30 December 2011

2011 Week 17 Picks

This is it - the end of the road. Well, at least for some teams, two of which will be facing off at the Linc this week, as the Redskins travel to Philly to close out the season.

The other day, the Washington Post sports section did a "the last time the Redskins and Eagles played on New Year's Day" feature. They made a HUGE deal about the fact that the Redskins won, 31-20. Do you remember when it was? Does Jan. 1, 2006 ring a bell? You remember - the final game in the disaster season, when literally every player on the entire team was injured at one point or another, and Mike McMahon was under center?

Yep, that's how bad things are in DC - the local sports writers have to relive the glory days of 5 years ago, when the Redskins first team was able to take out the Eagles practice squad.

Things are going to go a little different this time, bitches.


In the rest of the matchups - things get tough to pick as teams consider resting their starters. But do they tell US who they'll be resting? Nooooo, of course not!

Jets at Dolphins: Dolphins. Because I think the Jets are mess, and I figure if they can't beat the Giants for us, they don't deserve to win another game.

Panthers at Saints: The Saints are in the running for the first round bye, and they should be able to handle the Panthers in their own house. But they need the 49ers to lose to the Rams, too, which ain't gonna happen.

49ers at Rams: 49ers. See above.

Titans at Texans: The Titans need a miracle to make the postseason. The only thing they can control is beating the Texans. And although Wade Phillips will be be back, the Texans have nothing much to play for, seeing as they've already won the division and can't get the bye. I think the Titans will do what they can and win this game, but I don't think the rest of the cards are going to fall the right way for them.

Lions at Packers: I'm going with the Lions. I think they'll want it more (I cannot overstress how important holding on to the 5th seed will be), and, with nothing more to gain, I think the Pack will rest some of their dinged up starters.

Bears at Vikings: aka the Pee Wee Bowl. The Bears have lost their last five. The Vikings have lost four of their last five, and the one win was over the Redskins. Neither team has anything to play for at this point, other than maybe draft position. I'm going with Vikings, just because they're at home.

Colts at Jaguars: The Colts better watch it, or they'll play themselves right out of the Luck sweepstakes. Jaguars.

Bills at Patriots: It's probably too much to ask the Bills to beat the Pats twice in one season. Patriots.

Seahawks at Cardinals: Man, have the Cards disappointed this season, particularly Kevin Kolb. Guess we know now why Andy Reid didn't mind letting him go. Seahawks.

Chargers at Raiders: Back on the "which team has something to play for?" theme, I'm going with the Raiders.

Chiefs at Broncos: Chiefs. And not just because I want the Raiders to win the division. I think Tebow's luck has run out, at least on the 2011 season. During the offseason, he might want to look into actually learning how to play his position.

Buccaneers at Falcons: The Falcons, of course, ALSO don't want the #6 seed in the NFC. Particularly after last Monday night. And they'll win this game, but it won't be enough.

Ravens at Bengals: Both of these teams really want this game, too. The Bengals need it to make the playoffs, and the Ravens need it to hold off the Steelers, who will DEFINITELY win their game. Ravens.

Steelers at Browns: See above. Steelers.

Cowboys at Giants: Giants. And not just because I don't want the Cowboys to win the division. I genuinely believe the Giants are the better team. I also genuinely believe that whichever team wins this game will go down in the first game of the playoffs, because the NFC East is just not very good this year. But Giants fans will at least get one week to dream.

28 December 2011

Hawaii, Baby, Hawaii!

Congratulations to Eagles first team Pro Bowlers LeSean McCoy, Jason Babin, and Jason Peters.  All are having exceptional seasons, Shady in particular.

(Honorable mentions to alternates Cullen Jenkins and Nnamdi Asomugha, although I'm pretty sure Nnamdi got the bid on name recognition alone, since he hasn't exactly had a dominant season.)

Finally, I have to give another shout-out to David Akers, headed to his SIXTH Pro Bowl, where he'll likely keep adding to his "most points in Pro Bowl history" record.

