Tag:Donovan McNabb
Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:19 pm
 

Vick v McNabb

Washington Redskins vs Philadelphia Eagles - It is Vick vs. McNabb as the skins visit the Eagles in this key NFL. This game will feature the return of Donovan McNabb, back home in front of the home fans as well as the continuing tale of Michael Vick’s rebirth in the City of Brotherly Love. Just a year ago, Vick and McNabb were stacked on Philadelphia’s depth chart as Vick attempted to resurrect his career. Now, they will be playing against each other on McNabb’s former stage.

 

The Eagles (2-1)  are giving 6 points to the Redskins (1-2) at home. Philadelphia has done well against

Washington, winning 12 of the past 18, including a sweep of the NFL Picks series last season.

 

Vick’s rise is nothing short of shocking, his play spectacular. In leading the Eagles to wins in his two starts, Vick has thrown for a combined 575 yards and 5 touchdown passes and 67 yards rushing and 1 touchdown. DeSean Jackson has been a big play receiver, averaging 24.5 yards per catch on 12 receptions while LeSean McCoy has gained 209 yards with a 6.1 average rush per carry. Tight end Brent Celek, on the other hand, has struggled getting involved in the new Vick-led offense after catching 96 passes in 2009. Celek might get have a difficult getting more looks, though, since Vick, though improved as a pocket passer, looks for big plays down the field, or scrambles for big gains.

 

Washington  has been giving-up big plays on defense since blowing a 17-point second-half lead against Houston, and followed-up that meltdown with a 30-16 loss to the Rams. In that game, they allowed the Rams to pile-up 365 yards in total offense while possessing the ball for over 35 minutes. The Redskins have featured a decent pass rush, with 7 sacks, and have forced 4 turnovers, including a defensive touchdown, but they’ll need to improve their third down defense against the Eagles if they hope to have any chance. They also gave up plays of 42 and 30 yards to the Rams, and they’ll to avoid the big play against the Eagles, a team accustomed to making a splash on offense.

 

Posted on: September 22, 2010 10:08 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 10:08 am
 

To QB or not to QB - part 2

It came as a shock, but the Eagles temporarily pulled the plug on the Kevin Kolb Era after 10 passes, two quarters and an “exceptional” relief job by Michael Vick. At a strategically called news conference, head coach Andy Reid said he prefers starting Vick this week instead of Kolb, the quarterback the Eagles anointed their future, but was it really his decision?

“You’re talking about Michael Vick as one of the best quarterbacks right now in the NFL,” Reid said. “I didn’t expect, obviously, the accelerated play of Michael. I mean, he’s playing exceptional football right now. I think that’s obvious to everybody.”

Vick has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 459 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 105.5 passer rating. In two games Vick has guided the Eagles to seven touchdowns in six quarters while Kolb has directed the offense to just a field goal after getting knocked out in the first half of the opener with a concussion.

In a win over the Lions last week Vick survived six sacks and made several plays evading a pass rush that Kolb wouldn’t have been able to escape. Kolb probably would have ran off the field crying. The offensive line was horrible. Reid said starting Vick had nothing to do with the line play or the health of Kolb, who has been cleared to practice.

What does Kolb think about this? Reid indicated that he didn’t like it. The Eagles announced before playing the Lions Sunday that Kolb would start next weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Vick also made it clear Kolb was the starter. “At the time, I told you what I believed,” Reid said. “Obviously I’m not like – any of us – able to predict the future.”

Reid said he watched film of Vick the past two days, spoke to general manager Howie Roseman and consulted team president Joe Banner and owner Jeffrey Lurie just to be sure they were all on the same page. A team source confirmed Reid’s reversal began when he second guessed his decision to stick with Kolb. Ultimately Reid said he made the decision. But there were immediate reports – denied by the Eagles – that upper management made the call.

“I think I had to make this decision,” Reid said. “I’ve had the full support of the front office. I counseled with Howie Roseman today and bounced some things off of him. But the first person I met with on this decision was Kevin Kolb. That’s the first person I talked to. And I met with him the last two days, and we shared thoughts. He’s a young quarterback that I think the sky’s the limit for. He’s just in a situation where he’s got an ex-superstar that now has regained his abilities. And it’s really that simple. Michael Vick is playing out of his mind right now and that’s a beautiful thing. What a lucky franchise and a lucky head coach I am to have two quarterbacks that I feel that way about. I mean it’s unbelievable.”

