What Would Buddy Do?
Monday Eagles Hangover: at least they found a new and innovative way to FAIL
Posted on January 19th, 2009 at 12:55 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie


You know, I really thought they would win yesterday.  I thought they would win because their defense was good enough to best the Cardinals’ offense, and that the Eagles’ offense would be able to score against a Cardinals’ defense that wasn’t as tough as the Vikings or Giants.

Instead, the defense — the one I felt confident calling the best Eagles defense since 1991 — was exposed and fooled by a very clever Cardinals team.  We all sort of knew that the Birds would struggle to handle the Larry Fitzgerald superhero act, and he hurt them, but I didn’t expect the linebackers to look so confused and for the tackling to be so sloppy.  All credit to the Cardinals and their coaches for outcoaching and outscheming the Birds.

Even with all that, the Birds were leading this game with five minutes to play (!).  It was there.  But neither the offense nor the defense were good enough to win the game in the fourth quarter.  It was there.

It’s been there before, and we can only hope it will be there again.  Ouch.

Some day-after storylines:

I didn’t expect to be down on Jim Johnson this morning.  It’s just not what we expected, right?  That Jim Johnson, who was rightly praised for the efforts of the defense over the past seven games, would be a goat this Monday morning?  The Cardinals saw something on the right side of the Eagles defense, and certainly seemed to prey on Akeem Jordan a bit.  They got it a bit figured out at halftime, but, um, that was after they’d surrendered more points than they had since the Baltimore game.  Ouch.  Also, Stew Bradley looked like a first-year starter for the first time in a while.

Brian Westbrook was a non-factor.  Save for the great fingertip catch and sprint out of bounds on the Birds’ final drive, Westbrook didn’t really make a difference.  It actually looked like the Eagles’ offensive line was getting a good push on their running plays, but big plays did not result.  The Eagles got away with a win last week sans a big effort from Westbrook, and they almost repeated the feat this week.  It doesn’t matter if he was injured or just old and slow, but that was not a dangerous Brian Westbrook the past couple weeks.  And that hurts.

Speaking of, the dread run-pass ratio.  I’m sure the score had something to do with this — as well as the state of the Cardinals’ pass defense –but the Birds did end up throwing on 72 percent of their plays.  Luckily they were doing a fairly decent job of throwing it, but they didn’t look very committed to balance.

Speaking of, please, enough with the crying about the wideouts.  Sure, there were a couple drops and none of our guys look like Larry Fitzgerald, but the Birds’ wideouts made some huge plays yesterday.  I feel pretty good about Jackson, Curtis, Avant and Baskett (assuming they bring Baskett back).  This is not a position of concern heading into the offseason.

Positions of concern heading into the offseason.  Running back!  Running back!  It’s either a gimpy B-West or a free-agent Buckhalter.  Or Lorenzo Booker.  Or Kyle Eckel.  Yes.  It’s feeling very cold in here.  Also offensive tackle — both those guys looked their age yesterday.

Are we really talking about Donovan McNabb’s future?  McNabb missed a couple throws on that final drive, and the haters will focus on that, but he also had the cape on for the better part of the second half.  No running game, a lot of pressure from the edges, and the guy actually brought the team back from an 18-point halftime deficit.  Dude.  McNabb was not the problem for the Eagles yesterday.

Too much hitting, not enough tackling.  Whilst we like the idea of dropping a couple big hits on the opposing team to let them know it’s going to be a physical afternoon, it sure seemed like the Eagles’ defense was throwing shoulders and not wrapping up at all.  Shoulders aren’t enough against Larry Fitzgerald.

A guy we hate to admit didn’t make the big play.  Quintin Mikell almost — ALMOST — made a season-saving play on the fourth-down run in the fourth quarter.  Ugh.  That would have been nice for Mikell.

Asante Samuel.  Sigh.  After picks in two consecutive games, we can overlook a weak effort from Samuel yesterday.  Apparently he ducked reporters after the game?  Don’t know about that, Asante.  Philly doesn’t appreciate that sort of thing.  Even if you were hurt.

Guys who didn’t really duck reporters, but could’ve been forgiven for it.  Reggie Brown, L.J. Smith, it’s been a pleasure.  I guess the Birds thought Greg Lewis had some big-game magic in him?  Ummm, not so much.  Still, Brown didn’t even dress?  Yikes.  And Brent Celek’s big day yesterday really makes it that much easier to pretend there never was an L.J. Smith; I wonder what rookie will get #82 next summer?