26 December 2011

2011 Week 16 Recap

Eagles at Cowboys, Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy holidays, y'all! Whatever you celebrate, and whoever you celebrate with, I hope you had a good time. I certainly did, watching the Eagles stomp the Cowboys for the second time this season.

Stud of the week: Alex Henery. On a day when David Akers set the single season field goal points record, Henery made his 14th straight and his first over 50 yards. I actually noted the Akers' record on Facebook and got "thank you" comments from a number of my 49ers-loving friends. I know, I know - who cares about a kicker? Well, I do. I was very fond of David Akers and very sorry to see him depart. I'm hoping that Henery can pick up where he left off. It seems unlikely that he'll be as good a final line of defense as our former Jiu-Jitsu trained kicker, although he did manage to slow down Dwayne Harris long enough for the cavalry to get there.

The Eagles blogging family has been fairly low-key about the win over the Cowboys. Sure, the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs by shortly after kick off, and sure, maybe the Cowboys didn't really care to win the game, since it comes down to next week's matchup against the Giants regardless. But I'm proud of our guys for not giving up and going out strong.

OK, sure, the Dolphins and Jets will be watching the playoffs from their couches too - hell, I think the Cowboys will as well, because my money's on the Giants to win next week - but again, they haven't given up.

To quote BGN: "too little, too late." And they're right. The Eagles blew games they should've won back when it mattered, giving up an epic number of fourth quarter leads and not even managing to pull off a divisional title in a sadly diminished NFC East. And even though the D has played MUCH better of late, Juan Castillo's job may still be on the line, particularly if Spags gets fired in St. Louis (which seems pretty likely to me).

On the other hand, our boys beat Dallas in THEIR house on Christmas Eve, and almost pitched a shut out to boot. Would I have preferred a different ending to the season? Hell yeah, but the team will go 8-8 and hopefully have something to build on for next year after they get rid of the dead weight (like Vince "Dream Team" Young - may he be traded to Vikings, who do need a QB - and Steve Smith).

Around the rest of the NFL....

 Colts over Texans: Damn, y'all! Ask the Colts about how well it works to go into the playoffs cold.

Ravens over Browns: Um, duh.

Bills over Broncos: Apparently, the Tebow magic is wearing off. Next week comes down to who wants it more in the West, with the Chiefs taking on the Broncos and fighting to maybe remove the  "interim" from interim head coach Romeo Crennel's title, and the Chargers, who have nothing to play for as far as I can tell (Norv Turner's O-U-T), facing the Raiders. Love to see the Raiders take the division back.

Panther over Buccaneers: And Cam Newton broke the rookie single season yardage record! Go Cam! The Panthers definitely have something to build on for next year. That switch to Ron Rivera's working out pretty well, too.

Bengals over Cardinals: Surely you've seen The Play, right? Wow. Bengals could still get to the playoffs, by the way. Ginger Power!

Raiders over Chiefs: I shouldn't have given up on the Raiders. They're not dead yet!

Pats over Dolphins: But just barely and after having gotten down by 17 points to a 5-9 team. If defense truly does win championships, the Pats won't be going very far this year.

Giants over Jets: Back at the beginning of the season, I called the Jets to win the AFC East. To quote myself, I put my money on "a quarterback who can manage the game." Over at the HuffPo, one of the commentors gave me shit for calling Sanchez "a quarterback who can manage the game." And he's right. That was giving Sanchez WAY too much credit. He's a punk, and so is Rex Ryan who, as far as I'm concerned, should never say another word in public ever again. Ah well, the Giants will win the division next week, and even though, at least from my experience at the new Meadowlands, their fans are a bunch of violent assholes, it's still better than the Cowboys. Also, the officiating was terrible, and it was nearly all terrible in favor of the Giants. Sour grapes? Maybe.

Steelers over Rams: Speaking of shut outs and Spags losing his job...

Titans over Jags: The Titans could still squeak into the playoffs, but pretty much all the scenarios require a Jets win, so...they're dead.

