegal, Fellow Eagles Maniac, Limin' ABD, and two nOObs - The Illustrated Geek and Prototypical Eagles Fan.

Menu: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, French green beans, glazed carrots. The oven conked out about 1 hour into the chicken, so we had to finish it on the grill, but it all worked out fine. Go, Chef Spouse! Prototypical Eagles Fan brought prosecco and a yummy chocolate tart, and Fellow Eagles Maniac brought some wine.

Stud: CLEARLY Jason Avant, who had a career day with 8 catches for 156 yards. Including the BEAUTIFUL catch in the photo to the right.

OK, I did call us to lose the game. But why do the Eagles have to torture me with ALMOST COMEBACKS? Do or do not - there is no try.

We did see more of why DMac has the best TD/INT ratio in NFL history. He had several almost picks various Chargers couldn't hang on to. Speaking of Chargers receptions, their receivers made plays. Ours, with the exception of Avant, didn't. In his 11th season, it probably ain't gonna happen, but maybe McNabb could take a little of the heat off? Just a thought.

Speaking of long careers, the smart money says that, after two concussions in 4 weeks and continuing problems with his ankle, Westy is done - not just this season, and not just as an Eagle. He's in his 8th season, he's a running back, he's been one of the keys to our offense since 2003, and he's just not that big. It's been a GREAT ride, man, and Philly will always be grateful.

At one point during the game, I was like, "Why is Macho Harris returning kicks?" Oh, that's right - season-ending neck injury for Ellis Hobbs. "Where is Joselio Hanson?" BS 4 game suspension. "Where's Jason Peters?" Oh - that ankle injury he sustained against the Cowboys was more serious than Big Red let on.

Speaking of Jason Peters, did you notice that we couldn't punch it in from the 1? That's on the O-line.

Also, why can't Asante Samuel tackle? Shouldn't they be able to hire a guy to show him how? Like maybe Curtis Lofton? And did you notice that he seems afraid of contact? Shades of Todd Pinkston?

Actually, there were few big plays from D all day, especially in the last 5 minutes. It was critical to stop the Chargers in a place where we'd get good offensive field position. Instead, the Chargers waltzed on down the field, scored another 3 (just to be on the safe side) and left our offense with about 30 seconds. You know when we win games? When the D comes up big with picks, fumbles, some points. You know when we lose games? When the D is quiet. Like the last two weeks. 31 points? Really?

And why didn't we run the ball at all? Oh right - those O-line problems. So of course Big 5 had a huge day - we had no other options than throw-throw-throw. 55 attempts and 450 yards? That is not good.

And the FREAKIN' PENALTIES! Apparently we're the 5th most penalized team in football. Now, we do have a lot of young guys, so some penalties are to be expected, but 5th most? That's just a lack of discipline. Not Raiders level lack of discipline. Not Rams level lack of discipline. No Chiefs level lack of discipline. But not good.

And what's Vick doing, other than standing around holding a clip board? I have a new theory - we plan to trade him for draft picks to some crap team that desperately needs a QB (see above RE: Raiders, Rams, Chiefs). Which is actually a really smart strategy, come to think of it.

But did we stick close to a 50/50 run/pass game? No. Did our D force turnovers? No. And we lost the game. Told you so.

Around the rest of the NFL...

49rs over Bears. Did I mention I called this? Did I mention that I REALLY want us to beat the Bears in prime time next Sunday? Did I mention that we don't do well in Chicago? Sigh.

Panthers over Falcons. Huh. Maybe Jake Delhomme *isn't* done after all.

Dolphins over Bucs. It looked like the Bucs were going to pick up another win, particularly after Ronnie Brown went out. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Speaking of Ronnie Brown and the wildcat...Dear NFL Coaches. Look around. Do you see Ronnie Brown in your locker room? No? Then drop the freakin' wildcat. Not gonna work for you.

Vikings over Lions. Well, sure.

Jags over Jets. Wow. How fast did the Jets drop from "sexy pick" to "sad pick"? Fast. Sometimes there's new coach and rookie QB magic (Harbaugh/Flacco, Smith/Ryan), and sometimes there's just not.

Bengals over Steelers. Told you. Limin' ABD reminded me of the old saw "2/3 of the world is covered by water - the rest is covered by Troy Polamalu." Not anymore. He tweaked that same knee again in the first series, went out, and the Steelers are in trouble. The only bummer? No Ochocinco TDs, which means no wacky celebration. Damn. Also, anyone for a Bengals/Saints Super Bowl? Speaking of the Saints...