Unbelievable sums up the entire drama.

Team sources didn’t expect Reid to act impulsively after the Eagles spent much of their offseason transitioning to Kolb from quarterback Donovan McNabb, who was traded to the Washington Redskins. Reid is stubborn and resistant to change. By grooming Kolb the head coach made it clear he didn’t think Vick would develop into enough of a pocket quarterback to operate the offense effectively to win games. Vick apparently has made a believer of Reid.

Kolb couldn’t have seen this coming. Only Monday he said he trusted Reid, and that the coach always did what was best for the organization.

At every bend in the drama Tuesday, Reid publicly refused to second-guess himself even though it was obvious he had done just that. NFL sources suspect Reid really did get cold feet about playing Kolb this week and the following week, when the Birds host McNabb and the Redskins. I think the decision came from the GM and owner.

“Again, this is more about Michael Vick and his accelerated play,” Reid said. “He’s sitting there as possibly the hottest quarterback in the NFL at this time and deserves an opportunity to play. It also allows Kevin to continue as a young quarterback in the NFL, his maturation process, and, again, to become a franchise quarterback in the future.”

Kolb’s future, however, appears to be somewhere else.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 1:11 pm
 

To QB or not to QB- that's the question in Philly

Before anyone goes there, let me beat you to the punch: When Donovan McNabb was the QB, the Philly fans wanted Feely, Garcia, Kolb and even Vick. Now that Kolb is the QB, some fans are calling for Michael Vick. Are the Philly fans just plain crazy, or are they more intelligent than people give them credit for?

McNabb was a good QB, but he always managed to come up short. He wasn't good enough to elevate the team to the next level. The fans realized that McNabb wasn't the answer, so they rooted for guys like Jeff Garcia and A.J. Feely. Neither one of those guys was better than McNabb, but somehow they won games. The fans realized McNabb wasn't a great fit in our offense and we didn't need him to win games.

Eventually, Reid and the Eagles organization admitted that McNabb wasn't good enough, sending him down route 95 to the nation’s capitol. Enter Kevin Kolb, the Eagles 2nd round pick in 2007. Instead of having an open QB competition in training camp, Andy Reid handed Kolb the starting role. What did Kolb do to earn the starting spot?

While Kolb got reps with the first team, Vick threw passes to practice squad players and other guys who eventually got cut from the team. Playing with the first team, Kolb had a sub-par preseason and couldn't find the end zone in any of the four games. He didn't look good against the Packers, either. You could tell from the body language of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin that they didn't believe in Kolb. Further, NFL analysts couldn't find anything that Kolb did well in the first half. The offense was stagnant with Kolb behind center. When Vick took over in the second half, the offense came to life; they nearly won the game.

Maybe a preseason and half of one football game isn't enough to judge Kolb, but maybe it is. Based on the evidence this year, the only thing we can confirm is that nobody knows if Kolb can play in the NFL. All we can do is trust what Reid tells us. Meanwhile, we have a backup quarterback who has been to multiple pro bowls, and has won games in the post season.

You have to wonder whether it's fair to say that Vick looked like his "old self" yesterday, because it's hard to remember when Vick was ever as poised a passer as he was against the Lions. He was 21 of 34 for 284 yards and 2 TDs with no turnovers. The numbers don't really even tell the story. How many times did he stand in and make a great throw on a play where he knew he was about to get blasted? He was accurate, he was calm under pressure, and generally looked fearless out there. I've never been a big fan of Vick as a QB, but there's really nothing to criticize. The guy played fantastic.

After 1.5 games, Vick has proven that he can win games for the Eagles. Kolb hasn't shown anything. Time will tell if Andy Reid is a genius, or if he is just being a stubborn moron. I hope he is right about Kolb, but I don't know how you can keep Vick on the sideline after what he has shown.


If Kolb loses the next 2 games, Reid better hand the keys over to Vick.
Posted on: August 11, 2010 8:21 am
 

Fantasy QB Ratings by DC

FFB a few years ago wasn’t the same as it is now. People would never think of drafting a QB in the first round. In most 12 team drafts, 4 or 5 QBs will be off the board by the end of the 2nd round. They outscore every position player in leagues where passing TDs are worth 6 pts and you they get 1 pt for every 20 passing yards. It is very important to have a QB that you can leave in every week and know that he is going to get you about 15 to 20 pts. This is how I see the fantasy QB rankings playing out...

