I love this time of year! I was on a Thanksgiving and football holiday high. The combination of pigskin and turkey is one of my favorites! This was a big week for the NFC with key match-ups between the Packers and the Falcons, the Saints and the Cowboys, the Redskins and the Vikings, with the Eagles and the Bears high on the list of important conference games. Yet it was almost like my Birds didn’t see past last week’s quest for first in the NFC east and equally underestimated
It was a game filled with un-Bear-able moments for me.
The Eagles did get a little defensive payback with a sack on Cutler by Trent Cole on their first possession. We sacked him four times during the game. Despite a mix of Eagles personnel that moved the ball down the field to put our first points up via a David Akers field goal, we lacked the needed bright spots on offense. Again, like last week there were plenty of trips into the red zone but only two were made into touchdowns. Between the dropped balls, the missed tackles, the slippery field and an opponent who brought their A-game, we just didn’t have it together.
No problem, right? We still had another half to play. The Bears got the ball first and kept conducting a special team’s clinic that lasted most of the game. We got things off to an equally challenging start after the half with a penalty that set up a first and goal for Cutler and crew. I started to get that pit in my stomach when I find it tough to remain optimistic.
We did get one touchdown in the fourth with a Brent Celek catch from Vick with less than two minutes in the game. That brought us within but the onside kick failed and the Bears took a knee and my joy to end it.
The final score 31-26, Bears.
The game seemed to lack some of the unpre-Vick-tability of our quarterback. But he did get sacked more than he has in most of the games he’s played this season. Defensive standouts Asante Samuel and Juqua Parker didn’t play this week and were dearly missed. Our defensive secondary just couldn’t get it done as they were Bear-ly there on those four
Now we head into a short week with The Houston Texans coming to town on Thursday. Texan fans went to a football game on Sunday and a boxing match broke out between their start wider receiver Andre Johnson and the antagonistic Tennessee Titan, Cortland Finnegan. Both could get suspended this week making it a bit easier on our embarrassed secondary.
So I’ll see you on the sideline for a Thursday night NFL special!
Helen “Love My Eagles” Little
Welp. I am not sure what to say. But much like the Giants, who now need to take one game at a time, I will write this one line at a time.
The game Sunday night was a totally winnable game. It’s tough to watch a team be given so many opportunities in spite of their mistakes and still have a chance to win the game. Which is exactly what happened on Sunday.
I am not sure what to say about Eli, he is entirely too grown to still make the mistakes he makes, you are a Super Bowl winning quarterback, is it that hard to SLIIIIIIIIIDE?
Is it that hard to not throw with your left hand? Is it that hard to just throw the ball out of bounds instead of trying to avoid the sack by throwing with your left hand to someone else who has nowhere to run and then they lose the ball? Even though on that play it wasn’t technically a fumble on Bradshaw’s part, it all just looked so friggin sloppy. It was just so unfortunate. To come back from being down 16-3, to be winning 17-16, to then trailing with a chance to tie the game up, THERE WAS STILL A CHANCE. Until Eli who finally realized he can run for it sometimes, ran for it, and did a sliding and diving hybrid type move resulting in losing the ball with NOBODY touching him. The Eagles recovered the ball.
Clap it up for the Giants and finding new ways to beat themselves
That being said the defense impressed me. Simply because they kept us in the game and when the offense made mistakes they held the Eagles to FG’s instead of TD’s. Going into this game every prognosticator basically said we had no chance and that Vick and the Eagles were going to mop the floor with us just like they did the Redskins. They did an overall good job at containing Vick, but not good enough. There were some situations when it was imperative that they got off the field on 3rd down and it just didn’t happen, it seemed like Boley was out of position on quite a few plays, and then Pierre-Paul got called for being offside’s and it was basically a wrap after that. It’s so frustrating simply because it’s not them just losing it’s them basically beating themselves. They make mistakes, get chances to redeem themselves and fight hard to come back but just can’t finish.
And now this week going into a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Eli will not have Steve Smith, and he will not have Hakeem Nicks. We went from being DEEP at the WR position to pulling Derek Hagan off the street. Victor Cruz – IR. Ramses Barden – IR. Steve Smith – Out for 2 more weeks. Hakeem Nicks – Out for 3 weeks (hopefully just 3 weeks). We are depleted. In addition to that missing 2 people on the offensive line. Completely decimated. How they became so full of injuries in only a few positions is beyond me, but someone needs to ship the Giants a heavy supply of Flintstones vitamins! Asap!
At this point you say “well someone has to step up”. But going into Sundays game Eli’s receivers will be Mario Manningham, Derek Hagan and Duke Calhoun. It’s safe to assume Mario will be double covered. Maybe we need more Kevin Boss and Travis Beckum but my optimism is waning. At this point the Giants just need someone to step up and make plays. But not FORCE it. I feel like that’s when Eli throws a shitty pass, and Bradshaw fights for that extra yard because the OLine isn’t creating any holes, and when he doesn’t go down the ball tends to either get ripped out or falls out of his arms. It’s survival mode at this point, make plays on offense and defense, especially on D, since offense is hurting. One game at a time, fellas. I’m still bleeding blue over here!
Breaking News: As of yesterday the Giants signed Michael Clayton to a 1 year deal. He was a 2004 1st round draft pick that played 6 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and outside of his rookie season didn’t do much. Since then he’s been in the UFL playing WR for the Omaha Nighthawks catching seven passes for 70 yards in four games this season.
I can’t call it
Just win baby…fuck it, it doesn’t have to be pretty…WIN UGLY!
Asta La Pasta,Ry
After suffering a loss to the Cowboys, I still cringe at the thought of that! I was looking forward to the “Battle for the NFC East” against the Eagles. I was concerned which Gmen team would show up. Would it be the quarterback wrecking defense that seemed to take down everything in sight or its lethargic alter ego? On offense, would our wide receiver core be able to step up to the challenge still missing a very important linkà Steve Smith? There were so many questions…let’s just get to the answers!
Starting with the positive, I was very proud of the Gmen defense that stepped up against the Eagles. They were able to “contain” Mike Vick and save our pride! Remember the ‘Skins…yeah, if you have to go down it shouldn’t be in flames! Big shout out to our Big Blue defense! Tuck ended with three sacks, one which resulted in Vick’s first turnover of the season! DEEEEEEEEEEFENSE! There were a few plays where the Gmen got duped and the Eagles got major yardage, but the defense never gave up! They played hard all four quarters! For that I am proud!
