30 January 2010

Awesome Super Bowl Stats

Emailed by blog reader Mike Fearon (and re-posted with his permission):
Since my horse is out of the race, I’m picking a team based on food ( New Orleans is much more my taste) – but in the spirit of fair play, I feel obligated to include Indianapolis . Without further delay, here are the party concepts:

New Orleans Saints

What to drink (cocktail): Sazerac
What to drink (beer): Abita Amber
What to eat: Spicy Chicken Bites
Fan faux pas: A Saints tattoo [YIKES! Somebody get that guy some teeth already!], shooting a television

Indianapolis Colts

What to drink (cocktail): Colt .45 Cocktail
What to drink (beer): Colt .45 Malt Liquor
What to eat: Hoosier "Fried" Pork Tenderloin Sliders
Fan faux pas: A horse mask

I Just Can’t Decide or I’m Rooting for the Commercials

You can turn on the Gloria Estefan, hang up a Scarface poster and chill with a Cruzan Mango Mojito all in honor of this year’s host city Miami

The stats on how people celebrate the Super Bowl are available at Mike's great web site, Book of Odds. Go check it out!

29 January 2010

28 January 2010


(even though it makes my team look bad)

25 January 2010

2009 Conference Championships Recap

Conference Championships, Sunday, January 24, 2010

In attendance: Chef Spouse, Shoegal, Chef Shorty (who was here to learn about football for his cub scout patches - really!), and his mom, The Beekeeper

Menu: Soul food extravaganza! Ribs, mac-n-cheese, collards, chipotle squash, corn bread, sazeracs, brownies. URP!

Colts over Jets.

Well, yes. Philly.com did a fun "10 things about the..." for each of the games. I still think that the thing that was the most amazing about this game was that the Jets managed to hang in there for the first half. Hell, they were leading at halftime. Of course, they didn't score another point. But still, rookie QB? Not bad.

Loved the self-possession of Sanchez, who rushed everyone to the LOS and QB sneaked after the big did-he-or-didn't-he? catch by Jericho Cotchery in the first quarter. That is some heads-up playing by the rookie. I also loved the fact that Rex Ryan got [this] close to punching one of the zebras on the non-roughing call Sanchez totally deserved. Buddy Ryan was a wild ride for Philly. Hope NYC is ready for and enjoys what's coming.

Did you notice that the Peytonator goes down if anyone even gets near him (which is rare to begin with)? Yeah, it's probably smart because it keeps him healthy. But if any Philly QB ever tried it, he'd be tarred, feathered, and run out of town in a hurry. Can you imagine the pissing and moaning if McNabb EVER dared to go down without at least 3 guys hanging off him and 2 broken bones?

Saints over Vikings.


The Saints are going to their first Super Bowl ever. The Times Picayune is running a "what excuse did you use to get out of work today?" poll. LOVE!

The Saints really did not play well. Fortunately, the Vikings turned the ball over five times. FIVE. It's not possible to win if you turn the ball over that often (unless the other team turns it over more). Particularly since Brett Favre pulled a typical and choked, throwing a pick when the Vikings could have won it with a late-game field goal without extra yards. Your kicker's name is Ryan LONGWELL for chrissakes! Although a bunch of people have been all, "Favre should've run!" Um, he wasn't ABLE to run at that point. I think his leg would have fallen off. For realz. By the end of the game, Brett Favre looked like, to quote Keith Olbermann's favorite phrase, a big bag full of mashed up Brett Favre. Now the retirement watch begins. Again. A little tip? GO AWAY.

Also, someone should probably glue some footballs to Adrian Peterson's hands for about, oh, the next month or so. "You can eat when you can learn not to drop the damn ball, donkey!"

$20 says Favre retires, then ends up QBing the Bears next year.

23 January 2010

Sunday Schedule: January 24, 2010

The game times are FINALLY posted. Sheesh!

3 pm - Colts/Jets
6:30 pm - Saints/Vikings

Chef Spouse is planning a soul food extravaganza - ribs, mac & cheese, collards. YUMMY! Bring something to go with.