1. Drew Brees, NO: With all the hype surrounding Rodgers people want to bypass the man who has dominated the fantasy landscape for the last 3 years at the position. Not me, Madden curse and all... Bye Week: 10

2. Peyton Manning, Ind: This is the best QB in the league in reality and the second best for fantasy. Grab him next. Bye Week: 7

3. Aaron Rodgers, GB: Last year he scored more fantasy points than any other QB. I expect a nice season for Rodgers. Bye Week: 10

4. Matt Schaub, Hou: Really stepped up last year as he led the league in passing yards. He has the best WR, Andre Johnson, in the game so as long as he is healthy he should continue to wreck shit. Bye Week: 7

5. Tom Brady, NE: Say what you want about the man but when it comes to fantasy he produces. I don't think he will miss a beat with Welker possibly missing a portion of the season as Edelman proved to be capable in the same role. If Welker is ready by week one, Tom Brady could be a top 3 fantasy QB. Bye Week: 5

6. Tony Romo, Dal: I hope this ranking is way off but sadly the guy does perform well during the season. If you can swallow your pride he might just win you a fantasy championship. Take solace in the knowledge he won't ever win a real one. Bye Week: 4

7. Brett Favre, Min: John Madden's player of the game every game. The old man still performs like a monster and when he comes back will continue to rack up the points. The ankle is fine. Bye Week: 4

8. Philip Rivers, SD: Jackson holding out/being suspended for 3 games might hurt his value a little but I don't think enough to drop him any lower this spot. He has plenty of weapons and should continue airing it out. Bye Week: 10

9. Jay Cutler, Chi: Yes he is going to throw a lot of INTS, but he will throw a bunch of TD's too and with Mike Martz there Chicago will become a pass first offense. The report out of camp is that Hester is really starting to click with Cutler. Bye Week: 8

10. Joe Flacco, Bal: Yes I know Baltimore likes to run except if you have one of the best pass catching RB's, a new top tier WR, a WR 2 that has surpassed 1000 yards in 4 out of the last 5 years, invested heavily in a couple of young pass catching TE's, and have an aging defense that is solid but no longer shut down, you might pass a bit more. Flacco is a great value pick that you can snatch up in the 5th or 6th round! Bye Week: 8

11. Eli Manning, NYG: Their run game is not the same and the penchant to throw more will probably remain since they have a young but dynamic receiving corp.You could do a lot worse than having Manning as your #1 QB...and you can get him in the middle rounds. Bye Week: 8

12. Kevin Kolb, Phi: They love to throw in the great city of Philly and with a receiving corp that is one of the best 1,2,3 combos in the entire league plus a top tier TE, Kolb's transition to greatness should go smoothly with his first full year starting. There will probably be a few bumps in the road, but I expect big things out of Kolb...not just because I’m an eagles fan. Bye Week: 8

13. Matt Ryan, Atl: A weak and injured running game and a few injuries to himself left Ryan as somewhat of a disappointment last year. Everybody is back and healthy for 2010 so here's to a bounce back. Bye Week: 8

14. Donovan McNabb, Was: The man can still make some plays and even though his receiving options leave a foul taste in the mouth, he will have enough to earn this spot. Bye Week: 9

15. Chad Henne, Mia: Somebody's got a target to throw too. I am high on this guy and think with the addition of Brandon Marshall he's got a shot to be very good over the next few seasons. Marshall made Orton look decent last year... Bye Week: 5

16. Ben Rothliesberger, Pit: The only reason he is this low is because of the fact he will be missing 4 games. His absence will also hurt Ward's, Wallace's, and Miller's overall worth but when he comes back, expect fire like he  showed last season. (His projected points per game,15.54 points, is what ranks him this high) Bye Week: 1,2,3,4,5

17. Matt Stafford, Det: This kid is throwing to a damn Decepticon how can you not like that? They added talent for him to throw to (see Burleson and Best) and he should take a nice step forward this year. Bye Week: 7

18. Carson Palmer, Cin: He has TO and Ochocinco. And he has a legitimate TE for the first time in his tenor as Benglas QB, but these guys have transitioned to a run first team so his bottom line will be limited. (potential sleeper now with the probable suspension of Cederic Benson. They will perhaps air it out a tad more.) Bye Week: 6

