Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia Eagles’

NFL Football 2012: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Monday, October 29th, 2012


The Good: Eight weeks in to the NFL season and we are starting to see the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders. We’re down to one undefeated team, the Atlanta Falcons at 7-0. Interestingly though, they are rarely the team mentioned as the best in the NFL. The one loss Houston Texans tend to get more credit, along with the one loss Chicago Bears, and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. After a slow start, it looks like New England Patriots are getting their act together. They have three losses on the season, but appear poised to dominate their division.

The Bad: First up on this list is the Detroit Lions. A young, brash team coming off a playoff berth is in last place in the NFC North. The Lions are 3-4 and have been outscored by their opponents so far. Three games out of first and facing a tough schedule makes me think that this Lions team won’t see the postseason this year. We can’t get through the bad without mentioning Philadelphia either. The Eagles are a mess, with controversy around the QB, head coach, and the defense. With Michael Vick and Andy Reid fighting for their jobs, most of the country has already given up on them. Finally, I have to mention the New York Jets. Mark Sanchez isn’t getting it done, but the team is wary of putting in the backup, Tim Tebow, to try and lead a turnaround. Under .500 and in danger of not making the playoffs, this team needs a face lift.

The Ugly: Let’s start with the New Orleans Saints. Sure, there was plenty of controversy surrounding the team this year, and they don’t really have a head coach. However, they still have Drew Brees, and the Super Bowl is in New Orleans this year. I thought that would be motivation enough to contend for the division title and try to become the first team to make the Super Bowl a true home game. Unfortunately, they are 2-5, and their defense looks anything but super. Next on the list is the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton is having a rough season, and the team is only 1-6. They won 6 games last year, and in the offseason, Ryan Kalil took out a full page ad in the newspaper guaranteeing a super bowl for this team. Nice try Ryan, but you tricked yourself and your fans into thinking your team could get it done this year. Instead, they are among the lowest scoring and most disappointing teams in the NFL.

Good thing there are still 9 weeks left before the regular season ends. Every team still has a chance to change their fortune.

49ers Season Shattered as Gore Breaks Hip

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (C) finds the hole and runs for a first down in the first quarter of the 49ers game against the Arizona Cardinals San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ November 29,2010. UPI/Art Foxall Photo via Newscom
It’s been quite the season for the San Francisco 49ers. After being preseason favorites to win the division, the 49ers started off 0-5. During the five game slide, they made the decision to fire the offensive coordinator in hopes of rejuvenating the stagnant offense. Even at 0-5, 49ers president/CEO Jed York insisted that this team would win the division. Thankfully, they play in the NFC West, where 7-9 or 8-8 could get you into the playoffs and even host a playoff game! So technically, even at 4-7, they are still alive and well in the division race.

This was supposed to be the year that Alex Smith took a huge step forward, and claimed the vacant “franchise QB” tag. He got hurt, and backup David Carr was so bad that recently signed third string QB, Troy Smith (yes, the one that led Ohio State to a BCS championship game), has taken the reigns in San Francisco. Troy’s competition is so light, that it looks like he will be the starter for the rest of the season.

Now, Frank Gore, the team’s best offensive weapon, broke his hip in the Monday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals. Sources are reporting that he is out for the season. The running game will turn over to Brian Westbrook, who we all remember from the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, Westbrook is well past his prime, and the 49ers badly need to win some games down the stretch to make a playoff run. Can Brian Westbrook still carry a team???

Through all of the controversy and bad luck, head coach Mike Singletary remains confident in his team. Every remaining game is a must win for them. I just wonder at this point if he is the only one who is still confident that the 49ers can win the division.

View all San Francisco 49ers merchandise

Monday Night Vick-tory

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Michael Vick walks off the field after they defeated the Washington Redskins in their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland November 15, 2010.      REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
So much for a QB controversy in Philadelphia. All Kevin Kolb (and the Redskins) could do was watch in amazement as Michael Vick put on a Monday Night Football performance for the ages this week, throwing for 4 touchdowns and running for 2 more in a 59-28 blowout of the Washington Redskins. As a result of that game, and the season overall, the Philadelphia Eagles are now talking about offering Michael Vick a new contract to ensure he stays in Philly for years to come. If he keeps it up, former franchise QB Kevin Kolb will soon be traded or off to free agency to find a new team.

Every sports blog, tweet, and casual conversation since the game has centered around the historical perspective of that performance. The next best QB performance I can think of on Monday Night Football would be the “Brett Favre Game” after his father passed away. This, however, was something altogether different. Michael Vick was brilliant as a passer, runner, and field general, as the Eagles did whatever they wanted to the poor Redskins. Even more impressive, was that the Redskins had two weeks to prepare for Vick and the Eagles. Coming off a bye week, they were able to hold the Eagles to “only” 59 points.

With only 4 complete games this season, Michael Vick has entered the league MVP discussion. He’s already won as many games as Philip Rivers, who is a top MVP candidate. His QB rating of 115.1 is far and away the best in the NFL this season. If the season ended today, that number would be good enough for 3rd all time! Peyton Manning’s single season passer rating record of 121.1 is now within sight.

The questions out there are (1) Can he keep up this torrid pace? (2) How far will the Eagles go this year with Vick as their QB? and (3) Is Michael Vick a legitimate MVP candidate? Sound off and let me know your thoughts.

Help! I’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up

Thursday, October 21st, 2010
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is assisted by an unidentified NFL official after being tackled in the second half by the Washington Redskins defense during their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland October 10, 2010. Rogers suffered a head concussion on his last pass of the game and will have to be medically cleared before his next start against the Miami Dolphins on October 17. Photo taken October 10.  REUTERS/Larry Downing  (UNITED STATES)

Every year it seems like the NFL has a new injury situation to deal with. Last year, it was turf toe. This year, it is clearly the concussion. Some players get their “bell rung” and bounce right back, while others, like the Chicago Bears Hunter Hillenmeyer, are lost for the season. In light of last weekend’s games, when more than a half dozen players went out with concussions, the NFL (sometimes nicknamed “No Fun League”) levied heavy fines for helmet to helmet contact. James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers was fined a whopping $75,000 for a hit to Cleveland Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. As a result, Harrison even went as far as to contemplate retirement, and was excused from practice on Wednesday. The Atlanta Falcons cornerback, Dunta Robinson, had the most replayed hit of the weekend, laying out the Philadelphia Eagles star wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Both Robinson and Jackson may potentially miss time due to the violent collision. Going forward, the NFL has vowed to suspend players for violent contact hits and helmet to helmet collisions. Baltimore Ravens all pro Ray Lewis, has even expressed concern that the NFL game will be “diluted very quickly.”

Players keep getting bigger, stronger, and faster, but there haven’t been any improvements to the helmet or other protective equipment to offset these things. This year, the NFL roled out new policies surrounding concussions to better protect the injured player. Now, a player with a concussion must pass a series of tests and be cleared by two separate physicians in order to be cleared to play again.

The question the NFL has to ask itself is whether concussions are here to stay, or the game needs to change in order to avoid some of these injuries. This is a mess the NFL has created by glorifying the big hit. The media plays a part in it too, by highlighting these hits on TV replays. Let’s face the fact that part of the attraction to the NFL is the violence. If they somehow remove that from the equation, I fear the league may lose some stars and some appeal.

25% OFF

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

“Oh no, not another advertisement trying to sell me some more football gear.” Calm down people, it is merely a reminder that we are already finished with a quarter of the NFL season! Now that a few games have been played, the question is, where does your favorite team rank?

This is the time of year to start talking about Superbowl plans (Bears fans) or to start scouting the book toting college lads (49ers fans) for next year’s draft. Or, you may be a little concerned with the production of your team (Cowboys? Packers?) and the direction they are headed. My guess right now is that most fans are somewhere between a little bit worried and a little bit excited and that is OK.

