31 October 2013

2013 Week 9 Picks

Happy Halloween, y'all! Do the Birds have a trick or a treat in store for fans Sunday?

Well, they're traveling to Oakland to face the Raiders. Now, normally, road games are a bad thing for middling-to-bad teams like the Eagles. They need that little boost of the home crowd and home stadium to have a chance.

But not our boys. Playing on the road is actually a mark in their favor. Sigh.

And it's official: Nick Foles is back. With Vick still gimpy and Captain Turnover as the Birds' only other option, that's a good thing, too.

The Raiders have a mid-pack passing defense, but a top five rushing defense. That's a bad thing. In order for the Eagles to win, they'll need a successful rushing attack to take some of the pressure off Foles and help prevent the dreaded "trying to do too much." Help us, Shady, you're our only hope.

Fortunately, the Raiders' offense is nearly non-existent. Wait - that's actually a problem, too, since the Eagles defense has been playing relatively well lately. Well, maybe the Eagles D can shut out the Raiders, which means as long as they can get another special teams score, we're golden!

Thing is, I have to pick the Eagles this week, not least of which because it might be the last winnable game this season. Well, OK, they'll probably beat the Vikings, but still, I had the team going 8-8 this year, and there isn't a lot of time (or a lot of options) left to get those additional 5 wins.

In the other matchups:

Dolphins at Bengals: Bengals. They're good, the Dolphins aren't, end of story. Also, seasonally-appropriate uniforms!

Chiefs at Bills: Big Red, Alex Smith, and Jamaal Charles have to lose sometime, but it's not gonna be this week! Go Chiefs!

Falcons at Panthers: If you had asked me who'd win this game two months ago, I would've picked Matty Ice and the Dirty Birds. That was before the Panthers' defense started, um, dominating. Panthers.

Vikings at Cowboys: Look for the Cowboys to extend their lead in the NFC East as they take on the Adrian Petersons, who's good, no doubt, but he's also pretty much their entire team at this point, which is not good.

Saints at Jets: Chef Spouse will be happy - I'm NOT picking the Jets this week. The Saints are just too complete. This round goes to you, Rob.

Titans at Rams: Even without Sam Bradford, the Rams gave the Seahawks a scare last week, who required some last minute goal line stand heroics from their defense to hold on to their 14-9 win. Since then, the Cardinals have gone on to lose the World Series to the Red Sox (Crossing Broad best expresses my thoughts on that). I expect that to set the tone for the Rams this week, too. titans.

Chargers at Redskins: I have the Chargers here, who match up well with the Skins, but, I think, edge them slightly on both sides of the ball.

Buccaneers at Seahawks: You know how I just mentioned the last second heroics that were required of the Seahawks last week? Yeah, they won't need that this week, at home against a team that's at 0-7 and, from what I can tell, in total disarray. Seahawks.

Ravens at Browns: Here's another one that would've seemed obvious in August, and now has me looking the other way. I think Jason Campbell, who I've always liked, gives them a little mojo. And remember, their defense is quietly pretty damn good, too. Picking the upset, going with the Browns.

Steelers at Patriots: No upset here. Patriots.

Colts at Texans: So tempted to pick the Texans. They have to pull it together sometime, right? But they're a mess at QB, with a healthy Matt Schaub NOT starting, and Case Keenum vaulting TJ Yates to take the starting spot. Yes, Keenum played well against the Chiefs, but I think that was a fluke, and I think there are more cracks in the Texans' foundation. Colts.

Bears at Packers: Both of these teams have SERIOUS injury issues right now. I can't list all the players who are hurt on both teams - I don't have that much time. But the Pack still has ARodg and Lambeau provides some hard-core homefield. Packers.

On bye: 49ers, Broncos, Cardinals, Giants, Jaguars, Lions

28 October 2013

Now is the Autumn of Our Discontent

Eagles 7, Giants 15, Sunday, October 27, 2013 

With all due respect to The Bard and apologies for the misquote, these bums are definitely "not shaped for sportive tricks...
[They are] curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before [their] time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at [them] as [they] halt by them;
(from Richard III

Stud of the week:  Zak DeOssie? After, all, it was his terrible snap that allowed Najee Goode to score
the Eagles only points of the day also preventing a shut out. OK, OK, Goode gets it by default. Mychal Kendricks and Bradley Fletcher had decent days, too.