19. David Garrard, Jac: This is MJD's team so he is more of a manager then anything. Servicable QB 2. Bye Week: 9

20. Jason Campbell, Oak: Normally going to the blackhole will suck all your fantasy value down but he has worked decently enough with very little before so he will probably remain about the same. The only guy who might get a bump is Zach Miller. Bye Week: 10

21. Matt Cassel, KC: I personally consider this guy a sleeper. He has some receiving talent over in KC and I think with Weis taking over offensive duties we will see him perform a lot better. That being said I will temper my expectations. Bye Week: 4

22. Alex Smith, SF: I don't know what Singletary see's in this guy but he is the starter over in San Fran. I am thinking Gore will be used a ton and break down at some point so Smith might have some late season value. Bye Week: 9

23. Matt Leinart, Ari: I understand that he has the 2nd best WR in the league at his disposal, but he couldn't do anything with him before and I don't think he will be able to do anything with him this time. I expect Derek Anderson to take over at some point but if he doesn't I can't see Leinart finishing better then here. He can’t throw a deep ball...period. Bye Week: 6

24. Vince Young, Ten: Every year the fantasy magazines overrate him and every year he ends up messing up some poor fools entire draft. I won't do that. Tennessee is the Chris Johnson show. Young's just along for the ride. Bye Week: 9

25. Matt Hasslebeck, Sea: We don't even know if he is going to start. He has some slight talent around him but even so he just isn't very good. Expect injuries as well. Bye Week: 5

26.Mark Sanchez, NYJ: I'm not buying him being any more of an impact even with the addtion of Santonio Holmes. if there was a stat for handing off he would be the first guy on this list. Bye Week: 7

27. Kyle Orton, Den:How to install confidence in your QB. Trade up into the first round to grab the most hyped QB in the 2010 draft, trade away your best WR, and draft a WR that wasn't even the best one on the board. Sorry Kyle. He wasn't very good anyway. He would make a great backup QB though! Bye Week: 9

28. Josh Freeman, TB: This kid has some talent. Too bad his team doesn't. Another year to struggle. Bye Week: 4

29. Matt Moore, Car: How to install confidence in your QB, part 2: Tell him and the media for months that he is the man for the job and then draft what many "experts" had as the 2nd best QB in the draft followed by picking another pretty good prospect at QB. Bye Week: 6

30. Jake Delhomme, Cle: I am thinking he will be benched by week 4 in favor of Seneca Wallace but if not here is his bottom line. Bye Week: 8

31. Sam Bradford, STL: Rookie QB with nothing but a dump off back. Steven Jackson could have 300 catches this year. Bye Week: 9

32. Trent Edwards, Buf: He sucks. If you're drafting him you are either in the deepest league ever or you are purposefully trying to tank your team. Bye Week: 6

Posted on: December 11, 2009 5:25 pm
 

Eagle view of Cowboys and Giants - week 14

There are a lot of good games in week 14, but frankly, I don’t care. The two games that I’m focusing on are Philly vs New York, and Dallas vs San Diego.

Let’s start with my birds:

Passing Attack: Donovan McNabb has played well this season (2,427-16-6), but the offense did not skip a beat (in fact on some levels it was more productive) when highly drafted backup Kevin Kolb took over for the injured McNabb in the early season. McNabb is still an upper tier QB, but age and injuries have taken away his running game which was a dangerous part of his skill-set in the past and he has been inconsistent at times. When he is on his game this offense flows as well as any unit in the game, but some weeks the passing game just seems out of synch. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are two young emerging stars at WR, and perhaps a move to Kolb will allow them all to grow together. Jackson missed last week’s game after suffering a concussion the week prior, but is expected to return this week –keep an eye on his status. Also note the Giants tendency to allow opposing TEs to have big games.

The Giants beat their rival Cowboys last week but the depleted Giant secondary did not contribute much to that victory. Tony Romo threw for over 300 yards and 3 TDs against the Giants who at one point had the top ranked passing defense but have fallen down the rankings steadily for the last several weeks. They are still ranked seventh in passing yards allowed (199.0 ypg), but their 21 TDs allowed in 12 games says that they are easily beaten through the air. They will be best served by trying to keep Desean Jackson in front of them in New Jersey this weekend in order to try and limit big plays or that TD total could grow. I’m not expecting the Gmen to shut down DJack. He was at home last week, and he is ready to explode.