Vikings over Redskins: OK, I did not watch the game, but could someone please tell me how this happened? For chrissakes, Adrian Peterson wrecked his knee in the second quarter, Christian Ponder went down, too, and the Vikes still managed to put up 33 points. Could someone tell me how that happened? Seriously? I thought the Skins' strong suit was their defense. Anyone?

Lions over Chargers: The Lions are going to the playoffs for the first time since pretty much the invention of the non-leather helmet! Talk about over-delivering on their "Team of Destiny" status! Go Lions! Hang on to that fifth seed, though - you do NOT want to play your first playoff game in a zillion years against the Saints in the Superdome, trust me. Also, which is the biggest disappointment this year: Chargers, Eagles, or Jets? Discuss.

49ers over Seahawks: And David Akers matched and broke Neil Rackers' single-season field goal record, and then topped himself. OK, there is a down side to this: that many field goals means the 49ers are having trouble getting in the end zone. Still, they're 12-3 and have clinched the division, so it's not hurting them that bad. At least not as long as they can count on David Akers' left leg. He'll probably get a Pro Bowl bid - at least he should - but maybe he'll be too busy prepping for the Super Bowl to go to Hawaii?

Packers over Bears: I'm the 9,456,732nd person to observe this, but Aaron Rodgers is having one hell of a season, and it's a good thing, because the Packers' D is no great shakes, either. Hm...if defense really DOES win championships, maybe that "49ers in the Super Bowl" thing isn't as crazy as it sounds...

21 December 2011

2011 Week 16 Picks

This week, the Eagles travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys at home on Christmas Eve. In their last meeting this season, you may recall that the Eagles whupped up on the Cowboys to the tune of 34-7 at the Linc (one of the few home games the Eagles have won this season).

It's really hard to beat a divisional foe twice in the same season.

The Eagles may be heating up, but Dallas reeled off 4 wins after that whupping in week 8 before dropping their last two, to the Giants and the Cardinals, who inexplicably seem to have had the NFC East's number this year.

This really could go either way. Both teams can score points. Both teams can force turnovers. Both teams can commit turnovers. Both teams can show up big, or not at all, often from one quarter to the next. I'm hoping the Eagles show up, and the Cowboys pull their usual late-season meltdown. Bonus points if Tony Romo does something stupid enough that he starts to cry. That would be an EXCELLENT gift.

I think LeSean McCoy (who, you might have heard, got the most fan votes for the Pro Bowl of any back in the league, coming in 6th in overall voting behind only Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Welker and Calvin Johnson) is the key to this game. He crushed the Cowboys in week 8. Not only did he rack up a ton of yards, he more importantly crushed the confidence of the #1 rushing defense in the league (at the time). Well, Shady and turnovers, which have been the Eagles Achilles heel this year.

I'm throwing caution and good sense to the wind and picking what needs to happen for the Eagles to make the playoffs.


Don't let me down, guys.

As an aside, if it all goes to hell this weekend, know that it's my fault.

(Chef Spouse thinks THIS will be the year the Eagles win the Super Bowl. He's either delusional, cracking under the holiday stress, or he's been hitting the sauce on the sly.)

In the rest of the matchups:

Texans at Colts: Can the Texans win without Wade Phillips? I think so, but only because they're playing the Colts. Texans.

Browns at Ravens: The Ravens will bounce back from last week's loss to the Chargers. Trust.

Broncos at Bills: Broncos. See last week's observation that, in fact, the Bills just might lose all the rest of their games.

Buccaneers at Panthers: Panthers. The Bucs are in a tailspin, and the Panthers got swagger.

Cardinals at Bengals: Interesting matchup. Both teams are in the hunt. With the Bears and possibly the Giants faltering, the door's open for the Cardinals to take the #6 seed. Meanwhile, the Bengals are neck and neck with a Jets team that's on the ropes. Chef Spouse says Bengals, and playing at home, I think he may be right.

Raiders at Chiefs: Before last Sunday, I would've picked the Raiders definitely. Now I'm not so sure. Go Romeo Crennel! Hell, I'm calling the Chiefs in an upset.

Dolphins at Patriots: Sigh. Realistically, the Pats have this. But wouldn't it be awesome if the Fins were able to sneak a win? Not gonna happen.