22 January 2010

2009 Conference Playoffs Picks

Saints/Vikings - Everyone's all "Brett Favre's got the experience" and "Jared Allen's a monster" and "Adrian Peterson's occasionally able to hang on to the ball" and whatnot. But they're playing the NFC Championship Game in the Superdome for the first time EVER. And the Saints have in some cases almost single-handedly been holding Crescent City together since Hurricane Katrina. And they are NOT going to let their fans down now.

To quote my friend Joanne:

Our Breesus, who art in N'awlins, hallowed be thy name.Thy bowl will come; it will be won, in Miami as it is in the dome. Give us this Sunday, our weekly win. Give us touchdown passes, but do not let others pass against us. Lead us not into frustration, but deliver us to the Super Bowl, for thine is the MVP....The best... of the NFC,and the glory of the Fleur de Lis ... now and forever. Amen. Go Saints!

Colts/Jets - It's been fun, Rex, but the ride's over now. The Peytonator's going to the Super Bowl and he's taking his team and rookie head coach with him. Resistance is futile (to mix my movie references for a minute).

Edited Saturday, January 23 to add: In this morning's WaPo, Wilbon pointed out another reason the Colts will win - because it's PEYTON, if the Jets D so much as BREATHES on him, they will be penalized the likes of which we have never seen. Ponder that, knuckleheads.

18 January 2010

2009 Divisional Weekend Recap

Damn, it hurts not being able to write about the Eagles this weekend.

So another 4 games - another 3 dull blow outs.

Well, that's not *strictly* true.

I definitely enjoyed the Saints big win over the Cardinals. "Saints are stick-a-fork-in-them done"? WRONG WRONG WRONG. But glad to be wrong. The only bad side was that the Cards couldn't get much going on offense, so I didn't get to see much of my secret NFC wide receiver boyfriend Larry Fitzgerald's cute tushie. Reggie Bush had the kind of game Saints' fans have been expecting but mostly not getting since he was drafted. He quit trying to juke around guys and get fancy and just decided to run them over. Bout damn time. That beauty of an opening rush TD by Tim Hightower was about the only good thing the Cardinals managed to pull off all day. And Kurt? I know you threw a pick - don't try to block. It's totally legal to light you up, and you KNOW it's the secret fantasy of every single defensive player in the NFL to get a clean "Jacked UP!" hit on a QB. But Ben Graham? You need to at least TRY to hit Reggie Bush. That was some weak-ass BS, buddy. I think Kermit's getting his wish....

First NFC Championship Game ever in the Superdome! Geaux Saints!

Chef Spouse was really pulling for the Ravens, but like I said, Flacco would have to complete more than 4 passes for 20 yards to win. And he did. But it wasn't enough. "Resting the starters is going to result in another one-and-done for the Colts"? WRONG WRONG WRONG. How is it that the Colts can get away with 97.38% passing and be successful and we can't? Oh right - the Peytonator never gets hit. Plus if you're +3 in turnovers, as the Colts were Saturday night, there's no way you lose. Could the two #1 teams face each other in the Super Bowl this year? Yep. And when was the last time that happened?

Now seeing the Cowboys get blown out is always a good time, even if it was Brett Favre's Vikings who did it. As I expected, Jared Allen had a big day. Adrian Peterson didn't really, but Sidney Rice sure did. I love the fact that the Cowboys never even scored a TD. Tony Romo didn't cry that I could see, but he sure as hell didn't look happy. Loved the "rub your nose in it" last TD, too. Man, I just have no objectivity when it comes to the Cowboys. And I bet Wade Phillips gets fired, despite having a terrific overall winning percentage. But a 1-5 playoff record? I don't see Jerry Jones putting up with that any longer. And you notice that Andy Reid got his contract extension before the playoffs, and they're still holding on Wade? Mmm-hmm. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Now the Chargers/Jets game was exciting. Rex Ryan is a blow hard, but it ain't braggin' if you've got the goods to back it up. The Jets seem to have the goods to back it up. Chef Spouse was totally puzzled about the way the game was unfolding until I pointed out that the Jets are the #1 defense in pretty much all categories this year. You know what they say - offense wins game, defense wins championships. Nate Kaeding cost the Chargers 9 points - and the game. And two of the missed field goals were at 36 and 40 yards. Yikes.