Running Attack: Brian Westbrook may return this week from his post-concussion syndrome, but if he does he will likely be very limited. LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver have been very effective in Westbrook’s absence and should get the bulk of the carries even if Westbrook does play. Like the Cowboys, the Eagles tend to abandon the run early so it may be the second week in a row that the Giants run defense looks good merely because it wasn’t really tested.

New York is ranked 15th in the league in run defense, allowing 102.6 ypg. They have allowed 15 TDs in 12 weeks including long TD runs to both McCoy and Weaver in the Week 8 matchup. Under-rated tackle Barry Coefield doesn’t get much recognition in a defense loaded with bigger names but with fellow “up the middle” players like Antonio Pierce and Kenny Phillips lost for the season, Coefield will be a key to the run defense going forward.

Predictions:
Donovan McNabb: 245 yds passing 2 TDs, 1 Int. / 5 yds rushing
Jeremy Maclin: 50 yds receiving, 1 TD
Desean Jackson: 65 yds receiving
Brent Celek: 55 yds receiving, 1 TD
LeSean McCoy: 65 yds rushing, 1 TD / 35 yds receiving

On to the GMen:

Passing Attack: Eli Manning peaked during the first five weeks of 2009, but also played well against the Falcons and the Cowboys sandwiched around a stinker against Denver during the last three weeks. Manning is playing with pain in his foot – and it’s well known that December has not been kind to him – but to his credit he has emerged as the leader of this offense. He is largely responsible for making the Giants biggest question mark heading into this season – their WRs – into a true strength of the team. Third year WR Steve Smith is only a handful of catches away from breaking the Giants record for receptions in a season and has been a steady presence for Eli to rely on all year. TE Kevin Boss wasn’t used much earlier this season but has really stepped up his game and has been a factor in recent weeks. Like the Giants the Eagles also have a tough time stopping opposing TEs so consider Boss if your options are limited.

The Eagle defense harassed Eli during the last meeting between these two teams, and have generally fared well against the younger Manning in past years. The Eagles are allowing 205.3 ypg and 18 TDs on the season. While they can be susceptible to big plays at times, this is a team that loves to blitz (33 sacks) and force opposing QBs into mistakes (20 interceptions). Eli will need to be sharp and smart if the Giants wish to beat their second consecutive division rival.

Running Attack: Brandon Jacobs turned short swing pass into a 70+ yard TD catch and run last week against Dallas. In other strange news, it snowed in Dallas last week. Not sure which occurrence is more unbelievable. Ahmad Bradshaw has struggled since injuring his foot but ran hard last week in the Meadowlands and will be needed down the stretch for the Giants playoff run. This offense works best when they can hit opposing defenses with a one two punch in the running game.

On the season the Eagles are allowing only 98.8 ypg on the ground and only 8 TDs, so it’s not an easy matchup for the Giants. Will Witherspoon acquired from the Rams at the trade deadline has helped shore up the middle of the run defense and Trent Cole, known more for his pass rushing ability, has developed into a pretty good run stopper as well.

Predictions:
Eli Manning: 275 yds passing, 3 TDs, 2 Ints.
Steve Smith: 70 yds receiving, 1 TD
Mario Manningham: 50 yds receiving
Hakeem Nicks: 80 yds receiving, 1 TD
Kevin Boss: 45 yds receiving, 1 TD
Brandon Jacobs: 60 yds rushing / 5 yds receiving
Ahmad Bradshaw: 55 yds rushing / 20 yds receiving

My crystal ball says: Giants 24 Eagles 27 (fly eagles fly)

Now, on to dem boys vs the Chargers

 

Passing Attack: Vincent Jackson presents a difficult match up for any defensive back as he has elite deep speed in a 6’5”, 230 pound frame, but has disappeared the last few weeks much to the dismay of his fantasy owners. TE Antonio Gates has picked up Jackson’s slack during that time much to the joy of his fantasy owners. Jackson has improved each season and is a gifted player. One would have to think that he’ll turn his season back around. Although it’s risky during this important part of the fantasy season to start players that have not been producing recently Jackson seems due for a big game and I’d recommend starting him. Unfortunately I will be facing him in my opening round playoff matchup this week, further cementing his chances for a big game from him.