Giants at Jets: Both teams are reeling, but my Eagles need the Jets to show up. Hey, they took last week off, so they should be nice and rested. Jets.

Rams at Steelers: Steelers. Even without Big Ben. If they can keep him on the bench. Maybe he'll get confused about the whole Christmas weekend Saturday/Sunday thing?

Jaguars at Titans: If the Titans hadn't lost to the Colts...of course, the Jags did win their week 1 meeting...and it's tough to beat a divisional rival twice in a season...and Matt Hasselbeck seems to be OK...I think I just talked myself into calling the Titans.

Vikings at Redskins: The Redskins have been playing up - or down - to their competition all season. But even they can't stoop this low. Redskins.

Chargers at Lions: The Chargers have a long way to go to secure a playoff spot, and all the Lions need is a win and they're secured a spot. And they're at home. Lions.

49ers at Seahawks: Regardless of how this game turns out, I'm rooting for David Akers to make three field goals. But I think the 49ers will win.

Bears at Packers: Packers, Josh McCown or no Josh McCown. Sole game on Christmas, too.

Falcons at Saints: The Falcons really need this game, but the Saints are nearly unbeatable at home. I don't expect that to change Monday. Saints.

19 December 2011

2011 Week 15 Recap

Eagles v. Jets, Sunday, December 18, 2011

This weekend, Chef Spouse and I celebrated our 19th anniversary. I think, on some level, the Eagles knew and engineered a win as a gift for us. And they even managed to win at home! Thanks, guys! We really appreciate it! Although a winning SEASON would've been an even better gift. Next year's 20. Super Bowl? Just sayin'.

Yeah, I know, if things fall JUST right, the Eagles could still win the division. I'm afraid to start hoping, though, since that really hasn't gone well for Bleeding Green Nation so far this season. You know, hope.

Stud of the week: I know you're tired of hearing this, but how could it NOT be Shady? My secret running back boyfriend tied and then broke Steve Van Buren's SIXTY-SIX year old franchise records for most rushing TDs and most total TDs in a season. Shady also has the most TDs this season in the entire NFL. And he has a shot at Wilbert Montgomery's franchise single season rushing record, too. Y'all, seriously, go vote for him for the pro bowl, because if he doesn't get a bid, I may have to stop believing that people are fundamentally good.

Shout-outs also go to Jason Babin, sack leader of the NFL, and to Brent Celek, who  had a big day with 150+ yards and a TD of his own.

This is the team I expected to see, if not in September, then certainly by the time the guys came back from the bye.

Is the defense finally coming together? The Dolphins and Jets aren't exactly known for tearing it up offensively - both teams have banked on excellent defense this year - but still, both teams were thoroughly shut down. I've been calling for Juan Castillo's head, along with, well, EVERYONE, but if the D can hold up like this against the Cowboys and Redskins and help the team win out, I might have to revise that judgement.

The offense was on fire. Again, these are the guys we all expected to see 8 weeks ago. Vick got hit less. DJax actually held on to passes. So did Maclin.

Special teams is still an issue. Curtis Marsh probably needs to be sent to timeout to think about his actions until he's ready to apologize. And I miss Akers. You miss Akers. We all miss Akers.

It's the final two weeks. Wildcard's not a possibility, but the NFC East title still is. Hold on to your hats.

Around the rest of the NFL...

Once again, I got KILLED on my picks. Then again, I suspect a lot of people did.

Falcons over Jaguars: Got this one. Told you the Jags wouldn't be able to run wild against the #4 run defense in the NFL.

Cowboys over Bucs: It wouldve really helped the Eagles playoff chances if the Bucs had managed to upset the Cowboys, but let's get serious.  Then again...

Chiefs over Packers: OK, a perfect season is a REALLY REALLY LONG long shot. But the Chiefs? The CHIEFS? Who just fired their head coach? C'mon man! And, of course, now there's a script for beating the Packers. Which, if the Eagles can manage to squeak into the playoffs, might come in handy.