Once again, the defense did what should have been enough to win, holding the G-men to 15 points and keeping them out of the endzone all day. Even though I would have liked to see them get to Eli Manning a little - OK, A LOT - more, this one is not on Bill Davis's guys.

As a number of people have observed, turns out, it's NOT that hard to figure out Chip Kelly's offense: without a modicum of stability at QB, the wheels come right off that bus. Michael Vick may be done for with the Eagles. He did not look healthy on Sunday even before they took him out. Nick Foles seemed promising until his epic meltdown against Dallas last week. Matt Barkley might be OK if he wasn't given to making completely boneheaded mistakes every fourth play. "Injuries and incompetence," indeed.

The Chipster's not helping his guys out, either. A few more called running plays might have been helpful, particularly once The Rookie Turnover Wonder was under center. ACTUAL running plays, that is, not read option. Look around. Do you see Michael Vick on the sideline? THEN DON'T CALL READ OPTION PLAYS. Is the guy under center a rookie playing in his SECOND GAME? THEN DON'T CALL READ OPTION PLAYS. I can't figure out his "go for it/kick a long field goal/punt" decision making on fourth downs. Oh - and there is NO WAY IN HELL I would've trusted Alex Henery with an onside kick attempt. That might be on Dave Fipp, but you know the Chipster had to sign off on it, too. Is your kicker David Akers? THEN DON'T TRY AN ONSIDE KICK.

Oh, and here's a fun fact to learn and know: although they recovered all but one, the Eagles had FIVE fumbles on Sunday. Was it a GREASED pigskin?

I honestly don't know what else to write. It was a desperately bad performance from two desperately bad teams, although the Giants were slightly less desperately bad than the Eagles, at least for one day.

Yeah, yeah, the Eagles are only one game out of first place in the desperately bad NFC East. Do you want to see these guys up against any real playoff teams, though? Me, either.

24 October 2013

2013 Week 8 Picks

Oh noes! Another Eagles home game!

How is it again that the Linc came to be cursed? Anyone got a theory?

I'm thinking it's time to take drastic measures, like maybe sacrificing a goat or something. Plus, then, tasty goat (well, depending on your religious persuasion).

You know what the LAST home win was?

Yep - over the Giants, on the night the Eagles retired Wolverine's #20, September 30, 2012.

Look, at least this year, and even with all their rather obvious flaws (the defense, scoring too fast, the defense, improved but still poor special teams play, the defense, offense that runs hot and cold, and OH BY THE WAY DID I MENTION THE DEFENSE?), the Eagles are the better team. Mike Vick will be back, although it's hard to say how healthy he really is at this point. The man is amazingly tough and knows how to play hurt (although it's hard to "tough out" a hamstring injury). If he goes down, the Eagles are pretty much f-ed, so we all have to hope for the best (and avert our eyes every time he takes off down the field, and seriously, please God, why can't someone manage to teach him how to slide? Baseball players and soccer players do it all the time. It CANNOT be THAT hard.). Oh? And the Giants? BAD against the run. Look for Shady to have a big day.

The curse has to end sometime, goat or no goat. No time like the present, against the team that provided the last home win.


In the other matchups:

Panthers at Buccaneers: Did you hear that there's a "Fire Schiano" billboard in Tampa? Yeah, that's not a good sign. I'm going Panthers, once again, on the strength of their surprising defense.

Cowboys at Lions: Earlier this week, the NFL Network was covering this game and apparently Dez Bryant thinks he's better than Calvin Johnson. I'm not convinced. I give the Lions the slight edge for two reasons - homefield and Megatron.

49ers at Jaguars: I know I've written this here before, but Jags, look, the game is probably going to be blacked out locally anyway. If you forfeit, you lose your game check, but you also only lose 1-0, and you can get right to the "drowning your sorrows over playing for such a lousy team in a market where no one cares" pretty much right now. I don't care how bad the hangover is going to be, it will still be WAY less painful than this game. 49ers (says me and everyone in the known universe)

Browns at Chiefs: Make it 8? You know it! Go Chiefs!