The rest of the season has so much more to offer…We will have the return of Big Ben, the resurgent LaDainian Tomlinson, Favre to Moss, the Eagles QB situation, and some great match-ups to watch. Please remember that we have about three quarters of the season remaining and the only thing guaranteed to happen is that some fans will cheer and some will cry.

Fullback Chris Gronkowski  of the Dallas Cowboys flips after a tackle by Zackary Bowman  of the Chicago Bears at Cowboys Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Little Things and The Playoffs

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Little Things from the NFL’s 2009 Season:

88 players in the NFL had at least one carry of 25 yards or more, including New York Jets punter Steve Weatherford. Not among the 88: Philadelphia Eagles RB Brian Westbrook and Indianapolis Colts RB Joseph Addai.

Eight RB’s finished with at least 1250 rushing yards, including the St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson, who was 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards despite being on a 1-15 team.

Two Carolina Panthers RB’s, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart rushed for at least 1100 yards.

Jerome Harrison of the Cleveland Browns averaged 143 yards rushing in the four games in which he carried the ball more than 16 times, including 286 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15.

Adrian Peterson finished 5th in the league in rushing yards with 1383, despite only topping 100 yards in a game three times during the season.

Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans topped 2000 yards rushing on the year; he is only the 6th RB in NFL history to do so.

Johnson averaged 5.6 yards per rushing attempt on the season. Jamaal Charles averaged 5.9.

LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson both averaged 3.3 yards per attempt.

Reggie Wayne caught 100 passes on the year. 73 of them were for first downs.

The Top 21 players in the NFL in receiving yards include three tight ends: Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, and Jason Witten. All 21 had at least 11 receptions of 20 yards or more, except Wes Welker, who led the league in catches, 123, and was second in yards, 1348. He had eight plays for more than 20 yards.

The Blind Side book/movie subject Michael Oher, rookie RT for the Baltimore Ravens, had the fewest yards receiving in the NFL in 2009 with -8.

Oakland Raiders rookie WR Darius Heyward-Bey, 7th pick overall, played in 11 games, caught 9 passes for 124 yards and scored one TD.

San Francisco 49ers rookie WR Michael Crabtree, 10th pick overall, held out until after Week 5, then played in 11 games, caught 48 passes for 625 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Austin Collie, 4th round pick of the Colts, and Percy Harvin, 1st round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, led all rookie WR’s in receptions with 60. Harvin and New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks led rookies in receiving yards with 790.

Ten QB’s threw for over 4000 yards this season. Seven of them are in the playoffs. Kurt Warner, the 8th playoff QB, threw for 3753 yards.

41 QB’s completed at least one pass of more than 45 yards. Kurt Warner did not.

155 players in the NFL caught a pass of at least 35 yards. Larry Fitzgerald did not.

14 QB’s threw at least 500 passes. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler led them (and all other QB’s) in interceptions with 26. Peyton Manning was 2nd with 16. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers had the fewest at 7.

Jon Ryan, punter of the Seattle Seahawks, completed the longest pass by a non-QB, 42 yards. He finished the year with a 118.8 QB rating.

The Cleveland Browns won four games in a row after going 1-11 in their first twelve.

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost five games in a row after winning five in a row.

The Denver Broncos won six in a row to start the year and lost four in a row to end the year to finish 8-8.

The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints started the season 14-0 and 13-0, respectively. The Colts lost their last two and the Saints lost their last three.

The San Diego Chargers started the year 2-3 and then won their last 11.

The Tennessee Titans went 0-6 to start the year. They went 8-2 after that to finish 8-8.

BLACK MONDAY

Coaches are cleaning out their lockers today. So far Jim Zorn, who was for all intent and purposes relieved of his duties with the Washington Redskins somewhere around Week 6 or so, and the remainder of the Buffalo Bills coaching staff and have been told their services are no longer needed, wanted, or welcomed.