Dolphins over Bills: Maybe the Bills CAN lose all the rest of their games.

Seahawks over Bears: Stick a fork in the Bears. They're done.

Panthers over Texans: Come on, former Team of Destiny! Don't let that divisional title go to your heads! You need to go into the playoffs hot if you hope to win any games!

Colts over Titans: Ending their anti-perfect season, of course, but they're still strong for the #1 pick. I think they should throw the final two games to Luck it up. And the Titans really needed that game to stay in the wildcard hunt. Damn, the NFL is a hot mess this year!

Saints over Vikings: OK, the Saints are one of the few teams that actually are consistently good this year. And the Vikes are consistently bad. I suspect Leslie Frazier may not make it another season. Of course, Breesus might not, either, if they can't get his contract worked out.

Redskins over Giants: Huh. Looks like the annual Giants season-ending collapse has arrived right on time. If y'all do have one more win in you, could you please save it for the final game? Thx!

Bengals over Rams: Speaking of staying in the playoff hunt...wouldn't it be fun if both the AFC wildcards came from the north? It could happen.

Lions over Raiders: That was a nail-biter. And the Raiders really needed this game. But if Tebow time really is over, then the Raiders could take the division back, even without this win.

Cardinals over Browns: Is Kevin Kolb done? Is John Skelton the QB of the Cards future? Well, he's started or played significant portions of 6 games, of which the Cards have won 5. And their record is 7-7. You do the math.

Pats over Broncos: Apparently, God doesn't care about football, but the devil does.  Chef Spouse observed that, seeing as it's hard to beat a team twice, if the apocalypse does show up, it's probably good that Satan's team won this one.

Chargers over Ravens: And it wasn't even close. I would've put the Ravens in the "consistently good" category and the Chargers in "consistently inconsistent" prior to last night. I could see a Ravens-Packers Super Bowl. But after last night, who knows?

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14 December 2011

2011 Week 15 Picks

Remember the last time the Eagles put together what amounted to their longest winning streak (2 games) this season? For three weeks - week 6, the bye and week 8 - it felt like maybe the Eagles were finding their way, putting their season together, pulling out the tailspin. It felt like, maybe, the team was 3-4 on their way to 11-5 or maybe even 12-4, and a glorious march deep into the playoffs, maybe even the Super Bowl.

That was fun, wasn't it? When we all still had hope?

Which, of course, the proceeded to crush by dropping the next two games to the Bears and, humiliatingly, the Cardinals.

Since then, the Birds have dropped two more on their way to a 5-8 record. And even though they aren't technically out of the running for the playoffs, they will be after this weekend, when I'm picking them to lose at home to the Jets. Because, aside from the fact that the Jets are a better team, home games have been poison for the Eagles in the past two years.


In the rest of the matchups:

Jaguars at Falcons: The Falcons have the #5 ranked rushing defense. MJD is not going to have another four touchdown week. Falcons.

Cowboys at Buccaneers: The Cowboys might be entering a late-season slide (you should hear the wailing over at Blogging the Boys), but they aren't sliding that far. Cowboys.

Dolphins at Bills: Tough one to call. If Sparano were still there, I would be totally Team Fins, but with an interim and the upheaval, I'm not so sure. And after starting so well, the Bills can't possibly lose ALL the rest of their game, right? Right? Bills. Maybe.

Seahawks at Bears: The Bears are reeling and the Seahawks have won 4 of their last 5. Still, they aren't great on the road, and Tavaris Jackson is likely to have a tough day against the still very scary Bears defense. Beast Mode, sure, but it's not easy to get yards on the ground against the Bears either. Bears. Even if Devin Hester has to score all their points off punt returns.

Panthers at Texans: Cam Newton scores a ton of points, but the Panthers' D is weaker than wet tissue paper, and the Texans can score points, too. Go Texans! A first round bye is still in reach!

Titans at Colts: Titans. Moving on...

Packer at Chiefs: Packers. Again, moving on...

Saints at Vikings: Saints. Wow, these are easy this week. Well, until some team pulls off some huge upset win, of course. But I don't think it's going to be the Vikings.