Now for the other side of the ball *deep sigh*, we could not get it together on offense. We never found our “groove”. Eli seemed tense to me all game, but I guess you would be after throwing an interception. He seems to forget his bad throws easier in some games than others. He ended with three interceptions for the night. And what in the world was he thinking with that 4th down play in the fourth with 3:13 on the clock? He slides and the ball comes out with NOBODY near him! Now I almost lost it on that play! I honestly could have vomited! Makes my stomach queasy just thinking about it!
Moving on, our running game couldn’t get off the ground, which drives me crazy, but the offensive line just couldn’t open up any holes. We did pull in two touchdowns and the game was actually up for grabs, well until the above play. Ball security was another big issue of the night and our wide receivers did NOT look like themselves…I miss Steve! Please get healthy and back quick, fast, and in a hurry! We need as many weapons on the field, spread out, as we can get!
Then, we have special teams, which did an excellent job on the blocked field goal…and then I digress.
I love me Gmen but they were scratching and pecking on offensive plays like chickens in a barnyard. Going through the motions but never getting off the ground, because of that, Eagles took flight and took round one along with first place in the NFC East...for now. That game was not 100% New York Giants Football; I know in December my Gmen will be ready to ground the Eagles! In the words of the Terminator, “
The game got off to a slow pace, especially after the way things started in the Washington game last week. Both the Eagles and the Giants defense came to play and play hard. All week the question on the sports talk circuit was “How do you stop Mike Vick?” The G-men did manage to do a good job in the red zone holding us to three point shots. Penalties, mainly false starts from our offensive line didn’t help us either. But my Birds kept on grinding down the field on a 68 yard drive that took seven minutes and resulted in a rushing touchdown from QB Vick. (So much for stopping him there.)
Next it was NY’s turn to chisel a way down to the goal line. But the Eagles’ defense wasn’t having it and held them to a field goal for their first score at the top of the second quarter. The Bird-D played aggressively against the New York offense allowing Asante Samuel to come up with some key fumble recoveries. He did a snatch and grab tag team on Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw. Rookie Brandon Graham stripped the ball and Samuel was there to recover it and put the ball back in our hands. Akers added a field goal following the turnover and then Samuel intercepted Eli Manning for his sixth interception this season. With one more unintended catch of a Manning pass in the fourth quarter Asante finished the game with a fumble recovery and two interceptions netting seven picks to date for the 2010 season. Can you say Pro Bowl?
A blocked Akers kick was the last Eagles’ play of the half following a clipping penalty on lineman Todd Herremans. That helped keep the Giants within ten at 13-3. Up to this point there were far too many missed opportunities, dropped passes, false starts and other penalties for Philadelphia. Then it was like déjà vu when the first play of the second half stopped the clock for over 10 minutes due to helmet to helmet hit that resulted in a neck injury to Eagles CB Ellis Hobbs. Flashback to Desean Jackson laying on the ground and the tension in the stadium was hard and heavy. Later we found out that Hobbs was able to walk from the x-ray room on his own and is already on the road to recovering, something we are thankful for!
Once the game was back on track we took another eight minutes off the third quarter clock and came away with only a field goal again. More Philly penalties put the Giants in the position to score. A pass interference call heading into the fourth quarter set the NY offense up on the one yard line to cop their first touchdown. Then the Giants’ “D” started to apply more pressure on Vick causing him to drop the ball during a sack for his first turnover of the season. They took full advantage and took the lead.
Uh oh. We were already well over a hundred negative yards for nonsensical penalties. It looked like we were about to give this thing away after not closing the deal on the many occasions that we could have. However, for some reason I felt confident that it wouldn’t end this way. And it didn’t. “Shady” LeSean McCoy took off on a 50 yard run with just over four minutes in the game to put us back in the lead with his rushing touchdown. My Birds went for the two point conversion. WR Jason Avant upped the score by two on a short pass from Michael Vick to make up for the dropped pass in the end zone when he was WIDE open during the first half.
The Giants were looking to stay in for the win with the score at 24-17. It looked like we had put an end to their drive when Asante Samuel caught his second Eli pass. Easy come, easy go as he fumbled the ball by trying to do a little too much. Giants got the ball back and continued to move toward the end zone. Then we got a nice little present from Manning when he coughed up the ball after a fourth down rush for the first, which he gained. But when he didn’t slide and let go of the ball untouched, Eagles recovered! NY challenged the play and lost the call and a time out. McCoy comes back in and on a bobbled snap from Mike Vick he takes if for another long run. 40 yards later we get in field goal range and David Akers slam dunks a three pointer. Stewart Bradley officially ends it with an interception and one second on the clock. Not a good day for Mama Manning. Both her boys Peyton and Eli’s gave away possible wins with turnovers.
Game over. Final score - Eagles 27 Giants 17.
The Eagles now nest alone high atop the conference perched at first place in the NFC East! Next week we fly into the windy city to wrestle with the Bears. Chicago has managed to have a respectable season thus far. Their defense, complimented by the addition of Julius Peppers in tandem with Brian Urlacher is driving the consistency of their success. This will be another tough challenge for the Eagles offense. But we are confident that this one is ours too.
So have a great Thanksgiving and I’ll see you on the sidelines!
Helen “Love My Eagles” Little
All week long, I’ve had a nervous feeling in my stomach. It’s the Willie Beamon feeling I get every time my son takes the field to play Pop Warner football. The Oakland Raiders sit at the top of the AFC West riding a 3 game win streak and were headed to play a Pittsburgh team fresh off a loss to the Patriots. What do I do? Do concede defeat because there is no way that Pitt will lose back to back games especially at home or do I ride the win streak of the Raiders against a unhealthy Offensive line and shaky QB performance. I rode with the Nation, it made the most sense. It was Oaklands game to give away. And even though Oakland has been playing good football this was put up or have to play 100x harder to prove to the naysayers that Oakland is playing great. It is a game that to me is most important. This could be a confidence breaker for the Silver and Black. This is the game the world wants and expects, the Raiders to lose.
