Steve Olenski
Nov 12 th 2007

Game - Eagles 33 Redskins 25

“Philadelphia is the only city where you can experience the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day."

Driving home from MQ's yesterday, this now infamous quote from one Michael Jack Schmidt popped into my head. I think it was quite apropos, too, as I think if there was ever a win that that should be accompanied with some agony to it, this is it.

A lot to cover, so let's get right to it.

Mr. Smith was in Washington?

As per the norm, I did not set to scribing the TMA until many hours had passed since the final gun went off. And because of this I am able to incorporate the following ridiculous comment I heard on ESPN during the 7PM edition of SportsCenter.

The host was speaking to “NFL Expert” Michael Smith about the Eagles victory and Mr. Smith was simply glowing in his praise of Donovan McNabb and the whole team, even going so far to say “the defense came to play today.”

Now having heard Mr. Smith's heaping of accolades on the Eagles one would assume he did NOT actually see the game but rather looked at the outcome, saw the stats and drew his own conclusion. And I will be the first to admit that if one ONLY looks at the stats, it surely looks like Donovan and the whole team played fairly well.

Those of us who actually saw the game know otherwise.

But it turns out Mr. Smith DID in fact see the game, making reference to a conversation he had with Donovan after the game. On the other hand, perhaps Mr. Smith was NOT in attendance and/or did NOT watch the game. Perhaps he only spoke to Donovan on the phone after the game?

Regardless, for him to go on national TV under the guise of “NFL Expert” and sing the praises of the Donovan and the Defense is pretty unprofessional in my estimation. Those around the country hearing this “Expert” give his take on the game plus what they see in the boxscore will now draw the conclusion that the Eagles played well.

Take Out the Papers & the Thrash…

Tell me that was just a bad dream. Tell me there's no way that was actually James Thrash scoring not one BUT two TDs. Pinch me and wake me up, please. Folks, that's pretty pathetic. I realize he beat William James on one of them so that doesn't really count cause I could beat William James. But he beat Sheldon Brown on the other.

Mix in the touchdown by Keenan McCardell who beat Lito Sheppard, badly, and you're looking at two guys in Thrash and McCardell who are a combined 187 years old, give or take a few years. Good thing the Defense came to play, right Mr. Smith?

It Only Takes A Minute…

Or in this case a minute and seventeen seconds. As in the last 1:17 of the First Half. Two very interesting things happened that MQ and I noticed and wonder if you did as well.

On Third and 3 the Redskins Clinton Portis ran for what appeared to be the First Down, at least very close to it. Too close as it turned out for an astute Andy Reid. For some reason, the Referee immediately signaled First Down. But Reid, realizing that at the very least there should be a measurement, called a timeout, essentially to call for the sticks to come out.

Sure enough, Portis was stopped a yard short and the Skins had to punt. Kudos to Reid for quickly surmising that Portis was in fact short and calling the timeout to measure.

Following the punt, the Eagles took possession at their own 17. Two plays later, with :44 seconds showing on the clock, McNabb hit Kevin Curtis for an 9-yard gain yet only 1 second ticked off the clock. Now the official boxscore will show that :49 seconds were on the clock and that may have been, officially. But onscreen, the clock read :44 seconds before the Curtis catch and :43 after.

What's Good for the Goose…

I love FOX sideline reporter Tony Siragusa. I really do. Combining a sense of humor with his own playing experience, I think he adds some very interesting & knowledgeable insight into a game. And who cares if he gets his words mixed up from time to time.

I mean who cares if at one point he referred to the Eagles offensive players as “offenders” or the Eagles Defense as being “skeptical.”

But when he sang the praises of the Eagles Offensive Line following Brian Westbrook's third touchdown… Tony, booby, the Redskins LET him score! Their Defense stepped aside, literally, and let him walk into the end zone to preserve time for their offense.

But I still love ya, Goose.

Honesty, is Such a Lonely Word…

10 points for everyone who knew that line was from the Billy Joel song, Honesty . There's another line from the song that reads “Honesty… is hardly ever heard. And mostly what I need from you.”

Why do I use these lyrics from this particular song?

Because we ALL need to be honest with ourselves.

First and foremost, these are two pretty mediocre-to-bad football teams. The fact of the matter is the statistics from this game belie how poorly the Eagles played, save for the second half of the Fourth Quarter. The Redskins could not give this game away or gift-wrap it any better if they tried. Countless dumb penalties on Defense which were often key plays that helped sustain Eagles drives to mindless penalties on Offense, the False Start on TE Chris Cooley comes to mind — mixed in with poor clock management and the Redskins much more lost this game than the Eagles won it.

The honesty rule has to apply to #5 as well. 20/28 for 251 yards, 4 TDs & NO picks. Wow it sure looks like Donovan McNabb had a great game.


You know how they say the numbers don't lie? Well these numbers are a downright prevarication! (yeah I know that word means lie, but it sounds so more powerful, doesn't it?)

Poor decision making including throwing into coverage and holding onto the ball way too long. Throwing off his back foot instead of stepping into the throw. And on and on.

Does anyone really think the TD throw to Reggie Brown was anything but a great catch on a simply bad throw?

The Defense. Save for that goal line stand in the Fourth Quarter, the Eagles Defense was powerless to stop the Redskins. And yes that was Darren Howard you saw making a very key tackle in that series. And yes Bigfoot will be our next president.

Has anyone seen Trent Cole? He and his DL mates managed absolutely no pass rush of any kind. None.

Special Teams. Is the end coming for David Akers? Is it time to think about getting a new kicker? Short kickoffs. Missed field goals. Yeah, I know it was from 53 but in years past, this was money in the bank, wasn't it? And for the love of all things holy, can the Eagles finally come to the realization that having a good coverage unit can greatly affect the outcome of the game, i.e. field position? The Eagles coverage teams are deplorable. Period. Where's the wedge buster? Where's the guy who sacrifices himself to break the wedge? Stop looking. The Eagles don't have one. I don't know if its coaching, personnel or both. But clearly this is one facet Andy Reid, et al have overlooked for far too long. It's almost like Buddy Ryan and the offense.

The Bottom Line…

As hard as it to believe, the Eagles are very much still in the Playoff picture in the simply dreadful NFC. A win next week over the hapless Fish puts them at .500, for at least one week anyway as the following week they travel to Foxboro to become the Pats next victim on their march to immortality.

The bottom line is this “win” is akin to putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. You may temporarily stop the bleeding but you're only delaying the inevitable.

‘Til next time.
As always, time's yours, food's mine.

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© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla

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