The Dallas defense ranks 20th in passing yards allowed, allowing 225.9 yards per game this season with 17 TDs. Teams have been able to move the ball through the air against this team despite a talented pass rush and secondary. Expect the Chargers to attempt to exploit this weakness as Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd and Antonio Gates are all big fast targets that should pose problems for even the physical Dallas secondary.

Running Attack: After a slow return following his ankle injury that caused him to miss a few weeks, LaDainian Tomlinson was buried by many fantasy pundits. However, he has scored 8 TDs over the last 6 weeks. He’s obviously not the same back he once was, but is still effective and his numbers improved once the Charger offensive line returned back to health. Tomlinson is no longer elusive and his burst is not what it was in years past but he still has that nose for the endzone and the Chargers know it. As long as expectations are lowered he’s still a fantasy asset.

Dallas has been a solid run defense this season, allowing 102.5 ypg, and has managed to keep opposing backs from scoring (only 5 rushing TDs allowed). Former Falcon Keith Brooking and veteran line backer Bradie James lead the team in tackles with their relentless pursuit of the football. Don’t expect LT2 to post big numbers against the Cowboys, but perhaps he can take a plunge into the endzone.

Predictions:
Philip Rivers: 285 yds passing 2 TDs
Malcolm Floyd: 40 yds receiving
Vincent Jackson: 105 yds receiving, 1 TD
Antonio Gates: 85 yds receiving, 1 TD
Darren Sproles: 35 yds rushing / 20 yds receiving
LT: 45 yds rushing, 1 TD / 10 yds receiving

Everyone knows that the Cowboys play their best football in December…lets break it down.


Passing Attack: Miles Austin has over 900 yards and 9 TDs on the season, with most of those stats coming in his 8 starts. I hate to admit it, but it’s pretty impressive. Miles is big and fast and has been just what the Cowboys needed (and more) to replace Terrell Owens production. People expect Tony Romo to falter in December but last week’s loss cannot be pinned on him. He’s been pretty consistent over the course of the season, so we’ll see if he can maintain that consistency or be subject to yet another late season swoon…I sure hope he fails.

San Diego’s pass defense is allowing 204.4 ypg and has given up 14 passing TDs on the season. Shawn Merriman’s return to health has helped the pass rush become more effective which has improved the defense as a whole. Romo’s tendency to make mistakes has not been as prevalent this season, but strange things happen in December in Dallas.

Running Attack: The Cowboys seem to have something against running the ball despite having 3 capable backs and an obese o-line. They inexplicably abandon the run almost every week. Barber fumbled early last week and was more or less placed on the shelf while the Boys tried to run Felix Jones on outside sweeps, when they ran at all, despite the Giant injuries to the middle of their defense. San Diego does not have a strong run defense and if the Cowboys once again do not attempt to exploit that weakness, the coaching staff should come under major scrutiny.

San Diego was stunned by the loss of NT Jamal Williams before the season got under way, and their early season run defense suffered. They are still not a great run defense, but have bounced back a little since mid-season. They are currently the 21st ranked run defense, allowing 117.8 ypg and 8 TDs on the season, but have only allowed 1 rushing TD since Week 9.

Projections:
Tony Romo: 225 yds passing 1 TD, 2 Ints. / 15 yds rushing
Roy Williams: 45 yds receiving, 1 TD
Miles Austin: 70 yds receiving
Jason Witten: 45 yds receiving
Felix Jones: 60 yds rushing, 1 TD / 20 yds receiving
Marion Barber: 65 yds rushing, 1 TD / 5 yds receiving

Prediction: Chargers 28 Cowboys 24 (yes…another Cowboys loss in December…no surprise here)

Posted on: December 4, 2009 4:52 pm
 

An Eagle view of the Giants vs Cowboys

As an Eagles fan, I will be watching the Cowboys and Giants game very closely. It should be a classic NFC East battle. This is the way I see the game breaking down:

Passing Attack: Tony Romo got back on track against Oakland. Oakland does have a tough pass defense despite being a poor overall team, so Romo’s performance was impressive (even though I hate to admit it…just keeping it real). When the passing offense is clicking this is a unit that can move the ball quickly. Romo has one of the quickest releases in the NFL and his mobility allows him to buy some time and make plays down field where Miles Austin and Jason Witten’s size and speed combinations make them extremely difficult matchups. Roy Williams of course has first round talent, but just does not seem able to put it all together and has quickly fell down the ranks of the Cowboys pass game pecking order. I bet Jerry Jones is pissed that he gave up all those draft picks on a BUST. The Lions are still laughing.