Both teams came out with their defensive hats on, going 3 and out for the first few series. Oakland gets on the board first with a field goal and it was all Pitt for the rest of the game. Pitt would score four times including a TD run by Big Ben and a TD that was less likely to happen had the rookie DB not given up on the play. That gave Pittsburgh a big energy boost. Oakland allowed Pitt to have a 21 point 2nd quarter. The Raiders were down 21-3 in a game where the Raiders only had 3 first half penalties. Oakland couldn’t get anything going. Campbell was sacked and rushed, McFadden was met with resistance on damn near ever down he touched the ball. Reece and Ford were also no shows. Their first game back from injury, Murphy fumbled a catch that would have given Oakland an important first down and Zach Miller was quiet. The Pittsburgh defense held the Raiders offense to 52 first half yards. UNBLELIEVABLE!! Where they do that at? To put another mojo on our defense, Veteran Richard Seymour (a presence that’s needed) was ejected late in the second quarter for popping Roethlisberger in the face. I’m going to say something very unsportsman like … Big Ben deserved that smack to the face. It was unsportsman like of him to run and try to taunt Seymour after the play was over. BOW! Take that! Yeah I said it and I’ll take it. “Punks jump up to get beat down”
I expected the Raiders to come out of halftime with Gradkowski as their starting QB but Campbell took the field and was still ineffective. It wasn’t long after that, that Coach Cable put Gradkowski in the game. It’s something about Gradkowski that Campbell doesn’t have. His ability to escape the pass rush in undeniable. The hometown kid tried to get something for his team but by then it was too little too late. Gradkowski was intercepted his first series. Pittsburgh had the Raiders number. The Steelers had one turnover but it was overshadowed by them converting all three of their red zones attempts into touchdowns. Pit ended the game with 431 total yards and a win. The Raiders averaged 3 yards per pass and 4 yards per carry. They were held to under 200 total yards and had 3 turnovers. No successful red zones attempts. Nothing god was to come to Oakland with a performance like that. ESPN.com said that Oakland hasn’t been dominated by a Steelers defense like that since The Steel Curtain of the 1970’s, I can’t be mad at that. The Steel Curtain was not to be taken lightly and very hard to beat. The best team won Sunday afternoon, bottom line, no excuses, the Oakland Raiders didn’t show up...the loss was disappointing but no reason to be on suicide watch. Oakland falls to second place in the AFC as they end the Sunday battle a 5-5 team.
The Raiders staff will have a meeting of the brains, correct the errors and come out next week ready for Miami. I still stand by 5-2 predictions in the last 7 games for Oakland. Game on!
I’m a long time Monday Night Football viewer. As a wee football fan in the seventies I was allowed to stay up until the end of the first quarter and watch the games when Frank Gifford, “Dandy” Don Meredith, and Howard Cosell were calling the games. (I was a mere babe...not even sitting up yet!) In all my years I don’t think I ever enjoyed a Monday night match-up like I did between the Eagles and the Skins. It was simply Vick-tacular for Eagles fans! But for the other guys, there’s nothing worse than sitting outside on a cold wet night watching your team loose miserably and that’s how many Washington Redskin fans started their week.
The NFL is full of drama this year all across the league giving All My Children a run for the money. The Philly DC saga has been a sudsy situation with so much soap attached to it. Here’s the quick take on what was playing in the off-field feature between these fierce rivals. It all started with the QB trade of Donovan McNabb to the Skins from the Eagles. He led them to a win against Philly in our first meeting and talked a tad bit of smack after that game about being the wrong one to trade. Really? Then there was the media madness that ran amuck with the story of McNabb being benched in the prior game with only two minutes left on the clock by the Shanahan duo who gave 14 different versions of why he got benched. Speculation that number 5 was about to get kicked to the curb were squashed right before the Monday game when the Redskins inked a 78 million dollar deal with Nabby. So there were a lot of things stirring the competitive pot including a little revenge on our part from the earlier defeat and the loss of Mike Vick after their defense crunched him like a potato chip putting him out of action for weeks. I told you it was a soap opera.
At game time though the drama turned into an action thriller! You’ve heard of speed dating? Well the Eagles introduced the Skins to “speed beating”! What is speed beating? It’s when it takes less than a minute to beat the crap out of an opposing team. After two plays that totaled 27 seconds it was pretty apparent that the Eagles had won this game. Think of how long it takes a cup of coffee to brew; perhaps a minute and you have a piping hot cup of java? Well if you went for coffee at the beginning of this game you missed the first touch down. Only 18 seconds into the game the Eagles had seven points on the board. Wow. Not only was it a quick score on the very first possession of the game it was a record breaking pass from Michael Vick to Desean Jackson for 88 yards! That was the longest pass and catch in both of their careers. It was also the longest first play from scrimmage for a touchdown in Eagles history. But that was just the beginning.
The Redskins got their turn with the ball and our old friend Donovan McNabb was intercepted immediately by a rookie making his first NFL appearance, Kurt Coleman. By the end of the first quarter we’d seen reverse plays, wildcats, down the field bombs, breakaway runs and almost 300 yards of total offense from the Eagles. It was re-Vick-ulous how we we’re just showing off in the DC teepee! It seemed like everyone got a piece of the action. Vick, Jackson, Maclin, Akers, even back up RB Jerome Harrison scored in the first quarter. After the first fifteen the score was 28-0 and jumped to 35-0 with the first possession of the second quarter. We still had basically three quarters to go and were heavily Vick-timizing the Redskins. After one quarter Michael Vick was 8 for 8 on completed passes with a passing and a rushing TD and was five yards from breaking Steve Young’s rushing QB record, which he broke in the second quarter. Now only former Eagle QB, Randall Jackson has more all-time rushing yards than Vick.
I have to admit that I respect how McNabb did his best to keep his tribe in the game. We passed the peace pipe and let them get a few points on the board. Philly’s secondary got beat on a couple of down the field passes but stopped the receivers seeking the automatic score. They had to earn them with the running game allowing the Redskins back to back scores to make it 35-14 with just under ten minutes left in the half. Then Dimitri Patterson snatched one from McNabb to quiet their pre-half rally giving us the ball back just outside the red zone on the 28 yard line. Vick turned that into another rushing TD before David Akers added another three. The half ended and we were leading 45-14 breaking another team record for the most points the Eagles have scored in a beginning half.
