Thursday, January 15, 2009

If Eagles Fans Had Done This...

it would be a lead story on the national news

here are giants fans smashing up a porsche in the parking lot after seeing their team lose


and when they're finished with that one, they move onto the next car


not the first time, here's how giants fans celebrated the superbowl win earlier this year


ever hear a peep about this crap in the media?

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85 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

So true.

7:18 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did they stop making Flash intos for the Eagle's?

I used to look forward to those...

- Joe

9:20 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone care to venture a prediction for Sunday's game? If I were any good at this type of thing, I'd bet games (which I never do), but I just can't see the Cardinals depriving us of another shot at glory in Tampa.

During baseball no hitters, the rule of thumb is "don't even think it." Sorry if I'm violating football tradition, but I'm thinking it.

Eagles encounter a tougher than expected Cardinal in the desert, get burned by a couple of terrific plays from Warner & the Beast, but turn up the heat by halftime, and walk away with a convincing victory in the second half.

Despite all the "new Cardinals" hype I've been hearing all week, despite the advantage the home team enjoys in the conference championship, despite the Eagles' penchance for throwing an occasional clunker, I'm confident we're heading back to the Superbowl.

Anyone else?

Ed Wade

8:08 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

I'd go with cautiously optimistic for myself. I think you can somewhat discount the CAR game as Delholme did more to lose that game than ARI did to win it. But they will still have the best player on the field and home field advantage, either of which you discount at your own risk.

But the Eagles are too balanced on both sides of the ball, have too much veteran leadership, and have lost waaaaay too many of these Championships to look past this team.

I hope.

8:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW...21-6, three TDs to Fitzgerald...the difference right now, a good receiver.
And Greg Lewis should never ever play again

4:15 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great almost comeback...but I'd like to thank the defense for completely folding on the most important Cards drive (why no pressure). The difference one player can make...wow

Simon

6:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

1) We were playing with house money.

2) But maaaaaaaaaaan.

3) I think it showed great character to come back in that game. Lot of teams would have packed it in down 18.

4) Think it also showed good coaching to switch things up in 2H.

5) 2 plays and they win that game. Last TD really hurt them. Hold them to a FG and I think we march down and win it.

6) Dawk was really throwing his body around out there, but not sure if he was that effective. Very sad if that was his last game in midnight green.

7) There was an LJ sighting. No biggy if that was his last game as well.

8) Sorta an uneven game for DeSean, but overall I think he played well. Very nice TD catch there to put them ahead. Kept his head in the game after the early drop and made plays down the stretch including stripping the ball after 5 threw the INT. Heads up play IMO.

9) JJ didn't call a very good D in the first half.

8:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

always the bridesmaid...

this one hurts way more thsn the others because this was not a great Cardinals team. They had a great player, but not a great team. The D was awful for 3 quarters of the game. terrible game plan by JJ, but I just think the better team won today. the Cardinals were committed to paying the price to win and the Birds were obviously reading their press clippings and booking rooms for Tampa. Disgraceful first half killed them. Too many great opportunities squandered. Too many stupid moments (39's late hit on Warner), too many atrocious football players being involved in the game plan (Greg Lewis, Hank Baskett, LJ Smith).

I am embarassed to be a Birds fan today. Don't give me this house money crap. Bull! You get this far, you beat the inferior team and get in the show. This post season run is now rendered meaningless because they fell to the worst team to ever reach the Super Bowl. They looked like a team that didn't belong today and that is sad because the team that showed up the last few weeks kills this Cardinals team. The team that threw their jocks on the filed today and expected to win by showing up is the same sorry lot of shitbirds who choked it up vs. Chicago, Washington (twice), and Baltimore. Really leaves me with a terrible taste in my mouth going into the off season. They have some gaping holes and if they are smart and retain McNabb (although he wilted under pressure several times again today)and get more OT, RB, and DE who can play, they could be good again with a retooled young D.

But today sucks. No two ways about it, they shit the bed...AGAIN!!!

Bumble

8:33 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ahhh, there's the Bumble we've all come to know and love.

How is a 9-7 Cardinals team all that much worse than a 9-6-1 Eagles team? We limp past MIN and NYG, while they beat ATL and CRUSH the Panthers. Just because PHI was favored and we all thought they should win doesn't mean ARI doesn't have a decent team.

I would rather be an Eagles fan today than the fan of one of the other 29 teams that didn't even make it this far.

5 didn't wilt under the pressure today. He didn't have a great 1H, but he surely didn't have a bad game.

8:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the Eagles would make the playoffs when many said the season was over. I thought the Eagles would win this game before it started. I thought the Eagles would win this game at halftime. I still can't believe we didn't win.

The Birds put up a tremendous effort in the second half and had a damn good chance of pulling it out.

Donovan didn't "choke," and the coaching staff did a great job righting the ship.

It kills me that we didn't march on to Tampa, but not like it would have if we had accepted defeat meekly and mailed in the second half.

I can live with this. We'll be right back next year. It isn't Donovan? Rather, it's Donovan!

It will drive me crazy listening to Angelo and the rest of the morons spewing venom, jumping ship, talking about how we'll never win the big game.

I'm here for the long haul. I waited 28 years for the Phils, would have waited longer, and I can wait a little longer for the Eagles also.

Any way you slice it, this was a great season.

Chin up, Philadelphia.

Ed Wade

9:28 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was not a great season, or your sights are set too low Ed. This was a nice season with a neat end of year surprise run, but great is an adjective I reserve for championships. They didn't get one, they could have. The AFC participant in the Bowl is no better than they are. It wasn't great.

Listen, Don made a lot of super plays in the 3rd quarter. He wasn't the issue today. He had a few average throws, but the dropsies from the putz WR on their staff killed him again (why does G Lew ever see a ball thrown his way?!) I don't lay this on the O, but if I did, I would actually lay a lot more blame on 36 than Don. He was obviously hurt, but he really made no impact at all today.

No this was on the D and what chaps my ass is they knew exactly what the Cardinals were going to do-go to 11...a lot! and they did nothing to stop it. The D just looked flat to me all day. The LB had zero significant plays all day, the DE did nothing but get blocked one on one, and the vaunted secondary got torched when it mattered. Bunkley looked great, everyone else seemed 2 steps slow all day.

I enjoyed the ride, but this hurts. You cannot keep getting to the precipice and pissing it away. They pissed it away today. Don't give me the "well that team was 9-7" bullshit. That Cardinals team is not that good. They got a bit hot, but if you don't score points on them and you don't disrupt their passing game, then you'll make them look great.

I hate the "well we never belonged there anyway" vibe I am already seeing on this site. NOT TRUE! We beat the 2 tough, physical teams, this was supposed to be the warm up for the big one vs. a finesse team. Instead the Birds pretty much got manhandled at both LOS all day. They lacked the same effort and nastiness in this game. Angelo's clueless inevitable rants aside, there is something about this team in championship crunch time that wilts. I love that they can make the championship 5 times in 8 years, but 1 SB game? That they then wilted under the lights? Come on! I am not saying it is Reid or McNabb, it seems deeper. Those 2 did a good enough job to win the game today, yet somehow they came up tiny vs. a team they popped a 50 spot on 2 months ago. Somehow, the part of the team that has been so good for 2 months completely collapses. This is why it sucks to be a Philly phan. I thought they'd win, but I never imagined they'd get stampeded on defense and give up 32 points.

I am pissed, and I am not taking this roll over and play dead and be happy and sing kumbaya with everyone because we beat the Giants after a dramatic end of season. They choked. Push comes to shove, this team again didn't get it done in the clutch. That pisses me off. I had expectations and they didn't get met. This team caused me to have expectations based on how well they were playing. Then they come out and perform well below those expectations on a big stage. How can't I be disappointed?


Bumble

10:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, you watched the CIN game didn't you? And the WAS one just a month ago? To blindly assume this Eagles team was vastly superior to ARI is a little nuts if you ask me.

I'm far from happy that the Eagles aren't going to the SB. I'm quite disappointed they're not going to Tampa. But I'm FAR less dispappointed than after the losses to TB or CAR in the NFC Championship games.

TMG, I think discussion #1 this offseason will need to revolve around the playoff performance of Reid's teams.

7:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not a blind assumption Phil. AZ had advantages at QB and WR, but not anywhere else and by no means a huge advantage at QB. Don played well at times, they scored points, however, at heart that AZ team is the same group that gave up 45 plus points three times this year, including to the Birds. the Birds punted once. They should've popped a 40 spot on that time had they made plays in big situations (drops, drops, drops!). However, it should not have mattered because their D never should've give up 32.

I am not delusional. i know teams get hot in the playoffs. This was the worst loss ever for me because that is the type of team the Birds are built to stop-pass happy with suspect O line. Unlike the Rams (tons of offensive talent), Bucs (superb D that flummoxes 5), and Carolina (super D, great running game), this AZ team was exactly the sort of team you'd want to play thinking your strength overcomes theirs. Unfortunately, our strength was awful. This AZ team is going to get pummeled by Pittsburgh with smashmouth offense and defense. The Birds simply didn;t do what they did on Turkey Day which was establish the run. Vs. all of those 3 man fronts, they should've gouged them for 8-10 yards a clip (and they did a few times) until they stopped throwing 5 and 6 DB on the field.

I want to see 2 RB who can play here next year. You cannot have the revolving Westbrook door every week. Too tiny, getting old, gimpy knees, never practices. I think if I am levying rage toward any Bird aside from the entire D, it is on 36. Terrible job by him yesterday.

Bumble

10:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Agreed. 36 and defense (primary LBs and corners) deserve the blame here though drops by Lewis and Baskett contribute. Bumble, what do you think of DeSean's performance?

12:45 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Desean played well, very well for a rookie. He is a weapon. I thought Celek was great and our clear cut pass catching TE. Bye bye Littlejohn and bring in a TE who can block a little. I thought Curtis was great, especially in traffic. I thought Don had great moments, although he had very clunky periods as well. Unfortunately in the last three minutes, his late game woes continued. Never should've come to that, unfortunately it did.

I think they have some nice talent back, but they do need to bring in 5-6 parts and upgrade. I like much of that young D and their young offensive guys, but some changes need to be made. In no order, this is one fat guy's opinion.

1. Tra/William or Runyan or both need replacing. They're 35 and won't be effective forever. I'd consider moving Herremans to OT, his more natural position and getting a stud OG (although if Andrews comes back, Gilles heals, and Fat Nick is around, they may internally have the replacement). I'd keep one of them, probably Runyan, but I'd draft a young OT as well.

2. DE-I think Cole has his moments and Juqua plays 4-6 good games a year, but yesterday showed they still need play makers there. I'd look at free agency as young DE take too long to develop.

3. RB-I think this may be their biggest need. B Wes had a down year in my opinion and RB collapse into the sunset quickly. I might pursue a Derrick Ward AND draft a young RB because Brian is in decline, Correl is 30 and has 2 gimpy knees, and Booker cannot play. I think they need more here than at any other position.

4. FB-I think Klecko came on a bit, but they need someone who is a clear cut NFL FB. Someone who can go in motion and block people. I think this could help them upgrade their running game.

5. Blocking TE-just give me a guy who can catch a 5 yard pattern but go in motion and block LB. Get someone in the 7th round who's a quicker pulling guard.

6. I don't love their C. He never gets to the second level and blocks an LB. He had a good rookie year, but has been in decline the last few years. I'd keep one eye open toward upgrading.

7. Athletic secondary and LB people-their special teams coverage and return game was much improved this year, and I attribute that to better athletes at these two positions. Just keep getting more athletic.

I am still furious today. No excuse for that performance yesterday. They needed to step up and cement their legacy as a team of destiny. instead they furthered the legacy of underachieving in big games.

Bumble

9:10 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

I wonder how much of the special teams improvement was because 1)Segrest was in his second year and 2) Akers had a much, much better year. Both return men were vastly improved from the prior year, but I don't know about the rest (probably because I couldn't tell about the rest). Course they still need to improve on cutting down on blocked kicks. . .

The reason I asked about DeSean is that he likely represents an upgrade all by himself next year. When you factor in that WRs usually take a while to develop and that they take FOREVER to develop in Reid's system, then this kid could post 1200-1400 yards next year.

7:15 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jackson is a legitimate 2 right now and could become a 1 with that speed. He is exciting and he does in fact present an upgrade. I actually think their WR are fine, I'd shorten the rotation. Brown would be gone, Lewis would be gone, my rotation would be Jackson at the 1, Avant at the 2, Curtis at the 3 with Baskett rotating in at times. I'd look to upgrade and get another pass catching athlete.

This article really sums up my frustration well. When the Birds needed to step and be betetr than good, they weren't. Everyone deserves a piece of that blame, some more than others, but it was a team choke on Sunday on the field, on the sidelines, and upstairs in the booth.

http://www.comcast.net/sports/russakoffrules/21186/thegreatesttrickthedevileverpulled/

Bumble

9:33 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm an unabashed capitalist and on a typical day would tell you that professional athletes are grossly underpaid as a consequence of rules and practices (think draft, restricted movement, etc) that dampen salaries. My argument is simple: if atheletes could negotiate freely with all available teams from the time they join professional sports leagues, they would make far more money than they do now. Without anyone's pointing guns to the owners' heads, they would gladly pay more money than they pay now for labor.

Philosophical nonsense aside, was anyone else taken aback by Ryan Howard's arbitration request for $18 million? At a time when the country is teetering on the brink of economic meltdown, this number stuck me as genuinely, over-the-top, silly greedy.

Clearly, the Phillies cannot afford a long-term relationship with Ryan Howard.

It's time to start looking for a new home for him. I hope there is a deep-pocketed team out there that would be willing to part with high-caliber prospects in exchange. I'm sure the Phils will try to milk one more year out of Howard, and hopefully win another championship, but I wouldn't blame them if they elected to part company now.

Ed Wade

7:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is odd. The guy had the most RBI in the league last year, yet I honestly cannot remember ever seeing him drive in runs during meaningful games. In fact, every time he steps to the plate late ina tight game, I leave the room because I believe that he is sure to strike out. 9 times out of 10, he doesn't let me down. He has hoofs for hands at first base and may be the worst fielder in the major leagues. Yet he hits lots of HR and drives in runs, so the market says he should make between $15 and $20 million.

Here is the rub, he betetr get his now because the teams that would theoretically be able to pay him when his arbitration in Philly is up won't need him. The Yanks have Texeira, the Red Sox won't spend money on a player who is average, and most other American league teams won't justify %20 plus million for a DH. Ryan needs to get paid now becaus ehe'll find the market to be much watered down when he can truly go test it.

What makes me sick is how screwed the Phillies organization gets in all of this. People simply see HR and RBI and Ryan gets paid. They completely ignore the record setting SO, the countless mental and physical errors, and the fact that he did nada nothing zilch in the post season. He is not a guy worth the money he'll get paid. Anyone who watches baseball with regularity knows that. It's like the DE who gets voted all pro for having 12 sacks. It's bull. Strahan was the best DE I've ever seen because the guy completely dominated the run game and the pass game. Yet last year, despite having what may have been his best year, despite being a one man wrecking crew who completely shut down half the field, despite being the catalyst to that SB run, Osi Yumeniora was voted to the Pro Bowl and probably viewed as more valuable because he had 14 sacks. I guess it's life, but I am not sure how professional talent evaluators don't see through it. I'd rather have a 1B who is a good fielder, hits close to .300, doesn;t strike out 300 times, and may drive in 100 RBI than Ryan Howard. I'd take Texeira any day over Howard.

Bumble

9:10 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

This is truly the worst thing about the Eagles losing to ARI: I now have to suffer through 8 months of baseball talk before another meaningful football game is played. Sigh.

11:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Phil. I lost my head.

Ed

1:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

No, you're well within your rights to discuss it. Pitchers and catchers are reporting fairly soon. I think.

Sigh.

Effing Eagles and their getting your hopes up, then crushing them, then getting them up again, then stomping on them, then teasing you with a little sundress and a twirl of their hair while THEY'RE SLEEPING WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND BEHIND YOUR BACK! ARRRRGGHHHHHH!!!!! Um, I mean, that is to say . . . uh

2:10 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was freaking great Phil! I needed a jolt of funny today and you officially provided me my moment. Thank you.

