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!


Sunset Shazz said...

You mean McCoy (not Maclin) who had the big game and winning TD.

Anonymous said...

You are correct - that's what I get for trying to write a recap on vacation. Sloppy editing. Thanks for pointing that out!