Dolphins at Patriots: Pats. The Dolphins have had success this season, but they have too many weaknesses on both sides of the ball to withstand the Pats, particularly on the road in what's likely to be the first really chilly game of 2013. Patriots.

Bills at Saints: You know how the Saints are unbeatable at home? Yeah, that. Saints.

Jets at Bengals: Chef Spouse is going to kill me, but I'm going with the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS! (then again, my picking of the Jets has been one of the reasons we're currently leading his office pick 'em league, so maybe he should just stop giving me a hard time and make me another cocktail, hm?)

Steelers at Raiders: Both of these defenses are, actually, not too bad. Meanwhile, both offenses are, um, putrid. I'm going Steelers, 6-3, or possibly 3-0.

Falcons at Cardinals: The Falcons are having a surprisingly rough year, but I think they'll handle the Cards, who won't be able to keep up on offense. Falcons.

Redskins at Broncos: So here's the question about this game - is RGIII back? That 45-41 win over the Bears seems to indicate so. Then again, the Bears defense is pretty depleted and Jay Cutler got knocked out. Not that Josh McCown did a bad job, but he brought a knife to a gunfight, so to speak. And the Redskins are NOT the Colts. Yeah, I gotta go with Peyton at home. That was a real nice 1 game winning streak you put together, there Skins. Broncos.

Packers at Vikings: You know, if the Vikings could keep a QB healthy for more than one game at a time, they might not be the disaster that they are. Earlier this week on the NFL Network, Jerome Bettis advised Adrian Peterson to sit the rest of the season out. He's not wrong. Packers.

Seahawks at Rams: San Bradford is done for the year and the Rams are so desperate they were talking to Brett Favre. BRETT F-ING FAVRE. WHO IS APPROXIMATELY NINE MILLION YEARS OLD. (yes I'm shouting - it's that ridiculous) Do I even need to say it? Seahawks.

On bye: Bears, Chargers, Colts, Ravens, Texans, Titans

21 October 2013

Did The Offense Go to the Wrong Stadium or Something?

Eagles 3, Cowboys 17 

That's the only explanation I have. I mean, I recognized those guys - Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Brent Celek, Zach Ertz - or at least guys who looked like those guys, but they were playing like they didn't realize the game had started or something. Wow, was that sorry.

Stud of the week: DeMeco Ryans, who was pretty much the only bright spot in the game. He had a pick that led to the Eagles only points in the game, plus a sack on Tony Romo that was one of the few bright spots in the game.

Actually, I have to give credit to the entire defense. Two weeks ago, the Cowboys hung 48 points on the Broncos. The only team that's held them to fewer points (16) this season was the Chiefs, widely recognized as one of the best defensive units in the entire NFL. The defense did their job. Holding the opponents to 17 points at home should be more than enough to secure the win.

Unfortunately, as I already pointed out, the offense played like they had a big cooler full of Xanax. Nick Foles couldn't hit the side of a barn. When he did manage to get a pass off and get it somewhere in the vicinity of a receiver, the guys caught as if they had big, meaty sausages tied to their fingers. Jason Avant dropped multiple passes. JASON AVANT PEOPLE! Shady was running like someone tied his shoelaces together. When Foles went down, Matt Barkley came in and apparently couldn't remember what team he plays for, since he kept throwing to Cowboys.

And can we talk about Alex Henery for a moment? Can't fault him for missing at 60 yard attempt, but he almost botched a 31 yarder. We were watching the Colts take down the Broncos Sunday night, and Chef Spouse almost teared up when Adam Vinatieri hit that 52 yarder. That guy is not reliable.

Oh and Nick Foles's injury? Concussion. The Eagles are running out of quarterbacks, particularly since Matt Barkley is not ready for prime time. He's not even ready for Good Morning America. Hell, he's not ready for the 5 am early morning broadcast, when only crazy people are up. Anybody know what Vinny Testaverde is up to these days?

17 October 2013

2013 Week 7 Picks

This Sunday, the Eagles host Cowboys for first place in the NFC East.

Well, OK, first place not even halfway through the season. In a division that could very well be won at 8-8, or maybe even 7-9.

Get excited.

The Eagles are still missing starting QB Mike Vick,  although we were all one big happy family at the joint Foles/Vick presser today. Sort of.

Those smiles look a little pasted on to me, no?

Anyhow, Foles is starting.