Bumble

2:54 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I taught Bumble the concept of the "magic moment," and I have to admit, Phil, you provided it for me as well. The little sundress and twirl of the hair stopped me cold. Apt, brother, apt.

Out of respect, I'll hold out on any adddition baseball chatter until Feb. 14th - my birthday literally, and sportingly.

Ed Wade

7:45 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, with that being said.....

Go Flyers!

Briere is hurt again. This time they're going to do exploratory surgery. Doesn't this song sound familiar? Last time it was with Forsburg's foot. And also like last time, I don't think we need him. We're doing great, our guys are getting better, this rookie Powe looks fantastic. That along with Giroux (sp?) and the fact that without Briere we don't need to make cap room, I say let him sit in the AHL until he's better...

Also, Asham needs a break from fighting. His face looks like it's plastic and falling off....

- Joe

1:52 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't mean Asham, i meant Cote...


- Joe

1:53 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and Sam Dalembert still sucks!

Bumble

8:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK...I have stayed away form "it" for a week, but unfortunately today Comcast re-ran the game and I got to see all of the last drive. he did it again. Or more appropriately, he didn;t do it again. McNabb gets the ball back with 3 minutes left and just throws some absolute turds while looking as petrified as a deer in the headlights of an oncoming semi. For all the good he did in the thrid quarter, IMO he further cemented his legacy as a guy who cannot step up and be great late in the game when the team really needs him. He had 3 minutes to change his fate and instead he added to an already shaky history of bumbling and stumbling. The D put them in the position where they needed a great effort, but he did not answer the bell.

And I was angrier today than on Sunday. This one isn't going away. the stars had ligned up and this was their time.

Dammit!

Bumble

9:28 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Fine, Bumble. Which QB would you rather have running this team right now?

7:33 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there are so few good clucth NFL QB that I cannot easily point to an easy one to say "he'd be better". Warner is a better QB. Not a better athlete, but a better pure passer and decision maker. At 38, I am not sure I'd take him. Brady is much better, but he may be the best clutch QB of all time. It things out considerably after that.

So as a Birds fan, we're stuck. We have a good QB, not a great QB. He wins a lot of games, but when the spotlight gets hottest, he wilts badly. It is what it is. I would keep him, but we are NEVER going to win the big one with him. It just isn't in his DNA. It sucks knowing that and realizing that you may get agonizingly close, but this guy ain't going to take you to the promised land.

I do think all of the "McNabb is back" and "McNabb is still great" talk is a bit premature. He is who he's alaways been. A gifted athlete with a big arm who can cobble together several huge performances but who seems to lob a complete stinker in at the worst possible time. Critics will say he passed for 375 yards and 3 scores and that was indeed good. Unfortunately, the team needed him to pass for at least 400 yards and 4 scores and he couldn't answer that bell. Fair or unfair, he did not get it done when the team needed him to get it done.

Again, the D put them in the hole, but when handed a shovel, all he did was draw more dirt into the hole and bury them instead of digging them out.

Bumble

10:54 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Back to the same old argument. Sigh. I guess where I keep getting hung up is the "plays poorly in bright lights" thing. How many QBs have winning post-season records? Sure he's not had great Championship or SB games, but that's largely because most other QBs don't even get there. And it's not like he's ever thrown up a Delholmme 5 pick special in these positions. You're damning him for only throwing for 375 yards and 3 picks when he needed 395?

This team has much bigger issues than QB and lost that game for many other reasons than 5 (36, LBs, JJ's poor blitzes, WR drops).

2:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old news, but look at how poor his numbers were vs. Tampa and Carolina in the big game. Awful!

If you strictly looked at stats (as I unfortunately suspect some who post here do), then he had a great game last Sunday. If you saw the game, then you realize that he had a very mixed game. His first quarter followed a trend of slow starts as he struggled to move the team despite fantastic starting field position. He made a throw or two in the second quarter, but still failed to punch it in. He was an absolute freak of nature in the third quarter, then he went back into hibernation in the fourth quarter. Good final numbers except the W.

In re-watching the game, his WR didn;t help, but he had some really ugly throws that didn;t help them. The G Lewis throw was as much Don's fault as his. Fitzgerald makes that catch, but having to turn around and re-adjust in the air was too much for G Lew. A good throw and that was six. A good WR and that was still six.

That saddest part for me was not being surprised. I was surprised the D laid an egg, but I expected McNabb not to be able to rally them late when he had to. If he doesn;t have to win the game, he is fine, but when called upon to be great, he really doesn;t seem to have that extra gear.

Bumble

5:40 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

We don't just look at stats. We saw how he played. I'm just saying he's not that bad. He didn't lose them the game. 36 lost them the game more so than 5.

9:32 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

bumble, this is just the same discussion over and over and over. mcnabb isn't montana or brady. can we just accept that and move on?

however, he does not stink. he is not in the bottom half of QBs in terms of "comebacks" or "clutch" situations. it's your perception of the success of other QBs in that situation that is skewed.

the eagles scored the second most points in the NFL this year during the last 2 minutes of the first half. how can that be since mcnabb stinks in pressure situations? coming back from a huge playoff deficit isn't a pressure situation? making a ridiculous number of perfect throws to catch up and then take the lead late in the 4th quarter isn't a pressure situation.

no QB plays a perfect game for 60 minutes, if they did we wouldn't care about "4th quarter comebacks". you hold him to an impossible standard. the problem here is with you, not with mcnabb.

mcnabb made better throws on that last drive than eli manning did on the last drive in the superbowl. eli threw two potential picks and the game winning play was a miracle catch on a nobody's helmet. mcnabb made a super-clutch throw on 4th down that clanked off his receiver's cast iron hands.

the eagles lost fair and square. jimmy johnson got outcoached (which is actually what i feared coming into the game). mcnabb is partly to blame but he is not among the top 20 reasons they lost this game.

mcnabb is not among the top 20 reasons they lost this game. you need to find another whipping boy for this game.

8:05 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here we go again. Boy TMG, if I were a student, I'd sure hope I had you because you would give one helluva curve. I could not study and get a 60 yet it'd be OK because I'd get a bunch of points to earn a B just for showing up and wearing a cool shirt. Sort of like the way they reward McManagers, but I digress.

McNabb is not among the top 20 reasons they lost this game? Really? So despite being given field position at his own 40 OR BETTER 3 times in the first half and yielding only 6 points, he is blameless? I dunno, seems to me when you play a high scoring, hot offense in the playoffs that you already posted a 48 spot earlier in the season, you damned well better be able to generate more than 2 first half field goals. Call me crazy for having such a high expectation.

Did you even watch the game dude? You are flat out mistaken on your assessment of how that 4th quarter went down? He did not make a "ridiculous number of perfect throws to catch up and then take the lead late in the 4th quarter" as you posit. No sir. He tossed the bomb to Jackson very early in the 4th, then tossed a stinker on that pathetically drawn up 2 point conversion play, then he did not see the ball again for 8 minutes because Arizona just rammed it down their throats. He got the ball back with 2:53 left and we know where he went from there. So maybe my definition of late needs checking, but he last held the lead with 11 minutes left in the 4th. That is early, not late 4th. Semantics, maybe, but you paint him like the conquering hero who seized the lead back in the waning seconds of the fourth only to see his defense quickly cough it up and that is not at all how the tempo of the game went.

Back to his last drive. First down, bad throw to Hank Baskett that he doesn't catch in the short left flat. If he does catch it, it's a 2 yard gain. Why make that throw to that guy in that spot at that time?

Second down, toss over the middle to Desean Jackson. Guy is open, McNabb throws high. If he hits him in stride, the DB has a bad angle on him and no one near him. He could gain another 20 yards or more. Desean did leap and touch the ball and the old adage goes if a WR gets his hands on the ball he should catch it. Some will exonerate Don for this one, but I won't. This throw wasn't good enough.

Third down, inexplicably another short check down throw in the short left flat to Hank Baskett. Another terrible throw, way uncatchable, but the guy is surrounded by 3 DB, so even if he catches it, it is a 2 yard gain. I cannot figure out which is worse, the decision or the the throw. Both are awful.

