Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Week 9 NFC East Highlights

It was an interesting week in the NFC East. At the top of the division, you had a big matchup between the Eagles and Cowboys, who were tied atop the division at 5-2 entering the game. Who would win this big game between two teams with a penchant for crapping down their legs in big games?? Would it end in a tie? If it did would Donovan McNabb know a game can end in a tie this time? Let’s go to the highlights! I don’t have permission to show them to you, but I’ll describe what I see, should be riveting..

- Hey there’s Brian Westbrook! He’s on the sideline, concussed, just like all my Fantasy running backs.

- 1st series of the game, Jeremy Maclin is open on a crossing pattern, and McNabb hits him in stride. Maclin celebrates by batting the ball in the air into the arms of Cowboys DB Gerald Sensabaugh. Wheee! That sets the Cowboys up in Philly territory.

- That leads to Romo throwing a quick out to Kevin…Ogletree? Who has a nice RAC that takes him inside the Philly 5 yard line.

- Now its WILDCAT time! Tashard Choice takes the direct snap and choo choo chooses to run it in from 2 yards out. RRROWRRR! 7-0 Cowboys.

- Fast forward to inside the 2 minute warning before half. Cowboys at their own 20, and Romo hits Patrick Crayton on a skinny post, and Crayton is off to the races. Until he gets caught from behind by a linebacker. Terrible.

- Of course, Crayton’s failure to outrun a man 60 pounds heavier than him leads to the Cowboys failing on 3 attempts to score inside the 10 yard line, culminated by Romo failing to see a wide open Jason Witten doing jumping jacks in the corner of the end zone on 3rd down. They have to settle for a FG and its 10-6 Cowboys at the half.

- The Eagles come out in the second half, and McNabb does a nice job evading the rush and dumping off to LeSean McCoy who turns it into a huge gain down to the Dallas 15. If this were Jay Cutler, he would have held the ball looking vainly for a receiver downfield, then gotten sacked, and had everyone feel bad for him that he has no offensive line.

- 2 plays later, McNabb runs around and then throws a Don Majkowski special (meaning I thinks he was over the line of scrimmage) to Brent Celek for a TD. Eagles lead 13-10.

- We’re late in the 3rd quarter now. McNabb tries to hit Jeremy Maclin on the post downfield, but he’s picked off by Mike Jenkins just past midfield. Jenkins flaps his arms like a bird. Caw! Caw! So far that’s twice McNabb’s been picked off trying to hook up with Maclin.

- Romo then throws that quick out again, this time to Roy Williams, who picks up about 20 yards and gets inside the Philly 30.

- 3rd and 5 from the 15, Romo is pressured and slings it to Williams, who can’t come up with it. Field goal time. And we’re tied at 13 early in Q4.

- McNabb converts a big 3rd and 12, finding Maclin near the sideline.

- Here’s where the game turns. 3rd and 1 just inside the 50. McCoy gets stuffed setting up 4th and 1. McNabb runs the sneak, and the ball is spotted a good half yard short of the first down marker. Ball goes over on downs to Dallas and there is jubilation.

- Andy Reid then challenges the spot. Eagles backup TE Alex Smith pumps his fist and whoops it up as Reid throws the red flag, because we know Andy Reid is soooo successful on challenges.

- The replay is apparently inconclusive, and the spot and the call stand. Which I think was the right call. McNabb’s sneak attempt was horrible, looked like his plan was just to lay on top of people while holding the ball near his crotch. I would deny him the 1st down on principle.

- Now the Cowboys face a 3rd and 14 at midfield, and Romo places the ball nicely between the corner and safety, where it drops into the waiting hands of Miles Austin, who runs it in for the go ahead score. Cowboys lead 20-13 with 8 minutes left.

- Eagles quickly get in Dallas territory, but McNabb takes a sack on 3rd and long. There’s 5 minutes left and the Eagles trail by 7, but Reid elects to send David Akers out for a 52 yard field goal, which he makes. But now the Eagles still need a touchdown and now they don’t have the ball anymore. Sooo..

- The Cowboys get a first down run from Marion the Barbarian, then a big 3rd and 3 conversion from Romo to Witten, and it’s game over. The Eagles never get the ball back. Andy Reid goes back to his Drug Emporium to ponder his decision.

So, the Cowboys get a big win on the road to move to 6-2 and first place in the NFC East, so they are well on their way to a first round playoff exit, just like the good old days. The free falling Giants, meanwhile, welcomed the 4-3 Chargers, who since it’s November are about ready to start playing for real now. Let’s go to the magical highlight machine..

- This is the first meeting between QB Class of 2004 valedictorians Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. Only one can survive.

- Not much happens for the first 8 minutes until Lawrence Tynes lines up for a field goal, and well, he just doesn’t feel like kicking the ball apparently. Kind of a reverse Lucy and Charlie Brown as the Scotsman runs right past the ball. Jeff Feagles picks it up and is unable to use his Fran Tarkenton-like broken field skills to make a play. Still 0-0.

- Rivers then goes to work near midfield, hitting Vincent Jackson down to the Giant 30 yard line.

