30 December 2013

NFC East CHAMPS, Bitches!

Eagles 24, Cowboys 22, Sunday, December 29, 2013

I would rather have enjoyed a nice relaxing blowout win like the Eagles had over the Bears a week ago, but apparently, the Chipster and the boys in green thought it would be more fun to give me a heart attack. Hey, at least they won, and I will not be the first - or last - to say that I definitely didn't see 10-6 and the divisional title coming.

Stud of the week: Should I go with Mychal Kendricks, who had a forced fumble AND a pick? What about Connor Barwin who batted down the 4th-and-1 conversion AND, if I recall correctly, also batted down the two point conversion pass attempt that would've tied the game? Or Brandon Boykin, with the pick that sealed the game for the Birds?

Yeah, those are all good choices, but on a night when he took the rushing title and TWO Eagles
franchise records (most rushing yards from Wilbert Montgomery and most all purpose yards from Brian Westbrook), I think I'm contractually required to go with Shady. Who actually didn't have a huge night - 131 rushing, 3 receiving, 1 TD. The Cowboys game planned well for him, keeping him pretty well contained for the most part. But he's had an OUTSTANDING season, and definitely deserves his 2013 three-peat as SotW.

The game was a nail-biter. The Eagles didn't play all that well. Nick Foles was running for his life all night and was sacked about 1,434,536 times (actual number: 5, which is still a lot). Kyle Orton? Sacked ZERO times. The Birds' smoking hot offense had an uncomfortable number of three-and-outs. The Cowboys clearly cast some sort of miasma over Nickfolesian Dynamite. He was not great, but he was good enough. The defensive scheming was not good, and BGN explains why really well.

On the up side, Brent Celek made a few key plays, including a TD. Jason Avant (Jason Avant sighting!) had a critical catch. Bryce Brown also had a few key plays on the series that led to his TD that put the Birds ahead for good. Donnie F-ing Jones AGAIN with the clutch punting. DeMarco Murray only had 51 yards. (Let's not talk about Jason Witten, OK?)

As Tommy Lawlor put it:
The Eagles made more plays than Dallas. The Eagles protected the ball better than Dallas. The Eagles were smart.

Finally, you know I'm not one to fuss about the officiating, but I have a hard time believing that the Cowboys didn't commit a SINGLE penalty all game long. Oh, I didn't forget the muffed play clock loss of five yards for delay of game mess. Believe me. Cris Collinsworth wouldn't SHUT UP about it. He's probably still whinging. I actually had to leave my Eagles womancave and go watch the rest of the game on a different TV with the sound off to keep from putting my foot through a wall. Let's not even talk about the two personal foul hits out of bounds (on Celek and Avant), the (at least) one pass interference (Celek again), the blow to the QBs head after he'd given himself up, holding all over the damn place (pretty sure Riley Cooper would have something to say about that), or the spearing call (isn't that a FINEABLE offense you committed there, DeMarco Murray?) that weren't made on the Cowboys. Oh no - none of that matters. All that matters was the TRAVESTY that led to a FIVE YARD PENALTY. You know Cris, despite your apparent belief that the delay of game was a worse miscarriage of justice than Dred Scott, OJ Simpson, and George Zimmerman combined, it was FIVE MEASLY YARDS. So no, Cris, that doesn't mean the Cowboys are automatically owed a TD (although apparently Patrick Chung thought so, too). Stabby. Very, very stabby.

On to hosting a playoff game! 

And really, a year after 4-12, the firing of a head coach with 14 years' tenure (and the entire rest of the coaching staff, pretty much), a change of QBs, a change of offensive schemes, a change of defensive schemes, new players, new culture, new everything (Tommy has a good summary of exactly how much is new), at this point, everything else is icing. We already got the cake last night, and oh baby, did it taste good!

26 December 2013

2013 Week 17 Picks

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that the NFL now has all divisional games the final week of the regular season. Rivalries, playoff spots on the line, likelihood of wackiness - it's got it all.