14 January 2010

Divisional Weekend Schedule: January 16-17, 2010

Divisional Weekend Schedule

Saturday, January 16
4:30 pm - Cardinals/Saints
8 pm - Ravens/Colts

Sunday, January 17
1 pm - Cowboys/Vikings
4:30 pm - Jets/Chargers

Menu: still to be determined. Chef Spouse may be organizing his annual Metrosexual Day on Sunday pre-game, which means there could be a BIG group here. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments :)

13 January 2010

2009 Divisional Weekend Preview

It's hard to be as excited about the games now that we're out of it. On the other hand, I'll experience far fewer yelling-induced headaches this weekend. So that's good. Anyway, on to the picks....

Ravens/Colts - I think the Ravens left it all on field last week. And it was totally worth it. But the Peytonator takes no prisoners. Well, until the Colts play the Chargers. But that's not happening this week, so, much as I wish it was otherwise, I think the Colts are going to win this one.

Jets/Chargers - Speaking of the Chargers, it's been nice seeing you, Jets. Hope you enjoyed that playoff win last week, because your season is now O-V-E-R. Shame, because Rex Ryan's one entertaining mo-fo. Norv makes funnier faces, but Rex gives better press conference than anyone since Dennis Green. Anyway, Chargers.

Cowboys/Vikings - It PAINS me to be rooting for Brett Favre. I'll just concentrate on Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen. Who will hopefully make Tony Romo cry. I'm worried that the damn Cowboys are going to win ANOTHER playoff game, but I'm hoping the Vikings can accomplish what we couldn't last week and END THIS TRAVESTY. C'mon Vikings! I'm wearing every purple thing I own on Sunday for you!

Cardinals/Saints - Remember how I said in the Wildcard Weekend recap that I think the Saints are stick-a-fork-in-them done? And how I'm rooting for them anyway? GEAUX SAINTS!

11 January 2010

2009 Wildcard Weekend Recap

Eagles at Cowboys, Saturday, January 9, 2010

In attendance: Shoegal, Chef Spouse, Prototypical Eagles Fan (feel better, Ex-Navy Cheesehead!) And Limin' ABD stopped by unexpectedly on Sunday!

Menu: Popeyes.

Stud of the week: no stud of the week this week. But I am going to nominate a Stud of the Year: Donovan McNabb. McNabb has not had an easy tenure in Philly. Just to refresh your memory: booed by idiots who wanted Ricky Williams on draft day, he was pressed into service as a starter mid-way through his rookie year.

In his first year as a full-time starter, 2000, he led us into the NFC Wildcard. 2001 resulted in our first of 4 back-to-back trips to the NFC Championship Game. In 2002, he famously threw for 4 TDs on a broken leg. He missed 6 games, but came back for the playoffs and another NFC Championship Game appearance.

In 2004, he finally got the #1 wideout he'd been begging for, and we went to the Super Bowl, where we lost to Belichick's Cheaters.

McNabb then went through some wilderness years, falling prey to a sports hernia in 2005 (in the infamous Year When Everyone Got Hurt and TO Reverted to Form) and a torn ACL in 2006. Everyone, including me, was sure the window had closed. Big5 came back in 2007, starting games at least 3 months before he even should have been back on the practice field. By 2008, he was back in playoff form, taking us, once again, to the NFC Championship Game. And this year, with the youngest roster not in the division, not in the NFC, but in the entire NFL, he led us back to the playoffs.

The whole time, he's had to put up with unremitting bullshit from a cadre of vocal and stupid Philly "fans" and the often disturbingly uninformed Philly sports media. And he's kept smiling, kept answering the same asinine questions over and over with patience and good humor, and, mostly, kept winning. All while being acknowledged as one of the classiest players in the NFL.