Fourth down, Toss toward the sideline in the vicinity of Kevin Curtis. Yeah he was interfered with, yeah he got a hand on the ball, blah blah blah, that was another terrible throw. The guy had to be in Cirque du Soleil to adjust, make the separation, catch the ball, and come down with both feet in bounds.

So let's recap this. 2 downright terrible throws to a bad WR for a 2 yard gains at best. A high throw to your best athlete and a gravity defying circus throw to your game leading WR? Again it's debateable which is worse, the throws or the decisions, but both were bad.

I don't think he lost them the game, no that was JJ and the sleeping D. I do think he single handedly got them back in the drivers seat (after putting them in the trunk with a shit first half performance by the by). When the chips were down, he tightened up and that old big game choke re-surfaced. He did not lose them that game, but when they needed him to do so, he did not win them that game.

See I just don't understand the low standards. What exactly has this guy won to earn this teflon adulation? His career body of work shows a guy who cannot make things happen in big spots in big games. Any pundit, any knowledgeable NFL analyst, any fan who knows that the brown oblong thing gets snapped and you wnat to score more points than the guys in the other colored jerseys can see this. I am not saying I don't like him. I have said that I would keep him because he is in the top third of the league and there are just so many awful QB. My point is merely that this guy is NEVER going to win the big one. Ever. The evidence is indisputable at this point given his 6 chances to do so. I suppose we could reserve judgment until next year when he blows a 7th shot, but look deep within yourself and really watch the game as it happened, not as you want to remember it, and see if he didn't lay another egg in that second to last drive with 3 minutes left. If you're being honest with what you're seeing, then I think you'd have to say that he just didn't get it donw when they needed him to dig down deep for one more shot. I am not saying it was fair or right that he was in that position, but he was and the team and town needed a valiant last gasp effort, not two 2 yard turds to Hank Baskett and two lousy tosses to Jackson and Curtis. Sorry. As a fan I expect just a little tiny bit more than that.

But hey, stats say they were great at scoring point late in halves, so we have that going for us.

Bumble

9:20 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

bumble, the key issue here is that in your mind, anytime a QB doesn't make a completion, it's his fault.

did you watch the superbowl last year? QB god tom brady looked pretty ordinary. did he just suck all of a sudden? no, he was just victimized by a ridiculous passrush.

on that last drive, there was only one truly bad pass, where don missed a guy badly and (as you correctly mention) if he had hit the guy in stride, would have been a big gainer. however, did you pay attention to the passrush at all? if you did, you'd notice that a guy was coming unblocked straight at mcnabb and forced him to unload the ball. not many QBs (tom brady included) make consistent accurate throws with unblocked rushers coming free.

on the 4th down throw, if curtis isn't on his knees when the ball arrives, it's a ball that couldn't have been thrown better.

stop thinking in black and white, dude. i've never said mcnabb is free from blame. all i've said is that you hold him to a standard of perfection that no QB who has ever lived could meet.

if tom brady was our QB, you'd be skewering him over his performance in last year's superbowl.

mcnabb made so many ridiculous throws to get the team back into the game -- e.g. 3rd and 19 to kevin curtis through and between 3 defenders -- that i can't understand why you fixate on him specifically when so many, SO MANY, other things were terrible in that game. just terrible.

mcnabb played poorly in the first half. so what? it happens all the time. that doesn't mean he's the problem.

he threw for 375 yards in that game, yes he needed to throw for 415 to win the game. you're killing him for that? that once again, he singlehandedly couldn't bring the team to a win when everyone else was sucking.

i seriously am starting to think that you are more interested in finding fault with mcnabb than winning a superbowl. mcnabb is good enough to win a superbowl. if every other player on the roster played at mcnabb's level relative to other players at their position, the eagles would be a dynasty team.

mcnabb is not to blame for this loss.

defensive line
defensive coordinator
offensive line
wide receivers
running backs
linebackers
cornerbacks
safeties

*all* of these players played worse than mcnabb. all of them.

fixate on those. you force me to be a mcnabb defender. i don't want to be a mcnabb defender. you just continue to rail on him without real context and primarily based on emotion, not analysis.

i get that you're mad. i get that you think mcnabb could have made a few more plays. if you stop and think about it though, didn't mcnabb make almost all the plays on offense already?

he's not the reason they lost. he's the only reason they were in the game at all. if mcnabb isn't the quarterback, i don't think there are more than 2-3 other quarterbacks (facing the pressure situation and the constant blitzing) who could have done as well as he did, let alone better.

as far as winning a superbowl. did you watch the raven win a superbowl? did you watch the giants win a superbowl last season with that stiff eli manning at QB? did you watch the steelers win a superbowl with the worst game a QB has every played in the superbowl? i don't know what games you have in your head when you're making your comparison and judgements, but those would be good ones. stick mcnabb on all three of those teams and they because all time great teams, not just teams that lucked into superbown by having great defenses.

you have recent proof that mcnabb can win a superbowl. you can help by doing your part to stop fixating on him and help the team make the other SUCKY parts of the team better.

11:02 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

here's one suggestion. stop with brian westbrook on first and second downs!

brian westbrook is a scat back. he's a third down back. last year when he looked much bigger (taking steroids in his contract year i'd imagine), he could move the pile some. this year he has nothing.

use westbrook less to keep him healthy and use him on third downs. perfect situation for him. draft a bulldog to play 1st and second down -- a pilemover.

get a non-pass catching old school kyle brady-type hoss to play backup to celek. hell move tra over to tight end (would that prolong or shorten his career).

use the first rounders to rebuild the o-line. they're old and they can't play at a high level consistently. hopefully getting andrews back means they can play cole full time and move herremans outside. that way they only have find a replacement for one tackle.

more coming (hopefully finishing my end of season wrapup this weekend)

11:13 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

See I just don't understand the low standards. What exactly has this guy won to earn this teflon adulation? His career body of work shows a guy who cannot make things happen in big spots in big games.

i don't have low standards, i'm trying to get you to think about this logically and be a realist.

i'm trying to figure out how this team can win the superbowl. you're focusing on finding examples of ways that mcnabb has failed us.

mcnabb's career body of work is that he's won more big games than he lost (playoff games). unfortunately, when you're in the playoffs, if you have one loss, you're done. no one has an undefeated playoff record. that means EVERY top QB has their share of big wins and big losses.

if you want to win the superbowl, try to figure out how we can upgrade other positions on the team and direct your energy that way. if you figure out a way to get tom brady on this team, GREAT! otherwise, any time spent on QB analysis is actually wasted because the analysis tells you he's pretty good, and has played well enough to win in most cases.

you poo-poo stats like the fact that the eagles scored the second most points in the nfl in the last two minutes of the first half simply because they run counter to the point you want to make. yet, it does run directly counter to the point you want to make. if mcnabb sucks in pressure situations, then apparently ALL qb's suck in pressure situations. (how many passes did warner make on that "great" final drive? four. four passes in 14 plays).

the issue isn't whether mcnabb should be immune from criticism (a black and white thought process). the issue is whether or not it is productive and beneficial to focus on mcnabb when so many other things need a greater degree of improvement.

i understand that it's human nature at work -- why people spend more time worrying about terrorist attacks and violent crime when they are far more likely to die from walking down the street or driving a car -- but it's not productive.

he has flaws. got it.

he's not perfect. got it.

there are plays he could have made better. got it.

but then here is the reality. NFL QBs are the hardest things to find in sports. he is what we have to work with and he's good enough to win if we can improve the team around him. that should be our focus, not nitpicking him to death.

if you're interested in winning, help to disperse the focus of the fanbase to other players on the team.

here are a list of players with actual teflon suits (not perceived like you see mcnabb's):

- brian westbrook (did he play in the game? he got cheers on his post-game radio show. think mcnabb would have faced the same type of crowd with a similar performance?)

- trent cole (he made, what two plays in that game?)