Lucky breaks we’ve likely forgotten already.  How about that DeSean Jackson forcing a fumble for the Birds after the pick?  Pretty lucky break!  Though not as lucky as the Abiamiri call on the kickoff.  Whew.  Close one.  If you’re whinging about pass interference in the fourth quarter, you need to keep that kickoff call in mind.

Was Akers going to make a fourth-quarter field goal?  It sure seemed like he was Chuck Knoblauch unable to find first base by the third quarter.  A missed PAT?  The kickoff out of bounds?  Mercifully the Birds needed a touchdown and not a field goal for the go-ahead points.  Kind of a meltdown, no?

That’s it for now.  I’ve intentionally avoided the good season/ bad season ruling.  Plenty of time for that later this week.

Eagles - Vikings Game Preview: don’t pretend you know what we’re getting today
Posted on January 4th, 2009 at 11:38 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Well none of us are going to pretend we expected this.  Sure, we could envision this, but to expect this would have been a bit strong after the Washington game.  The Eagles are actually in the playoffs.

So, are they any damn good?

That’s the thing about the Eagles game today.  We don’t actually know what the narrative of this season is yet.  Is is the “Eagles go on a run like 2006 (Washington game is ‘just a blip’)” or is it “Eagles stumble into playoffs, but are who we thought they were”?  If they win today, many many sins will be forgiven — even if they lose the following week.  Then they’re good but not good enough, and that’s a lot better than we thought we’d get in mid-November.  If they lose today, especially if they do so in one of the ways to which we’ve become accustomed, well, then they were essentially last year’s team with a better punt returner: good on paper, but bad when it matters.

I wouldn’t be completely shocked if the Eagles didn’t show up at all today, but I don’t think it’ll happen.  Rather, I think that there’s a compelling reason why it might not happen: the Eagles defense.  But more about that in a bit.

What I’ll be shouting about in re: today’s big Wild Card Game:

Your storylines.  It’s a little overwhelming (and by overwhelming, I mean that it makes writing a preview really challenging) when your team makes the playoffs in re: the clear national storylines.  As in, (1) Jim Johnson versus Tavaris Jackson (must include reference to total available quantity of blitzes), (2) Can the suddenly elite Eagles’ defense contain Adrian Peterson, (3) Teacher-versus-Pupil.  What’s sweet is that I feel good about each of those.  And the thing that worries me most is just that they go out and throw it 48 times.  Andy Reid, you haunt me!

Storylines we refuse to consider.  You’re not allowed to say, “This is an extremely close game in simulations with the Eagles winning just under 51 percent of the simulations. The key to the game is turnovers,” in an article entitled “Intel Report” on ESPN.  Generally speaking, I think blathermonkeys should be fired on the spot for uttering the phrase, “The key to the game is turnovers.”  The key to scoring is touchdowns and field goals.  The key to defense is tackling.  Yes.  It’s all true!

Fan storyline that’s a bit odd.  I assume most of you are like me in that you feel good about defense and special teams, and have no idea what we’re getting from the offense.  It’s worth noting that said offense set the franchise record for points scored…and I still don’t think we’re remotely irrational for not trusting them.

The last time these guys played in January.  The future Mrs. BountyBowl got us tickets for the game as a Christmas gift, circa December 2004.  This was a very clever strategy of hers for currying my affections.  Seemed to have worked out for everyone.  F***ing cold that day, though!

Hip, whatever.  The Birds paid a lot of money for Asante Samuel.  Mr. Samuel has traditionally been very successful in elimination games (save for an awkward moment along the sideline last February).  It’d be lovely if he felt compelled to demonstrate his penchant for the big moment against the Vikings.  Also, I’m pretending that the injury thing is an illusion.

Speaking of, he doesn’t need to play.  L.J. Smith has his impending free agency to worry about.  Let’s cut the guy some slack and let him get healthy.  It’s for the best.

The CamelCased One.  What a wonderful opportunity for young Master DeSean to go out and demonstrate he has a feel for the big moment (and redeem himself for the Washington game) than to make a play against the absolute worst punt coverage team in the league?  Very tempting, no?  We’d hate to think the kid had issues with the spotlight.

Speaking of wideouts.  Both Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown made circus catches against the Vikings when the Eagles played there last year.  A similar effort this afternoon would augur well for the Birds’ chances.

Jared Allen is scary, though not as scary as Demarcus Ware.  I think Allen will be slightly more dangerous than Ware was last week if only because Ware’s team completely quit.  But if the Birds can handle Ware, why not Allen?  (That said, I think Allen is excellent.)