Redskins at Giants: This is an interesting matchup. The Redskins played great against the Pats last week and, speaking of upset wins, almost pulled one off. The Giants did upset the Cowboys at home. I really want to call the Redskins to pull off the upset win. Still, they did beat the Giants at home in week 1, and it's really hard to sweep a team in your own division. I talked myself into it - Giants.

Bengals at Rams: Bengals. Who need every game from here on out to have a shot at the wildcard.

Lions at Raiders: The Lions are looking good for wildcard, too, but they can't drop too many more games, either. Suh's back, and the Raiders seem to have lost their mojo - maybe Tim Tebow stole it. Lions.

Browns at Cardinals: Who's under center for the Cards this week? If it's Skelton, I'm going Cards.

Patriots at Broncos: Irresistible force, meet immovable object. I always get pwned when I pick against the Pats, but I can't deny the Tebow magic. I don't know how the Broncos will manage to hold the Pats to, like, 10 points, but I'm sure that somehow, it will happen. Broncos. Oh, and there's a good chance I watch this rather than the Eagles game (kidding - maybe).

Ravens at Chargers: Ravens. Who need this to stay ahead of the Steelers. And the Chargers are kind of a mess this year. Not as big a mess as the Eagles, of course, but still.

Steelers at 49ers: This is going to be a good game. I'm going Steelers, but really, this one could go either way.

12 December 2011

2011 Week 14 Recap

Eagles at Dolphins, Sunday, December 11, 2011 

Even when they win, I'm not happy.

Stud of the week: the ENTIRE defense. Three forced fumbles, about a zillion sacks, three third-and-short stops, two fourth-and-short stops, a goal-line stand, another Kurt Coleman pick, and a partridge in a pear tree. Casey Matthews even managed three tackles and a sack!

(Also, Shady's one rushing TD from tying Steve Van Buren's record that's stood since 1945. 66 years! So see, the Eagles' aversion to running the football clearly predates Andy Reid. Kidding!)

It was so bad, Tony Sparano lost his job. Sure, we all knew that was coming, but in week 14? Harsh.

Where have these guys been the entire REST of the season? I don't trust it. In the continuing story of the 2011 Eagles season, we see flashes of excellent play, which then go AWOL for several weeks. Yeah, everyone's all "the Eagles aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet!" No, they aren't. But realistically, they aren't going to win out AND get BOTH the Giants and the Cowboys to lose out. So all the Eagles are doing at this point is teasing us, and messing up their draft position. And risking further injury to Vick, Maclin and a bunch of other guys who could be key to doing better NEXT year.

No, apparently, there's no pleasing me.

Around the rest of the NFL...

Steelers over Browns: They're holding Big Ben together with Bondo and duct tape at this point, but it seems to be working.

Ravens over Colts: The commentators are starting to pick up on the whole "the Colts' record proves that Peyton Manning really is the MVP." Chef Spouse said it first, WEEKS ago. Represent!

Falcons over Panthers: The Panthers had the upset win in the bag...until they had to play the fourth quarter. That sounds really familiar...

Texans over Bengals: The Texans, on the other hand, played the WHOLE game. Rookie TJ Yates led one hell of a drive to clinch the AFC South for the Texans, marking their first post-season appearance EVER. Way to go, former Team of Destiny.

Lions over Vikings: You know, there was a lot of shitty officiating yesterday, but perhaps none so bad at the total whiff on DeAndre Levy's facemask of Joe Webb that ended the Vikings' attempt to win it late. Still, this year's Team of Destiny managed to (maybe) halt a depressing slide after a promising start to the season and are still definitely in the post-season hunt themselves.

Jaguars over Bucs: MJD! No really, he was the difference maker in this game. Well, that, and the Bucs apparent COMPLETE inability to stop the run, or even slow it down much. And their complete inability to hang onto the ball. Yeah, seven turnovers really will never, ever equal a win. Ever.