The break at the half did the Skins some good. They scored on first drive of the second portion of the game but we answered with another touchdown from the dynamic Vick! Shout out to our O-linemen. They did their thing, especially on this drive giving Mike almost 8 seconds to stand in the pocket before finding Jason Avant in the end zone. 52 points. Wait, Dimitri Patterson gets another pick and made it 59 points.
Final score: 59-28. (Sounds more like a basketball score than football!)
And what have we now? We have ourselves a good old fashion fight coming our way. The Eagles are now tied for first place in the NFC east with the NY Giants. And who got next? You guessed it…the Giants. They are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Cowboys and need to save face. I look for them to try and take it out on my Birds, but I say BRING IT!!!!! We welcome them to be our next Vick-tims as we host this one at home for the big Sunday night game.
Congratulations to Michael Vick who had the best game of his career. He was the top QB of the week and named the NFC player of the week. He played an unbelievable game against Washington and he helps give the Eagles a legitimate shot at taking the NFC East top spot solo and then some. We certainly believe on the southern end of the New Jersey turnpike. And you can best believe I won’t miss this a second of this game, let alone 18 seconds!
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway...I’ll see you on the sidelines!
Helen “Love My Eagles” Little
I’m in a NY State of Mind *cues Nas*
Whoa Whoa. Slow down. I wasn’t aware the season was over and it was week 16 already! *end sarcasm*
Ok so, my beloved GMEN got seriously surprised by the Cowboys. I give credit where credit is due and the Cowboys played a great game. The Giants also helped them with atrocious play calling, not taking care of the ball and failure to tighten up on defense.
I see everyone is in a panic about the “inevitable” second half shit storm/ slump that the Giants have allowed themselves to get into in years past. I understand the concern but I am not feeling like Chicken Little just yet.
Perhaps it’s because I am trying to maintain positivity lately, or I may just be naïve, but I think the NY Football Giants are mentally tough and can avoid the “2nd half of the season” collapse after one loss to Dallas.
First things first we need to get healthy, I will admit, Eli looked lost out there without Steve Smith. Regardless of his other weapons you could see he was looking for The Real Steve Smith on 3rd downs especially. But right now the team is hurting it seems like the defensive injuries from last year are now this year’s offensive injuries. Pretty soon Tom Coughlin might have to start on the OLine. Getting the team back 100% and ready for December is priority!!
That being said we all saw the Philadelphia Globetrotters aka the Philadelphia Eagles mop the floor with The Washington Redskins Monday night. All they needed was that music to play! It was fun and impressive to watch. It also gave me agita knowing the GMEN have to face them Sunday night, but it passed!
That being said, I just cannot panic. The media has only annoyed me this week. Was the win impressive? Yes. Did they win the Super Bowl? No. Is Michael Vick being put in the Hall of Fame tomorrow? No. I am not sure exactly what answers the media is expecting from the Giants, their coach, coordinators and players…it’s almost like they will ask the same questions every day until one of them say they are scared. As professional athletes I doubt they are scared and will plan and practice well, it all comes down to execution. To quote an interview from Antrel Rolle on giants.com on Wednesday, he said it best; “we have swag and confidence when we play anyone, it doesn’t matter who you play, you know Vick is a guy, we understand what weapon he presents but he’s a guy - he puts his pants on just like each and every one of us put our pants on, our swag is gonna be there no matter who we play.”
Now that is the mind set you should have. I wouldn’t be in total fear, which is what I have seen on many Giants forums and message boards this week. As a fellow fan I am disappointed.
Am I concerned for what the game plan is going to be? Yes. Do I think we are going to get annihilated? No. I think we have as much of a chance to win as Philadelphia does. The season is not lost because we lost to the Cowboys and it won’t be lost if we lose to Philly. But that’s just my thought process and I am ok with being on a different mindset than others.*shrug*
I believe that some fans need to just turn the television off. I know I had to. It will only serve to annoy the shit out of you. Vick is crowned the king of the world after an impressive MNF performance. Suddenly it’s “how will the Giants stop Vick?” Don’t get me wrong it was remarkable but they beat the brakes off of a 4-4 Redskins team just like we beat the brakes off of a 4-4 Seahawks team and I didn’t see anywhere near the amount of salivating ball slobbing that I have seen bestowed on Vick this week placed on my Giants. And you can have that shit, I’d rather them be the underdog. But you can legit miss me with all the bullshit about them being unstoppable, because I see this being a street fight of a game as these games tend to be. They are 6-3 just like we are 6-3 yet somehow the media has their 6-3 better than the Giants 6-3. Oh..ok.
So to the Eagles – See ya Sunday…I hope you guys are so busy drinking your own Kool-Aid the Giants clip your raggedy ass wings.
I’m in my NY State of Mind, always. Let’s Fuckin Go!!!
This week was a great win for the 49ers. Two wins in a row put us in third place in the NFC West. And people were laughing at Jed York when he said we could win the division. It’s still out of reach right now but the way this season is going, anything can happen.
Troy Smith has been the starter for the last two games with Alex Smith being injured with a separated shoulder. He’s gone 2-0 so far and has been named the started for next week as well. In the last two games, he has not throw a pick with is giving the offense the chance to stay on the field longer. He was a pick-up early in the season that I questioned at first. The 49ers picked up David Carr in the off-season to replace Shaun Hill. It’s obvious that the offensive coordinator has more faith in Troy than in David. We’ll see how this works out when Alex is healthy again.
Frank Gore had another good game with one touchdown early in the game. Troy Smith threw a touchdown to Crabtree in the 4th quarter to take the lead but the Rams came back with a field goal to send the game into overtime. Nedney won the game in overtime with his third field goal of the day from 29 yards out.
The offense looked good under Troy’s leadership and I’m looking forward to it growing next week against the Bucs. The defense is going to have to play hard against the Bucs potent offense. Looking forward to another great game against a rising team.