Adrian Peterson is scary, though not as scary as Brian Westbrook.  Sure, AP (”Purple Jesus”) is a megastar guy who has a chance to be the best back of his generation.  But in a game that matters I feel extremely good about a Brian Westbrook, and not just because he might be the single smartest guy on the field.  He’s also good at not getting tackled!

Eagles thoughts from during the Cards - Falcons game.  While I know it’s not for everyone, it sure looks like you can run your offense through a couple dominant wideouts.  Those guys are good.

Eagles thoughts from during the Bolts - Colts game.  This was actually painful to watch for me, if only because there were so many little plays that almost but didn’t quite go the Chargers’ way (at least until the coin toss!).  Lots of dropped picks, bad bounces, that sort of thing.  It’s rare that I can feel like an Eagles fan watching another team.  Thanks, Chargers!

Things I’m glad I haven’t thought about in weeks.  How about that David Akers!  Doesn’t seem to be struggling any more.  And he’s got to feel good about a dome.

No one believes in you, Donovan.  I hope Mr. McNabb is on his laptop this morning reading the InterWebs just so he knows that NO ONE BELIEVES IN HIM.  Nope.  Not a one.  And the ONLY WAY HE CAN STICK IT TO THE FICKLE DOUBTERS is to play the game of his life.  That’s the only way you can really get us, Donovan.  Seriously.  It’ll totally piss us all off, because we don’t really like you and don’t want you to succeed.

Cardboard Box.  One of the things that makes me feel confident about the game today is that I think the Eagles actually will get the speed of the playoff game.  That is, there are a few guys on the field for the Eagles who won’t be intimidated by the moment and will come out playing fast.  Mostly I’m thinking that Brian Dawkins and/ or Sheldon Brown isn’t going to be afraid to endanger themselves in order to announce their presence with authority in the first few minutes of the game.  And now, because I can’t help it, is the link.  Treat yourself.

Game prediction. I think that the defense is going to show up this week for the Eagles, and that if the Birds can get it to 20 points they should be chill.  The problem is that I can’t really speak for the offense.  I think they could be awful.  I think it’s important that the Eagles wide receivers play well.  That means getting open and it means catching the ball.  Eagles 20, Vikings 13.

Monday Eagles Hangover: time for the airing of grievances and the shaving of beards?
Posted on December 22nd, 2008 at 1:15 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie


Okay, so football season ended a week earlier than it probably should have.

We got to live the dream a bit over the past month — a dream that definitely didn’t exist after the gloomy Cincy-and-Bal’more fortnight — and now it’s 98 percent over.  Sure, crazy things happen in the NFL, and they’re not out of it yet, but they’re pretty much out of it.  Certainly we as fans have it better than the players and coaches: at least we can mentally move on at this point and maybe even enjoy unwrapping a Phillies DVD on Christmas morning.  Those poor bastards still have to pretend they’re in it for another week and get ready to be pushed around by the Cowboys.  Consider yourself blessed!

Day-after storylines to help you nurse your hangover.

For the avoidance of doubt.  Andy Reid’s Monday presser was a predictably grim affair.  When pressed to explain who might have been at fault on the game’s final play — the one that ended six inches short — Reid actually answered the question (obliquely, at least).  He observed that he thought the quarterback did a good job getting the football into a tight spot, but that the route needed to be run into the end zone.  Hmmm.  I hope Reggie Brown doesn’t have too much trouble selling his house in these wintry economic times!

Run-the-ball-Andy meme.  That old chestnut?  It was tough to find an article/ game report that didn’t highlight the run-pass ratio.  It predictably came up again in the Monday presser, in the context of “Does it feel like you’re answering the same questions every week?”  Reid’s answer was that the reporters weren’t very creative, but, well, I’m not sure that they’re the ones lacking for imagination in this one particular case.

Westbrook isn’t well.  A theory on Brian Westbrook’s health — this is the first game in a month for which he didn’t have an extended period of rest (and in fact lost a day).  He had two full days of rest from Thanksgiving to the Giants’ game, and then an extra day ahead of the Monday Night Game.  At this point, it probably all matters to a guy like Westbrook.  Oh well.  That’s what happens when the offense depends so heavily on one guy (and that one guy, while awesome and deserving of my man-crush, sturggles to be healthy every week).  Depth in the backfield needs to be addressed in the offseason.

Peter King update.  No mention of the Eagles play-calling this week.  Funny, that.