Saints over Rams. The only shocker is that the Rams were even in it in the first place. Go, Spags!

Titans over Bills. 41-17. That's more the score I was expecting to see from Saints/Rams. Speaking of teams that need a new QB, wonder when Dick Jauron will be calling Big Red about Michael Vick?

Redskins over Broncos. This is the upset of the week. Big time. Great. Just as we start - uncharacteristically - struggling in the second half of the season, the Redskins start doing well. Or is this just the annual Broncos collapse, Wolverine be damned? What do you think, football fans?

Chiefs over Raiders. Whatever.

Cards over Seahawks. The Seahawks made it a game - for a while - but in the end, the Cardinals were just too good. Did I mention that Fitz is my secret NFC receiver boyfriend? Are you surprised? Have you SEEN his ass?

Packers over Cowboys. Yeah, BOYEE! Shoegal reminded me that I haven't called Roethlisberger "Groceries" in a while, and he's definitely been sacked plenty this season. You know who else has been sacked a lot? Aaron Rodgers. It's good to be young - he had enough left in the tank to beat the Cowboys even though he's spent more time on his ass on the ground than he has on his ass on the bench this season. Although, honestly, it was the Packers D who won that game. Go, Charles Woodson!

Colts over Pats. The game hype was all "rivalry of the decade." I disagree - I think the rivalry of the decade is the Eagles versus the entire NFC. How many different teams have we faced in the NFC Championship Game? Anyway, who would've figured Bill Belichick to have an Andy Reid-level mental meltdown in the last two minutes? Must've missed his latest payment of babies/kittens to Satan.

Is it worth holding the recap to talk about Ravens/Browns? Um, no. There is NO way the Ravens lose this game.

13 November 2009

2009 Week 10 Picks

This is a tough one to call. We really need it. The Chargers really need it. We're both at 5-3, running second in our respective divisions and definitely in the playoff hunt (if one can even talk about that as early as week 10). Total offense? We're ranked 15 - they're 17. Total defense? We're 10 - they're 11. DMac? #9 ranked QB. Know who's #10? Philip Rivers. They do have a pretty significant advantage when it comes to offensive line - they're 17, we're 23, but we're both in the bottom half of teams, and our QB is significantly more mobile than theirs. Oddly enough, they hold the advantage on passing, and we do on rushing. (Good job, Andy and Marty!) We hold a significant advantage in take-aways - #2 versus #12. Their pass defense is #5, we're #12. Our rushing defense is #10 (really? check us out!), while theirs is #26 (ouch!).

So what does that all mean? Diddly. We don't have a good record going west (see below re: Raiders game). If Marty & Andy can stick close to a 50/50 rush/pass balance AND our D can pick off Philip Rivers (and he has thrown 6 INTs so far this season), maybe. But I think the Chargers are going to win this one.

Bears/49ers. I know the game's already taken place, but I did call the 49ers - I swear! The cab dropped me off from the airport just before kickoff, and one of the first topics of conversation was the game. Chef Spouse was all, "This should be an easy one for the Bears," and I was like, "No way! 49ers have this one!" And I was right! Jay Cutler may not be the problem (jury's still out), but with 5 picks last night alone, 2 in the red zone, he's definitely not the solution.

Falcons/Panthers. The Panthers have been looking less pathetic in the past few weeks than they did in the first month of the season. But they're not that much improved. They still have Jake Delhomme under center. Falcons.

Bucs/Dolphins. Dolphins. Hope the Bucs enjoyed that 1 game winning streak.

Lions/Vikings. Is there a mercy rule in the NFL, where if one team is ahead by, like , 50 points, they call the game? Because if there isn't, this game will demonstrate why there should be. Vikings.

Jets/Jaguars. Jets. Like I said, poor Maurice Jones-Drew should really get himself to a good team before his career is over. Most running backs make it about 5 years before they really start to decline (see Westbrook, Brian). He's in his 4th season. Just sayin'.

Bengals/Steelers. I am SOOOO looking forward to this game! I know the Steelers are my AFC team, but just last week I jumped on the Bengals bandwagon. I guess that means I'm calling Bengals.

Saints/Rams. You know what I said about the mercy rule above? If the Vikings whupping of the Lions doesn't argue convincingly for it, this game will. Ouch. Saints. Who will probably score 1,265,493 points. Before halftime.