The injury depleted Giants secondary got a major piece back with the return of Aaron Ross but the results just weren’t there against Atlanta and Denver the last two weeks. Whether it’s because of the departure of Steve Spagnola or just because they’ve been banged up a little, the D-line just isn’t putting as much pressure on opposing QBs as they used to, allowing teams to take advantage of the banged up secondary. Statistically the Giants still rank 4th in pass defense from a yardage allowed perspective (185.0 ypg), so they appear to be a sound pass defense but the 18 passing TDs they have allowed speaks otherwise. I can’t wait until Donovan McNabb gets to torch them.  

Running Attack: The Dallas running game was also able to get back on track on Thanksgiving Day, but the Raiders run defense is as piss-poor as their overall team. Felix Jones had his most explosive game since returning from his knee injury and could be ready for a very nice stretch run...if he doesn’t get injured. Marion Barber also had a big day and should be healed up from his earlier quadriceps pull. This could be one scary offense in December (if Romo doesn’t go back to his ways of old).

New York is ranked 11th in the league in run defense, allowing 107.8 ypg. However, just as their pass defense looks deceivingly good when only looking at the yards allowed, the team has allowed 15 rushing TDs, so it hasn’t been all that effective either. Marion Barber had his best game of the season against the Giants in Week 2 and now that Antonio Pierce has been lost for the season there isn’t much hope that they will shut him down this time either.

Looking into my crystal ball:
Tony Romo: 275 yds passing 2 TDs, 1 Int. / 20 yds rushing

On to the GMen:

Passing Attack: Eli Manning’s performance generally “fades” when the December winds blow into dirty Jersey, and this year he may have a built in excuse. His foot that has been hampered by plantar fasciitis is now further burdened by a potential stress fracture. This offseason all the talk was the inexperience at the wide out position, but Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks bring hope for an explosive duo at the wide receiver position going forward, and Steve Smith continues to be rock solid; the guy is a catching machine. This unit did very well in Dallas against the Cowboys and will need to do so once again if the Giant season is to be saved.

Dallas is allowing 224.9 ypg and has given up 15 passing TDs in 11 games so it’s been a vulnerable unit. Like the Giants, the Cowboys have been hit by injuries in the secondary and the team has not generated as consistent a pass rush as it did last season. This pass defense may be the Achilles heel to the Cowboys Super Bowl hopes if they end up facing Brett Favre or Drew Brees in January.

Running Attack: The Giants could be hurting at RB this week. Ahmad Bradshaw missed last week’s game in Denver with an ankle injury and his availability for this week’s game is not a certainty. Danny Ware who was being worked in as a 3rd down back and took Bradshaw’s reps last week was knocked out of that game with a concussion and will miss this week’s game. Brandon Jacobs has not been as effective this season as the last couple of seasons and no one really seems to know the reason why. Maybe his body is finally feeling the beatings that he took over the last few years. Jacobs seems to genuinely dislike the Cowboys (can you blame him?) so he should be fired up for this game and see almost every carry, but will he run with the power he’s shown in the past?

Dallas has been playing the run very well this season, allowing 102.7 ypg, and only 4 rushing TDs so it will not get any easier for Jacobs this week to turn his season back around.

Looking into my crystal ball:
Eli Manning: 295 yds passing, 3 TDs, 1 Int.

And the verdict is….Cowboys 20 Giants 27

If you think I’m wrong, you need your head examined, but let’s hear your argument…bring the noise.

Posted on: December 2, 2009 8:49 am
 

Don't take McNabb for granted

Statement from one "expert"

"Every industry has experts; those sages that dispense wisdom and truth from atop the mountain. In philosophy these learned men wear long, flowing robes and an equally lengthy beard is required. In fantasy football, a backwards ball cap, clipboard of notes, and half empty bottle of Coors Light is more likely. But are these guys truly experts? Do they know any better than the rest of us schmucks? Each week Analyzing the Experts will take aim at one or more of these so-called oracles and find out…"


Many people have been talking about the shortcomings of Donovan McNabb, but look at the bright side: he is not JaMarcus Russell. Lets take a look at the tragically shortened career of JaMarcus Russell, who made a living for three years with his ludicrous impersonation of an NFL quarterback. Seldom has a professional football player made me laugh as much as JaMarcus. It is a gift few athletes learn to embrace so fully. This weekend was a bit drearier, not having the Oakland QB’s antics to watch. Its easy to watch Peyton Manning light up a secondary or grab some wings while Chris Johnson rolled over another team’s front seven. But I’ve seen all that and something a little bit different both breaks the monotony and makes one appreciate the skill of the NFL’s superstars.