Last week, Rob Gronkowski had the worst game of his young career. This week, he’s a fantasy football star and helped the Patriots to a big win in Pittsburgh. At 21 years old, Gronkowski set the Patriots rookie record for the most TD’s (3) scored in one game. More impressive, is that he took responsibility for his terrible play last week - took the criticism and made no excuses. Instead, he came back and played the game of his life. But it wasn’t just Gronkowski that bounced back from last week’s abysmal performance - the entire team did.
It was the kind of victory that makes a Pats fan think of 2001-2004 - a statement win. The team has admitted that they had a horrible week of practice prior to the Cleveland game and they were embarrassed by their play last week. They came out with their trademark us against the world mentality and had something to prove - and what better place to do it than Heinz field? Brady has a great track record there and the Patriots thrive when they perceive the Steelers are taking them lightly. Remember the 2001 AFC championship game, when New England felt slighted that the heavily favored Steelers had booked their New Orleans (Superbowl location) hotel rooms? How did that turn out?
The defense stepped up big in this game, holding Pitt’s Mendenhall to just 50 yards after Hillis ran all up and through Pats last week. They knew exactly how to get to Big Ben - racking up 5 sacks on the imposing QB. The Patriots also were the beneficiaries of many Pitt drops and missed catches - partially due to Hines Ward’s absence for most of the game.
***Time Out - I never like to see a player injured, especially a guy like Hines. I hope he makes a speedy recovery. Time In***
Overall, the Patriots put up their most impressive performance of the season - yes, even better than Week 4 at Miami. They are back in the discussion about the best team in the AFC. But next they face Indianapolis, and even though the Colts have mounting injuries, they also have Peyton Manning. It will be game 2 in the four game test of the Patriot’s strength and ultimately their fate this season. Where will the Patriots stand in that discussion after week 11?
The Oakland Raiders were on a bye this week. With 1st place on the line, I was hoping that the Denver Broncos would defeat Kansas City and give us an identical record. What do you know, the Denver Broncos did they just that. They didn’t just whoop the Chiefs they whiz za za za zipped the Chiefs. I refused to say go Broncos so I would shout out “Lets go 1st place”. Is this happening? Are the Raiders in 1st place? Yes sir!! Oh yeah you read right, we’re in 1st place. No need to look at ESPN.com or NFL.com, we are. Even though our records are exact, we hold the tiebreaker and Oakland is undefeated in the division. For the first time since 2002 the Raiders are on top and on the right track to a winning season.Next week the Raiders play the Steelers. Pitt is coming off a loss to the Patriots and will be without Hines Ward (I’m assuming). The Steelers we’re lost without him and will be next week as well, if they have to go without him. I’m going to say that the hit that Hines suffered resulted in a concussion and not a “neck injury” like initially reported. The Chiefs play the Cardinals week 11. Arizona is on a 4 game losing streak that will hopefully come to an end and they can get the win putting KC further behind. The Chargers play the Broncos so I’m going to need Denver to pull another win out of their hats and knock the Chargers another game behind Oakland.
The remainder of the Raiders schedule isn’t the easiest but it isn’t the toughest either. Oakland should be able to pull 5/7 wins during the last half of the season securing our spot in 1st place and a place in the playoffs. KC should win 3/7 the Broncos- 4/7 and the Chargers 3/7.
In the words of Luda..."I'm coming for your number one spot." Let's go Raiders!!
So, remember Week 8, when I was hype that the Patriots’ young players pulled out the win against the Vikings? Well, those same young players sealed the loss to the Browns. Dropped passes by Tate and a bungled kickoff and goal line fumble by Rob Gronkowski kept Brady’s offense from exploding.
***Time Out*** Shout out to Aaron Hernandez, the only young buck to come through, connecting with Brady for two touchdowns. ***Time In***
The young defense did no better. They allowed Peyton Hillis to rack up over 200 yards. No, not Peyton Manning, PEYTON HILLIS! The defense couldn’t stop anyone. This game was an embarrassment to me as a Patriots fan. The Browns had possession of the ball nearly twice as long the Pats, even though the Browns only had one more drive than the Patriots. The defense allowed Cleveland to march down the field with ease and basically allowed a rookie quarterback to flex on the Patriots like a Hall of Famer.
All week, I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that they were overlooking this game, especially with the Randy Moss soap opera and the Steelers and Indy looming on the schedule. No one was talking about the ongoing war between Eric Mangini and Bill Belichick. On paper, a win at Cleveland was a no-brainer. But Mangini has it IN for Belichick and wanted nothing more than to defeat his once mentor and former team. Well he won this battle, but the Belichick-Mangini war rages on.
At 6-2, the Patriots still technically have the best record in the league, tied with a slew of others. Their true tests will come in the next four weeks - at Pitt, vs. Indy, at a surprising Detroit on Thanksgiving and Monday night vs the Jets. These games will decide their fate this season. Here’s hoping they’ve learned their lesson and that I’ll be back laughing and not crying next Sunday!
Yvette: The Randy Moss pick up for the Titans was the biggest acquisition ever made by the Tennessee Titans.
Yvonne: And quite uncharacteristic for the Titans. Year after Year, Titans have been waiting for a big play receiver.
Well, they have one in Moss.
Yvette: The Titans are not really known for make big name pick ups even when the need for their services is clearly there. That WR need has been there for a while. It has irked me to no end! Really solid, above-average wide receivers have been available (Anquan Boldin, hello?), and Titans kept hanging on to their par-at-best players. Glad they finally came to their senses.
Yvonne: So what happened? Why did the Titans decide to pick up the Problem Child of the NFL?!?
1. The Titans are unexpectedly leading the AFC South. Very few thought the Titans would be better than 8-8 and certainly that as long as Peyton Manning was playing, Indianapolis would be the team on top. Many prognosticators thought this was the Year of the Texans. At 5-3, Moss could be a piece of the puzzle that gets the Titans to playoffs.
Yvette: 2. The Titans have nothing to lose. The Titans were the only team to try to attain Moss’ services, meaning, there isn’t a demand for him. So he may be out to prove something. Is he worth the next big contract?. Show and Prove. But if he doesn’t, let him go. And if he signs elsewhere after the season, the Titans get a draft pick! Sounds like a win-win to me. So what if he’s an AZZ HOLE or “Toxic”. Just let him go.