Bills/Titans. The Titans finally seem like they might be getting their groove on. Also, it's hard to pick TO's team anytime except when they play the Pats. Titans.

Broncos/Redskins. Oh God. Yet another game that will require the invocation of the Snarkin' the NFL Mercy Rule. Broncos. Do you think Jim Zorn will quit in disgust right on the field before the end of the game?

Chiefs/Raiders. Worst Game of the Week. I'm picking the Raiders, but honestly, who cares?

Seahawks/Cardinals. Divisional games are always wacky, the teams know each other really well, as do the coaches, any given team any given Sunday, blah blah blah, yackity smackity. Cardinals.

Cowboys/Packers. Oh, I so wish the Packers would take this one, but I really don't think they're going to. Cowboys (you have NO idea how much it pains me to type that).

Patriots/Colts. Go Colts! Go to 9-0! Beat the Pats! I actually think they will. Peyton Manning is on f-ing fire this season. Colts.

Ravens/Browns. I know I already said this, but why the hell are the Browns on Monday Night Football? Seriously. Ravens. Also, don't bother to watch this game. It's going to SUCK.

On bye: Texans, Giants (who, on a 4 game losing streak, have been grounded and had their X-boxes confiscated)

Sunday Schedule: November 15, 2009

I know, I know - I'm running a little late here. Business trip to Chicago got me all off schedule. It's the battle of two good teams that are really, really hard to predict. What I know is that we really, really need this win. Unfortunately, so do the Chargers.

TNF: Bears/49ers. Also, if you're just checking in now, you missed it.
1 pm: Redskins, schmedskins. We're watching Bengals/Steelers, yo!
4 pm: Eagles/Chargers
8 pm: Colts/Pats. Also, possibly a preview of the AFC Championship game. Which is pretty much potentially true every year with these two.
MNF: Ravens/Browns. Whose bonehead idea was it to put the Browns on Monday Night Football?

Menu: Chef Spouse says roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable or two yet to be identified. Bring something that will go with!

Finally, in other AFC North news, the NFL has fined Ocho Cinco $20K for his $1 bribe joke (and thanks to Shoegal for the heads up). "No ma'am, we at the NFL have no sense of humor that we are aware of."

09 November 2009

2009 Week 9 Recap

Eagles versus Cowboys, Sunday, November 8, 2009

In attendance: Big weekend! The 'rents were in town, and we had a good crew over the course of the day - in addition to Chef Spouse, Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom, me, and You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad, Shoegal, Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Tall Drink of Water Cousin, Wingman and Mr. Wingman all spent at least part of the day hanging out and watching the games.

Menu: Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom made AWESOME brisket and beans, Shoegal brought a yummy broccoli casserole to go along side, Ex-Navy Cheesehead brought a bunch of pies and some really cute football sugar cookies, and we had all the usual pre-meal snacks, including Chef Spouse's patented guacamole. It was delish. Which is a good thing, because the game was a big stinking pile of crap.

Stud of the week: I was going to say Ellis Hobbes for returning the opening kick off the second half for a TD, only it was negated by a holding call that none of our crew nor Al and Cris could see, even with replaying on our nice big HD TV multiple times. And then I was thinking maybe Sheldon Brown for the pick and great 54 yard run back, but that was negated by a low block penalty on Moise Fokou. And he got burned by Miles Austin for what turned out to be the winning TD. Then I was going to pick David Akers, but that's way too easy, even though he did make a pointless 52 yarder when Andy should have gone for it, because it was clear, at least to me, that with only about 4 minutes left in the game and no timeouts, this was our last offensive possession. Or I was going to choose McNabb for the plow ahead QB sneak on 4th-and-1 to keep our critical first drive of the fourth quarter going just after Dallas had tied it up, but the zebras inexplicably spotted the ball about 2 yards short of where it should've been and refused to fix it, even after Andy burned our final timeout and his final challenge trying to get them to correct an obvious mistake. So I picked safety Sean Jones, who in just his second start with the Eagles had 4 solo tackles, 1 assist, and a pick. Good game, man! Sorry it didn't work out better for us all.

I feel like I've pretty much already recapped the game. We weren't terrible, we weren't great. But it's damn hard to overcome two picks, although one was clearly Maclin's fault and one was about 50/50 Maclin and McNabb. But on that second pick, Maclin draws a 15 yard face mask to add insult to injury.

Another weird one? Asante Samuel draws a taunting penalty WHILE HE'S GIVING A MARION BARBER HAND UP. Explain that to me, please?

And speaking of weird, what about some of those coaching decisions? We put Mike Vick in for a play, presumably so that McNabb and Reid can chat some things over without taking a time out. Then McNabb goes back in and we have to call a time out. Then we go to McCoy on 3-2, he doesn't get it because he has to come back for the ball and his field awareness is not great. Andy challenges and loses, then we decide to go for it on 4-1 to try to draw the Cowboys offsides, we DO draw them offsides, but Jamal Jackson doesn't snap the ball, and we get called for a false start.

I do understand the challenge on the McNabb sneak, because that was the WORST spot ever, but the officiating crew was calling so much inexplicable shit that Big Red should've realized that God himself (aka Vince Lombardi) could've come down from heaven and told them they had it wrong and they wouldn't have moved it. And the officiating was bad both ways, but the zebras seemed to have a particular propensity for making bad calls that killed any momentum we started getting any time we got it.

And I really don't get that last field goal, either. And why are we starting games so pass-happy? We either score in 3 plays or we go 3-and-out. How about a nice slow first offensive drive for once?

In the end, it just felt like one of those nights where nothing was going to go right. McNabb had some off passes, but Brent Celek, Mr. Clutch, and Jason Avant, Mr. Third Down, both dropped more than one pass that was right to them, AND when our young receiving corps had problems, it felt like EVERY SINGLE deflection went right to a Cowboy defender. We had plenty of "almost got there" on D.

But we couldn't win a close divisional game at home for the lead in the division. That does not bode well for the rest of the season, including the playoffs that I'm still confident we'll reach. Wilbon had it in 1 in Sunday's WaPo: the Eagles are the hardest good team to figure out. Which is, as per usual, giving us all fits. But I do totally agree with these guys: let's not panic. We're still #2 in the division and we're only 1 game back with half the season still to go. Were the season to end today, we'd take one of the wildcard spots. And Reid and McNabb are still the winningest coach/QB we've ever had (and even with his two picks last night, McNabb still has the best TD to INT ratio in the HISTORY OF THE NFL). Some days you're the windshield, some days, you're the bug. It was our day to be the bug.

Just to refresh your memory:

Win Percentage:

Andy Reid - 61.8%
Wade Phillips - 58.8%
Tom Coughlin - 55.3%
Jim Zorn - 43.5%

Career QB rating

Donovan McNabb - 86.2
Tony Romo - 94.9
Eli Manning - 77.6
Jason Campbell - 81.4

Around the rest of the NFL...

Falcons over Redskins. Well, yes. Know what was ridonkulous? DeAngelo Hall on SportsCenter trying to play off that he was just trying to break up the sideline fight and 50 year old, no-pads-wearing Falcons coach Mike Smith was the one who came after him. OK, MeAngelo. The Redskins offense actually looked non-rancid for a while there. But I think it's too little, too late, both for their season and for their beleaguered head coach and starting QB. And they're about to go into a BRUTAL part of their schedule - Broncos, Cowboys, us, Saints, Raiders (which should be a win since everyone but us beats them), Giants, Cowboys, Chargers. Ouch. 3-13 is not out of the picture.

Cardinals over Bears. I TOLD you so! Kurt "Silver Fox" Warner and Larry "Best Buns in Football" Fitzgerald will not be denied. Seriously - have you checked out Fitz's rear view? Yummy!

Bengals over Ravens. I ALSO told you so. It's official - I'm no longer renting the Bengals. I'm buying. The difference between Ocho Cinco and TO is that, while they're both totally arrogant, 85 has a sense of humor about it. Which is why I love him and think his antics are hilarious. I probably wouldn't be so forgiving if he played for the Eagles, but then again, how many TDs would we be talking in one season here?

Colts over Texans. Damn. I was sure this was the one for the Texans. As, in fact, it almost was. Not that you want to bet on being able to beat Peyton Manning in OT, but I was sure it was going there. Think they made Kris Brown walk home? Also: WE're pass happy? Peyton threw, what, 4,967,352 times in the first half? (actual number: 40. Which is still a little unbalanced. And I say this after 11 seasons with Andy Reid.)