There is talk that Wade Phillips needs to win a playoff game to keep his job. Apparently an 11-5 season, the third playoff seed, a home playoff game, and a shutout to win the division in the season’s last game is not enough in Dallas to feel any sense of job security.

The expectations are different for Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers. In Houston, Gary Kubiak will retain his position after the organizations first winning season, going 9-7 and being a loss by either the Ravens or Jets on the season’s final day away from making the playoffs. Plus Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson led the league in yards at their respective positions.

The Carolina Panthers are keeping John Fox around… maybe? Because in Carolina, a winning season every other year is good enough. I think it is probably safe to say though that the John Fox-Jake Delhomme duo has reached its end. Delhomme threw for 8 TD’s and was picked off 18 times on the season, while backup Matt Moore started the last five games for the Panthers and threw for 8 TD’s and only 1 interception.

There are a lot of rumors flying around about Raheem Morris losing his job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay was horrible, but Morris is a first year coach brought in to turn around a terrible team. You have to give the guy more than a year or two to do his job – unless of course you have Bill Cowher, his chin, and his mustache on the radar.

Maybe one case where it makes sense to fire a first year coach is in Oakland, where ironically nothing makes sense. Tom Cable allegedly hit a co-worker. That behavior is generally frowned upon. And Al Davis is Al Davis, so he may bring in a shuffleboard buddy of his who won a fantasy football league last season to coach the team.

PLAYOFFS

The Dallas Cowboys threw a donut at the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East. With a win, the Eagles would have had a first round bye and a home playoff game. With the loss, they’ll travel to Dallas and play the Cowboys again this weekend. Donovan McNabb to DeSean Jackson and Tony Romo to Miles Austin are two of the more dangerous big play QB to WR combos in the league.

And speaking dangerous QB to WR combos, Chad Ochocinco/Johnson would like me to mention his and Carson Palmer’s names right now, but if I’m playing the Cincinnati Bengals I’m more concerned about Cedric Benson. Maybe the New York Jets backed into a playoff spot and maybe they didn’t, but Mark Sanchez is in the post-season and will do a very nice job of handing the ball off until he is absolutely required to throw it. Thomas Jones, get ready to see nine guys in the box against Cincinnati this weekend. Jets fans can mail cards to the Colts and Bengals thanking them for mailing it in in Weeks 16 and 17.

Following Philly/Dallas and New York/Cincy, the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers will square off in the third rematch of a Week 17 game this weekend. The Packers rolled over the Cardinals who had nothing to play for and did most of the rolling over all by themselves. There are some health concerns for Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, Anquan Boldin, and Charles Woodson going into this game.

Baltimore travels to New England to play the Wes Welker-less Patriots. Welker tore up most of the _CL’s in his knee on Sunday. Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis and company will look to put to rest Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and the Pats. Should that happen, the media will surely spark up the “Has Belichick lost it?” debate. For that reason alone, I’ll root for the Pats.

Brett Favre may or may not be on a tractor in Kiln, Mississippi this week. The Vikings can thank the Cowboys for beating the Eagles and getting them a first round bye. Favre loved Sidney Rice this season to the tune of 1312 yards and 8 TD’s. I don’t know what that tune sounds like, but it works for the Minnesota offense.

The New Orleans Saints are also waiting around for somebody to play football against. Drew Brees and his band of guys who can run fast and catch the ball will not have won in nearly a month when they take the field next.

The Colts are planning a really intense bye week in Indy. Somewhere Jim Caldwell is sitting with no expression on his face. The San Diego Chargers are taking it easy in a sunnier place where Philip Rivers can frolic on the beach and wait around for somebody to fly west to play a game.

THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC

The Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in OT at Fenway Park in the NHL’s 2010 Winter Classic. Check out all our Winter Classic gear in this week’s items of the week!