Yvonne: 3. Kenny Britt is injured. Although Britt hasn’t been that reliable in the past, this season he has come into his own. The Titans were beginning to depend on his big play ability. With his injury, they may not lose anything with Moss in the mix.
Yvette: 4. Chris Johnson’s production. Teams have figured how to successfully stop CJ. The pass has been something that was the weakest part of the Titans offense. This season, Vince Young and his young receivers have clicked! And has some really good games. Now that offenses will have to account for Moss this may allow the offense to open up. Pick your poison, CJ or Moss?
Yvonne: 5. It’s Randy Moss! WHEN does a team at Bye week, with an injured star, on the cusp of doing something big, gets the chance to get a Future Hall of Famer? An old Randy Moss is still better than a Justin Gage, Nate Washing and Kenny Britt any day of the week. It was a too good to pass up, even if it doesn’t work out.
Yvette: I know there are some who really think this won’t work out for the Titans. What makes them different from Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots? I don’t know. But something tells me Randy Moss will enjoy being in Nashville and playing for the Titans.
Yvonne: Right. It’s a solid organization, that’s successful and didn’t get a lot of media attention before now. Jeff Fisher and his staff seems to related to players and seem able to get the best out of each talent on that team. Furthermore, I for one don’t think Moss is really all that bad. He’s always been upfront and honest about his feelings. And he makes it known. He’s never towed the company line, if he didn’t believe it whole-heartedly. I respect that.
Yvette: But at this point, I’m hoping that he will realize, there aren’t going to be too many opportunities like this for him. If he wants a big pay day, he has to show that he is THE Randy Moss.
So I say if cant play for the Tennessee Titans, Randy Moss needs to retire.
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood after a couple of quiet days in Philadelphia football. Well, not totally quiet but the lights were out at the Linc while the Eagle’s took the week off. I decided to do the same and headed to Maryland to visit my sisters. You know your football fever is pretty bad when your family accuses you of visiting only because your team has a bye week. How could they think that about me? OK, there may be a wee bit of truth to their accusation because it didn’t hurt to know that I wouldn’t be missing any gridiron action. So like my Birds, I recharged during the week off with an excitement about our game against Indianapolis following the break.
And here it was. Kickoff time had arrived and there was company in the house. The Eagles put on their Sunday best and welcomed Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts to Philadelphia. It was special since this was the first time Peyton had ever played at Lincoln Financial Field and you know how warm and charming Philly fans are. They weren’t saying boo in a bad way. We were letting Manning know that he was our boo...OK maybe not.
There was a lot of pregame banter about this match-up. Call it a game of chicken because Andy Reid has never lost after a bye week and Peyton Manning had never lost to the Eagles and one of them would have to concede. But the biggest and most anticipated point about this game was the injury return of Michael Vick at quarterback and wider receiver DeSean Jackson. Welcome back.
Immediately the Lesean McCoy rolled out the welcome mat by rushing for a 62 yard gain on the very first play of the game. Then Vick zings one to Desean in the end zone for a touchdown. Oh yeah, they’re back and looked to be in great health. With less than two minutes gone from the game we were up 7-0. Then it was time for our defense to show their hospitality so Asante Samuel took the ball off Peyton Manning’s hands so that he could go back to the sidelines and watch the game. Now wasn’t that sweet of him? The Samuel interception turned into a field goal from David Akers as not to disappoint the viewers or the visitors. It was10-0 and only another three minutes were gone off the clock. The Colts remained scoreless through the end of the first quarter.
However, anyone who’s ever see Peyton play knows that things could change quicker than a mood ring on an emotional teenage girl’s finger. They start the 2nd quarter with a touchdown from Manning to TE Jacob Tamme who replaced the injured Dallas Clark and they got a little help from our defense on that scoring drive. They took the hospitable thing a little too far giving up crucial yards with penalties. Yet the Colts defense seemed to be determined to keep us out of the end zone. They were a beast in the red zone limiting us only to a field goal on the first three out of 4 trips there in the first half.
Then the game came to a screeching halt after a debilitating hit on Austin Collie left him out cold and leaving the field on a stretcher. The momentum of the game shifted and Indy fought hard on behalf of their fallen comrade who didn’t return to the game due to a concussion. The Colts kicked for three to take the lead by one point with only seconds left in the half. The clock ticked down to double zero and Indy lead at the half 19-17.
This may be the time when many would loose heart knowing how hard it is to catch the Colts once they get things going with a lead. Plus they were due to get the ball first to start the second half. But not my Birds! They came back with a boldness, ready to grind out a gain of another touchdown. A slick Vick quarterback sneak put a touchdown on the wall and fans were singing the fight song again! And whereas it was a game played with heart by the Eagles, there were plenty of mistakes too. We gave up seven first downs with penalties almost defeating ourselves.
All that yellow flag flying almost landed us in the L column. The Colts were on a drive to take it all away and I’d seen it a hundred times. If you leave Peyton Manning with seven seconds he’ll turn it into seven points and leave you thinking. “What...what just happened?” And they had way more than seven seconds and only needed three points to win. There was a pit in the bottom of my stomach as this nail biter went down to the hands of Asante Samuel again. Interception! Whew! Game over.
Eagles win 26-24.
You may never see a giddier group of geese celebrate the way the Eagles did with this win. Andy Reid was dancing in the locker room despite the fact that CBS showed the most unflattering film of him as a super duper gargantuan over-sized 13 year old participating at a pass punt and kick contest during the half time of an NFL game in the early 70’s. This win was equally as big.
So what’s next? First , a trip to the White House to see if we can get First Lady Michelle Obama to join the coaching staff and then over to Fed Ex field to fix the Skins.
We owe them one. And since things are a bit turbulent in DC between Coach Shenanigans and our XQB Donovan McNabb, it’s going to make for some good football drama. The Giants are starting to smell themselves, or maybe that’s the stench of Dallas, regardless a win in Washington keeps us on the top step into first place in the NFC. But Dallas would have to beat New York next week. It’s more likely that Madonna would date an 80 year old grandpa than the Cowboys winning against the Giants but stranger things have happened. You know what they say...on any given Sunday.
It’s definitely going to be an interesting weekend of action. Can’t wait. And you know I’ll be there, so I’ll see you on the sidelines!