Which brings us back to JaMarcus. This was his third season of entertaining us and he did an amazing job. Who can’t laugh at his fourteen turnovers with only two touchdowns this year? There wasn’t another quarterback in the league that looked so hopelessly out of place and completely lost. And that was part of his charm. We all knew he was junk and the only reason he wasn’t serving Whoppers and fries in some small American town was the ingenuity of Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. There aren’t many teams willing to drive their fan base even deeper into the depths of suicidal depression just for entertainment value, but how else can their league-worst starting receivers and curious head coaching decisions be explained?

Will there ever be another third-year QB who can only run a fraction of the playbook since he can only read a portion of the field? There have certainly been numerous first overall draft pick busts, especially at the quarterback position. However, the Russell debacle has to rank pretty high on the disaster scale. Oakland did not exactly set him up to succeed considering the lack of talent around him; but he did nothing to help his case either. My favorite JaMarcus memories have to be his postgame interviews earlier this year. After a 38-0 Week Seven spanking by the Jets in which he went 6-11 for 61 yards and turned the ball over three times, JaMarcus said, “I don’t think it’s me personally. I really don’t. Do you?” After another loss to San Diego the following week, in which the Oakland signal caller went 14-22 for 109 yards with one interception, five sacks, and no scores, JaMarcus set the record straight. “I did a pretty good job.” How can the genius of Tom Brady or Drew Brees compete with that?

Even though the JaMarcus era seems to have ended in Oakland, there is still hope. Al Davis loves him and a new coaching regime will likely be installed next season. Will the Russell comedy act be renewed? I certainly hope so. It has to be better television viewing that watching the Cowboys squeak by the Redskins in a 7-6 snooze-fest. Until then, I still have the Cleveland Browns to laugh at.

So all of the Donovan McNabb haters in Philly, count your blessings.

Posted on: November 19, 2009 8:07 am
 

Iverson to take McNabbs spot on the Eagles

Ever since Allen Iverson packed up his guitar case and left Memphis, the cyberspace has been buzzing about his next potential landing spot. "The Sixers should sign him to fill seats," people excitingly regurgitated. Would it be entertaining? Sure, but I'd rather not see Iverson further tarnish his legacy while wearing a Sixers jersey. That's just my opinion.

Bob Ford has come up with an idea we can all surely get behind: Andy Reid should bring the future NBA Hall of Famer and former quarterback from Newport News, Virginia to play in Eagles green.

I'll admit it, the premise made me laugh, but Ford uses the goofy idea to bash Andy Reid, Joe Banner, and company for their smarter-than-you-are mentality (I'd pay a dollar to watch Andy Reid play Bill Belichick in a game of Connect Four):There is nothing, after all, that Andy Reid and the front office likes better than being smarter than everyone else. Here's another chance to prove that, when it comes to deep thinking, this franchise makes Stephen Hawking look like Norv Turner. These guys don't just think outside the box at One NovaCare Way. They don't even recognize the box. The box says boring things like, "You should really run the ball against the Oakland Raiders." Anybody with a whistle and a mail-order coaching certificate can do that. Where's the thrill?

And you do have to hand it to them. This Michael Vick thing has been everything they promised - with the possible exception of, well, everything. Here is a nice scenario for you: Vick, McNabb and Iverson all in the wildcat formation. The opposing team would be more confused than Andy Reid inside the redzone.

Ford goes on to tear down the decision to bring Vick in and says that Iverson would be even more electrifying taking snaps.

I think it's a fantastic idea and fully advocate the prospect of bringing Iverson in to play some quarterback for the Eagles. Only if he gets the Brian Westbrook treatment though, where he only has to show up on Sunday's for the game.

Everyone knows he'd be allergic to the NovaCare Complex. Something about practice.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com