And, for those who are all "cut Don and start Vick and/or Kevin Kolb," I need to remind you that he has the 3rd highest winning percentage of all active QBs (behind only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and I think our chances of trading for either of those guys are pretty slim - which is a good thing, because they'd never be able to withstand the Philly fan/media scrutiny). Don, I know it's not universal, but I love you and I appreciate all you've done for us.

I'm not planning to recap the game in any great detail. I think the Cowboys did a good job of identifying and taking advantage of our weaknesses: talented, inexperienced young skill players on offense (our "vets" - other than Westy, who I think might be done - are just-turned 23 DeSean Jackson and 24 year old Brent Celek), problems on the O line (losing our starting center so late in the regular season just killed us), not being able to come up with a satisfactory replacement for injured-during-the-preseason All-Pro MLB Stewart Bradley, no real safety to speak of, and rookie defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Also, the Cowboys have the biggest O and D lines in football, and that creates problems for a team that's small and quick by design. And I think they're the only team in the playoffs with no key starters injured. At this time of year, that means a lot.

It's a shame that we had to end our season like this - two back-to-back losses to Dallas - and it's a shame that we handed them their first playoff win in 13 seasons while at the same time handing Big Red his first first round playoff loss ever. On the other hand, no team has EVER lost 7 consecutive playoff games. Not even the Lions.

And the future looks great. To refresh your memory, something like 19 players out of our 53 man roster didn't play in the NFC Championship Game with us last year. Of that 19, something like 9 of them are rookies, and something like 4-5 more are sophomores (feel free to correct me in the comments if my calculations are off). The ENTIRE team has turned over in the Reid/McNabb era other than McNabb (Akers came on in McNabb's sophomore year, and Trot started in 1998, but has been in and out). That window we all thought was closed? Feels WIDE open at this point - we have a bunch of really young, really talented offensive skill players who are only going to get better. We need to work on our O-line - which is fine, AR LOVES to draft linemen - and some of our defensive secondary guys are aging. We need a safety. But we have a veteran QB who can help teach them and lead them.

When Prototypical Eagles Fan showed up, I said that, while I was hoping we'd manage to pull off the upset, I didn't think this was our year. I think it's next year or possibly even 2011. I think Mike Vick will be gone - not because of anything he did or didn't do with the Eagles, but because he wants to start and there are plenty of teams for whom he'd be a major upgrade. I think Wolverine might be back. The Eagles weren't going to match $7 million for a single season, and for all those who are still crying about "The Eagles just let him walk away!" remember that he didn't even offer to let them try to keep him. But a lot of our guys, particularly on D, have gone elsewhere for a year or two to get paid and then come home over the years. I think Westy may be done, which is a shame because we got to see a few flashes of the old BWest last night, and I'd hate to think that he ended his career with that mess as his last game. But he's a 30 year old RB who sustained two serious concussions this year and is owed more than $7 million next. I think The Big Kid's done too.

So get ready for our typical offseason: few to no big free-agent moves and really smart draft picks. Unless the collective bargaining agreement goes to hell, taking the entire league with it. And the Donovan-watch. And the Westy-watch. And relax and enjoy rooting against the Cowboys, and, at least in my house, FOR the Saints (who, I think, are stick-a-fork-in-them done, so I'll be picking up another hopeless cause, which will at least feel familiar).

Saturday night, after watching a few eps of early season Roseanne (a show which has aged surprisingly well) for some laughs, Chef Spouse and I drank a toast with some of the FINE tequila Ex-Navy Cheesehead brought us a few weeks ago to a great year of football. To quote Chef Spouse: "If only we'd beat the Raiders...then we could've lost the NFC Championship Game, like we're supposed to."

Too Pollyanna for you? Check out Igglesblog for a bleaker view. Tommy calls it "rock bottom," which I think is a little extreme, but also implies "nowhere to go but up."

In the other matchups...I am really, really bad at picking games.