Helen “Love My Eagles” Little
Three in a row for the Silver and Black and it’s a lot of people mad about it. Oakland has been taking the field and fighting for these Ws so there is nothing to be mad at. The Raiders have shown that they are worthy to be mentioned when you speak of good teams this season like the Colts and the Ravens and not just by their fans. Their record says so. The wins over the past three weeks proved they are ready to and capable to contend once again. You can’t say and be honest that we aren’t playing good football but if you do, I have this to say; Hate on Haters. I bet when the Chiefs fans woke up Sunday morning they didn’t think that a rookie picked up in the 4th rd would have over 300 all purpose yards or they would go home 5-3. Somebody should have told ‘em. We are on a 3 game win streak and are 4-1 in the last 5 games. We’ve played the best football these last five games better than the rest of the teams in the AFC West. We aren’t to be played with right now. The Chiefs jumped out to an early lead and it was a lot of chatter on my Twitter time line about how the Chiefs were going to beat Oakland. We went into the half down 10-0 but I wasn’t worried, Oakland stays with fight in them. We’re associated with NWA! (LOL)
How does Oakland answer in the 3rd quarter? Rookie Jacoby Ford ran a punt back for a TD, 94 yards. Take that donut off the scoreboard. 10-7 Chiefs and with a full second half of football to play, watch out. Janikowski kicks the ball and the Chiefs FUMBLE the return! Who recovers it? The man who just returned it 94 yards for the TD. The momentum has changed. I’m screaming, the house is screaming. The Raiders were on. Lets Go! Campbell drives but couldn’t convert. Sebastian comes on to kick the FG to tie and he MISSES! Huh?! Mouth all open and everythang. Yes I wrote everyTHANG. This was not happening. The hearts of Oakland fans were pinched but not broken.
The Chiefs were driving, you could tell they were trying to put us in a deeper hole & the three penalties back to back to BACK seem like that’s what we were trying to do as well but the defense didn’t give up. Cassel is sacked for a loss of yards. It is 2nd and 17 after an 11yard catch and another sack for a loss of yards, KC settles for a field goal. Making the score 13-7 Chiefs. The next 7 plays Campbell hits 6 different Raiders. This drive included a BEAST hit by McFadden on KC defender McGraw. It also included a pass to 325lb TACKLE Khalif Barnes for the touchdown to give Oakland a 14-13 lead… I tweeted “hahahahahaha he’s eligible bit*ches”. It was a sweet drive. Neither team would score again until the 4th quarter. Janikowski would kick another FG to give Oakland a 17-13 lead. The defense forces Kansas City to go three and out and here’s where the bull comes in. Nick Miller is back to receive the punt and as he returned it, he was tackled and the ball came out. They called it a fumble. It was clear as a sunny day in Cali that he was down by contact but the refs said otherwise. That botched call by the refs set KC up for a TD and a 20-17 lead. With all that Oakland battled back with no break in their spirit. They took that lump and came out to end this battle. This is when it got real REAL. Jason Campbell took the field and after 2 unsuccessful plays Campbell got it jerking. 3rd and 11 turns into 1st and 10, 3rd and 3 turns into 1st and 10, 2nd and 6 turns into 1st and 10; three more 1st downs would follow before Campbell spikes the ball. Oakland is within field goal range and Janikowski puts it right through the upright to tie the game.
Ball on! Its 20-20 and suddenly all of the masses were quiet as a church mouse. I’m slapping fives with my relative and my homie hype, while the Cowboy and 49er fans in the room had a look like they just got the “you are the father” results on Maury. Paaaah hahahaha.
KC wins the toss and of course they elect to receive. I said last week it was going to be put up or shut up for these teams and it was time for the Oakland defense to put up. The Black Hole was rocking. Every Raiders fan that was watching or listening was cheering the defensive unit on and what did the Raiders defense do? 1-2-3 AND OUT! Campbell and the offense take the field and the rest is history. You saw the end score. The Oakland Raiders defeat division leaders, division rivals, Kansas City Chiefs! The win puts Oakland a game behind KC and over .500 for the first time since 2002. The game wasn’t a very pretty one, with 2 lost fumbles (I’m going to put an * by one) an interception and 15 penalties for over 100 yards, but the Raiders never gave up. They fought hard to come out with a win and that’s what they did. Naysayers, are you there? I can’t hear you. All I hear are crickets..."Where you at" in my Boost Mobile voice. I don’t know where you are, YOU probably don’t know where you are but I can tell you where Jacoby Ford is... in the END ZONE, moving the chains, returning punts; recovering fumbles & catching a 29 yard Pass from JC to tie & then a 47 yard pass from JC to set Janikowski up to kick the winning FG in overtime and I can tell you where the Raiders as a team are too, SECOND in the division. Oh yeah, what that Nation like?
Sunday was a good day for the Oakland Raiders and their fans. I heard all week long how last Sundays win against Denver was a fluke and that Oakland wouldn’t get half the points they scored on Denver when they played the Seahawks. Fluke it was not and the Raiders scored more than half of the points they put up on the Broncos last week against Seattle Sunday. The Raiders haven’t put up numbers like that in back to back games since 1967. It’s the first time Oakland has put up over 500 yards since 1969 and the first time they have had back to back games registering 500+ yards in franchise history. It’s also the first time Oakland has been at .500 since 2002.
The Raiders didn’t allow a 1st down the first 30 minutes of the game and allowed only 4 yards in the first quarter. Jason Campbell looks good in place of injured starting QB Gradkowski. As a Gradkowsi supporter, I’m in favor of letting Campbell continue to start for Oakland, given his progression over the last 3 games even when Bruce comes back. The Raiders gave a valiant effort, putting the stamp on the fact that they are in the running for head of the division and seeing the playoffs. Oaklands offensive line woke up a few games ago and they haven’t went back to sleep. Giving Jason Campbell plenty of time to find an open man to make a play and he’s making them. It’s nice to not have to depend on Zach Miller to be the only offensive player moving the chains. Campbell is getting everyone involved in the offense. Among his 15-27 completions, he threw two great passes, in coverage showing his growing confidence. Heyward-Bey and McFadden both had 100+ yard games with DHB getting his 105 yards off 5 receptions. For a second year player who I can admit I didn’t think would find his way last year, he’s turning into a reliable Wide Receiver. With the injuries that have occurred with Murphy & Bush along with Mcfaddens hamstring, Oakland will need him to be able to get something going.