Playoff Beard update.  It looked like Andy Reid hadn’t shaved yet, but it’s unclear if the rest of the locker room is still on board with the beards.  If you shave, does that mean the team has given up entirely?  Perhaps there’s a hybrid solution that would appropriately reflect the Birds’ post-season prospects: little Hitler mustaches?  Slightly longer-than-average sideburns?

Reflections on a losing record in the NFC East.  I mean, do you really think a team — which has won one (1) of its five division games so far — that can only win 2 out of 6 division games should be in the playoffs?  That sounds pretty mediocre to me.  Stranger things have happened, but it’s not like we can complain about unfulfilled potential or tough breaks or whatever.  You are your record, and the Eagles’ division record is 1-4.  Yuck.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve got for you today.  Yuck.

Birds fall to Skins in Platonic ideal of Bad Eagles Loss
Posted on December 21st, 2008 at 8:57 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Well that wasn’t very fun at all.

Not quite Cincinnati-game frustrating, and not Baltimore-game terrible, and not even Redskins-home-loss humiliating, but pretty crappy.  Nothing shameful about the defensive performance (though the Redskins’ offense doesn’t conjure up memories of the Greatest Show On Turf), but the offense was a bad in all of our old/ familiar/ favorite ways.

That is, today’s loss approached the Platonic ideal of a bad Eagles game: no plays or playmakers amongst the wideouts, an abandonment of the running game, some iffy clock management, and — most importantly — a horrific performance from L.J. Smith.  If they could have just managed to somehow surrender some points at the end of the first half (in some particularly surprising/ unlikely manner involving the special teams?), well, the universe just might have exploded.

After a couple weeks of strong performances, we can’t pretend that the Birds weren’t due for one of these efforts.  They certainly didn’t get blown out, they just didn’t really make any of the plays that are required to win.  Pretty standard, really.

Highlights of frustration below:

Welcome back, the-wideouts-aren’t-good-enough meme.  The drops were bad throughout, but the Redskins dropped their fair share as well.  This was a game where I wish I could have been in the stadium to see if guys were actually getting open (my guess is an emphatic no).  We love the CamelCased one, but young DeSean dropped a couple that would have made a difference.  He’s a rookie, yup, but he was also the best guy the Birds had out there today.  I dunno.  At least we’re all pretty well-versed in beating up on the wide receivers.  I look forward to closely monitoring which diva pass-catchers from around the league are unhappy this off-season.

There’s something about Jason Campbell.  Does this guy play this way every week?  I mean, it doesn’t seem threatening and explosive at all, nothing vertical or down the field, but he’s a pain in the ass on third down.  Those scrambles for first downs are insanely frustrating.

The Redskins’ best player.  Helluva a day from the Redskins punter.  Seriously — that Ryan Plackemeier did himself proud out there.

Intrigue remains in re: Big Five.  McNabb wasn’t great today, but he also wasn’t terrible.  He’ll take heat for this game, sure, but it didn’t look like he had a ton of help out there — from his teammates or the play selection.  And he did make a couple big throws in the fourth quarter, only to get let down by the overwhelming lameness of the wide receivers.  Net net, it means that we can’t emphatically ship him out of town in this week’s papers.

L.J. Smith and his personal quest to lose games against the Redskins.  Was it the two drops in the first half on third down?  Or the horrific missed block on the screen to Westbrook at the Redskins’ five (lots of good questions in the postgame pressers about that one)?  Which specific play was the worst?  I actually think that he might have been the one who was out of position at the beginning of the third quarter when the Birds burned their timeout as well.  Maybe we wouldn’t get down him so much if he hadn’t also been personally responsible for goal-line mistake against the Skins in October as well.  Not impressive. I hope the fans at the Dallas game remember that this will be their last chance EVER to boo L.J. in an Eagles uniform.

Other BOOOOOs.  Asante Samuel for dropping that pick.  Reggie Brown for being almost but not quite good enough.  Sav Rocca for being outpunted.

My goal is to not spend the rest of the evening moping about and reading every word bit of Internet content on the game.  I’m putting in a movie, ideally something really stupid and/ or cartoonishly violent.  More tomorrow.

Things I learned about (embattled?) Eagles wideout Reggie Brown and classic rock today
Posted on December 12th, 2008 at 12:11 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

After being a healthy scratch Sunday against the G-Men, erstwhile Eagles starting wideout Reggie Brown seems to be inching toward earning a permanent “Embattled” prefix to his name.  Certainly I’m surprised (as a fan and close follower of the team) to see that Reggie Brown can’t even earn a spot on the substitutes bench — even Greg Lewis dresses! — though that probably has more to do with the fact that the rest of the backup WRs play special teams than anything else.