Jaguars over Chiefs. You know what's weird? The Jags only won by 3. Poor Maurice Jones-Drew really needs to get himself traded to a decent team before he burns his whole career with those bozos. Matt Cassel's not looking so magical without the rest of the Patriots, is he? Speaking of the Patriots...

Pats over Dolphins. Damn. I was sure the Dolphins could win this one. Obviously, my omniscience quotient is at an all-time low. I caught some of Tom Brady's post-game press conference. Anyone who's read my blog for any length of time knows I think he's an idiot. I may have over-estimated him. It's a good thing he's pretty and can throw a football.

Bucs over Packers. Wow. THIS was the upset of the week. The Bucs get their first win, and the Pack drop two really tough losses in a row. And Aaron Rodgers is getting sacked seven ways from Sunday. Their O line has to figure things out or they're not gonna have a QB in a few weeks. He's about to look like, to quote Keith Olbermann, a bag full of mashed up Aaron Rodgers.

Saints over Panthers. Can the Saints come from behind? Yes, apparently they can. Bet Sean Payton's glad to get that monkey off his back. Can the Saints be stopped? I don't know man - it's not looking like it. It's the best start in the history of the franchise. Geaux Saints!

Seahawks over Lions. Whatever. Isn't there a mercy rule that could let both these teams out of having to play the second half of the season? Stafford: 5 picks? Really? And yet the Seahawks were down by 17at one point? Bad playing worse. Ugh.

Chargers over Giants. Now THAT was an exciting game. Particularly since the Chargers pulled it out, with about 20 seconds left. You know, more teams get burned playing prevent defense at the end of the game. Why do coaches keep thinking it's going to work? Prevent, prevent, prevent, but the team on offense (in this case, the Chargers) eats up the field and the clock in equal sized chunks, leaving the team on defense (in this case, the Giants) NO time to score when they get the ball back. Honestly, it may be more effective to let the other team have the big play and score fast so that you still have some time left. Has anyone done the math on this?

Titans over 49ers. Maybe I'm wrong - maybe Vince Young is the answer. He was the answer this week anyway. Also, the 49ers coughed it up 4 times and the Titans scored off every single one. The 49ers were looking pretty good, but maybe I was blinded by Frank Gore.

And so far, Broncos/Steelers has been turning out about how I expected - big defensive battle. Gruden's about to bust a gut. They need to make him have a few beers before the telecast or something.

05 November 2009

2009 Week 9 Picks

Last week, leading up to the matchup with the Giants, all the commentators were all "Giants Giants Giants." Then we BEAT the Giants. And now they're all "Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys." Man, you lose ONE game to the Raiders and it dogs you out FOREVER.

That's OK, though - everyone should definitely keep focusing on all the other teams in the NFC East - even the poor benighted Redskins - because we like being the underdog. First the Giants were the best team in the NFC East. Now it's the Cowboys. Whatever. We'll see what y'all have to say after we spank the Cowboys on Sunday.

Who am I picking? Please. Do you even have to ask? Get ready to cry, Tony, because you know how much we love that.

Redskins/Falcons. Falcons. Duh.

Cardinals/Bears. This one is interesting. Both teams are maddeningly inconsistent this year, beating tough opponents one week (Giants for the Cards - although maybe they aren't as tough as everyone once thought - and Steelers for the Bears - although no Troy Polamalu that week) and dropping games they should win the next (How did the Bears lose to the Packers when they still had Brian Urlacher? How did the Cards lose to the Panthers? Wait - I know this one. 5 turnovers.) I'm going to call Cardinals, but this one really could go either way.

Colts/Texans. Texans! Team of Destiny! (Really, they're probably not going to win, but you never know.)

Ravens/Bengals. A month ago? I would definitely have called Ravens. Today? I'm calling Bengals, man. They seem to finally have their collective act together.

Chiefs/Jaguars. Jaguars. The Chiefs are terrible.

Packers/Buccaneers. The Pack will bounce back from their disappointing loss at home to the Vikings last week by KICKING THE BUCS' ASSES. You heard it here first.

Dolphins/Patriots. I know this is crazy talk, but I'm calling the Dolphins. I just have a feeling about this one.

Panthers/Saints. The Saints have to drop a game eventually, but it's not going to be this week. Saints.

Seahawks/Lions. Ugh. Seahawks. And whatever you do, DO NOT watch this game. Seriously. I fear for your mental health.

Titans/49ers. 49ers. Vince Young was the answer last week against the Jags, but he's not The Answer.