The Raiders defense has been gunning for their opponents, make no mistake about it, this defense isn’t just “lucky”. Matt Shaughnessy is playing better in his 2nd year at DE; McClain is having a great rookie year for himself as well. I think having the presence of veteran franchised player Richard Seymour adds to the defensive power. He came from a team people called the best 2 years back and he’s playing like it hasn’t bothered him, unlike most. I think the young players are motivated when they see that. He gets out there and gives 100% every down. Seattle didn’t have answer on either sides of the ball. They allowed 5 field goals and 3 touchdowns. They punted 9 times, had 2 missed field goals and an interception. Their only successful drive ended with 3 points and that didn’t come until the 4th quarter. The Raiders recorded 8 sacks on the Seahawks QB... Poor Hasslebeck. (I’m glad this wasn’t Matt Schaubs Bye week. Talk about a fantasy woe, having Sea def was enough) The Raiders are one sound now and its beginning to make sweet music. As of right now penalties are what the Raiders need to overcome next. All Oakland has to do is limit the penalty flags, continue to come out and play well all four quarters. Head of the division is sure to come in the next 2 games, with wins from Oakland and bombs by Kansas City, which I am anticipating. Efforts on Offense, Defense and Special Teams have been great and the stronger, more dominant they get; the more I’ll have to look forward to naysayers in my ear about how such “lucky bastards” we are. Oakland heads into week 9 with the possibility of not having star Db Nnamdi Asomugha. He suffered what looked like a severe ankle sprain late in the fourth quarter and had to be helped off of the field.
Next week, Oakland faces the Division leaders Kansas City Chiefs. They are also ranked #1 in the rush defense. Sunday will be put up or shut up for both teams. LET’S GO NATION!!
This is one of the best games I have seen. Not so much because everyone played well but because it was so intense. Also check out this GIF of LeGarrette Blount hurdling over a defender: http://30fps.mocksession.com/BLOUNTHURDLE.gif. He's 241 pounds!
I walked into the bar and sat in front of the Bucs-Cardinals game and saw that the game was tied up at seven. Geno Hayes had picked off Max Hall for a 41 yard touchdown return. Arizona's second touchdown was credited to a muffed punt by wideout Sammie Stroughter. Arizona recovered the ball which set up a rushing touchdown for Beanie Wells.
The Bucs offense was struggling a bit early in the game but started gaining momentum and developed into a 47 yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman to the rookie Mike Williams. If Mike Williams is on the waiver wire in your fantasy league, pick him up. He is at worst a solid WR3, he's no Calvin Johnson but he's pretty consistent.
On the next Cardinals drive, Aqib Talib got a pick six for 45 yard touchdown return. At that point, Derek Anderson started warming up and went in for the drive.
At one point, the Bucs were leading 31-14 until LaRod Stephens-Howling scored a touchdown, shortly followed by a fumble by LeGarrette Blount which Arizona's Gerald Hayes scooped up and headed straight for the end zone. Tampa was unable to contain Arizona in the red zone which allowed Arizona to score a touchdown and take the lead.
On the next drive by the Tampa offense, Freeman threw a 53-yarder to Arrelious Benn which should have been a touchdown but the referees ruled him just shy. Blount rolled right into the end zone for a touchdown after Benn's magnificent catch, giving the Bucs the lead back.
Barrett Ruud intercepted Derek Anderson's pass, setting up an eventual field goal attempt only to be blocked. Arizona still had a chance to at least take this game into overtime but Aqib Talib was salivating for another interception and he got his second of the game with a little over 2 minutes left in the game. The Bucs ran out most of the clock, giving Arizona only 55 seconds with which to work. Derek Anderson is NOT Peyton Manning. Bucs won 38-35.
My nerves were the WORST they have been all season yesterday. You see, I despise Brett Favre and all I could think of was his 6 touchdown performance when he played injured last time. Couple that with Randy Moss’ return to New England after Belichick traded him away out of the blue and you can see why my nerves were frayed. After Peterson made it look easy to waltz into the end zone at the beginning of the second quarter, I was officially worried. But the Pats’ young guns - the law firm (BenJarvis GreenEllis) and Brandon Tate on offense and Devin McCourty on defense came up with big plays that sealed the team’s victory. I guess it didnt hurt that Marvin Pryor knocked Favre out of the game, too.
***Time Out*** Was it really necessary for him to be carted off because he had a boo-boo on his chin? Really? Could that have been more over-dramatic? ***Time In***
I wasn’t really surprised they won, as Minnesota isn’t all that good, but as a New England sports fan, I’m a worrier and a pessimist - the Red Sox tend to do that to you. This game was about the Patriots’ signature offense by committee and a young secondary that is slowly coming of age in Bill Belichick’s system -they shut Randy Moss DOWN - 1 reception for 8 yards. At least it WAS about that until last night’s press conference and today’s bizarro world where Chilly announced Moss was no longer a Viking without consulting ownership or telling Moss.
I guess it all started last night with Moss’ press conference/self interview...
“man, it's been an emotional rollercoaster this whole week. I tried to prepare. Tried to talk to the players and coaches about how this game was going to be played and a couple tendencies here, couple tendencies here. The bad part about it -- you have six days to prepare for a team, and on the seventh day, that Sunday, meaning today, I guess they come over to me and say, 'Dag, Moss, you was right about a couple plays and a couple schemes they were going to run.' It hurts as a player that you put a lot of hard work in all week, and toward the end of the week, Sunday, when you get on the field, that's when they acknowledge about the hard work you put in throughout the week. That's actually a disappointment.” So that was a lot of rambling to say...I tried to tell yall Chilly...but yall dont listen...
"I don't know how many more times I'm going to be up here in New England, but I'm going to leave the New England Patriots, Coach Belichick, man, with a salute, man. I love you guys, I miss you, I'm out." Right back atcha Randy...but I don’t think Chilly was pleased.
I guess that’s why Chilly told Randy not to let the door hitcha on the way out today.
Randy will eventually get to the waiver wire, and if he gets past those other 31 teams...wouldn’t it be something if he ended up back in New England?
Written By: Tracie