The big news for 2013's week 17 is that two NFC divisions are "win and in" matchups, with the Bears hosting the Packers and the Cowboys hosting the Eagles. You knew one of those games would get flexed, and I'm psyched it was Eagles/Cowboys.

The Eagles have had a wild ride this year: new head coach, new coaching staff, new defensive scheme, QB controversy, you name it. They shocked everyone by killing the presumptive NFC East front runner Redskins on Monday Night Football to open the season (yeah, the final score was relatively close, but the game itself wasn't), followed by two close losses, then the trouncing by the Broncos that may have been the low point of the season.

Actually, I take that back. The low point of the season was the home loss to Dallas when Mike Vick was out with the hamstring, Foles went down, and Matt Barkley threw 4,356,273 picks. The following week, the Eagles lost to the totally sad-sack Giants and were standing at 3-5. And I was starting to think that my hopes of an 8-8 season were a little optimistic.

The following week, Nick Foles had an historic game in Oakland. Since then, the team has gone 6-1. The defense is playing much better. LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson are both having outstanding seasons. Riley Cooper has come out of nowhere to be a stud #2 receiver. Zach Ertz is looking like a genius early second round draft pick up. Trent Cole finally adjusted to the 3-4 and is playing great. DeMeco Ryans is turning into an excellent field general for the D. The offensive line has been playing amazingly well. Nick Foles is f-ing on fire. BRANDON BOYKIN (maybe my next jersey)! Donnie Jones for Grand Pooh-Bah of the punting universe!

Oh - and did you hear? Tony Romo's totally not going to play on Sunday. Yeah, I know Jason Garrett is publicly hedging his bets, but Tony's out and Kyle Orton is in. You heard it here, well, not first. About 234th. And Dez Bryant is iffy. And Sean Lee is probably out.

Thing is, none of that matters. To quote Cary Williams: "We’re on a mission and they’re in our way." The Eagles are going to KICK ASS in Allas (because they have no D).

In the other matchups:

There are a LOT of games with playoff implications, which makes picking a little crazy. That said...

Panthers at Falcons: Did you hear that if the Panthers win, they win the NFC South AND get a first round bye? And they're facing a team that's 4-11? Yeah, I'm going with the Panthers.

Ravens at Bengals: Did you hear that if they Bengals win, they ALSO get a first round bye? The Ravens are fighting for a playoff spot, but I don't think it's going to matter. Bengals.

Jaguars at Colts: Nothing is at stake here. Well, actually, that's not true. If the Colts win and the Bengals lose, the Colts will get the #2 seed in the AFC. And they will. But it won't matter (see above).

Jets at Dolphins: If the Dolphins and the Ravens both lose, and the Chargers win, the Chargers will sneak into the playoffs. Which is, I think, exactly what's going to happen. Jets.

Lions at Vikings: Can you believe the Lions blew it AGAIN? Nothing's at stake here, and they're playing in Minnesota, but I have to go with the Lions playing for the tattered remnants of their pride.

Redskins at Giants: OH, THE HUMANITY.  Don't watch this game. If it's the only game playing in your area, Sunday would be an excellent time for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon. Or drinking until you pass out. EVERYONE has the Giants, but I think the Redskins will pull off the upset and just maybe get Kirk Cousins an offer somewhere else.

Browns at Steelers: Another upset pick in what is essentially a meaningless game, since a MIRACLE has to happen for the Steelers to make the playoffs. Browns.

Texans at Titans: Damn it, I'm picking the goddamn Texans. So there.

49ers at Cardinals: The 49ers will win to try to jump the Seahawks, which they won't, of course, but they will do their part.

Packers at Bears: Did you hear that ARodg is back? And did you also hear that the Bears have NO DEFENSE AT ALL? Yeah, the Bears are dead meat, and the Packers are going to win the NFC North. After which Jim Schwartz and all the Lions will start DRINKING HEAVILY.

Bills at Patriots: I'm picking another upset - the Bills. Hey, Chef Spouse and I got knocked into third place in his company's pick 'em league, and this is my LAST chance to make up some ground.

Buccaneers at Saints: Saints. Superdome magic, and the #6 seed.

Broncos at Raiders:  Nothing at stake, so John Fox may rest his starters, but it's the Raiders. Broncos.

Chiefs at Chargers: I think the Chargers have this - as you already know, since above I said that the Chargers would sneak into the playoffs.

Rams at Seahawks: Also with the homefield, and because the Rams are NOT the Cardinals, Seahawks.

23 December 2013

"We're From Philadelphia and We Fight"

Eagles 54, Bears 11, Sunday, December 22, 2013

Well that was unexpected.

A week after laying an egg in the Metrodome, the Eagles came out in a game that was, for them, meaningless (thanks to the Redskins who literally cannot do a single thing right this year), and utterly dismantled the Bears, who only had the NFC North title on the line.

Stud of the week: man are there a lot of candidates, but I think I'm going to have to go with my boy
Brandon Boykin who, after suffering a concussion last Sunday and missing most of practice this past week, came in and was his usual excellent self on special teams AND grabbed his first pick-six of the year. The points were kind of superfluous, but great game, BB!

Shout-out also to my boy Trent Cole with THREE sacks. After a rough switch to the 3-4, Trent's definitely been picking it up in the past several weeks. And to Shady, who's like 36 yards away from breaking Wilbert Montgomery's franchise rushing record, which has stood for 34 years.

Was this the first complete game we've seen the Eagles play this year? Maybe. They were firing on all cylinders. The defense completely shut down Matt Forte and one of the most effective wideout duos in the NFL in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. They had the aforementioned pick-six. Cedric Thornton forced a safety. Bradley Fletcher forced Devin Hester to fumble a kickoff return (Devin Hester NEVER fumbles, seriously). Nick Foles was 21-25, and at least two of his incompletions were intentional toss-aways. Two running backs went over 100 yards. All three running backs scored touchdowns - Shady had two, in fact. Michael Vick came in in relief in the fourth quarter, was just looking to run out the clock with handoffs, and gave it to Bryce Brown, who romped 65 yards for a TD. Hell, Alex Henery even made a 49 yard field goal.

Now it all comes down to next week in Dallas in prime time, win or go home (see above RE: totally incompetent Redskins). Bring it. The NFC East crown is coming back to South Philly where it belongs.

21 December 2013

2013 Week 16 Picks

Prime time game!

(Please don't screw up, guys.)

This is going to be a tough test for the Eagles. Although Jay "Picks" Cutler can be counted on to, you know, throw some picks, the Bears also have one of the best wideout duos in the NFL in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. And, as you may recall from the previous 3 1/2 months, the Eagles secondary is not exactly lights-out.

Fortunately, the Bears defense is even worse. And the Linc is no longer poison. And the Eagles had their trap game last week. And if the Eagles can win and the Cowboys lose, the NFC East crown is back where it belongs in South Philly. And (spoiler alert!) the Eagles will know that it's all up to them by 4:30 pm Sunday.

Gotta go with my heart, and hope, and the Eagles.

In the rest of the matchups:

Dolphins at Bills: I've got the Dolphins, doing what they can to keep their playoff hopes alive...that is until....

Vikings at Bengals: Bengals. And the Fins are out.

Saints at Panthers: We all know the Saints are not as good on the road, and the Panthers have a truly outstanding defense. But the Saints need this game to grab the #2 spot in the NFC, and I think they'll bring their A game and win it.

Broncos at Texans: Broncos. Honestly, they probably don't even need to play this game to know the outcome.

Titans at Jaguars: The Jaguars have been playing a lot better, and both of these teams are eliminated from the post season, so we might see desultory play on both sides. But I've got the Titans, who are the (at least) slightly better team in all phases of the game.

Colts at Chiefs: Another "duh" pick, Chiefs.

Browns at Jets: More meaningless games from bad teams, going Browns, really, who cares?

Buccaneers at Rams: The Rams shocked the HELL out of the Saints last week. This week's win will NOT be a shock. Rams.

Cowboys at Redskins: I live in DC, so I've been able to watch the Skins train wreck of a season from court-side seats. They are TERRIBLE, their locker room is a mess, their front office is a mess, their owner is a dipshit, their coaching staff is in open revolt, and they've benched their healthy starting QB for the remainder of the season. There is NO reason they should win this game...other than the fact that Tony Romo is epically bad in December and reliable only in cracking under pressure. There's no way the Skins should be able to shut down the efficient Dallas offense or keep up, but I think they're going to and steal a win. Skins.

Giants at Lions: Speaking of messes, the Giants are going to lose to the Lions.

Cardinals at Seahawks: Seahawks at home with the #1 seed on the line? Sure, potential trap game, potential divisional wackiness, whatever. Seahawks.

Patriots at Ravens: Speaking of getting shocked, Pats at Fins last week, and I think this week will go equally badly for them. Ravens.

Steelers at Packers: ARodg is out again. I'm guessing they're holding him back on the off chance they manage to sneak the NFC North away from the Bears and Lions, which is a long damn shot. And the Packers haven't beat a good team since losing him. But they are on a two game winning streak, they're at home, and I have a good feeling about this. Packers.

Raiders at Chargers: Chargers.

Falcons at 49ers: 49ers. Bummer of a final Monday Night game.

16 December 2013

Well, THAT Sucked

Eagles 30, Vikings 48, Sunday, December 15, 2013 

Both Chef Spouse and I have managed to come down with horrible colds. Being sick during the holidays is an extra drag. Not only do you feel bad, but you miss things like holiday parties with your industry colleagues, your co-workers, longtime friends, and your fellow belly dancers. Boo! Loss of fun!

You know what's even more of a drag? Watching your team get blown out by a 3 (now 4) - 9 - 1 team WHILE coughing up a lung.

You know how I was all "no way this is a trap game"? Yeah, turns out I was wrong-wrong-wrong.

Stud of the week: DJax. 10 catches for nearly 200 yards and a TD (which would have been two other than Nicky's bad penalty). DJax is having an outstanding season. Yeah, yeah, sideline freakout, but that's part of the package with him. And Shady and Nicky are getting a lot of the press, and DJax just keeps showing up, playing great, and not trying to hog the spotlight, which is a rare thing in a wideout. Also, it cracks me up that after every play, he has to hitch up his pants. I've been to training camp, and yes, he really is that wee.

Shout out also to tight end Zach Ertz for the gorgeous endzone catch that brought the Eagles within 5, the closest they managed to get all game.

See? Gorgeous. Rookie's got a good future in Philly.

So who's at fault? Foles was not sharp, missing some open receivers and throwing another pick, and was still 30/48 for 428. Receivers dropped some balls. I have *no* idea why Shady got so few touches. The Vikings do NOT have a good rush defense. WTF?

But this isn't on the offense - scoring 30 points should be enough to win the game, even in 2013's offense-friendly world.

Let's talk D and special teams for a sec.

Special teams: I understand that Cordarelle Patterson is a playa, but squib kicking EVERY time? He's not Devin Hester, for chrissakes. And they were playing in a dome. If Alex Henery can't kick it through the end zone reliably inside a dome, the Eagles need a new kicker, stat. It felt like the Vikes were starting at the 40 all day long. That's a problem. One of the major contributors to the Eagles' recent success has been vastly improved special teams. Not this week.

Defense: OH. EM. GEE. Where do I start? 48 points? FORTY-EIGHT?!?!? To Matt Cassel and a team that was down to their third string running back and Greg Jennings? Every Vikings offensive possession should show up on ESPN's "C'mon Man!" spot this week, only they don't have that much time.

OK, sure, there was some bad officiating, too, but I'm not about to go all Bruce Arians on you and start pouting and crying into my beer. Good teams don't get undone by a few bad calls, and if they are, they aren't playing well. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

Fortunately, the Eagles got a major gift when the Cowboys completely melted down against the Packers in the 4 pm slot. It's good to know that some things never change: I'll always bleed green, and Tony Romo will always play badly in December.

12 December 2013

2013 Week 15 Picks

First place with three to go.

This week, the Eagles travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.

Yeah, I know, Matt Cassel, Adrian Peterson, dome, those noisy Viking horn-thingies, trap game, blah blah blah.

There's no way the Vikings win this game. Their scoring defense is second only to the Redskins...in suckitude.  While they'll put up some points themselves, no doubt, particularly if AP plays, I don't see them having any success shutting down the Eagles red-hot offense. In other words, if you have any Eagles offensive players on your fantasy team, play 'em. The Vikings are in the bottom 10 in rushing defense and the bottom three in passing defense. DJax and Riley Cooper are likely to have huge days, as is Nickfolesian Dynamite.  They're so epically bad, Jason Avant might even get his mojo back.

Eagles. Take that, Cowboys! (who are probably going to win, too, but the Eagles will STILL be one game up)

In the rest of the matchups....

Chargers at Broncos: SOOOO want to pick the Chargers as my upset pick, but I just...can't. Even without Wes Welker, the Broncos should roll right over the Chargers tonight.

Redskins at Falcons: And with their 3-10 record and the benching of their supposed-to-be-franchise QB, the Skins are once again the LOLSkins. The Falcons are terrible, too, but there's terrible and then there's TERRIBLE. Falcons.

Bears at Browns: The Browns almost shocked the Pats last week, but almost doesn't count except in horseshoes and hand grenades. The Bears shocked the hell out of the Cowboys last week, and Jay Cutler is back. Also, the Bears are right in the thick of the playoff hunt and the Browns are, realistically if not mathematically, out. I know they're on the road and all, but the Bears have this.

Texans at Colts: Speaking of teams that have been eliminated (and fired their head coach already), the Colts will have no trouble with the Redskins-level dysfunctional Texans.

Bills at Jaguars: The Jags have gotten a little streak here, and the Bills don't even have cold weather to help them. Jags.

Patriots at Dolphins: Losing Gronk is a big deal, but I'm sticking with Pats, who may have another narrow escape this week, but should come out with the win.

Seahawks at Giants: The Seahawks will not narrowly escape with a win - they're going to demolish the Giants.

49ers at Buccaneers: The 49ers need this game to keep pace with the Panthers for the wildcard, and they'll get it.

Jets at Panthers: See above, also, Panthers.

Chiefs at Raiders: Chiefs. I know divisional games can get wacky, but not that wacky.

Packers at Cowboys: Tony Romo tends to screw up, often badly, in December, but the Packers are still missing ARodg and the Cowboys are at home. It would really help the Eagles if the Packers pulled off the upset, but sadly, I don't see that happening.

Saints at Rams: The Rams are improved this year, and Saints aren't invincible on the road, but they'll be in a dome in cold weather and need this game to stay ahead of the Panthers. Which they will. Saints.

Cardinals at Titans: Cards, who are nipping at the 49ers' and Panthers' heels at this point.

Bengals at Steelers: The Bengals are leading an uncharacteristically weak AFC North this year. A win at Heinz Field in week 15 would be a statement. It's one they need to make, and one I think they will make.

Ravens at Lions: After last week, you KNOW the Lions are all "Dome Sweet Dome" this week, and I'm pretty sure that talking smack about Megatron being "old" is a bad way to go. I think they'll handle the Ravens at home.

09 December 2013

Snow Bowl!

Eagles 34, Lions 20, Sunday, December 8, 2013 

Five game winning streak! Can I get an "amen"?

Stud of the week: LeSean McCoy. Duh. The previously (I believe) #3 ranked run defense in the NFL,
anchored by Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley held him in check for more than 30 minutes. Unfortunately for them, the game had another half, and Shady RAN WILD. 217 rushing yards. 2 TDs. Another set of 2013 Eagles game gear to Canton. It was unreal. (Oh, by the way, HUGE shoutout to the O-line, who opened up those holes with TOTAL DOMINATION.)

The whole game was, of course, totally wacky. You literally COULD NOT see what was happening in the first half in near white-out conditions. Sloppy play all over the place. Poor Nick Foles threw his first pick of the season. I'm pretty sure it was because he couldn't tell who was on which team at the time. Eagles down 8-0 at the half.

Then the third quarter started with eight minutes of nothing, and then the Lions Jerome Ross returned a punt for a TD. 14-0.

The Eagles finally caught a break with a 19 yard TD pass from Foles to DJax, another several minutes of nothing, then a great run by Shady, and all of a sudden, it's a tie game with most of the fourth quarter to go, and on the DAMN KICKOFF Jerome Ross took it to the house AGAIN.

Thing is, I never panicked. I never fussed and fumed. I never pulled my usual Negadelphia "they're going to blow it!" shit.

This is going to sound stupid, but the team looked like a bunch of kids having fun playing in the snow, and I just knew it was going to be OK.

And it was. Riley Cooper made some key catches. The defense was extremely stout again, giving up only one touchdown (the Lions' other points coming off special teams miscues). Nick Foles had a bad half and rallied. Our boys in green got down in bad weather and fought back. The coaches realized that, whatever their game plan *had* been, they were going to have to throw it out and figure it out, and they did.

Special teams? I really don't want to talk about it, other than to say that I really don't blame them (that much) for the coverage breakdowns. It's hard to change direction and tackle in eight inches of snow, particularly when the guy coming at you has a full head of steam and you don't.  Ask Shady. Heh.

Two weeks ago, the Eagles were 6-5 and the scuttlebutt was that they hadn't beat any good teams, Nick Foles was a fluke, and, if it came to it, they wouldn't be able to come from behind. In the past two weeks, I think they've answered all those critiques.

And then there was this:

Good times, people. Good times.

On to the Vikings!

05 December 2013

2013 Week 14 Picks

The Eagles enter the final push of a three game stretch against the NFC North and then the Cowboys with a home game against the Lions.

In the Eagles' favor: the weather. Sunday's supposed to be a mess, which is not going to favor a dome team. Also, Nick-folesian Dynamite. And Shady. And D-Jax. And Donnie Jones (don't under-estimate the value of field position on what's likely to be a sloppy day). And an improving defense. And snapping the homefield curse.

Then again, the Lions have Ndamukong Suh. And a top-ranked run defense. And Reggie Bush. And Calvin Johnson. Who is too tall for the Eagles' secondary to cover effectively.

Of course, the Lions are nothing if not inconsistent, and Matthew Stafford can be rattled into mistakes. Which the Eagles really, really need to do to have a shot. Which is not going to be easy. Neither will shutting down Megatron.

I *want* the Eagles to win. And the Eagles need the win to keep pace with the Cowboys, who will (spoiler alert) almost definitely beat the Bears on MNF this week. But I *think* the Lions will win.

As I look around at the experts (ESPN, SportsBlog Nation, Bleacher Report), it's pretty evenly divided.

I gotta go with my heart on this one - Eagles. (Plus, Jaws is back on the bandwagon, and that has to be good, right?)

In the rest of the matchups:

Texans at Jaguars: I had the goddamn Texans, who have become my new pick Kryptonite. (My old pick Kryptonite was the Jets.) At least Gary Kubiak got fired after last night's mess, so my schaden is all nice and freude-y today. It's one thing to lose - it's another thing to look like idiots doing so.

Vikings at Ravens: The Ravens seem to have remembered that they're the defending Super Bowl champs recently, and the Vikings...have Adrian Peterson. Which will not be enough. Ravens.

Colts at Bengals: I've got the Bengals at home. The Colts are MISSING Reggie Wayne, big time. They're lucky the Texans have completely imploded.

Falcons at Packers: ARodg is still out, but I don't think it's going to matter, because the Falcons are terrible this year. I have heard, though, that if they don't win this week, they're shutting ARodg down for 2013. That's not really a great way to motivate Scott Tolzien, but again, I doubt will really matter, because, well, the Falcons. Packers.

Browns at Patriots: Pats. Nothing to see here.

Raiders at Jets: Speaking of my former Krpytonite pick - RAIDERS.

Dolphins at Steelers: Really want to go with the Fins here, but again, the weather is going to be awful on Sunday and I think the Dolphins are going to have trouble at Heinz Field. Steelers.

Bills at Buccaneers: Bills.  Upset pick.

Chiefs at Redskins: Big Red will sweep the NFC East. Chiefs. Totally not upset pick at all.

Titans at Broncos: The Broncos cannot be beat at home. Broncos.

Rams at Cardinals: Cards.

Giants at Chargers: Chargers.

Seahawks at 49ers: You know, if your front office has to send a letter to your fans to explain to them how to properly support your team at home, that is NOT a good sign.  Seahawks. Who are scary good at this point, in case you hadn't noticed.

Panthers at Saints: The Panthers are also impressively good, but the Saints' fan need NO instruction on how to support the team. Saints, with the homefield (things might look pretty different in two weeks).

Cowboys at Bears: You already know this one - Cowboys. Damn it. 

02 December 2013

Take THAT, Jaws!

Eagles 24, Cardinals 21, Sunday, December 1, 2013 

Why did I title the post that? Because, for maybe the first time in recorded history, Ron Jaworski picked AGAINST the Eagles. And he was WRONG WRONG WRONG! Ha! The home winning streak stands at 2, which is 100% more than the previous 1!

Stud of the week: Trent Cole, baby. He had a huge game. Forced fumble and two sacks, plus a couple of tackles. Trent Cole has long been one of my favorite Eagles, and he has not been having a great year, to the point that people are speculating that he won't be an Eagle next year. After the past two weeks, maybe not. One of three things happened: one, Trent's finally figured out the 3-4; two, he figures he's playing for his job, whether in Philly or elsewhere; or three, the Cards have a serious problem on their O-line. Regardless, good to see #58 playing to form again.

Shout out to the entire defense, though. They had an outstanding game, forcing three turnovers (two picks in addition to that fumble) and five sacks, and holding the Cardinals to 21 points. That's EIGHT games in a row holding the opposing team to 21 points or less.

Shout out also to DeSean Jackson for going over 1000 yards on the season in just 12 games.

Shady had a relatively quiet day, with only 79 yards. Then again, that was against one of the top run defenses in the league.

Speaking of, I'm starting to think Nick "Napoleon Dynamite" Foles might be the real deal. He has a monster game against the Raiders, and we're all like "whatevs - they suck." Then he reels off three more wins in a row, including over the Packers (OK, sure, QB problems, but they were playing AT LAMBEAU) and the Cards (heading into to the game 7-4 and on a red-hot four game winning streak). The Chipster seems to be all in.

Also, Donnie Jones should maybe run for president. He'd get at least two votes.

Also, Bruce Arians? There were bad calls that helped/hurt both teams. Maybe you shouldn't have run around last week talking smack about Chip Kelly, but now the sour grapes just make you look petty. The down-and-distance officiating error in the Redskins/Giants game was FAR more serious - and obvious - but you don't see Mike Shanahan acting like a big baby today, do you?

Looking ahead, the Eagles are neck-and-neck with the Cowboys, only the Cowboys hold the tiebreaker thanks to those two horrible weeks when the offense completely went to sleep against the Cowboys and Giants back in October. There will be no wildcard team from the NFC East this year. The Cowboys, facing the Bears, Packers, and Redskins, could easily win all three. The Eagles will have to win their next three games (Lions, Vikings, and Bears) to stay in contention. That would leave two 10-5 teams matching up with the divisional title on the line on Sunday, December 29. And given Tony Romo's history in games like that, I think the odds will be ever in the Eagles' favor. Go Birds!