Still, we don’t often see guys with extensions sat down like this, so I appreciated the always intrepid Les Bowen’s blow-by-blow of his attempt to squeeze some quotes out of Brown in the locker room yesterday.  Of particular interest was this passage:

Brown has a weekly Monday night radio show on WMGK, done in tandem with the station’s nightly “Get the Led Out” Led Zeppelin hour. That’s an odd mix, the quiet, reserved African-American wideout from Georgia and Robert Plant’s castrato wail. This past Monday, Brown and the show’s host, Ray Koob, talked about the victory over the Giants and Brown’s razzing of Giants receiver Domenik Hixon, from the bench, after Hixon dropped a long bomb from Eli Manning. They talked about how Brown dressed warmly for the cold, blustery afternoon.They did not discuss the fact Brown did not play in the game.

Yesterday, as Brown stepped into the weight room, off-limits to reporters, McNabb advised the persistent reporter to “ask Andy.”

A couple things here:

1.  Reggie Brown has a radio show?  On WMGK?  And it’s a Led Zeppelin show?  WHUH?

2.  Gotta love Dunavin playing protective older brother with Brown.  Guess he doesn’t hate Brown as much as had been rumored (and as much as Bowen had subtly suggested in the article).  Good for McNabb.

Kevin and DeSean, huh?
Posted on October 22nd, 2008 at 4:49 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Just watched Andy Reid’s presser. It contained actual information!

Most interesting/ compelling thing he said: “…it’d be Kevin and DeSean” in re: who will be starting at wideout. Sorry, Reggie Brown!

Least interesting/ compelling thing he said: “I feel like I have an All-Pro tight end” in re: a question about L.J. Smith. That’s probably why you guys went after Tony Gonzalez! So you could have two All-Pro tight ends!

I think there are plenty of footballs (also, Greg Lewis can have a seat)
Posted on October 21st, 2008 at 10:30 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

G Lew

With the ostensible return of Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown to the Eagles’ lineup this weekend (though there’s still plenty of time for Brown to strain a groin before Sunday), talk has turned to the Eagles’, hold on, deep breath, suddenly deep and talented receiving corps.

With the what now? 

Are we actually using phrases like “There are enough balls to go around”?  Really?  Because of a win against the Niners?  What about the two weeks of lousy against the Skins and Bears?  Personally, I think the Eagles’ receivers are just fine — certainly not elite, but definitely competent when healthy.  But this isn’t the 1992 Dream Team; I expect most fans will be content if the Eagles can muster up just a few big plays from their wideouts.  I certainly don’t think we have to worry about hurting these guys’ feelings.

Of course, a healthy Curtis means that someone among Baskett, Avant and Greg Lewis is likely going to sit this week.  Um, again, I don’t think this is an advanced-placement-level question: the answer is Greg Lewis.  I guess he and his 172 lbs. play a little special teams, but so do brand-new linebackers. 

Of course, the larger question here is what happens to young Master DeSean.  I really hope that having Curtis and Brown healthy doesn’t land him on the bench, and instead is used “as an excuse to find him deep in single coverage.”  That’d be sweet. 

Eagles to rest offensive starters versus San Francisco
Posted on October 10th, 2008 at 3:10 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Well, not exactly, but with Brian Westbrook, Shawn Andrews and Reggie Brown ruled out, Kevin Curtis still questionable, and good knows what at fullback, Sunday has a chance of looking a lot like the third week of August. 

We’re getting pretty close to running the all-DeSean-all-the-time offense.  Also, Big 5 is going to need to play like a superhero.  Also, I guess this makes it harder to waive Greg Lewis this week. 

Has the line moved yet?  Birds giving 5?  Yikes.

Telling a story with pictures
Posted on October 8th, 2008 at 4:28 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie


When I snapped this photo during Sunday’s game (click the image to look at a larger version), I was trying to capture a moment of sideline levity (and potential camaraderie) between Donovan McNabb and Reggie Brown.  I felt like I’d heard rumblings that McNabb and Brown “didn’t get along well” (and may have repeated/ amplified said rumblings my own self) and wanted to get some photographic proof of them making nice.  See (1) above.