- stewart bradley (lots some tackles but no impactful plays)

- brian dawkins (how about wrapping up a ballcarrier)

- jim johnson (is incapable of outscheming tom moore, ken whisenhunt, sean payton)

- chris gocong (game would have been over if he'd recognized hightower sooner on that sweep)

- d-line (where was the passrush! no pressure without significant blitzing)

- o-line (played like they'd never seen a blitz or a stunt before)

- GM (want to know the real reason the eagles lost that game? because they cannot stop the run without consistently run blitzing! that's fine when you're playing the giants with no plaxico, but what the cardinals did would be exactly that the giants would have done with plaxico on the field. this defense is too small.)

your ire has a better chance of being productive if directed elsewhere.

7:59 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Amen.

10:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

You forget Sheldom Brown on your list of goats. Probably the worst game he played all year.

10:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

As a way of moving the discussion in a positive direction, I've been working on this since week 16. Thoughts?

State of the Eagles Franchise

First off, this is a playoff team. Very close to a SuperBowl winning team. A couple tweaks are all that’s needed for them to keep playing into February. We do not need to blow things up here. It took Cower over 10 years to finally win his SB. There are examples of keeping the same long time winning coaches in place in PIT and NYG that eventually lead to SB titles, but I can’t think of where blowing up a winning team then leads to a SB win.

Should we be optimistic about the future? Well, look at it this way. If you were to pick a team to root for from scratch, how many would be above the Eagles? NE, NYG, IND, and PIT are all clearly better franchises right now. Maybe ATL (hot young QB), CAR, or BAL (young QB, nice D). Now think of the absolute dregs of the league: OAK, STL, CIN, CLE, KC, DET, and SF. It’s pretty clear to me the Eagles are much closer to the first 4 than the last group. This is a good thing.


Key Concerns
1) Upgrading RB depth. The Eagles need a replacement for 36 and they need to get him NOW. Unless Booker is the answer (remember Westbrook didn’t play much in year 1 in Reid’s system), then that player isn’t on the roster. 36 is getting injured more often and is starting to lose a step. Without the threat of a running game (or offensive weapon at the RB position), the QB position can do no right.

2) JJ must go. Any improvement to the defense this year (and it was better) was more a function of improved personnel rather than schemes. I don’t know if his blitzes are less effective or that he’s just doing them at the wrong times, but I think the game has passed him by. Great service to this city, but it’s time for some fresh blood. Not sure if his replacement is on the coaching staff now or not, but time for a fresh start here.

3) New bookends needed for QB. Runyan and Thomas are both well past 30 now. Tough to say they should go as they still pass block very well (seems like most of the sacks come from up the middle rather than the edges). Definitely need more depth here. Reid always drafts 4 or 5 o-linemen so I’m sure they’ll address this.

Areas of Strength
1) WR position. Seriously, who would have thought this would ever be the case? People will focus on Brown’s ineffectiveness or Curtis’ injuries, but the key is that DeSean gives them a legit #1 WR for the first time since you know who. We’ve always had decent 2s and 3s and that’s still the case. Avant has turned into a clutch guy on 3rd down. Always seems to not only make the catch, but makes it past the sticks. Baskett makes the occasional sensational play and is semi-reliable. Nice height for red zone. Curtis is solid and Brown might still turn it around. As long as Jackson doesn’t regress next year, I don’t think we’ll be able to complain about this unit for a while.

2) LB position. Ditto WR comments. Aggressive, young, hungry. Kind of reminds me of the 1980s (and in a good way). They still make their share mistakes, but I see a lot of upside here.

3) Lurie’s ownership. Say what you will about his sticking with Reid, but he does exactly what an owner’s supposed to do: put up the money to field a competitive team and stays out of the way at all other times. You never hear him spouting off to the press and you never worry about PHI not having the money to spend on free agents they like.


Neither Here nor There
1) Special teams improved a lot over 2007 despite the blocked kicks returned for TDs, which might be a function of Segrest getting a little better. FO has them ranked 13th through week 16. Akers has done a much better job on kickoffs (he’s had touchbacks in most games I think), while the return men are also big improvements. Punting has been solid. Probably need to upgrade from Akers, but don’t think this is quite as big a need as other positions. Luckily, it’s also the easiest fix (not like you have to spend a 1st day draft pick to get one) to make which is why this isn’t a concern.

2) Secondary could use some improvement at safety, but is clearly not a concern. How cool would it be to “retire” Dawkins to become our new secondary coach?

3) Defensive line looked decent to me this year. Better against the run for most of the year than I can remember. Occasionally got pressure with only 4 pass rushers.

4) TE position could stand to be upgraded. Celek is not the type of player that’s going to require teams to game plan against. Blocking is suspect. Improved WR position reduces the concerns here though if they don’t upgrade RB, this would become a bigger concern.

5) QB position could be much, much worse (think Tavaris vs. Ferotte). McNabb is injured way too much, but still has flashes of greatness. Haven’t seen enough of Kolb to be able to judge him adequately, but the coaching staff (who sees him every day in practice) still seems high on him. I don’t think the Eagles are losing more games because of this position than they’re winning because of it.

10:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stipulation: I love football and have watched just about every Eagles game over the last 40 years, but I'm obviously not as passionate or well-versed about the Eagles as some of the folks who contribute here regularly.

Regardless, here is what I think:

1. Donovan is the 2nd best quarterback the Eagles have ever had. There are a handful of players currently employed by NFL teams that I would prefer, but the list is short, and none of them is available for obvious reasons. I'd not only keep 5 for next year, but I would extend his deal. He's only 32 and has a lot of tread left on the tire. I've no way of knowing if Kolb will ever be better, but to be honest, I've seen enough to have reasonable doubts. QB's at Donovan's level don't grow on trees. The notion that he can't perform well in big games is way overstated in my opinion. I've seen him play very well under just about every pressure situation imaginable.

2. Keep Andy Reid. He's under contract for another 3 years, I think, and although firing him might be cathartic to the frustrated masses, it wouldn't solve anything. I get the fact that he's never won the Superbowl, but making 5 conference championships in 8 years suggests professional competence at the very least. I'd try to talk Reid into making some changes with respect to his approach to offense. I hate Reid's version of the West Coast, but I believe he's smart enough to see the value of a power running game and a vertical passing attack (from time to time). His offense scores a lot of points, no argument there, but I think it could do more to help the defense in some situations by staying on the field longer.

3. Use the primary draft picks to fortify the lines, and I would advocate picking the best players available regardless of position. Skill players are fun for guys like me to watch, but consistent line play is what wins in this league. Provided you have a good QB (and we do), you can find good enough players to win. I think Jackson and Curtis are plus receivers, and Baskett is adequate, blocking well enough to make a positive impact. Running backs seem to be a dime a dozen. I agree with everyone here that 36 can't do it alone, but there seem to be countless productive running backs who were drafted in lower rounds.

4. Fire Brian Dawkins. Dawkins was a great media story, but I never thought he played as well this year as the folks who make a living talking about football did. Pro Bowl? Seems like a lifetime achievement award to me. He looks slow, and he's apt to look slower next year. Cut bait. Unless Runyan and Thomas are willing to work for the NFL minimum, cut bait with them as well. I bet there are good young players available who I've never heard of who could do a better job next year.

5. Pray that Andrews' career isn't over. At his best, he was damn dominating, but I'm really worried about him. Call it a gut feeling, but I think he has serious problems that go way beyond his back. It would not surprise me if he never played up to his obvious potential again.

6. Play more Sunday 1 PM games. The NFL is killing its product with TV commercials, aweful announcers, and silly rules. Can we just get back to the basics, please, and play football on Sunday afternoon in the sunshine?

7. Trade Lito or let him play. I love Asante Samuels, and I think he may be the best free agent pick up the Eagles have made in years, but Lito is too good to bury on the bench. It seems small minded and spiteful.

8. Encourage Jeff's wife to get a haircut. At a certain age, certain women look silly carrying the long hair, and Chrissy's that kind of woman who has reached that age. If the Eagles players, coaches, and owners think team beards can make a difference, then it seems fair game for this fan to think a sensible bob on the the owner's wife might help as well. Maybe she could sport the wedge haircut the MG prefers.

Ed Wade

7:44 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil I actually agree point on with a lot of your assessments. I think you identify some core needs. RB has to be a big area of address this off season-both Rb and FB. WR are not atrocious, but I would still get another pass catching athlete as I don't think Avant and Baskett are good enough, but I wouldn't go nuts. It ain't Boldin they need, it's more like a journey man/veteran guy like Houshmanzadeh.

