Archive: November, 2008
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Updated at 3:15 p.m.:
Plaxico Burress'lawyer tells the Associated Press that the Giants wide receiver will be charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
In an e-mail to the AP, attorney Benjamin Brafman said Burress will turn himself in Monday morning and plead not guilty.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comGiants wide receiver Plaxico Burress spent Friday night in the hospital after accidentally shooting himself in the leg, Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com reports.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that the incident took place in a Manhattan nightclub.
ESPN.com's John Clayton also reports that the incident took place at a club.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Here are my 10 observations from the Eagles' 48-20 win over the Cardinals:
1. With the game less than four minutes old, it seemed like maybe things would be different, for one night at least. The Eagles' offense faced a dreaded third-and-one. I do these observations every week, and every week at least one is dedicated to a failed short-yardage attempt. Enter Kyle Eckel. The local kid, who was active for the first time all season. Right up the middle. Two yards. Standing ovation. What if this is all the Eagles needed all year to solve their short-yardage woes? A 237-pound bruiser. Now, maybe the short-yardage problems will start back up again next week against the Giants. But maybe not. Being a sports fan is maddening sometimes, isn't it?
2. It seemed like the Eagles were running on first down early much more than they have in previous weeks, so I decided to look it up. Out of 21 first downs in the first half, they ran nine times and threw 12 times. Seems like a much better ratio than last week against Baltimore, right? Not exactly. Against the Ravens in the first half, the Eagles ran on first down six times and passed five times. I was stunned when I saw those numbers. I guess sometimes you have to take an inch back to go a mile forward.
3. "They're just gonna run it all night," said Cris Collinsworth after a first-half Brian Westbrook touchdown. On the list of "Least likely things you thought you'd hear during last night's game," where does that rank? By the way, loved the announcing team of Collinsworth and Bob Papa. Gotta be one of the best out there right now.
4. A couple game balls to players that might otherwise go unnoticed. On offense, the line and specifically Todd Herremans. Any time you actually notice (in a positive manner) an offensive lineman that much, you know he's doing a great job, including a big block on Westbrook's fourth touchdown. In fact, the line was as big a key as any to the offensive precision. And on defense, safety Quintin Mikell, who's really come on as of late. He stuffed J.J. Arrington on a third down at the beginning of the second quarter and had an interception in the first.
5. The optimist says...
So this is what it looks like when everything's running the way it's supposed to, huh? Offensively, the line showed that talent is not the problem. A commitment to the ground game. A performance from Brian Westbrook that reminded all of us why he's one of the all-timers to ever play for the Birds. And Donovan McNabb responding. Defensively, pressure on the quarterback once again and a great performance from the secondary despite Asante Samuel being sidelined. And don't forget special teams. David Akers is in a groove, and the Eagles have return men who are a threat to score every time they touch the ball. Back in 2006, there was a certain Eagles team that was 5-6 entering Week 12. Five straight wins, including three on the road against NFC East opponents, led to a playoff berth. The key was a balanced offense and an efficient quarterback. Does that sound like a formula you might be interested in?
6. The pessimist says...
Everyone relax and take a deep breath. It was one win. The Cardinals have beat up on a weak NFC West all year. Anyone who thinks they are legit isn't paying attention. Westbrook had a great game, but do you really think he's staying healthy through this stretch run? Now Max Jean-Gilles is out for the season? That leaves us with a third-string guard in the starting lineup. Good luck blocking the Giants next weekend.
7. DeSean Jackson chest bumping Reid might be my favorite moment of the year. Watching this team has become a chore at times this season. But for one night at least, you allowed yourself to give a little fist-pump, and at least in the back of your mind say, 'Hey, maybe it's not over quite yet.'
8. Not specific to the Eagles game, but have to get something off my chest. Jesse McCartney and The Jonas Brothers? Really, NFL? Did your audience just shift to 14-year-old girls? I don't get it. I imagine every household without girls between the ages of 7 and 16 was thoroughly confused at the entertainment choices. My Dad and I were trying to decide who weighed more -- the fella with the "Big Rob" jersey or the three Jonas Brothers combined. I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this one.
9. To take a page out of Bob Brookover's Up-Down drill, thumbs down to Marshall Faulk. On NFL Network's pre-game show, he continued the national media's streak of mentioning Santa Clause before an Eagles game. When talking about Reid's decision to bench McNabb, Faulk said:
"I'm thinking he felt pressure from these fans because these fans are something special. I mean they booed Santa Clause."
Thank you for this original and creative analysis Marshall. It's nuggets and insights like this that make us want to tune in.
10. And finally, a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. The comments and readership have really picked up over the last month. We kept firing and are getting into a nice rhythm. I realized that I needed to get you guys in a better position to voice your opinion. Are we satisfied here at MTC? Not at all. But we're headed in the right direction. If there are things you like/dislike about the blog, please e-mail me or comment below and I will try to adjust accordingly. Thanks again.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comDeion Sanders had some not-so-nice things to say about Eagles fans tonight after the team's 48-20 win over the Cardinals.
Donovan McNabb arrived at the NFL Network's set at the Linc for a post-game interview. Many fans stayed in the stands to applaud McNabb, who threw four touchdowns in the victory.
As fans chanted McNabb's name, Sanders interrupted.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comThe NFL Network's Scott Hansen talked to Donovan McNabb in an interview that aired before tonight's game. Here's a quick recap of what McNabb said. Note: McNabb did not speak in the third person. I paraphrased the questions and answers. These are not direct quotes.
Q: Andy Reid has said many times that Donovan needs to go back an inch to go a mile forward. What does that mean?
A: Donovan makes a Roadrunner joke, before saying there are a bunch of ways to look at it. Donovan doesn’t look at it in a sense of sitting down to see what’s going on and a lightbulb clicks to show you how to play the game. He knows how to play the game. He looks at it like everyone else – he was benched.
A: Donovan is fine. Is it about Donovan? It goes beyond that. When it happened [the benching], afterwards, was it the right move? That’s a question Donovan can’t answer. It’s a question someone else has to answer.
Q: How is Donovan's relationship with Andy Reid?
A: It hasn’t changed. He’s the coach. He makes the decisions. All Donovan can do is prepare himself. Anything else, you’d have to ask Andy or Jeffrey or Joe Banner to find out why and how they felt.
A: Not right now. The conversation will be brought up but there’s no need right now.
A: [Note: I got the exact quote to this answer]
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comHere's our weekly look at who's picking the Eagles, along with some links that I didn't get to earlier in the week. I'll be here at 7:45 for our in-game Eagles-Cardinals chat.
And oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving.
Check out Eagletarian for the Daily News' staff picks.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Last week: 11-4
Titans at LionsJust what the TV execs dialed up, right? The 11-1 Titans travel to Detroit to take on the 0-11 Lions in a matchup with major playoff implications. Well, not quite. What worries me about the Titans: For a team that's calling card is supposed to be its ground game and defense, the Titans' rushing game hasn't exactly been dominant lately. In the last three weeks, Tennessee has gone for 20, 114 and 45 yards on the ground respectively.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comESPN's Monday Night Countdown crew had quite a lengthy discussion about Donovan McNabb, Andy Reid and the Eagles during yesterday's show.
Among the topics discussed: Should Reid have been the one to tell McNabb he was being benched?
Analyst and former coach Mike Ditka said if he were in Reid's shoes, he would have told his quarterback: