Monday, October 29, 2007

Eagles Show a Pulse

In the words of ex-Eagles coach Brad Childress, "the demise of Donovan McNabb has been greatly exaggerated" (ok, he didn't quite say it that way - the way he said it was stupid).

The Eagles put together a complete effort on Sunday.

Rookie RB Adrian Peterson leading the league in rushing - and then getting named the "go to back" during the week by the problem.

Red Zones woes - little better. The Eagles scored two TDs - though they did screw up two other chances.....The reason? Better play-calling. The Eagles ran multiple-sets down inside the 20. They RAN it more. Their passes were executed better. Just an all-round better effort. Period.

What an Amazing Play

Perhaps the most unbelievable play in College Football. I don't think it will quite surpass the Cal-Stanford "Band is on the Field" play....BUT....its good. No, its great.
How did they pull this off?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Eagles Already Entering Spoiler-Mode

The Eagles couldn't hang on today, losing 19-16 versus the Bears.

Plenty of sour grapes to go around, and a ton of question penalties (to be fair there were calls on both teams, but I think the Eagles wound up bearing the brunt of the them).

For starters:
- Can't score in the Red Zone.....3 trips inside the 20 and 3 FGs....that's just poor folks. Poor.
- Some gay-ass retard def. holding call in the 2nd qtr. Will James performed a perfect press coverage, clean contact within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage - yet out comes the flag, and instead of punting the Bears get second life and wind up scoring a FG out of it. And it you think 3 pts doesn't matter? On a day when the O was struggling and the game was decided by 3.....
- The most miserable call of the day - a phantom hold on Todd Herremans on a 3rd and 3 with 2:24 left.....Westbrook runs for a first down - and the game is OVER....oh no...there had to be a penalty to call right? Sure thing. The refs whistle up a holding call. Now, I don't know if they called in on the wrong guy, but on the replay, it seems like all Herremans does is let the Chicago LB Briggs fall to the ground with his own momentum....
Well anyway, that call set-up the improbably finish. Instead of watching the Eagles run three plays and rag the clock to zero, we get to see the Bears drive the length of the field and score a TD....

So what now?
The Eagles aren't going to catch the other teams in the NFC East. The Cowboys and Giants have started the season too well. And both are not going to collapse (again). This isn't 2006. 3-3....sure...the Eagles are still within striking distance; but to already have 4 losses by Week 7 - no matter how close the games, there is no special column close losses, this isn't the NHL - it has become a near-impossible hole from which to dig out.

Can they win 10-in-a-row and go 12-4? Unlikely, not with an offense that can't cash-in, and a defense that was oh-so-close today, but just couldn't shut the door. Whatever mojo the Eagles had in the past that would allow them to squeak through these games and emerge on the other side of the season with a double-digit win season is gone. Hell, a 10-6 record would mean going 8-2.....and with the exception of the games versus the Bills and Dolphins, can you think of a game in which the Eagles will be favored? Even factoring in a division split with the NFC East (a tall task since we're already 0-2) that's one loss. Not being able to score above 20 is sure to cause a few more....The way the team is executing - 5 or 6 wins in the final 10 is about as optimistic a prediction as can be mustered. So that's what 7-9, 8-8? That isn't going to do it folks.

The Birds are finding ways to lose the close games they used to find ways to win. Its going be a rough ride for the rest of 2007....I'm still bailing water, though I can imagine the boards will be full of folks bailing out....could be a lonely season for hopefuls like me....

When is the next Flyers game?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A W is a W

PHINALLY! The Eagles pulled one out. Instead of grumbling about an inept offense unable to score, Birds fans got to watch the team fight and scrap - and while wildly, maddeningly inconsistent - and just enough TO WIN.

What I liked the most:
- The offense sealing the win by running the final few minutes off the clock after the defense held the Jets on 4th down inside the 10.
- That key 3rd and 8 conversion to Reggie Brown. Hello there! Are you a wide receiver for the Eagles? Reggie finally showed up today. Anyway, that play, that execution sealed the victory.
- Brian Westbrook stepped it up after that completion, grinding out the first downs that burned the rest of the clock. All total: 120 yards on 20 carries (plus another 36 in the air). Fantasy-wise I wish he could've gotten into the end-zone, but reality-wise, I am quite happy seeing the Eagles able to run the ball when it counts.
- The fact that the Eagles actually adjusted at half-time! The defense went from cut-back run hell, to stuffing the shit out of Thomas Jones. The Jets really only had one good drive in second half.
- Sheldon Brown - he did a heckuva job taking L. Coles out of the game.
- The stand. 2nd and 1 - T Jones stuffed; 3rd and 1 - QB Sneak by Pennington stuffed; 4th and 1 - incomplete pass.

What I didn't like:
- The offensive funk in the second half. What the hell fellas? They moved the ball in the first half, but had precious few answer in the 3rd and 4th quarters.
- Red-zone ineptness. Plenty of drives, too few touchdowns. We lucked out. The Jets suck. A better team would've made us pay for not scoring TDs when we had all those early opportunities.
- The first half run D was non-existent. 96 yards for Thomas Jones in the first two quarters??? Ok so he only had 30 for the rest of the game. Again, we got lucky, T-Jones got the Jets into early scoring range but they whiffed on the FG (but they did get 2).
- Akers blowing 2 41-yard FG into the wind. He seemed to compensate too much, trying to get the ball to go left, he hooked them to the right. The Meadowland definitely has gotten into his head.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New Type of Post

I figured it was time to institute a new kind of post here on the ole' blog.

I call it: "That some bullshit!" Its sort of my new catchphrase whenever I get screwed over in an online game of HALO 3.

First on the agenda: The Cowboys winning despite coughing the ball up 6 times, and the Bills getting 3 TDs from their defense and special teams. That's the epitome of "that some bullshit right there."

Next up, Michael Devlin....ok so the fucking pedophile rapist plead guilty, why is this fuckhead still breathing? We give him life-terms in jail. Great. So now he's costing tax-payers six-figures/year to keep him ass locked up for the next 40 or so years. After hearing the graphic details of his confession that shitface deserves to be hung by the balls with chicken-wire above a pit of starving alligators.

New York's plan to issue driver's licenses to illegal that's some BULLSHIT right there. Fuck Eliot Spitzer...douchebag. How about doing you friggin' job and enforcing the laws of your state instead of trying to skirt them? Oh and get this, some of the documentation being bandied about as potential types necessary for presentation to get your license as an illegal alien: PAROLE or Probation papers. Oh that's fucking rich. Actual citizens need birth certificates and social security cards, but some jackass might be able to use his parole papers? You shittin' me.

And wow, the San Francisco Chronicle didn't like Fred Thompson's "debut" debate yesterday. Now THAT's a shocker...Does San Francisco even qualify as an American city anymore? Why should give a crap what their editorialists think? Did he do well? I watched. I thought it took him a couple of questions to get comfortable, but damn, give the man a chance. I wouldn't expect a rag like the Chronicle to even consider giving the guy a fair shake anyway...ugh...

Monday, October 08, 2007

...and Whoever is playing Dallas this week

You already know the beginning of that line: "My favorite team is the Eagles...". And lo' and behold, the Cowboys may have been caught napping this game. I saw may, because there is still a qtr and a half to play and the Bills are only leading 24-13. The Cowboys have the firepower to overcome this.

This is week to have the Bills D/ST: 2 def. tds and a 103 yard kickoff return??? Holy crap. 4 Romo Ints??? I can't imagine a D scoring more this week than the Bills. And speaking of fantasy teams. I won in both leagues (can the Eagles have off next week too? - nah check that, my one team is hurting with Westbrook sitting and Andre Johnson still injured - I need the WB is turn it on again.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Phillies, HALO 3 and Work

Well, no posts recently

The reason: well work for one. Instead of getting up in the morning with little to do but peruse the Sports section and think of something to blog about, I have some honest to goodness work. Hee hee. It ain't so bad. Not a lot of work, but then again, I don't need to work a lot to make a decent amount of scratch, so that's pretty cool. I mean, if I can earn in 10 hours (working from home) what I'd get working 40 if I had some crap job on base....why bother?

Second, and the biggest reason by far - HALO 3. This game rocks. What can I say? There always thousands of people online looking to play. I enjoy playing with friends a bit more than the anonymous games, but they do in a pinch. I'm getting better. Still not very good, but not useless either. Just depends on the game.

As for the Phillies. Well, they dropped their first home games and it doesn't look good. Still I expect them to fight. After striving all fucking year, to go out with a whimper just wouldn't do.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Jeers, Goats and Observations from Sunday Night

I don't want to leave Sunday night's debacle just yet

So here are some thoughts, in random fashion, about the game/State of Eagles

- How come when we line-up with a man on the nose and two LB/S covering each "A" gap, and we bring the never works??? Yet on the very first series, the Giants do the same thing and OL parts like the Red Sea and McNabb gets clobbered.

- Lately it seems like all our "exotic" defense stuff just becomes pedestrian. Our D is doing pretty well. I don't think any team has really excelled against us. But on a day like Sunday, when the front four can't get pressure alone, and then the blitzing fizzles....Makes me wonder is at least some teams haven't caught up with JJ. (though to be fair, I am quite sure the Giants were well-schooled in the Eagles basics from former Eagles coach and current Giants Def Coordinator Spagnuolo.

- Do well really miss Tra Thomas that much?
- Quintin Mikell is playing well in place of Brian Dawkins
- Come back soon Lito, Will James may have talked a big game in the off-season, but he ain't backing up that "I'm a shutdown corner" talk now.

- How can the Eagles look so woefully unprepared in 3 of the 4 games they've played?
- Why are the Eagles seemingly unable/unwilling to adjust to what the other team is doing.
This is a big one folks. I mean, we've lost two games out of the first four because our Offense simply did not acknowledge/do anything to counter the gameplan of the opposing defense. Phil Sheridan wrote a good piece about part of that here: the Eagles are passaholics.
Case in point: against the Skins, the Eagles did nothing to counter Washington's press-man coverage (no formations, no motions, no deep balls, nothing). Against the Giants on Sunday, with everyone in the stadium aware that Giants DE Osi Umenyiora was schooling the Eagles new LT Winston Justice, the Eagles consistently called passing plays with blocking scheme calling for one-on-one blocking. Its wasn't until the second half (and McNabb was already running for his life by then) that I saw even the remotest attempt to help out Justice. And even then, it wasn't consistent.

- Sheldon Brown was right. In one of those Sunday Night tippers when the Players faces talk to the audience about what a great game is going to be on display, Sheldon said, the team that executes the best is going to win:
15 penalties for 132 yards, a missed FG, 12 GD SACKS, 3 dropped passes (at least) and so many blown blocking assignments McNabb is probably going to be in training tub for the entire bye week. Hmm, guess what. Sheldon was right.

Now for good news:
- The Birds may have had to play without Tra Thomas and Brian Westbrook Sunday, but the Buccaneers now have to play the rest of their season with their Starting LT and RB as Luke Pettigout and Cadillac Williams were both lost for the season earlier in the day. So things could be worse. Much worse.
- Andy Reid teams come out strong after the BYE. The coach's unflappable demeanor means a lot to the team. They will not pack-it-up and go home. They will keep fighting because they have character

Other thoughts:
- I know the Eagles will keep fighting. But realistically, they need to go what 9-3 the rest of the way? No its not impossible (though it certainly is impossible with the offense in disarray). This team is going to have to fight and scrap and claw just to get within sniffing distance...I fear that even if they do, they'll be mentally worn out by the end of December
- Do we make a bid to bring back Donte' Stallworth? He's clearly a one-year rental for the Pats. And you know they'll have to devote some $$$ for Moss. He wouldn't be the first former Eagles to return to the nest.

Phils Provide the Cheers - Birds the Jeers

How weird is that? A Sunday in October and the Phillies give the fans more to cheer about than the Eagles.

Ok - my frustration level was off-the-charts with last night non-appearance by the offense again.

My thoughts:
- No Westbrook, no Dawk, no Lito, no Tra, no LJ = very vulnerable team
- Anyone else thinking our OL depth might be a little shaky. Winston, my man...what the hell went wrong? And you stupid eff'ing coaches - HOW ABOUT GIVING THE DUDE SOME FUCKING HELP.
- After the first two or three sacks it was obvious that Justice couldn't handle Giants DE Umenyiora. I have no clue why our offense is so stubborn and/or blind that it refuses to recognize these in-game nuances (though nuance is way too generous a term for watching your starting LT get steamrolled every series).
- 10 runs, 20 passes in a 7-0 first half. That's just great. On a night when McNabb usually had about 1.5 seconds to get rid of the ball we keep dialing up passes.....
- No protectee QB - no winee game - idiots
- You know early on, I didn't mind the play-calling - because the plays the Eagles had called WOULD HAVE worked, except for the fact that the Eagles offense executed so poorly. Every series had a dropped pass, penalty, poor throw and/or a sack. EVERY FUCKING SERIES!
- Case in point - First series - pass to Curtis - clang through the hands off the helmet and to the ground. So instead of moving the chains after the D sending Eli off the field with a three-and-out to open the game, the Birds return the favor - not because of what the Giants D did, but with what the Eagles failed to do.
- Early on the Giants scheme was to pressure McNabb up the middle. Every play. How did this not register with the coaches/OL?

I'll add more later.....