Pete I never said I wouldn't want Don back-he is the best they can do in a league of so-so QB. I did say and stand by the fact that he is not good enough to win the SB. We will disagree, but they will not win the big one with him. Ever. There will always be a "but Dawkins missed that tackle, but Curtis should've done a Matrix flip and caught that errant ball, but Runyan should've blocked the guy for 8 seconds vs. 6", but the problem is there will always be a "it wasn't really him, it was someone else" argument. That in itself just tells me a lot. I just don't like knowing that they have no shot to ever win the Superbowl with who they have running the show and then blindly accepting it as the best we can do. And in reality, it probably is the best we can do as the odds of getting a QB worth squat are so low that we are better to stay with the known but fatally flawed figure than the potential but unknown figure.


Ed-I love the "Randall was better" argument because he was very entertaining and your top criteria is being entertained. I am starting to swing around to that way of viewing sports and it really can make for a more enjoyable experience. However, I disagree on Lito. He was a complete piece of crap this year. He didn;t play hard, he never dressed at the end of the year, and when he did play, he was neither covering nor tackling anyone. He is done...D-O-N-E! It never should've come to this as they should've shipped him last year for something of use. Now no one will want him, especially not when the team kept him de-activated so often. He might bring a 7th rounder at this point. Might. Lito really pissed me off this year, primarily because he never should've been here bjut secondarily because he shut himself down and that "3 headed CB" we read about never materialized.

Bumble

12:30 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, you're slightly off on the 3 headed CB comment. It materiaized late in the year, yet with Hanson as the 3rd not Lito. What is it about the Eagles and always coming up with great 3rd CBs? MacKenzie, then Hood, now Hanson.

7:18 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Harris, not McKenzie. Someone reading into thast in this sensitive day and age would have some sort of accusatory comment about not being able to tell two black guys with predator dreads apart.

They do seem to find that good 3rd CB. I like Hanson and am not surprised he stepped up and Lito shriveled up.

You know who else vanished this year? Roy Williams. he has always been very over-rated, but he barely played for Dallas. Heck the WR Roy Williams also barely did a thing. They have the market cornered on over-rated guys from TX named Roy Williams.

Bumble

2:22 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Thanks. I knew that wasn't right when I wrote it but all I could think of was "became a staring corner for GB" and Mackenzie was the only name I could remember off the top of my head. Funny that I wasn't even thinking about the dreads though. Ha-ha.

3:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ed-I love the "Randall was better" argument because he was very entertaining and your top criteria is being entertained."

Actually, Bumble, I just think Randall was better. Period. All you had to do was watch him play to see it. Call me old...

I haven't looked at the numbers and don't plan to. Numbers don't mean anything to me here - all they would do is point out differences in eras, teams, systems, teammates, etc.

Randall had a better arm, was a better runner, and was more graceful. He had better hair, wore cooler clothes, and acted even goofier than McNabb.

I'll still take McNabb for today's team without reservation when I compare my viable options.

Ed

4:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my Mount Rushmore of bad guys portrayed as Saints by the Third Estate:

Phil Michelson
Brett Favre
Cal Ripkin
Lance Armstrong

7:34 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed-this may be past your time, or you may have just had a life or a chance to step away from the TV and go out to do cool stuff, like get laid, but I did not-but Randall was also a lot better in Tecmo Bowl II. I wasted hours and nights beating people with that roll out sneak for 30 yards back in 1993.

Bumble

9:32 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superbowl Halftime comments:

The Eagles could beat either of these teams.

The "Boss" is really washed up. Bring back Prince next year.

Ed Wade

9:09 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the boss was pretty entertaining. His new album is pretty good and for almost 60 years old, the guy still brings it. The SB is a tough venue to rock out.

It's funny, I just got more and more pissed watching the game, thinking back to how the Eagles pissed away their best chance to win a Super Bowl. They don't have an offensive player as good as Fitzgerald, a defensive player as good as Polamalu, or a creativity or balls the size of either team, but they still had the talent to beat either team. In a year when a far superior team, like the Pats or Colts, does not make the SB and all you need to do is beat the Cards and Steelers, you have gotta step up and get it done.

This off season is going to suck! I think there will be lots of turmoil this off season.

Bumble

11:40 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ed, I was thinking the same thing only was hoping for a repeat of Tom Petty.

I would be shocked if the Eagles do anything drastic in the off-season. I think the most drastic thing you'll see is them packaging draft picks and moving up in the draft. JJ might end up retiring depending on how bad his cancer is (definitely not how I want to see him go).

7:14 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, at times I really don't understand you. It seems like you don't want a good team. The better the team, the worse you feel when they don't win the SB. I'm no psychologist, but that can't be healthy.

I would also disagree that this was their "best chance". While the competition may have been a bit weaker, this PHI teams was much weaker than the last 3 teams that made the NFC Championship game.

If anything, the more I think about it the more heartened we all should be. I mean, didn't their "window of opportunity" to win a SB close several years back? Take a look at their talent level and they're really only a couple easy upgrades away from winnning a SB. They need maybe 1 decent OT or OG (can get with their two first round picks), better RB (can get decent help there in 3rd round of draft), and what? Not like they've got issues with the harder skill positions to fill (QB, WR, DE, corners).

What's not to love about where they are right now?

7:57 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil,

God bless your eternal optimism, but I am going to strongly disagree with your assessment. I actually think this team was betetr poised to win thatn any of their previous teams because they were both more athletic and healthier.

The Rams loss was bearable. That Rams team was awesome and I think the Pats would've beaten them in the SB anyway. They were young and that was a "great that they got there" loss.

The Bucs loss was brutal and gut wrenshing. They started the game so strong, last game at the Vet, they had dominated that Bucs team for years. However, that D was a bit suspect in key areas (Blaine Bishop?!) Gruden is also a better game day coach than Reid and he simply had a better game plan and in game adjustments. Devastating loss because I think they beat the Raiders in the SB even though they got romped by them during the season.

Carolina-they never belonged in that game. That to me was their weakest team. Their WR were God awful and Westbrook was out. Then a cheap shot spearing penalty leaves them with Koy at the helm. The football gods were not on our side that day. If not for a miracle catch by Freddie Mitchell, they are never even at that dance. Nothing about that team was special to me. And I think the Pats would've absolutely blown them off the field in the SB that year.

Atlanta-they made a bad Michael Vick look awful and finally got over the hump. I think New England was the better team due to better O and D line play, but they had every chance to win that SB and McNabb did some really bad things at really bad times (turnovers, no concept of hurry up offense, puking). That SB loss hurt no doubt, but in my heart I knew they'd need some breaks to beat NE and they didn't get enough of them.

This year-they are almost 100% healthy and very athletic on D. Their D is built to stop teams that throw the ball a lot, and they were playing a hapless franchise who they dominated early in the year. Then they forget to show up for the first half and have too much of a hole to dig out of. Had they made the SB, they would've faced a tough hitting defense, but they ate Pittsburgh once this year and I could've seen them doing it again. Pittsburgh wasn't the type of team that was going to score at will on them and I am convinced they would've found a way to put points up on Pittsburgh. It would've been tough with a hobbled Westbrook, but I think they would've done it.

Phil there is no tomorrow. Sports show us that all the time. To just assume things are hunky dory and the beat goes on next year is presumptuous. Do not forget how strong their division is. The Giants are loaded (and that was a great team the Birds beat twice this year), Dallas has talent all over but head cases to match, the Skins match up really well against what the Birds like to do. In the division, Carolina is tough, the Cardinals have some good coaching and young talent, the Bears have some young talent, the Vikes have some talent, the Saints hav esome talent, the Falcons have some talent. My point is that there are a lot of good teams out there.

And the Birds are not just a few pieces away. Their QB wants big bucks despite having 2 years left ona contract. He ha sfailed to take them to the promised land a bunch of times and at 32 is outside of their business philosophy. Smart money says to keep him, but that is a major decision. Both OT are old and those guys don't grow on trees. The heart and soul of the defense is almost my age and losing him means losing a valued leader, something I eprsonally think this team lacks. Akers is aging and despite a great end of year (except playoff flailing) had a lousy ealry year. Westbrook will quickly spiral downward at his age and size and he is their best offensive weapon. Andrews is a stud but he has some serious psychological issues and who knows if he ever plays again. This team has a ton of concerns and it is not a given that they'll just get back there. That is why, when you are stacked up to win, you have to take care of business becaus eyou may never be back. Just ask Dan Marino.

I want a good team. I have a good team, but I am a realist and I see how much of a mess/challenge this off season will be at some very key spots on the team. It will be a different team next year. This was the year to take advantage of weakened competition and finally win one. The Birds were by no means the best team, but the path was there for the taking more than it had ever been and they just couldn't take advantage of their own good fortune.

So Phil I am not nuts. Some of you like to say that the Tampa playoff game never happened, so obviously that one still hurts for ya'll. The Arizona loss to me was your Tampa 2003 and I am not saying it didin;t happen, I am saying it did happen, right in front of my disbelieving face and it hasn't stopped sucking yet. I am not sure when it will stop, but I am not over the golden opportunity that they blew with a sleepy first half performance 2 weeks ago.

Bumble

9:57 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Reasons to be optimistic vs. earlier this decade:

1) Corners 1 through 3 (excluding Sheppard) are better than we've ever had, which mitigates a so-so secondary of Dawkins/Lewis.

2) LBs are still very young and got noticably better from 1H to 2H 2008. No reason to think they won't be even better next year.

3) DTs are still getting better and Patterson looks to be a Pro Bowl player. Ends might be down a bit from earlier this decade, but this this is mitigated by much improved inside run D.

4) Yes, the OTs are old, but their performance hasn't slipped as much as the interior of the line has improved.

5) TE position has always sucked and shouldn't be any worse than before.

6) WRs are the best we've had in years even including the TO teams as our 2s and 3s are much better than the Pinky/Freddie combos we used to roll out there.

7) RBs are down due to 36's constant injuries. Definitely need to upgrade here.

8) QB is no worse than before. 32 doesn't mean a whole lot for the QB position (see Warner) since his performance when healthy (an issue) is still playoff caliber. Not a reason to be more pessimistic.

And I think you're being a little generous with the competition:

DAL hasn't won a playoff game in over a decade and is a basket case waiting to implode. No worries there.

NYG are a one dimensional offense without Burress and he won't be back for 3 to 5 years depending on good behavior. D is OK, but likely to drop off with Spags gone.

WAS is a concern though not sure they're exactly getting better.

ARI seems to be a fluke. Boldin could be gone next year. Warner could be gone next year. Edge isn't getting any younger and Hightower got benched earlier in the year cause he sucks.

NO has no D.

Bears have no QB.

For every positive on a division rival, I can give you a MAJOR reason why they're getting worse.

10:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Springsteen is horrible. He can't hold a note (and when he could wasn't spectacular), his writing skills have always been suspect, and that blue collar down on your luck personae is played out. Just not a good artist.

- Joe

12:58 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble -

We're right back in it next year. How can't we be? The NFL is designed to give almost anybody a shot each week, each year. We have a solid core, a good coaching staff, a good ownership/management group. Sell this collection short at your own peril.

Joe -

I want to ellaborate on my "Boss" comments because you strike me as a music fan and I promised Phil I'd pipe down about baseball untill 2/14.

I've never seen Bruce in concert, which seems impossible given the number of shows I've seen over the last 30 years, and the extent to which I love music. I've heard so many great things about him from folks with musical opinions that run down the same stream as mine that I've come to take his greatness as a given. It's always about the energy and the honest effort.

Bruce has probably played a ton of great shows based on everything I've heard. I can take or leave most of his songs, but clearly he has a handful or two that rate as top-notch (One Step Up comes to mind immediately).

Last night, however, he personified everything that's wrong with bad nostalgia acts. The swarmy winks, the gratuitous "applaud now" begs raised by mere mentions of "Big Man," (3 times) or "Stevie," (twice), the foolish need to include his talentless wife in the show, etc.

Aside to Bruce: If you're going charm a cheap reaction from the crowd by throwing a bone to your guitarist, have him play more than 2 simple chords as if that qualified him as a "guitar hero." If you're going to slide into a camera man to show off your athletic chops, try not to come up out of breath (even if you're 60).

The Rolling Stones passed their prime in 1974, but they still give you an honest rock and roll performance. Aerosmith, Prince, Madonna, and yes, Tom Petty may be old, but when you watch them it's clear that they're living in the present tense.

The Bruce performance ranked right (down) there with the Paul (I used to be the second most important Beatle) McCartney disaster a couple of years ago (or whenever it was). Love me because I'm a god; I feel no need to earn my money anymore.

Yuck. The halftime performance sucked. What time is it? "Boss time." Are you frigging kidding me?

Ed Wade

9:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Bruce fan, so my bias is in his favor. I saw the pandering, the cheap "cheer now" moments, but to be fair, 12 minutes is not a concert, it is a brief entertainment interlude and that is how I gauged his performance. I was briefly entertained and actually didn't go wash dishes or take a dump during halftime. I stayed and enjoyed the mini show. He was not paid to put on a full blown E-Street band show, he was paid to keep some fannies in seats and justify the massive expenditures by the network and the advertisers.

And come on with the Prince love. That was at best no better than the boss. It was the same 12 minute tail wagging pseudo greatest hits romp. They all are. McCartney too. It's OK to hate because one dislikes the performer, that I get, but to judge these halftime shows based on whether it was a good musical performance seems a bit harsh to me. We know these performers have talent. We also know that many have seen their best days go by. That said, I feel like they should be looked at for nothing but pure entertainment value and almost a "wow, I can't believe they got Prince/the Boss/U2/Jacko to do this".

And if I were big enough and powerful enough to stipulate that my questionably talented wife gets to tour with me and play guitar 10 feet away for 100 nights a year, buddy sign me up because I am taking that straight to the bank.

It's funny that the halftime show has become the debate. I also wanted to toss this nugget out for consumption. Was that an absolutely horribly officiated game against Arizona or was it just me? So many ticky tack calls that really had game changing impacts. Yes some things were by the book penalties, but they weren't so bltant and game turning that they needed to be called. It just looked like most of the refs were on the Steelers payroll for most of the night. The Steelers won the game on the field, but Arizona would've had to win on the field and in the booth. The same good fortune fell in Pittsburgh's favor when they beat Seattle as well. Shouldn't the SB refs be a bit more competent and even-handed?

Bumble

10:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble -

I've read your comments with interest.

I agree about the wife comment and take back that part of my complaint.

Ed

11:24 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble -

I've read your comments with interest.

I agree with the wife comment and take back that part of my complaint.

Ed

11:24 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

I didn't notice the officiating as being biased. Think we can get the comment counter up over 100 before TMG adds another post?

11:50 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is TMG?

3:55 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And come on with the Prince love."

Sorry, Bumble, can't let this go. Prince ROCKED the Bowl. That was no Vegas act. Did you notice that he actually played his instrument rather than pose with it?

Throw out a long list - Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, etc. - Prince fits right in there with the best guitar players of all time.

With respect to the officiating, I agree that there were some spotty calls. But I doubt the officials were giving anything but an honest effort. I don't think partiality had anything to do with any of the calls on the field or the outcome of the game. In general, I think the NFL refs are pretty darn competent.

I'm probably in the minority, but I think the officiating in professional sports in general is remarkably good.

Ed Wade

7:34 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Definitely agree about the officiating. Just look at the number of plays in the NFL that are reversed on replay (about 40%, I think). So the refs get it right over half the time in the most controversial plays that happen in a fraction of a split second. Pretty amazing if you think about it.

6:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prince is an amazing musician. the guy plays like 5 instruments. As I recall his performance, however, he did a little 2 chord "Let's Go Crazy", no different than the two chords Bruce played. This is just a battle of a Bruce guy vs. a Prince guy, but I like it. I know personally how much you love great music Ed and you have handed down some gems to me over the years, so I do pay this more respect than the average bear.