On the Cowboys side of "who's hurt this week?" both DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware may be out. I suspect Ware is the bigger loss, since the Cowboys offense has - so far - been pretty pass-oriented. Which is not good news for the Eagles dreadful secondary.

Weirdly, the two teams are not only both at 3-3, but nearly have identical records. By "identical" I mean: they've both beat the Redskins and Giants, and both lost to the Chiefs, Broncos, and Chargers. The Cowboys managed to beat the 3-3 Rams at home, and the Eagles beat the 0-5 Buccaneers on the road.

Have I mentioned that the Eagles haven't won at home in a million years?

Still, I have a good feeling about this game (which may be a bad sign). Assuming the defense can force a few mistakes from Tony Romo (not usually that tough a task), and that Foles can attack their Ware-less defense, I think the Eagles can win this one.  Hey, they have to win at home again eventually, right?

In the rest of the matchups

Seahawks at Cardinals: The Seahawks are mortal when they aren't at home. Except against the Cardinals, who won't be able to score on their ferocious defense or contain Russell Wilson and Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch. The Cards have been averaging under 100 yards rushing allowed per game. I don't think that's going to hold up tonight. Seahawks.

Buccaneers at Falcons: Can the Falcons right their struggling team against a rookie quarterback at home? I think so, even without Julio Jones. Falcons.

Rams at Panthers: Last week, the Rams shocked the Texans (and most of the football-viewing world) with an upset win in Houston. Can they do it again? I don't think so, and not because of Cam Newton but thanks to their quietly very good defense. Cardinals.

Bengals at Lions: The Bengals have a top 10 defense against both the pass (Megatron, I'm looking at you) and the rush (Reggie Bush, same). I think they pull out the upset win as a result. Bengals.

Chargers at Jaguars: You know, if the Jaguars had any real offense to speak of, they could probably win this game. Sadly, they do not. Chargers.

Bills at Dolphins: Bills. I know, I know - the Bills are running through QBs at such a furious pace they actually had to sign Matt Flynn this week (oy vey). But Thad Lewis is making his second start this week, and they have a pretty decent receiver, maybe you've heard of him, Marquise Goodwin? I think they can pull out a win against a well-known divisional opponent.

Patriots at Jets: One of my cousin's friends was chatting with me about his fantasy picks for week 7. He has both Tom Brady and Nick Foles, and made a strong case for sitting Brady and starting Foles. As my uncle pointed out, all Tom Brady does is win games, and that's true (sometimes with a little help from his friends, otherwise known as "the officials"). Of course, it's pretty damn hard to score on the Jets defense these days, and I think that's the difference maker in this game. Despite their surprising loss to the Steelers last week, and in full knowledge that Chef Spouse is going to kill me, I'm going with the (upset pick alert!) Jets.

Bears at Redskins: Both teams are deeply flawed at this point, but Jay Cutler has a decent O-line and is getting the ball out fast, which means he should be able to gash the Redskins pretty badly. Call it a road win for the Bears, keeping pace with the Packers.

49ers at Titans: The Titans are quietly putting together a pretty good season, and the 49ers are not exactly lighting it up this year. I think this will be a low-scoring defensive battle, but I give the slight edge to the 49ers ball hogging, high-scoring secondary. 49ers.

Browns at Packers: Packers. Brandon Weeden is, as some have pointed out, not good, so the fact that Clay Matthews is out for a while shouldn't matter.

Texans at Chiefs: The Texans really should be winning some games. Even with Matt Schaub's struggles, their defense is still stout. Does Big Red make it 7 in a row? Looking at the stats, they say no, but I'm going Chiefs in another upset pick. That's three!

Ravens at Steelers: You know, this used to be a widely anticipated game, where two defensive powerhouses could be counted on to whale on each other for 60 minutes, every yard and point hotly contested, the winner being decided by who could both inflict and withstand the most punishment. Now the people who watch this game are the ones who are going to be punished. It will, no doubt, be a typically low-scoring affair, but only because both teams are so bad at this point. I'm going with the Steelers, because I believe Heinz Field still creates a homefield advantage, contrary to what we've seen so far this season.

