Archive: December, 2008
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comIn a bizarre game (aren't they all this time of year?), the Bears somehow escaped with a 20-17 overtime victory tonight against the Packers.
What does it mean for the Eagles? Their slim playoff hopes just got a little slimmer. Three things, instead of two, have to happen next weekend for them to get in: a victory over the Cowboys; a Bucs loss to the Raiders; and either a Vikings loss to the Giants OR a Bears loss to the Texans.
The Bears can get in two different ways. The first is simple. A Chicago win and a Minnesota loss gives the Bears the division. The other way is a Bears win combined with losses from BOTH the Bucs and Cowboys would give Chicago a wild-card berth.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comIf the Cowboys lose to the Eagles this weekend and miss the playoffs, will Wade Phillips return as head coach?
Is he gone regardless?
Those are the questions being tossed around in the Dallas papers this Monday afternoon. If you believe the words coming out of Jerry Jones' mouth, Phillips will be back.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comMy 10 observations from the Eagles' 10-3 loss to the Redskins this evening:
1. At 3:34 p.m., I received a text from my buddy C-Nast. Lifelong Eagles fan, who is now living in Baltimore. The message read: yeah buddy. sorry jgarcia. Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia had just been picked off by San Diego's Antoine Cason, who returned it 59 yards for a touchdown, giving the Chargers a 41-24 lead. Going into this weekend, we all knew the scenario. Win out and hope for one loss from either the Bucs or Falcons in the final two weeks. It was setting up to be a perfect football weekend. The Cowboys turned the lights off on Texas Stadium with a 33-24 loss to the Ravens, and the Bucs came up short against the Chargers. Everything was set up perfectly. All the Eagles had to do was win their final two games, and they were in. This season, which has seen the benching of Donovan McNabb, missed chances against the Cowboys and Bears and a tie to the pathetic Bengals, could actually be headed in a positive direction.
2. At 3:52 p.m., I finally responded to C-Nast: please don't blow this haha. Because even with everything set up perfectly, this was still the Eagles, and that is still the mindset. Regardless of how well things are set up, disaster is just around the corner. Things never end well. When you think they're going to, it's just the Football Gods messing with your mind. For 25 years, this mentality was true for following all of the Philadelphia teams. But then the Phillies won the World Series. And we started asking questions like Will this change how we view sports in this city? And the answer is no, not until pitchers and catchers report at least.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comHere's what Donovan McNabb said after the Eagles' 10-3 loss to the Redskins. Again, not exact quotes, but paraphrasing so I could get the post up quick:
Why did they get off to such a slow start?
Donovan says it’s not being able to convert on third down like they were successful with in previous games. It wasn’t just a slow start. If you don’t convert on third down and continue drives, that stalls you and you find yourself on the sideleine waiting for that next opportunity. Early on they couldn’t convert, which cost them more plays and a chance to get into a rhythm. And then they stalled again later. You can’t win games that way. You give the other team too many opportunities to score points and today they capitalized on them.
How important was field position?
Donovan says that’s really not an issue. They’ve had long drives before and have come up with big plays. Today it was just off. It was something offensively that hasn’t happened in awhile. All they can do is look at the mistakes and come out next week and play well.
Why did so many little things go wrong?
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comHere's a recap of what Andy Reid said after today's loss to the Redskins. As usual I've paraphrased so I could get the post up quickly.
Did dropped passes cost them the game?
Andy says there were a lot of things that went into it. He wouldn't just point the dropped passes.
Given the circumstances, why did they get off to a slow start?
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comI'm not sure it even matters after the Eagles were able to muster just three points against the Redskins, but some of you asked in the chat, so here's what needs to happen for the Eagles to get into the playoffs:
1. The Eagles have to beat the Cowboys at home next week.
2. The Bucs would have to lose to the Raiders next week.
3. The Bears have to lose one of their final two games OR the Vikings lose next week. Chicago faces the Packers at home tomorrow night and is at Houston in Week 17. Minnesota faces the Giants.
The above scenario would make the Eagles 9-6-1, the Cowboys 9-7, the Bears 9-7 or 8-8, the Vikings 9-7 and the Bucs 9-7. That would leave the Falcons as the No. 5 seed and the Eagles as the No. 6 seed.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comThe Eagles got the loss they needed this afternoon as the Bucs fell to the Chargers, 41-24, in Tampa. So what does it mean? Win out and you’re in. That’s right. The Birds control their own destiny. A win today against the Redskins and a victory next week against the Cowboys, and the Eagles will earn a wild-card berth.
Now if the Eagles lose today, they still have a shot to get in. They would have to beat the Cowboys next week, hope the Bucs lose to the Raiders and get a loss from the Bears in one of their final two games.
The Eagles would also get in if they lose today, win next week, the Falcons lose their remaining two games AND the Bears lose one of their final two. Atlanta plays the Vikings today at 4:15 and the Rams in Week 17. The Bears play the Packers on Monday night and the Texans next week.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comESPN and NFL Network report that quarterback Jeff Garcia will start today for the Bucs, despite being limited in practice all week.
Garcia (suffering from a calf injury) and the Bucs take on the Chargers at 1 p.m. in Tampa. The Eagles, and now the Cowboys, will both be rooting for a little bit of help from San Diego.
Garcia didn't play last week in Tampa's loss to the Falcons.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comI'm usually an NFL Network fan, but a segment on this morning's pre-game show was truly difficult to sit through.
Warren Sapp threw on a Santa hat and beame "Sapp O'Claus," handing out gifts to various people around the NFL. Sapp's first gift was for Donovan McNabb. He built up the suspense, saying he had something for McNabb, who needed a little refresher on the rules. A woman in a Santa's helper outfit handed Sapp a gift bag, but whoever was in charge of actually putting the gifts in the bag, screwed up. The bag was empty. After a quick search, Sapp found the gift -- a rulebook, obviously mocking McNabb for not knowing there were ties.
Meanwhile, Marshall Faulk took the whole fake laughing thing to another level, while the host noted that this was truly a terrible segment. I would have to agree.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.comFollowing tonight's 33-24 loss to the Ravens, Tony Romo and Terrell Owens were asked about next week's matchup with the Eagles at the Linc. Here's some of what they had to say:
Does it help that next week is against a division opponent so there won't be as many surprises?
Romo:"Well I don't know that it helps. It's going to be really hard to play them up there. I know that if they win tomorrow, they're playing for the same thing we are. Obviously you'd love to avoid that early playoff game. But if someone loses tomorrow, we obviously have a playoff game next week so we're going to approach it that way. We're gonna give great effort in practice this week and we're gonna come back and we're gonna play better as a football team and as a unit."