Jets over Chiefs: Speaking of coaches getting fired, Todd Haley's gone, too. Is it just me, or does is seem kind of pointless to fire coaches this late in the season? Your season is over, just let the guy play out the rest of the games and fire your coach on January 2 with everyone else.

Saints over Titans: And Matt Hasslebeck tore up his calf. Which, come to think of it, handed the Texans the division and clinched the Saints to at least make the playoffs. Thanks, man! You did me a solid there!

Pats over Redskins: I have to give the Skins credit. If Tom Brady hadn't drawn some Brady calls - you know, the calls that Brady gets that NO OTHER QBs in the league get - the Skins might've managed to upset the Pats. And they played HARD. There may be cause for hope in DC. Uh oh.

Cards over 49ers: Huh. 49ers slacking off now that they've won the division? Maybe.

Broncos over Bears: OK, maybe God really does love Tim Tebow best. Did you see the game? I think Marion Barber should probably just STAY in Denver and send for his stuff. Or not - he's a football player. He can buy more stuff. I wouldn't go back to Chicago, though. Also, I know it's Mile High Stadium (or whatever dumb corporate name they've now attached to it "at Mile High"), but THREE field goals over 50 yards? And the game winner would have been good from at least 65. Wow.

Packers over Raiders: But it cost them Greg Jennings, at least for a while. Of course, last year they didn't seem to mind having, oh, PRACTICALLY THE ENTIRE TEAM on IR. So maybe it won't matter. Still, the pursuit of perfection is a dangerous game.

Chargers over Bills: And Buffalo's out of the playoffs. Again. Lucky #13 next year? I really thought this was going to be a better year for them. Guess not.

Giants over Cowboys: So last week was really busy, with a software users' group meeting, a technology conference at which I was presenting, the winter performance of my belly dance company, and a visit from Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom and You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad (tied to the performance). And I have a really bad cold - I even lost my voice for two days (fortunately, after I presented). And Chef Spouse left this morning at 6 am for a trip to Seattle (he's with the team from Cisco in box seats at Monday Night Football as I type this). And the game was exciting, with constant lead changes. But as we got to the end of the third quarter, it looked to me like the Cowboys were starting to pull away, and I needed to try to get some sleep. Yep, I went to bed and MISSED IT. The G-men mounted a furious comeback, thus marginally increasing the chances the Eagles could see the post-season.

06 December 2011

2011 Week 14 Picks

And the 2011 season trudges on.  The rumor is that Vick will be back this week, and I have to ask: why? Season's over, man. The Eagles just gave him a fairly sizable contract. Why are they risking a guy who's already banged up on meaningless games? Same thing goes for all the others who are banged up: Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, Nnamdi Asomugha, DRC...everybody. Why not play the second and third team guys and see what they have? Sure, Vick is fun to watch and all, but really, this just seems pointless.

The Eagles are traveling to Miami to take on the Dolphins this week. Both teams are 4-8. The Dolphins, by way of a reminder, have won 4 of the last 5. The Eagles have lost 4 of the past 5. Although the Dolphins are not good against the pass, they are excellent against the run. You may recall that there's this guy? Named LeSean McCoy? Who's a back and has been pretty much the only consistently good part of the entire season.

But ultimately the trend line may be all we need to know. The Fins seem to be all in fighting for their coach's job. The Eagles seem to be, well, not.


In the rest of the matchups:

Browns at Steelers: Steelers. Poor Browns.

Buccaneers at Jaguars: Both teams are in trouble, but a missing head coach is worse than a missing QB. Bucs.

Texans at Bengals: Sorry, Texans, you know I love you, but the Bengals are surging, and need every game to keep them in the AFC wildcard hunt at this point. Meanwhile, the Texans have a 2 game lead in the south with 4 games to play. While they haven't locked up the south, they are 4-0 in their division. Not that they aren't motivated, of course, just that I suspect the Bengals are a bit more motivated at this point. Bengals.

Chiefs at Jets: I have to think the Jets aren't going to drop a critical game at home, because they need every game at this point to stay in the AFC wildcard race themselves. And it's going to be a defensive battle, and that favors the Jets, too. Jets.