Broncos at Colts: Great. Another week of the sports commentariat carrying Peyton's jock day and night. Look, we get it: he's a talented quarterback. He played for both teams. He won a Super Bowl with the Colts. Thanks largely to the excellent year he's having, the Broncos are putative favorites for this year's Super Bowl. Well, to hell with all of that. I'm going with the youngster who plays for the more balanced team. Colts. (Chef Spouse says I'm just picking them because I think Peyton will get confused and throw to the wrong team.)

Vikings at Giants: Will the Giants finally snap their losing streak? I think so, and at home, and on Monday Night Football. Pull it together, Eli. Giants.

On bye: Raiders, Saints

14 October 2013

Let's Make It Two!

Eagles 31, Buccaneers 20, Sunday, October 13, 2013 

Two in row! Winning streak! At .500!

And I think I figured out the key to Eagles wins in 2013:  they just have to only play teams that have no wins yet. That shouldn't be *too* hard, right? There are a whole...three teams with no wins! And the Eagles get to play...one of them! Woo?

Stud of the week: Did you know that the Eagles have a guy named Riley Cooper at wideout? I can understand if you didn't, because, as Jimmy Kempski points out, in weeks 1-5, Riley had 8 catches for 93 yards and 1 TD. Yesterday, he had 4 catches for 120 yards and a TD. Two of his catch and runs were for more than 40 yards. Where has that guy been for the past month? And can we keep him?

Honorable mentions go to DJax for his two TDs, and to Shady for 171 total yards and for putting the game away for the Eagles, eating up nearly 5 1/2 minutes with a series of runs that resulted in the field goal that put the game out of the Bucs' reach.

Nick Foles had quite a good game too - not flashy, but efficient. And he even had a touchdown run! Well, OK, amble. He's not exactly zippy. Then again, no picks or turnovers and a QB rating of 133.3. Not too shabby, there, Nick.

As usual, the black cloud was the defense. They didn't exactly make rookie Mike Glennon look like Peyton Manning, but they also made him look a lot better than third round guy who wasn't even supposed to play this year (much) starting his second pro game without one of his top receivers has any right to look.

Then again, the Bucs defense is pretty well ranked, and they not only couldn't stop the Eagles, they committed the cardinal sin of jumping offsides on fourth and short when they HAD to know it was coming. And it was when the Eagles were trying to put the game away. You know, normally, the Eagles have been on the OTHER side of that equation, committing the boneheaded penalty that makes loyal fans stomp out of the room muttering under our breath.

Speaking of penalties, did you notice how FEW the Eagles racked up? Only 3 for 31 yards! Is it just me, or do the Birds seem to be doing better there this year? Let's go to the tape:

v. Giants - 8 penalties for 88 yards. OK, that's not so good.
v. Broncos - 8 for 62. Better.
v. Chiefs - 9 for 65
v. Chargers - 9 for 77
v. Redskins - 8 for 65

OK, not exactly historically low numbers, but better than last year for sure. Step one to being a better team: stop making so many damn mistakes. Maybe someone's been thinking about that?

Oh and Revis? DJax was right - you can't run with him. Sorry, homes (not really).

10 October 2013

2013 Week 6 Picks

This week, the Nick Foles-led Eagles travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers.

The Bucs have historically been trouble for the Eagles, whether it's booting them from the playoffs (2003) or kicking a historically long field goal at the buzzer to win the game (2006).

And while the Bucs are 0-4, they have to win a game sometime. And this week, at least rookie Mike Glennon now has full game under his belt. And their defense is pretty good, unlike the Eagles. Glennon should have an easier day this week (although he did get to play against the also-not-good-on-D Cardinals in his first game, so maybe not).

One big question for this week will be the running game. Without the threat of Michael Vick taking off, defenses can devote a lot more energy and people to stopping Shady McCoy. But I think DJax is right - Revis Island CAN'T run as fast as he can. In the end, though, I don't think the Bucs are going to be able to shut down the Eagles or keep them from scoring, and I think that's what this game is going to come down to, particularly with the efficient if not flashy Nick Foles under center.


In the other matchups:

Giants at Bears: This has trap game written all over it, particularly with the Bears dealing with an additional loss on D (Nate Collins). But with both Eli Manning and Jay Cutler struggling, I'm going to have to go with the Bears at home on the short week.