Jets over Bengals. Brought to you by the color green, the letter R and the number 2. Why 2? 2 turnovers, 2 missed field goals, and Marvin Lewis used up 2 challenges - both unsuccessfully - in the first quarter. All Mark Sanchez had to do was not lose the game, and that he did. Bummer for my boy OchoCinco, but the Jets will get their comeuppance in San Diego next week.

Ravens over Pats. I may never stop laughing. OK, 3 of the games were blowouts, but at least this one wasn't dull - watching the Pats get their asses handed to them is never boring. I think Joe Flacco completed like, 1 pass for about 3 yards, but it didn't matter - Ray Lewis and the D came to BALL. And in the end, that's all that mattered. Also it was fun to watch Tom Brady get hit, whine for penalties and be roundly ignored by the officiating crew that, according to the pre-game info, was tied for the lowest penalizing crew in the NFL. HA! Not so easy to win when the zebras don't call 15 yards on anybody who looks at you too long, there, is it, Rocks?

Cards over Packers. This game made up for the other 3 dogs. Well, other than the fact that one of them was us losing to the Cowboys, that is. Aaron Rodgers was 28/42 for 422 yards 4TDs and one pick, and he was hot, for sure. But Warner had 5 TD tosses and only 4 incompletions (and NO picks). Grandpa was on FIRE! That's how we do it in the P-H-X, Junior. You know, while we were watching the game, Chef Spouse was like: "Where were these Cardinals all season?" I have a theory - they know that, as long as they can win 8 games, they'll win their division, and they're pretty much guaranteed to win at least their 6 divisional games (although of course the 49ers swept them this year), so I think maybe they basically slack off all season and save it for the playoffs. Which is looking like it might be a good strategy. What do we have to do to get transferred to the NFC West?

07 January 2010

2009 Wildcard Weekend Picks

I think this is the first time in NFL history that the first weekend of the playoffs will feature 3 repeat matchups from the last weekend of the regular season. I'm not sure what that means, but there you have it.

Edited Friday, January 8 at 12:13 pm to add: Reader Mike Fearon shared the following link/information with me: http://www.bookofodds.com/Daily-Life-Activities/Sports/Articles/A0526-Wildcard-Rematch-es-What-are-the-odds. It's a fascinating article that actually gives the odds of this situation and compares it to the odds of other real-life occurrences to give some context. You should definitely check it out! Thanks, Mike!

Eagles/Cowboys - Well, there's been the usual Philly sports media tempest in a teapot about McNabb's recent comments. What did he say that was so horrible? Quoting Philly.com:
"On Sunday, McNabb was asked whether the Eagles showed their youth. He answered in part that he felt they did, "in situations where everyone began to look around to see who was going to make the play, rather than stepping up and making that play. That's something that comes with the territory, when you have a young group . . . all throughout the year, we've had guys step up and make big plays for us when their name's called, and today it just didn't happen."

The way I see it, the Eagles *did* look like a bunch of young guys who were playing in their first really big game last Sunday. Sure, Don needs to make a play, but somebody has to catch the damn ball, and the coaches need to call plays that put us in a position to be successful.

And, once again quoting Philly.com:

"It all starts with me," McNabb said yesterday.

"I have to raise my level of play," he said yesterday, but then he kept going with this:

"And everyone else has to, as well."

Followed by the editorial comment: "Ugh."

Really? Big5 saying that everyone needs to step it up Saturday if we hope to walk away with a win merits an "Ugh" from Sam Donnellon? I guess he thinks everyone else played great Sunday and Don was the only one doing anything wrong. I also guess he must've watched a different game than I watched.

Moral of the story? Don't read the Philly sports media.

I did promise blog fan Chris that I'd give some hope.

Here's hope point 1: it's damn near IMpossible (Freudian slip? I hope not!) to beat any team 3 times in the same season. Particularly a division opponent. Particularly two weeks in a row.

Here's hope point 2: Andy Reid has never lost his first game in the playoffs. Nor has Donovan McNabb.

Here's hope point 3: the Cowboys haven't won a playoff game since before I lived in DC. Wade Phillips and Tony Romo have never won a playoff game together.

Here's hope point 4: we don't have to worry that they've totally scoped our game plan because we didn't show them anything on Sunday.