Vikings at Lions: Lions. Who are right in it for the NFC wildcard. But they gotta get their anger issues under control.

Colts at Ravens: Ravens. Move along.

Saints at Titans: Saints. Same.

Falcons at Panthers: Falcons. Who also need this game to stay in the NFC wildcard race. I love Cam, but he makes rookie mistakes that the Falcons will take advantage of.

Patriots at Redskins: Pats. Ouch.

Bears at Broncos: Caleb Hanie versus Tim Tebow? Please. Broncos.

49ers at Cardinals: 49ers. The teams really are sorting themselves out at this point, aren't they?

Bills at Chargers: Oh man, both of these teams are really sliding bad. The Bills, after starting so well, have lost five in a row. The Chargers beat the Jags on Monday, but that ended a SIX game losing streak. So disappointing on both counts. Who's going to win? The Chargers are strong through the air, while the Bills are strong on the ground. The Bills are not great against the pass, and the Chargers are even worse against the run. But you can score a lot faster through the air than you can on the ground, and that favors the Chargers.

Raiders at Packers: Chef Spouse thinks this could be a trap game for the Packers. I think the Raiders are going to be playing an undefeated Pack at Lambeau in the cold. To me, that says Packers.

Giants at Cowboys: Good choice for the Sunday night game, NFL! The Giants seem to be entering their typical end of season slide. The Cowboys are always a risk to implode. And being at home doesn't seem to help them. I think Cowboys, but I could see this going either way. And if the Cowboys do win this, I think the Giants will win in week 17, by the way.

Rams at Seahawks: Are you going to bother to watch this? Because I have to tell you, I have holiday shopping to do, and it's been an INSANELY busy month. I could really use that time for shopping, or wrapping, or a trip to the post office...lots of stuff. Oh - the pick? Seahawks. The Rams definitely don't have enough juice to take out Seattle's 12th man.

03 December 2011

2011 Week 13 Recap

Eagles at Seahawks, Thursday, December 1, 2011

I hate  to say "I told you so," particularly on this one, but I told you so.

Prediction: debacle

Reality: debacle

Stud of the Week: Continuing as the only bright spot in the whole damn season, LeSean McCoy. Dear Santa: could I please have a #25 ladies jersey in black this year? 

Much like the 42-0 MNF mess in 2005, I confess that I didn't watch to the end. After Vince Young threw his FOURTH pick with about four minutes left in the game, I turned to Chef Spouse and said, "That's it. I'm out."

Where do I even start in recapping the game?

DeSean Jackson. Yes, the NFL Network clearly cut the shot where Vince Young was talking to Riley Cooper (I think) to make it look like he was talking to DJax, but the proof is in the pudding. Regardless of what was really going on Thursday night, his play all season demonstrates the fundamental truth of the fact that he's quit on the team.  And a word of advice: I know you love your buds from Cali, but laughing & talking with them while a team mate is lying injured on the ground is not cool.

Jason Babin. Tons of sacks, no stopping of the run. Great for you, not so great for the team. Hm - story of the whole season, come to think of it.

Asante Samuel: F off. Really.

Colt Anderson: Another bright spot in the season. Well, up until he tears his ACL in a meaningless game. And don't give me crap about how if only the Eagles had beat the Seahawks, they'd still be right in it. The back to back losses to the Bears and the Cardinals killed this season long before the Eagles flew out to Seattle last week.

Jason Avant: I just have to keep giving much love to a smart, serious receiver who continues to play his butt off.

One of my friends sent me a great article "Requiem for the Dream Team" that identified the five major issues with the Eagles this year. You should really read the entire article because the explanations offered are fantastic, but the five points are:
  1. Serious line deficiencies, both O and D
  2. Soft at linebacker and safety
  3. Nnamdi Asomugha, MIA
  4. Decline of Vick and Jackson
  5. Bad luck
Yep. That about sums it up.

It's amazing I got through writing that without a shot of bourbon. Guess where I'm headed now?

I'll be at a conference next week, so I'll try to recap the rest of the games, but I can't promise anything.