Posted on December 16th, 2008 at 11:30 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie
The first sign that this was going to be a low-stress affair in South Philly was the complete absence of traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel at 5:45 on a weekday. We actually thought something was wrong (a bomb? the tunnel was closed?). Nope. Nothing wrong, and nothing but a smooth ride all the way down the turnpike. Said smooth ride continued in the stadium, as the Birds cruised in a game that was completely lacking in any sort of anxiety and/ or drama. About the most stressful moment of the whole affair was the part where we walked up the wrong stairs to get to our seats and had to watch the Curtis TD from behind a Miller Lite cart.
Other talking points and observations:
Dunavin was sharp sharp sharp. It didn’t hurt that the Browns didn’t really manage to pressure him all that well, but he seemed to really enjoy playing against the Browns’ zone. That was definitely a you-only-get-to-see-this-in-the-stadium sort of thing, but McNabb and the Eagles receivers were extremely methodical about gaining 10-15 yards in front of the Browns’ safeties and deep cover guys. Of course, McNabb was also pretty sharp against the man defense that he saw (the extremely tight ball to Avant on the intermediate crossing route comes to mind). Yeah, pretty solid stuff from the QB.
Slightly less solid stuff from Dorsey. God bless that Ken Dorsey, but this looked really hard for him. What balls he did complete were essentially bailouts from a very talented (and sure-handed, at least tonight) Braylon Edwards. Both picks were pretty bad (balls thrown directly to Eagles), and Hanson should have had a third (which was slightly less bad). We shouldn’t make fun, because this sort of thing can/ has happened to the Birds as well. Somewhere, Mike McMahon was reliving 42-0 at home on Monday night in 2005.
Why were people booing Stallworth? Lots of boos for Donte Stallworth. What did Stallworth do to offend us? I didn’t get that. Hank Fraley was at least the guy who snitched on Dunavin puking in the Super Bowl (until the video tape also snitched on Dunavin puking in the Super Bowl). As I remember it, Stallworth was a solid part of the 2006 team, which I believe we should all remember fondly. Then the Eagles said thanks-but-no-thanks and he signed with another team. Um, that’s chill. I don’t get it.
Shaking head, staring at ground. Big double-you-tee-eff in re: Asante Samuel “pulling a D-Jack.” Who do you think has the least patience for that sort of thing in the Eagles’ locker room (after Andy Reid)? I have to assume it’s Runyan, right? As in, he goes over and picks up Samuel by the scruff of his neck and reminds him to “Never f*cking do that again”? The only cool part of that play was that my buddy got a GREAT photo of it in realtime — we’ll post it as soon as he sends them out. Very very solid work, and the folks sitting near us appreciated our own instant replay.
Speaking of DJack. I know it worked in the Redskins game, and we all appreciate his boyish confidence out there. But dude, enough with the “It’s just like college and I’m fast enough to loop around the back side of the punt coverage” sh*t. Forward, young fella. Forward.
Just in case you thought the Eagles were perfect and weren’t the same team from a month ago. Can I roofie myself for the last two minutes of the first half of Eagles games from now on? Is anyone keeping stats on this? The Birds’ penchant for sniffing out and then embracing the most unlikely of calamities as the first half ends is uncanny. And when you layer on the comical clock management and general level of disorganization, well, it’s just not very impressive. The was covered thoroughly (and appropriately) in this morning’s papers. A f*cking illegal formation penalty coming from a timeout? Dude.
Speaking of the timeout. The stadium announcer actually preemptively called timeout over the PA before Andy Reid got it in (and the Birds lost a few seconds as a result). This prompted a discussion of having the “clock coach” just sit next to the PA guy and call Andy’s timeouts for him. Just completely take it out of Reid’s hands and have the voice of God boom out the timeouts over the loudspeaker. That way Andy can be pleasantly surprised by the appropriate use of the timeouts.
Three cheers. To Jason Avant, for catching pretty much everything thrown his way, including some high-degree-of-difficulty snags. To Trent Cole, for another dominant game on the left side of the line (I say this expecting him to get snubbed for the Pro Bowl). And to B-Dawk, for breaking the team record for games played. That’s just extremely classy.
Appropriate booing. I mean, sure, it’s a small sample size, but, um, does Kevin Kolb look like the guy? Maybe Dunavin has paid him off to throw picks in mop-up duty? Dunavin’s owed like $9 million next season — you think it isn’t worth $20K to him to get Kolb to look terrible out there? Or is Kolb just not very good? One of those. I’ve got a lengthy follow-up post coming on this topic.
The Birds defense (and the NFC East) warms my heart. I really like what we’ve got going on in the NFC East right now in re: teams playing some nasty defense. All four teams in the top 13 on Football Outsiders coming into this week, with Dallas the lowest-ranked team (the Cowboys D looked completely scary against the Giants last week). Very old skool, very classy.
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