I guess I felt that a few of the penalties were ticky tack and really could've changed the outcome of the game. The pass interference by Hood on Hines Ward where he got all ball? The running into the holder on a made field goal? The roughing on big Ben when he was scrambling and the defender did not hit him in the head? The fumble to end the game when Warner's arm was clearly going forward? I realize some of those were probably in the letter of the law to call, but tough to make those calls on that stage.

I really hate the way roughing the passer has gone in the NFL. I appreciate trying to protect QB, but a 275 pound defender who runs a 4.6 barreling down on a QB who throws it 2 steps before he gets there is expected to stop on a dime and make no contact. Most times guys slow up and sort of harmlessly brush the QB, but I see that called roughing all the time. If the QB doesn't even fall down or merely takes one step after the brush, how rough was the hit? That is the call I personally despise. I felt the roughing the holder call was the same nonsense. Full speed, laying out for the block, run into a kneeling guy and knock him on his ass, but the intent was to block the kick.

I think TMG hates me and doesn't want to see any responses from me, or maybe it's just that Phil, Ed, and Bumble are the only guys who have a bit too much time on our hands.

Bumble

12:32 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I think TMG hates me and doesn't want to see any responses from me

don't be ridiculous! we have our differences (i think primarily around how we internalize disappointment), but we're all part of the same family here.

i'm just bombed right now with work and other stuff. e.g. last night the power to my furnace went out and i spent hours tracing 50 year old wiring in my basement.

4:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry boyz, captain has been bombed with work and other crap also. Been enjoying the witty repartee, but the work, job hunt & kids are eating up all my time.

Captain

8:09 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cap you and I both on the job hunt. I have more time to post as the economy ate my job.

TMG-I can just picture you with a miner's helmet tracing wires through dark nooks and crannies. Whe n you see sloppy handiwork, it must gaul you.

8:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Since I'm also out of work, I have to wonder if maybe it's this blog that's done us in and not the economy.

7:13 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Captain, Phil & Bumble -

Best wishes on the job seeking. I complain about my own job some days, but you have given me a new reason to take pause and be thankful for what I have.

Anyone smart enough to blog here will be a tremendous addition to any company wise enough to hire him.

Hang in there,

Ed Wade

8:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Thanks, Ed. For that, I'll let you get on with the baseball talk.

8:33 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all good Ed. If I can't find anything, I can always make pottery for a living.

Bumble

11:50 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the evening before 2/14/2009, the Earth finally turns the corner and begins its rightful arc around the pleasant side of the Sun. I’m beginning to vibrate. Baseball begins.

Baseball is waking up on a cool spring morning, naked under a single sheet, realizing you still love your wife

Baseball is a young grape, stretching toward the sun, sugar and juice, beginning a journey.

Baseball is a brisk walk, barefoot, through freshly mown grass

Baseball is a summer picnic, hot dogs and hamburgers, 4th of July, fireworks, watermelon and Vodka martinis

Baseball is a lazy day, a nap in the hammock, the radio by your ear

Baseball is a pretty girl in a tank top and shorts, stretching and yawning, settling her head on your shoulder, too good for you

Baseball is a rain shower, a lightning bolt, a dip in the pool, a cigar that burns forever

Baseball is summer vacation at the beach, book in your lap, sand in your toes, Corona in your hand

Baseball is the last crisp waft of October, before things get ugly and bitter again

Baseball is an old man feeling like a kid again, waking up on Christmas morning before the dark retreats

Will the Phillies repeat as World champions? I have a lot of thoughts about this, but for the reasons listed above, it doesn’t really matter that much to me right now.

Ed Wade

9:27 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love baseball as well and Ed, a lot of my love grew from hour long talks about the pros of enjoying this game when we should've been managing warehouse depts. I associate baseball with you, with my brother, the Big Dog who bleeds the game, with waking my 2 and 4 year old up and running around outside last October when a Philly team was finally the best in all the land, with my nephew who so loves baseball that he plays in 3 leagues. I really don't care if they repeat, I look forward to the journey. No rpessure, they did a nice job retaining their core parts, and they are a loose team who seem to put it on the line for one another. They'll slump and suffer at times, but they will also drub people for weeks at a time. This is clearly my 1A sport next to football, and the more the Birds piss away golden opportunities and show some selfish and greedy antics, the more I am gravitating toward this group thatw ears red.

Play ball!

Bumble

3:08 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

It amazes me how Bumble does a Jeckle and Hyde fan thing between baseball and football.

4:28 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil -

Baseball has a transformative effect on Bumble and just about anyone else who gives into the vibe.

There are good reasons for this.

Footballs is gridirons, sudden death, trench warfare, etc.

You can fill in the blanks.

It's all good, baby, but it's all different as well, you understand the kind of thing I'm talking about.

You need to bring a different perspective and different frame of mind to either party.

The lucky ones can bend.

Ed Wade

8:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

The whole Carlin bit. Yeah, I get it. Just find it funny.

20 more posts to get up over 100. Come on people!

1:15 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil,

I just find the Phils more likeable. I enjoyt football the sport more, but I find a few Eagles unappealing, unlikeable even. Plus the Phils actually grew a set of balls and stepped up when they had their shot and the Birds find new and creative ways to shit the bed whenever they have theirs.

Bumble

9:49 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

You find few Eagles likeable or your 5/Reid hatred overshadows everything else? Here's my likable list in no particular order: Dawkins, Runyan, Sheldon Brown, Curtis, Buckhalter, 36, McNabb, Andrews. There's probably one or 2 of the LBs that are likable, however the media hasn't really given us much coverage to get to know them yet. I find it tough to say there's no one on this team that you can't get behind.

7:11 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McNabb is a choke artist and it is tough to get behind him when he constantly plays the woe is me card to the media. He is a good guy, but he is full of excuses and is too sensitive to be the kind of leader who inspires teammates and fans.

Reid is very tight lipped. Possibly a good guy, but you'll never see the real guy.

Bumble

11:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 weeks and still no post-season epilogue from our fearless leader?

Egad, even Barrack Obama makes time to blog....

Ed Wade

3:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, that's my point exactly. You fixate on those 2 people to the exclusion of all else. If you don't realize there's more than 2 people associated with the Eagles team, then obviously no one is likeable.

Ed, doubt Obama's doing much redecorating/construction on his home these days though.

7:31 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, let me restate. I enjoy Eagles games. I like guys like Runyan, Dawkins, Patterson, S Brown. I like most of the guys. I am liking Mcnabb less and less as he opens his mouth more and more. I don't have much of an opinion on Reid. he seems witty at times, maddening at others, but he is stoic like many other coaches so it's tough to really identify with him.

The biggest reason I am starting to prefer the Phils is that they seized their opportunity and the Eagles did not. The Phils had one bad experience in 2007 and then they rocked 2008. The Birds just never man up and get the job done. Last year was not a success. They were more talented than 9 wins and they were more talented than the Cardinals, but they failed on both fronts. I am not a glas shalf full guy with that team anymore. My patience has run out. Win me a Super Bowl now or blow it up and start over, but don't keep running through this same exact hamster wheel of shitty WR, sensitive, choking QB, fragile RB, and small time D on the big stage every year. It has grown tiresome for me. At least the Phils gave me something different last year.

Bumble

11:30 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

So winning changes everything. I get that. I just think it's silly to blow things up when you're "||" that close. There's no guarantee that you'll get back to the range of quite good. Can you imagine rooting for a team like the Lions or Raiders? Yikes.

7:08 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think they are that close. I think this year is indicative of who they are becoming. It was a crap year, they lucked into the playoffs, they got hot, then that bad team from most of the year resurfaced. I wouldn't blow it up. I wouldn't touch the D. I would get younger at OT and betetr on the O line as a whole if I could, I would get an RB who can play and become heir apparent, and I think I would go in a different direction at QB. McNabb isn't a winner. He wins games, but not big games. he is a whiner and a very sensitive guy. Yeah it could backfire, but you know what you're getting wiht him and it is not good enough. It has not been good enough 5 of the 6 times he playe din the biggest game, so why will next year be different? I'd get Cassel. Heck I'd get Kerry Collins and upgrade OL and running game. I am tired of McNabb's antics and his coming up small in big spots. Sorry, but him choking again and again has worn me out and I want something different.

Bumble

8:03 PM EST  

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