Here's hope point 5: the entire NFL Total Access team called us to win. As I believe Marshall Faulk said, "The Eagles play best when their backs are against the wall. Which is why I picked them to lose last week, and why I'm picking them to win this week."

Here's hope point 6: after sneaking by us earlier and spanking us on Sunday, the Cowboys HAVE to be overconfident. Right?

OK, in all seriousness, I am very worried about this game. We were so flat last week it was scary. We can't play that badly two weeks in a row, right? Not with so much on the line, right? We can't be the team to end the Cowboys playoff drought, right?

I'm cautiously hopeful right now. And I think we'll know which way this is going to go within the first 10 minutes of the game. If it's not going our way, you might have to talk me down off the 14th Street bridge.

Packers/Cardinals: You know how it's hard to beat a team two weeks in a row? Not for the Packers. I don't think the Cards have the firepower on D to take down the Packers. Of course, I didn't buy the Cardinals hype last year, and look how that turned out. But I'm still calling the Packers.

Ravens/Patriots: The Pats are not looking so untouchable now that their defense is weak-ass and Tom Brady gets knocked down. At this time of the year, it tends to come down to guts, balls, and who's clutch. The Ravens win on two of those, and, I think, win this game.

Bengals/Jets: Have I mentioned how annoyed I am that the Jets got a gimme against the Colts in week 16, which is the only reason they were even in the running for the playoffs? Because I'm still really, really annoyed. I would love to see Ocho Cinco and the Bengals win a playoff game. They've only even *been* to the playoffs three times in the past 20 years. And they lost their first game one of those times. And it was the most recent visit (2005 season). I'm calling Bengals, but it's more hope than confidence. Also, picking all 4 wildcard teams seems nuts.

Wildcard Weekend Schedule: January 9-10, 2010

Wildcard Weekend schedule:

Saturday, January 9
4:30 pm - Jets/Bengals
8 pm - Eagles/Cowboys

Sunday, January 10
1 pm - Ravens/Patriots
4:30 pm - Packers/Cardinals

Menu: Chef Spouse is feeling ambitious and planning to make big meals for both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will be Popeye's fried chicken. Sunday, he's thinking about Chinese.

06 January 2010

So how'd I do?

It's time for my annual Post of Shame, aka, when I own up to picking REALLY REALLY badly.

AFC East

I picked: Dolphins
Actual winners: Patriots

And the Fins aren't even in the playoffs. Sigh.

AFC North

I picked: Steelers
Actual winners: Bengals

In my defense , NO ONE saw that coming. And the Steelers, also, aren't even in the playoffs.

AFC South

I picked: Texans
Actual winners: Colts

The Texans, also, are not in the playoffs. But they ALMOST made it in and finished over .500 for the first time! Team of Destiny!

AFC West

I picked: Chargers
Actual winners: Chargers

I got one! I got one!

AFC Wildcard

I picked: Colts and Ravens
Actual winners: Ravens and Jets

In my defense, I *did* point out that the Colts and the Ravens could easily win their divisions, leaving the Texans and Steelers going in as wildcards.

As usual, The Snark gets punked by the AFC.

NFC East

I picked: Eagles
Actual winner: Cowboys

Oh man, does that rankle.

NFC North

I picked: Lions
Actual winner: Vikings

I have no excuse for that pick. I must've been hitting the gin pretty hard that night.

NFC South

I picked: Falcons
Actual winner: Saints

Ah well, at least the Falcons put together their first ever back to back winning seasons. Which is poor comfort for me.

NFC West

I picked: Cardinals
Actual winner: Cardinals

Apparently, I can only pick correctly in the weakest divisions in the NFL. That's pretty discouraging.

NFC Wildcard

I picked: Cowboys and Saints
Actual winners: Eagles and Packers

OK, I got 4 teams in the top 6 right. Just mostly in the wrong order.

And you wonder why I'm not making a paying career out of this :)

05 January 2010

Let the Beheadings Begin

Black Monday, aka The Annual Firing of the Coaches

It's like the Running of the Bulls, only with more blood shed.