Packers at Ravens: Speaking of defensive injuries, Clay Matthews is a HUGE loss for the Pack. Then again, they do still have Aaron Rodgers, and I don't think the Ravens' struggling D will be able to stop him. Packers.

Bengals at Bills: The Bills are starting their practice squad guy (Thad Lewis, and I had to look it up, too) against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Yeah, that'll end well. Bengals.
Lions at Browns: Both of these teams are surprising this year, but I give the (slight) edge to Browns, assuming Megatron can't go. I reserve the right to change this pick based on Sunday morning's injury reports.

Rams at Texans: If Matt Schaub can't get his confidence back at home against the Rams, who have only had three takeaways all year, the Texans should pack it up for 2013. Texans.

Raiders at Chiefs: 6-0 for Big Red? You know it! Chiefs.

Panthers at Vikings: Panthers, on the strength of their defense rather than Cam Newton's arm. Also, if Josh Freeman *does* go in, they know what they're facing.

Steelers at Jets: Jets. When do we start talking about "is Mike Tomlin's job in danger?"

Jaguars at Broncos: Chef Spouse's pick 'em league has several tie breaker mechanisms. One of them is which team will score the most points and the fewest points each week. This week, we'll get them both in one game, as I (and everyone else) predict the Broncos ANNIHILATE the Jaguars. The Jags don't have the WORST D in the NFL (that "honor" would go to the 'Skins, closely followed by our hapless Iggles), but they aren't good. It's not going to be pretty.

Titans at Seahawks: The Titans have also been surprising this year, but the Seahawks are too well-rounded AND they've got their 12th man back.

Saints at Patriots: Geaux Saints! They have it going ON on both sides of the ball. Their defense is going to feast on the inexperienced Patriots receivers, and trust Drew Brees to pick apart the Pats' average secondary.

Cardinals at 49ers: The 49ers have been far from transcendent so far this year, but the Cards just have no chance at all in this one. Actually, they might have the lowest score this week, as it's entirely possible the 49ers shut them out.

Redskins at Cowboys: I'm guessing this is going to be another high scoring game, seeing as neither defense is very good (unless Tony Romo's still tired from the shoot out with the Broncos). And the 'Skins do have the advantage of coming off the bye, and two more weeks for RGIII to heal. Still, I think Romo will pull his head out of his ass long enough to get the divisional win at home. But don't expect it to be pretty.

Colts at Chargers: Colts. Andrew Luck's certainly not feeling the sophomore blues, helped by a strong rushing offense, which the Chargers have, thus far, shown no inclination to stop.

One bye: Dolphins, Falcons

07 October 2013

Finally a Win!

Eagles 36, Giants 21, Sunday, October 6, 2013 

Not only did the Eagles manage a win Sunday, they're now officially leading the sorry-ass NFC East...with a losing record. This is definitely karmic payback for all the smack I talked about the NFC West in 2010. The Eagles are the best of the worst (at least temporarily)! Yay?

Stud of the week: Brandon Boykin, who circus-caught one of the most beautiful picks I've ever seen, wrestling the ball away from the much larger Victor Cruz, who he was tasked with covering all day (and did quite a good job on).  To quote BGN, it was "badass." Yes, it was. (Oh, and Victor? It's not PI every single time you fail to make a catch. Get over it.)

The game was overall sloppy. And the officiating was terrible, but it was evenly terrible. The zebras totally muffed Cedric Thornton's safety on David Wilson. Then they gave LeSean McCoy a catch that was clearly NOT a catch and cost the Giants two timeouts. They missed hits to the head on both Eli Manning and Mike Vick. They hit Brandon Boykin with a fair catch interference penalty when he never touched Rueben Randle. They missed obvious blocks in the back by both teams on punt and kick off returns. Bad all around. Replacement ref bad.

The big story for Eagles fans is Michael Vick going down with the hammy. Anyone else flash on DMac tearing his ACL running out of bounds against the Titans in November of 2006?  Then Nick Foles came in and did good! QB controversy? Hell if I know, but I will say that, recent evidence perhaps to the contrary, I think Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win...when he's healthy. Which he's not at the moment, and may not be for a while. Show us what you've got, Foles (and, perhaps, Barkley).

You know who didn't do good after Vick went down? Shady. That's a problem. Also Jason Avant, Mr. Hands, actually missed some catches. That is NOT normal.