Of course, how was I to know the depth of drama said photo would capture!  As in,

(2) Check out a dejected-looking DeSean Jackson marching away from the cool kids.  We don’t want to go far as to label his pose as a sulk, but, well, it does fit a certain stereotype of the folks who play his position in the NFL — especially in weeks when he inexplicably didn’t touch the ball often enough.  Still, DeSean’s been a model citizen with the blathertariat to date; let’s give the young fella the benefit of the doubt for now.

(3) Is that J.R. Reed nursing a boo-boo?  He made the injury report after the game and didn’t practice today.  It’d be disingenuous to claim that I noticed this in real time.

(4) Finally, we have Sean Considine on the sideline with his helmet off.  Given that the Eagles were playing defense at this point in the game, this is an excellent sign.  Slightly less excellent is the fact that he’s still wearing a uniform and was listed as active for the game.  But I’m sure they’re working on that.

So it’s pretty much last year’s team, but with a better punt returner
Posted on October 5th, 2008 at 10:06 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Eagles - Redskins at the Linc, 2008

Oooooooooooooh man, this one sucked.  Sucked.  SUCKED.  (And now, the coup de grace, caps AND bold): SUCKED.

I guess I had gotten suckered into thinking that the 2008 Eagles were not blood relations of the 2007 Eagles, and that somehow all those “mistake-ridden” and “unlucky” losses from last year were all just accidents and aberrations.  Not this year, I thought.  This year they’re going to be a bit better organized and focused, and we’ll actually win some close games.  The Pittsburgh game definitely sold me a bit.

But after two weeks in a row that looked a lot like the team from last year — I mean, I guess we’ll need to make our peace with that.  So they’ll be in most games, but don’t expect too many dominant performances, and they’re likely to clumsily bungle a few along the way.

Anyway, one might imagine that this wasn’t the most exciting game to attend. The beginning was excellent, and then it was about two-and-a-half hours of “frustrating dull.”

What I saw:

DeSean Jackson should get the ball more.  After seeing him run in the context of the whole field, I’m actually thinking that Jackson might be a little underhyped?  Is that possible?  He’s a legitimate offensive threat out there.  The I’m-still-in-college-and-faster-than-everyone thing on the punt return was spectacular; the guys in pursuit completely misjudged their ability to catch up to him.  I dunno.  This guy has a chance to to make a lot of plays for the Eagles.  No reason he shouldn’t touch it more.

Why the Eagles lost.  I mean, whatever else might be said, the Eagles sure looked like they got pushed aroundat the line of scrimmage.  Their offensive line definitely exerted their will on our guys, and while their defensive line wasn’t really dominant, they still prevented the Eagles from running at all.  It was a little humiliating to watch: kind of slow and steady and maddening to the point where you begin to doubt your own sanity.  Like listening to someone defend Sarah Palin and telling you that no, YOU’RE the one who’s out of touch!  (”BountyBowl: Now With Sarah Palin Jokes!”)

To whom the assembled peoples assigned blame.  Pretty straightforward here — lots of “I hate you you [insert profanity-laden description of obesity] [object of derision]” for Andy Reid.  I guess it can’t always be McNabb’s fault, and it’s tough to get specifically angry at the defensive line.  The peoples were definitely restless about Reid.

The Redskins played really well.  Didn’t turn it over, played very simple football and beat the Eagles up at the line of scrimmage.  Yeah, you can win with that in the NFL.  All credit to them — they aren’t flashily talented, but they looked very well-coached and they kept their heads on, even when they went down early.  Campbell was very solid.  And Portis was a beast.  I dunno.   If there’s a slouch in the NFC East, it’s definitely the Birds.

And some randoms. oh, the indignity of James Thrash drawing a penalty on Asante Samuel!  David Akers has got to be bummed about missing three kicks over the past two weeks.  Reggie Brown had a decent game, but also contributed to the drops, and the drops were not so impressive.  The Red Zone offense doesn’t look “fixed.”  Juqua Parker was solid again.

Let’s Go Phillies.  Definitely plenty of gear at the stadium (the default tasteful demonstration of extended loyalties seemed to be the Eagles jersey with Phils hat), sure, but I was amazed by an actual “Let’s Go Phillies” cheer early in the game.  Definitely a lot of love at the Linc for the Phils.  They didn’t go overboard with the score updates, but each one was enthusiastically welcomed.

So yeah, kind of a crap day, save for the part where the Phillies made the NLCS, and also the part where I got to eat this totally sweet sandwich.  (But mostly it was beat.)

Eagles-Redskins at the Linc 025

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