- On 3rd and 10, Rivers then astutely finds Antonio Gates being covered by someone wearing a number in the 90s, which I’m pretty sure is not a very good matchup, and now the Chargers have first and goal inside the 10.

- Very next play, Rivers hits VJax on a post in the end zone and its 7-0 Chargers.

- Now it’s time for Eli Manning to go to work, and justify the Giants trading for him 5 years ago. Because winning the Super Bowl means nothing if he does not defeat Philip Rivers. Here’s a big 3rd and long conversion to Steve Smith. Can’t anyone defend a 3rd and 15 in this league anymore? Geez, how hard is it?

- 3rd and 10 now on the Chargers 25. Manning takes a 20 step drop and has all day to cycle thru his progressions, and finds his 6th option, Darcy…Johnson? For a first down.

- That sets up another 3rd down, this time 3rd and goal from the five. Eli again has plenty of time, and dinks it to Steve Smith for what feels like his first touchdown since before anyone knew there were 2 Steve Smiths, and we’re tied at 7.

- We move to the second half. Rivers bamboozles the Giants with a play action fake, then looks for VJ in the endzone. It’s incomplete, but Corey Webster’s defensive technique of slapping Jackson in the facemask is not legal. So it’s 1st and goal from the 1, and Rivers finds the great Kris Wilson on a play action pass to make it 14-7 SD.

- Giants get the ball back and Hakeem Nicks turns a bubble screen into a 29 yard gain into Charger territory. Setting up a Tynes field goal to make it 14-10 Chargers.

- Manning is on fire now, he hits Mario Manningham over the middle setting up the Giants in the red zone.

- 2nd and goal Manning finds New Jersey’s other Boss, Kevin Boss, for a TD to make it 17-14 Big Blue.

- It seems like nobody has used a running play in this game.

- 3 ½ minutes left to play now, Chargers on their own 20. Rivers gets PICKED OFF by Terrell Thomas, who returns it to the 4. Now all the Giants need to do is give it to one of their vaunted running backs and they are up by 2 scores with barely any time left. This game is Ovah! Right?!?

- No! Because the Giants then get a holding penalty which pushes them back 10 yards.

- They can’t convert, have to kick a field goal, and they are up by only 6 with just under 2 minutes left. Uh ohhhhh.

- And Rivers is running the minute drill very nicely, hitting Malcolm Floyd over the middle to get into plus territory.

- Hey the middle of the field is wide open again! Darren Sproles will take 25 more yards dankyouverymuch.

- And then why not leave the guy who has caught 1 TD pass and set up another be open by 5 yards near the pylon for the winning score! Run around Philip Rivers! You are vindicated!

- Shawn Merriman sacks Eli on the last desperation play of the game and gives us a Lights Out dance, which we’ll rename the “Not So Good Since the Steroid Suspension” dance.

Chargers win 21-20 to go to 5-3 on the season, despite generating only 226 yards of total offense, all of which I think came on the last drive of the game. The Giants have now lost 4 in a row, and are stuck in a shame spiral.

Speaking of shame, the Redskins are no strangers to that. But they’ve had a bye week to do some soul searching, and who knows what Sherm Lewis would have on his bingo card for this game in Atlanta against a Falcons team coming off a short week following an MNF loss in the Superdome. Aaaaaaand…action!

- Well waddaya know, the Falcons are already on the Redskins 1 yard line. Natty Ice fakes to Turner and waggles to Gonzalez in the end zone and it’s 7-0 Falcons. So with the Redskins offense it’s pretty much game over.

- However, we press on. Here’s Clinton Portis getting knocked silly. See you in 2010, Clinton.

- The Redskins keep being all Redskin-like. Campbell tries to throw a pass to Fred Davis, which bounces off his hands to Falcon DB Chris Owens, who then strolls 50 yards to the end zone to make it 14-0 Atlanta.

- For some reason they decide to keep playing. Ryan pitches to Michael Turner, and well, it would have been a touchdown if they were playing flag football on a 500 yard field. 21-0 Falcons.

- The Redskins are frustrated with life, so LaRon Landry hits Ryan late as he scrambles out of bounds. The stupid part was this happened on the Falcons sideline, so Landry is then mobbed by a bunch of opposing players. The Silver Fox, Mike Smith gets all up in his face.

- This being the Redskins and pretty much nobody caring about anything, only one player comes to Landry’s defense as he’s mobbed by about 30 Falcons players.

- It’s 24-3 in the second half now. And the Redskins somehow have managed to get to the Falcons 1 yard line. But it is 4th down. They hand off to Ladell Betts who punches it in. 24-10 Falcons.

- 4th quarter now, and the Redskins are threatening again? The fuck? Campbell rolls out and hits Todd Yoder in the corner of the end zone. Yoder uses his vast knowledge of the Force to somehow keep both feet in bounds, and the Redskins only trail by 7 in the 4th quarter? BINGO!

- This burst of competitiveness flames out though. On the ensuing possession Michael Turner breaks thru the lines and a few arm tackles to go 60 some yards and end the charade. Falcons win 31-17.

- Atlanta is 5-3 and along with the Eagles are currently in the drivers seat for the 2 NFC Wildcard spots. The Redskins are 2-6.

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