But it was a weird day. Brent Celek made a GREAT TD catch, which has NOT been the case so far this year, and Pat Shurmur dialed up a fade route in the back of the endzone to a guy who's four feet tall...AND IT WORKED. And Alex Henery, who I have not been high on, was 5 for 5 on field goals.

Then again, the Giants are so decimated by injury they've had to get a oil change for their cart, so a win against them is not saying much. And Eli Manning is a mess this year. Trying to do too much - maybe he and Tony Romo can start a support group.

Then again again, the Eagles could go on a hot streak, facing teams in October who are currently 0-4 (Bucs), 2-3 and BEHIND THEM IN THE DIVISION (Cowboys), and the Giants again. Which would be nice, but doesn't mean, even if they manage to win the shitty NFC East this year, that they're going anywhere in the playoffs.

Still, win, so: good.

03 October 2013

2013 Week 5 Picks

The 1-3 Eagles travel to Jersey to take on the 0-4 Giants. Well, if this isn't the battle of the pee-wees, I don't know what is. The Eagles beat a 1-2 team, and lost to a 2-2 team...and two 4-0 teams. The Giants lost to those same two 4-0 teams (pattern here?), plus a 2-2 team and a 1-2 team. Hey, at least the Eagles *beat* our 1-2 team.

I know the Giants are desperate for a win, but Eli Manning is struggling big time this year and the Giants have definitely been bitten by the injury bug.  I see this game as a bit of a gut check for our boys in midnight green. Right now, even though the team is not playing well and is making a lot of mistakes, the locker room still seems (from the outside at least) to be fairly united in support of the new coaches and new schemes. They start losing to bad teams, that could come to a screeching halt.

No game this year is the "for their season" game, since the Eagles are NOT going to the post-season, but if they can't beat a bad team, I think the wheels come off the bus before they even get off the Jersey turnpike.

Gotta go Eagles, but it's partially driven by hope that this year isn't yet another clusterf&ck.

In the other matchups:

Bills at Browns: I know the game has already started, but I've got the Browns. Everyone thought they'd thrown in the towel when they traded Trent Richardson, and then they went at beat the Vikings (meh) and the Bengals (hmmmm). Of course, just as I type that Brian Hoyer goes down. Moving on...

Saints at Bears: Geaux Saints! Drew Brees is nearly as unstoppable as Peyton Manning this year, and Rex Ryan's defense has Who Dat Nation saying, "Gregg who? Williams what?"

Patriots at Bengals: The Bengals defense is strong this year, but Tom Brady is, I think, stronger. Also, I think the Bengals aren't going to do a good enough job shutting him down to let their somewhat anemic offense keep up.

Lions at Packers: Lions. Upset pick, sure, but they're also looking good this year. Witness the power of David Akers! (Actually, there may be something to that - things are NOT going well for the 49ers now and the Eagles last decent season was 2010, after which they cut him. Coincidence?) Edited to add: Wait! Calvin Johnson is OUT?!? Screw that - Packers.

Seahawks at Colts: The Seahawks defense is stronger, the Colts offense is stronger, but they're playing inside in Indy and without Seattle's famed 12th man, which favors the home team. Colts.

Ravens at Dolphins: I know the Ravens seem to be in a downward spiral, but I have to think their still pretty decent defense and new found commitment to feeding Ray Rice the rock have got to pull them out of it, at least for a week.

Jaguars at Rams: Another battle of pee-wees, and would be the Worst Game of the Week were it not for Eagles/Giants. Going homer with the Rams, but really, meh.

Chiefs at Titans: Will Big Red make it 5-0? Bet on it.

Panthers at Cardinals: Teams are pretty evenly matched, but I think the Panthers will benefit from coming off the bye to get to .500.

Broncos at Cowboys: It's the Cowboys week to get spanked. Broncos.

Texans at 49ers: Texans. The 49ers offense is sputtering this year, and the Texans top ranked D is going to stop them cold.

Chargers at Raiders: Chargers. Which I will not be staying up to watch at 11:30 at night on Sunday. Yikes.

Jets at Falcons: Another upset pick? Yep. My money's on the Jets D.

On bye: Bucaneers, Redskins, Steelers, Vikings