Giants/Chargers. The Giants do have the advantage of being at home, but I don't think it's going to be enough of an advantage, particularly the way they've been playing lately. Chargers.

Steelers/Broncos. Hm - are you sure there's no way BOTH teams can win? The Steelers are my Pennsylvania-homer AFC team, but the Broncos have Wolverine. It's a tough choice, but I do think the Broncos will pull this one out.

On bye: Bills, Browns, Vikings, Jets, Raiders, Rams

04 November 2009

Sunday Schedule: November 8, 2009

Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom and You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad will be visiting this weekend! So if you've been thinking about joining us but haven't made it out this season yet, this Sunday is THE time. Game schedule:

1 pm: probably Redskins/Falcons, but I'd be open to argument for one of the other 1 pm games
4 pm: Chargers/Giants
8 pm: Eagles/Cowboys!

MNF: Steelers/Broncos (which I'll be watching from Chicago)

Menu: Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom is bringing a brisket! Get excited, and come hungry! With something that goes with brisket.

03 November 2009

A Modest Proposal

Advice from Chef Spouse for the next Redskins coach (because even if ZORN! lasts the rest of the season, there will be a new Redskins coach sooner rather than later):
  • Get yourself a good contract - man's gotta eat. And buy a house in the DC area, which is not for sissies. Or poor people.
  • Make a new GM an absolutely non-negotiable part of your employment
  • Write in a $100M bonus that is delivered if and only if Dan Snyder interferes in any way with the team. Don't even let him speak to any players or draft prospects other than to say "nice game, X!"
Whoever you are - and at this point, probably the only people clueless enough to be willing to TAKE the job are currently coaching high school teams - it's your only chance.