Jim Zorn was the first casualty, getting fired pretty much in the middle of the night. Hell, he's probably lucky lil' Danny Snyder let him fly home from California with the team. And Mike Shanahan's in. Yeah, that's going to go well. Maybe he and Bruce Allen can stand up to the Boyking. But I doubt it. On the upside, Shanny, think about how good your head will feel one you stop ramming it into that brick wall in a few years.

The Bills fired everyone. Including the guy who drives the team bus.

There's a fair amount of speculation that Eric Mangini will be out once Mike Holmgren actually arrives in Cleveland. I think that's premature. He didn't have much to work with, and look at how successful the Redskins have been jerking a young, potentially talented QB around under a zillion head coaches and offensive systems. The Browns are going to waste Brady Quinn's talent the way the Redskins have wasted Jason Campbell's if they're not careful.

Tom Cable should be out. Aside from the fact that he's a violent asshole...well, that's pretty much all you need. He's a violent asshole who needs therapy. And maybe jail. Not necessarily in that order.

I would think that Jeff Fisher and Lovie Smith would be in trouble, were it not for the fact that they seem to be beloved. You know Andy Reid is envious. "Can't a pudgy brother get a little love over here?" No, Big Red. Sorry. You're coaching in Philly.

I think the rookie head coaches who were brought in to bad teams and had rough seasons as a result - Raheem Morris, Steve Spagnuolo, Todd Haley, Jim Schwartz - are safe. At least for now.

Jack Del Rio seems to be safe, too, although the Jags have consistently underperformed, and he probably shouldn't be. If it were up to me, I might ditch Tom Coughlin. The Giants did have some injuries to deal with, but the players seem to dislike him heartily, and can you blame them? Wade Phillips and Norv Turner could be in trouble if their teams fare badly in the playoffs. (Please God, let us be the ones who ensure the Cowboys fare badly!)

Who wants back in?

There's continuing speculation about Jon Gruden, Marty Schottenheimer, Brian Billick, and Bill Cowher. Gruden swears on a stack of Lombardi Trophies that he's happy commentating for ESPN. Why wouldn't he be? He's sharing a press box with Jaws.

The Schott claims to be too old. Maybe. He also got treated really poorly by the Chargers, and that still has to smart.

I think Cowher's the most likely to come back. He's been rumored to be shopping for assistants, and if John Fox gets it (and even with that late season winning streak he might), Cowher doesn't even have to move.

04 January 2010

2009 Week 17 Recap

Eagles at Cowboys, Sunday, January 3, 2010

In attendance: Chef Spouse, Shoegal, Ex-Navy Cheesehead. And sweet, sweet booze. Thank God.

Menu: ham, scalloped potatoes, veg casserole. And did I mention the booze?

Stud of the week: Am I allowed to pick no one? Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom pointed out that the only good thing the Philly sportscasters could say about the game was: "Sav Rocca wasn't bad." Oy. Also, Asante Samuel tipped a pass that Joselio Hanson came down with. We did nothing with it but waste a timeout lining up for a punt, but it was pretty much the only highlight of the game.

As You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad pointed out, we should probably issue an APB for the Eagles. Who were those guys in the green jerseys yesterday, and what did they do with our team?

We literally could not do a single thing right. The line couldn't protect McNabb. When they did, receivers couldn't get open. When they did, McNabb couldn't get the ball to them. When he did, they couldn't catch it. When they did, they couldn't move the chains.

For chrissakes, Andy Reid decided to go for the 53 yard field goal rather than going for it on 4-2 on the Cowboys 35. And Akers MISSED.

Maclin ran the wrong route at least twice on key plays. "5 and Dime" turned into "keep the change" as McNabb did the impossible, overthrowing Peanut. Twice. We had ONE red zone possession. In the ENTIRE game. And a bad Nick Cole snap led to a fumble that poor O-line play didn't even allow Big5 time to pick up.

