Monday, January 19, 2009

Choke Job

That was the #3 defense in the NFL last night, #1 in the red zone. Hadn't given up more than 14 points in 7 straight games. Zero points in the fourth quarter during the playoffs. Hard to tell, wasn't it?

That was the highest-scoring Eagles offense in team history. Sure didn't look like it in that six-point first-half, eh?

That was the most accurate kicker in Eagles history shanking an extra point and missing a FG.

It was a choke job for the coaches, who unfathomably kept blitzing on 3rd-and-long even though Warner calmly threw hot routes and dumpoffs to convert 3rd-and-17, 3rd-and-10, and 3rd-and-9 (twice). A choke job for the defense, who didn't make a single red zone stop, couldn't stop the Cardinals on the last drive, took ridiculous penalties, and had trouble tackling. A choke job for Quintin Demps, who's still spinning around and looking for that rainbow pass from Warner. A choke job for Greg Lewis, dropping a long ball that would have changed momentum early in the game. A choke job for McNabb, missing open receivers early and then throwing behind Baskett on a 5-yard crossing route when the game was on the line. How many fourth-quarter game-tying or winning drives does that make it for McNabb this season? Still zero.

It was a blast to watch the Eagles knock the Cowboys and the Giants out of the playoffs...I'm appreciative of that. But when that elusive Super Bowl opportunity fell into their collective lap, they fumbled it away. It's a shame to think that some of the best players in Eagles' history - Thomas, Runyan, Dawkins, McNabb, Westbrook - are going to end their careers in Philadelphia without a Super Bowl victory, but it's sure looking that way now.

Maybe the Eagles can borrow one of the Steelers' six Lombardi Trophies, since I'm not sure they'll have enough room in their display case for all of them.


At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For once I think the blame lies more at the feet of the defense than McNabb. Sure McNabb underthrew, overthrew, and threw behind his receivers. But with 5 minutes to go the Eagles had the lead 25-24 because the offense did what it was supposed to do: put points on the board (they did hang 19 unanswered on Arizona IIRC.) However when the defense is unable to make stops in quarters 1, 2, and 4 what you get is pretty much what we got. Frustration frustration frustration.

Pittsburgh will have their hands full with Arizona's weapons and their ability to balance their attack. Should make for a good SuperBowl, still too early for me to abandon my math books and make a pick. Oddsmakers have Pitt as 7 point favorites, but I hate Arizona being that big an underdog. Pitt doesn't have a stellar secondary while Arizona has two fantastic receivers, so the potential for Pitt giving up big plays is all too real.....


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