Heading into yesterday’s game, we were collectively curious as to whether Jekyll or Hyde would make an appearance. Well yesterday it was as if Mr. Hyde was in the house in the First Half and the good doctor in the Second when it mattered most, fortunately for Eagles fans. Here’s the lead in the recap on NFL.com and I could not have put it any better: “All but forgotten as playoff contenders just one month earlier, Andy Reid, Donovan NcNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles have a playoff win.” My take…
IT CUTS BOTH WAYS… The Vikings were not flagged for a penalty until 3 and a half quarters had been played. C’mon candy stripers, not a False Start? Not a Hold? Not even a lousy Illegal Shift? Gimme a break. But since we’re talking about the zebras… What exactly was the call referee made in the 3Q, with the game still in doubt thank you very much — when he ruled Donovan McNabb was in the grasp, thus sacked, thus moving the Eagles out of FG range?
STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF… More often than not, playoff games come down to field position and yesterday was no different. On two very critical series and nursing a 2 point lead, the Eagles began drives deep in their own territory. On each occasion, they were able to get themselves out of harm’s way, avoid 3 and outs and pin the Vikings deeper in their own end of the field. As bad as the Vikings offense was, had they been given a short field to work with, they very could have maneuvered into FG range. You cannot understate the importance of being able to move the chains a few times on each of these drives and win the battle of field position.
THE PERCENTAGES DON’T LIE…
- In the First Half the Vikings 3rd Down Efficiency percentage was 60%.
- In the Second Half the Vikings 3rd Down Efficiency percentage was 25%.
OLD HABITS DIE, WELL ACTUALLY THEY DON’T DIE… 3rd & 1 from their own 47, time ticking away in the First Half, there’s Andy & Co. launching a bomb instead of getting the first down and moving the chains. Naturally the pass was picked off. Of course, Brad Childress being the Andy Reid disciple that he is, proceeded to call his own head-scratching plays thereby ensuring the half would end with the Eagles ahead, 16-14.
PAGING DR. BUCKHALTER… I missed it, did the Eagles or the NFL pass a rule which states a running back, after making a very nice play, long gain, etc, is thereby null and void from re-entering the game? I know Andy & Co.’s trying to sell us on the fact that Correll was forced into fullback role due to an injury to Dan Klecko but… c’mon. Give the fans some credit. You know dman well you could have found a way to get Buck the ball.
HAVE HAD ENUFF OF ESKIN… For those of you who DON’T live in the Philly area, Howard Eskin is the afternoon drivetime host on 610-WIP, the #1 sports talk radio station in town. He is a very well-known figure on the local Philly sports scene for his often bombastic and arrogant opinions. He has a legion of followers and detractors alike, myself falling staunchly into the latter group.
The next time the Eagles play, look for Andy Reid on the sidelines, then look directly behind him and you will more than likely see Howard – just look for the weasel with the beard and headset.
Now MQ thinks Howard should be given credit “for doing his job and going to every game.” But what MQ may have forgotten was that while Howard does go to every Eagles game, he is also the same person who blatantly and unabashedly defends his friend, AKA Andy Reid.
The word “objedctivity” has no place in Howard Eskin’s vernacular. See, the way it works, if you befriend Howard, he will go on the air and preach to his followers just how great you are, no matter how poorly you may play/coach between the lines. BUT, scorn Howard and feel his wrath, no matter how well you may play/coach between the lines.
The list of those who have either befriended or scorned Howard is endless and the time has come for the blind followers of his to wake up and see him for the fraud (one of his favorite words) that he is.
IT’S HIP TO BE ASANTE… A hip-injury be damned, Asante Samuel showed once again why he is a big-time player who deserved every penny the Eagles gave him. The man can flat-out play the position.
- Every single player on the field for BWest’s catch and run for TD had a hand in the outcome. Watch the replay and look at how Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson ran all-out to block/run interference for #36.
- IF the Vikings get a QB, watch out because Adrian Peterson is a monster; mix in the strong defense…
- Not the greatest of games for the Eagles OL; Some missed assignments, inability to establish the run… BUT like the team itself, they got the job done when they needed to, most notably the aforementioned BWest TD
- Jason Avant, Brent Celek and Josellio Hanson are making it quite easy to forget Reggie Brown, LJ Smith and Lito Sheppard; course that’s not really saying much
THE BOTTOM LINE… In this improbable of improbable seasons, the Eagles season marches on. I honestly do not know where this wild ride will end, IF it will end at all… that is until Tampa.
Don’t laugh… could happen.
In fact, I am going to state right here, RIGHT NOW, that I think the Philadelphia Eagles will go to the Super Bowl. Yes I am a fan BUT yes I am objective and there is an unmistakable and undeniable feeling that I am getting that this year, this team… something is different, something magical is happening kids, let’s enjoy it.
As always, time’s yours, food’s mine.
‘Til next time.