And why weren't we blitzing more? Our D let us get way too far behind in the first half. Then we dumped the run entirely and everyone tried to do too much every single offensive play in the second half. There was no "Catch ball --> secure ball --> try to get some YAC --> try to move the sticks." No, it became, "I HAVE TO SCORE A TD ALL BY MYSELF RIGHT NOW ON THIS PLAY NOWNOWNOW!" for everyone.

Did they not understand that we were supposed to WIN THIS week so we could REST NEXT week? Did the Cowboys training staff sneakily mix up our Gatorade with vodka rather than water? I'm not usually one to blame the coaches - it's the players who are on the field needing to, you know, MAKE PLAYS - but when the ENTIRE team shows up completely unready to play, that's on the coaches. Who have 6 days to pull their heads out of their asses and figure this thing out.

Now, instead of getting to chill while watching the Vikings beat the Cowboys over mai tais in the Akers' rumpus room, we have to go BACK to Dallas and do it ourselves.

At least we don't have to worry that the Cowboys have already seen all our good stuff, since they've seen NONE of our good stuff. Hell, we could complete a screen pass for 5 yards, and the Cowboys would be like, "Where did THAT come from?" Ah well, as Chef Spouse pointed out, at least none of our guys cried.

Around the rest of the NFL...

Bills over Colts. Told you. Also, how awesome was it to watch Blizzard Bowl 2010? Also, Peyton Manning's looked like he's snacking on ground glass on the sidelines the past two weeks. Sure, 16-0 was meaningless. RIIIIIIGHT. The Colts are going down in the first playoff game - as usual. You read it here first.

Panthers over Saints. OK, they didn't play their starters, and the Cowboys are tougher than we thought (thinking back to their first lost game). I still think the Saints peaked too early and will also lose their first playoff game. Which means it's really a bugger that we're not sitting at #2 and looking ahead to hosting the NFC Championship Game in an outdoor stadium in the northeast in January as God intended.

Browns over Jags. Man, it's too bad I skipped the office football pool this week - I was on a roll. Well, other than that whole Eagles/Cowboys debacle.

Texans over Pats. The big news from this game, other than the Texans having their first winning season EVER, is that the Pats have likely lost Wes Welker for the playoffs. Yeah, they weren't going to the show this year anyway.

Vikings over Giants. Life-Long Eagles Fan asked me today, "What do you think happened to the Giants this year?" Two things: no Plax and no Spags. And Bill Sheridan's already been fired.

49ers over Rams. "And with the #1 pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the St. Louse Rams choose..." Well, since they need EVERYTHING, really anyone would be a good choice. But if it were up to me, I'd take Ndamukong Suh.

Falcons over Bucs. The Falcons just pulled off their first back-to-back winning seasons EVER. Ponder that for a minute if you need something to talk you down off the ledge after 24-0.

Steelers over Dolphins. Well, it's a good thing the Dolphins are out of the playoffs because they are completely out of quarterbacks. Good timing, I guess.

Bears over Lions. Oh yeah, Jay Cutler can kick ass. When it doesn't matter. Whose decision was it to get him again? GM Jerry Angelo? Black Monday's usually for coaches, but....

Chiefs over Broncos. How the hell do you roll over for the CHIEFS at HOME with the playoffs on the line? Also, Brandon Marshall's probably gone.

Ravens over Raiders. When it became clear that there was no way we had any chance of getting our shit together, I tried to convince Chef Spouse to switch us over to this game, which was close and hard fought and also had playoff implications. I was unsuccessful and had to suffer through our ENTIRE game. What good is the Sunday Ticket if I can't use it to avoid having to watch a 3 hour train wreck?

Titans over Seahawks. The only interesting thing about this game is that Chris Johnson went over 2,000 yards for the season, becoming only the 6th player in history to do so.

Chargers over Redskins. Even without their starters. Ouch.

Packers over Cardinals. Yeesh.

Jets over Bengals. Another shut out leading to another wildcard weekend rematch. And even though the Bengals starters played, I'm still pissed that the Jets were even in consideration because the Colts took last week off. It's totally unfair. I hope the Bengals kill 'em next week.