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02 November 2009

2009 Week 8 Recap

Eagles versus Giants, Sunday, November 1, 2009
In attendance: just me & Shoegal to start (Chef Spouse left at 5 am for San Antonio), but The Executive Committee and the Mad Kitchen Scientist showed up before halftime and hung out awhile.
Menu: homemade chili and cornbread, beer, ginger molasses cookies (Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom's favorites), Shoegal brought a bunch of yummy snacks (including some deliciously spicy hummus), the Mad Kitchen Scientist showed up with bread and a block of yeast for my future bread-baking experiments, and a little Eagle Rare 17 with one (ONLY one) rock to celebrate our win.
Stud of the week: It is really REALLY hard not to pick DMac, who had a pretty much perfect game (guess that rib's feeling way better), but I have to give the shout out to Leonard Weaver, who had his biggest day as an Eagle and scored our first TD of the day, setting the G-men back on their heels. 3rd offensive play of the game for us, 41 yards, longest TD run of Weaver's career. Good job, baby!
So let's get back to DMac for a minute. Wow. Just wow. I love how Tommy breaks it down - we tried to play small ball, 24 runs to 23 passes, long, slow drives where every single play doesn't have to be a Big Play, and the Giants just wouldn't let us. They blew coverage left, right, back, forward, up, down, inside, outside - pretty much every single way coverage can be blown.
All three phases were clicking - we had FIVE different guys with TDs: Maclin, McCoy, Weaver, Celek, and Peanut (of course - he hauls in a 50 yard + TD every damn game). The Giants apparently have no defensive secondary. Rocca punted well. Akers kicked well, other than a blocked extra point. Ellis Hobbes has redeemed himself since the opening kickoff of the second half of the Saints game. Our D pressured Eli all day and didn't let him get comfortable. Brandon Jacobs, other than one decent run, got precisely nowhere. The Giants seemed to get a little momentum toward the end of the first half when they finally scored, and then we rocked out two TDs in under two minutes. It was really never even in question after that, but LeSean McCoy sealed it with a final TD early in the 4th. Hell, even Peanut's TD celebration was pretty good.
And speaking of, is it just me, or does he have like two entire gears that no one else on the field has? Could he be any faster? And, as I'd hoped, Andy and Marty quit screwing around with Vick and the wildcat (although one of the other Eagles fans at last Monday's matchup with the Redskins was heard to remark that in Philly with Vick it should be called the mad dog offense) now that things are Getting Serious.
Inside the Iggles has a good player by player breakdown. A few shoutouts in particular: our young (other than the QB) offensive skill players are good now. Give them two more years together, and they'll be awesomesauce. You heard it here first. I adore Brent Celek. He busts his ass for the first down, even when we're ahead by a million points and just trying to run out the clock. Bullshit horse collar call on Jason Babin taking down Eli clearly by just his jersey and clearly when he was still not out of bounds. Apparently, if your last name is "Manning," you aren't allowed to be touched. A Jason Avant sighting! On a key 3rd down! Hopefully, Andy and Marty will remember that he's still playing for us over the next 9+ games (because there will be a plus this year, I think). I never thought I'd see a day when our O played like that without Westy. And it's just in time, because I love him, but he is wearing down for sure. Is this his last year? I wouldn't be surprised.
One thing that annoyed me was that we got the ball back turned over on downs inside the two minute warning at the end of the game. AR was all ready to knee it out, and you could see on Eli's face that he did NOT want to go back out on the field. Tom Coughlin took all their time outs, even though they were down 40-17, and made the offense go back out. I was yelling at the TV that I wanted a career ending injury for as many key Giants offensive players as possible. I mean, really, why are you doing that? There is literally NO POSSIBLE WAY to win, we're trying to be nice, every single play is a risk in football, and you're being a jackass.
So Chef Spouse, HA! You were wrong. Gotta believe, man! The Giants may not miss Plax most of the time, but I'll bet they miss him against us and our midget secondary. And in the end, they aren't all that. Bring on the Cowboys, because you know who's been their daddy in the the Tony Romo era? If you guessed E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES! you would be right.
Around the rest of the NFL...I pretty much blew all my picks. But I got the key one right, so who cares? I'm only out $5 in the weekly office football pool.
Ravens over Broncos. The Ravens not only BEAT the Broncos, they DESTROYED them. The Broncos weren't going to go undefeated, and the Ravens REALLY needed this win (at home), but still. The Broncos could not make anything happen on offense. Yes, defense can win you games, but generally speaking, the offense still has to score SOME points.
Texans over Bills. Team of Destiny! Also, did you know that that was where Ryan Moats went? Because I did not, until I saw him romp into the endzone - THREE TIMES - on the game highlight reel. In other news, I think TO's done.
Bears over Browns. Who just fired their GM. And, according to NFL.com, escorted him from the building. Ouch.
Cowboys over Seahawks. Yeah, the NFC West is still pathetic. In case you were wondering. You know, the Eagles kicked Giant ass all over The Linc yesterday, so there was a lot of conversation about the NFC East. You know who all the conversation was about? The Cowboys. F the Cowboys. They didn't get past the Giants.
Dolphins over Jets. Wilbon pointed out that this was an NFC-level nasty, hard-hitting game. Funny, I've always thought that the AFC is the big-hit conference, what with the Steelers and the Ravens and all, but I guess they're also the land of the Colts and the Patriots and, I don't know, apparently nicer teams than what you usually see in the average outdoor NFC stadium in late December.
Colts over 49ers. What was surprising was that it was such a close game, and the 49ers mostly kept Peyton out of the endzone. Some better teams should definitely study that tape. Hard.
Rams over Lions. On the MNF pre-game "Come On, Man!" segment that I love, the Ram s got called out for dumping, like, two cups of water and 12 ice cubes on Spags on his first win as a head coach. "Come On, Man!" indeed. That kind of half-assed effort is why you're 1- 7 (in case you were wondering).
Charger over Raiders. How did we manage to make JaMarcus Russell look like he might be a competent QB? Such promise, and it's just not panning out. I don't know if it's an Akili Smith situation or if it's bad coaching or what, but regardless, it's a shame. Also, the assault allegations against Tom Cable keep mounting. I know the Raiders fans love their thug image, but this is taking it a little too far.
Titans over Jags. Hm. Maybe Vince Young was the answer all along. What are the odds?
Vikings over Packers. Not only do the Packers lose to Brett Favre in a purple uni at home, but Aaron Rodgers is starting to show wear and tear from the beating he's been taking. Could they maybe try to find that poor kid a little protection? And it sounds like the locker room is not exactly unified. Problems up in Green Bay.
Panthers over Cardinals. Did I say Jake Delhomme has had it? Well, actually, maybe he has, but Kurt Warner threw about 3,657,237 picks, and it's hard for any team to recover from that.
We're just over 2 minutes from the half of Falcons/Saints, it's tied up, and the Falcons are doing WAY better than I anticipated they would. Colts and Saints are the last of the undefeated teams. Not that I think the Falcons are going to pull this out, but any given Sunday, and twice that for divisional games.