Some random NFC East thoughts, mostly bitter ones

"That's just an amazing play by Brian Urlacher. At the snap, he ran out of the stadium, stopped a bank robbery, hopped a flight to LA, punched Ashton Kutcher in the face, stopped home, baked the most amazing peanut butter cookies ever, took a dump, rented a helicopter, had the pilot fly over the stadium, parachuted down, and stopped LeSean McCoy for an 8 yard gain. What a player!

– Tom Coughlin should be a very strong candidate for coach of the year.  Go read this.  It’s not just for Giants fans either – kinda funny for everyone, really.  So go.  I’ll wait.  Done?  Alright.  Let’s just say that I’m more than a little impressed with the job he has done to get his team to 6-2.

– The Eagles lead the division with a +21 point differential.  Too bad their “win-loss differential” is -2.  They’ve outscored their opponents 179-122 in the first three quarters.  They’ve been outscored 24-60 in the 4th.

– Mario Manningham’s stupidity may have actually helped the Giants win.  After Manningham scored with 3:03 to go, he felt the need to rub it in to one of the Pats’ DBs.  Flag, unsportmanslike, 15 yards on the kickoff.  The Pats get better field position, drive through the Giants D like a hot knife through butter, bada bing bada boom, score a little too quickly, and leave enough time on the clock for Eli to work his magic and win the game.

– I usually like Jon Gruden, because he’ll at least show stuff during the game that I might have otherwise missed.  But holy cow, he was irritating last night.  Every time Brian Urlacher was anywhere remotely close to a play, we heard something like this (skip to 0:50).

– The Eagles have been favored in every game they’ve played this year – Rams (-5), Falcons (-2.5), Giants (-5.5), Niners (-8.5), Bills (-2.5), Redskins (-1.5), Cowboys (-3.5), Bears (-8).  The line for Cards-Eagles opened up at Eagles -14.  Lol.

– Since Laurent Robinson joined the Cowboys, he has a stat line of 24-368-2.  Over that same span, Dez Bryant is 23-372-3, and Miles Austin is 14-170-0.

No word yet from Jason Avant if Eagles fans are allowed to be mad at this latest loss.  Will keep everyone posted.

– In 2 weeks the Cowboys  run D has gone from strength to concern.  Heading into Philly, they had the well-publicized #1 rush D in the league.  Two games and 401 rushing yards later, they’re now 10th.  They’ll have to deal with Fred Jackson this week.

– Nitpicking here, but… We’ve all seen the Hail Mary work, right?  Off the top of your head, try to think of 5.  Not that hard, right?  Now, off the top of your head, try to think of one play in NFL history where a team lateraled like 10 times on their way down the field and actually scored.  There’s one that I know of.  The Eagles were in “Hail Mary distance” at the end of the game last night, and went with the lateral play, which of course never even happened because DeSean Jackson dropped the pass.  Now, obviously, the Hail Mary is still extremely low percentage, but still, but can we at least pretend like we care and give the higher percentage play a shot?

– If you haven’t heard the Redskins radio call of their lone TD Sunday, go.

(Cont after the jump)…

– Jason Peters and Lesean McCoy are absolute star players.

– Atrocious officiating in the NFL continues.  That roughing the passer call that went against Philly was laughable last night.  The officials basically handed Chicago 4 points.  Hate to sound like a homer there – the Eagles got a bad one earlier this season in their favor against the Falcons on a John Abraham “hit.”  It’s incredible to me how officials have almost no accountability.  Personally, I think the officials rely on replay far too much.  Remember Matt Forte’s second fumble?  It was about as obvious as you can get, and somehow the officials missed it.  Remember the laughable call against Philly where Michael Vick was standing at the 12, threw to DeSean Jackson at the 9, and they called it a lateral?  No worries… the Eagles will just use a challenge.  And people seem to just accept that.  They shouldn’t.  Teams shouldn’t have to constantly challenge absurdly obvious calls.  This isn’t Scrabble.  It’s football.  Imagine if there was no replay in the NFL.  Bad calls would be the theme of the entire league… every season.

– I feel pretty confident in saying that right now the Redskins have the worst offense in the league.  A lot of people are calling for Kyle Shanahan’s head, but really, what can you reasonably expect from the kind of the junk the Skins are putting on the field?

– I think we’re in for an interesting offseason with DeSean Jackson.  He’s going to want more than what the Eagles should offer him.  Frankly, he doesn’t deserve it.  He hasn’t made the big plays this year, and he has missed opportunities that have been there.  Some team out there is going to be willing to grossly overpay him.  Do the Eagles tag him?  It’ll cost them between $9.4 and $9.8 million to do so, according to NFP’s Andrew Brandt.  Do they try to tag and trade him? That gets messy because a team would have to pay him AND give up high pick(s).  Do they let him test the open market?  I’m almost tempted to say that I think it’s more likely he’s not an Eagle in 2012.  Don’t hold me to that though.  Needs more thought.

– Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie looked so good in training camp.  Athleticism, speed, crazy ups.  Looked like he was really going to fit in nicely.  Nope.  He’s been awful.  The Eagles have gotten truly awful performances from a bunch of players this season.  Early on it was Casey Matthews.  Then Jarrad Page.  Ronnie Brown chipped in a little.  Now it’s DRC.  Awfulness around the rest of the NFC East: Brooking/James against Philly, Reed Doughty Week 1 against the Giants, Rex Grossman of course.  The only team that hasn’t gotten a truly disgusting performance so far has been the Giants.

– Really looking forward to Giants-Niners this week.  Two overachieving, tough-minded teams.  That’s going to be a great one – I can see it already.

– Tommy Lawlor described the play of DeSean Jackson, DRC, and Asante Samuel last night as “soft.”  Can’t say I disagree.

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  15. PierreC says:

    Hey Jimmy, I saw Casey Matthews on the field for several defensive snaps. Do you know why he’s in there? Is Castillo silently trying to play him?

    1. Hmmm… Hadn’t noticed him. I may not get to the game tape this week since its already Wednesday, but I’ll look for him going forward.

  16. packimop says:

    Just an observation. When Gould kicked the ball out of bounds on a kickoff, isn’t the ball supposed to be placed at the 45 this year? Henery kicked it OB a week or two before that and the ball got placed on the 45. Wtf was that all about and how comes no one noticed?

    1. Lew says:

      Offsides penalty on the first kick. They had moved the kick back 5 yards so the OB kick was placed on 45 instead of the usual 40.

      1. packimop says:

        ahhhh I see. Must have missed that first kick. Thanks

  17. KD says:

    It’s surprising how much DeSean Jackson is struggling this year. I’m sure you’ve covered this in the past but do you think it’s more about his heart not being in it, a sync issue with Vick or is this the type of player he is?

    I’m wondering if the Cowboys should consider bringing him in for a whirl next offseason.

  18. giants fan says:

    Of course the “good teams” story has something to do with it. Bad calls are a part of the game and they haven’t been any more prevalent this year than they have been in years past. It’s not as if the Eagles are the only team that has ever been impacted by bad calls. But you tell me what lost you that game, the “roughing the passer” call or Jay Cutler’s 90.6 Total QBR? How about giving up 150 yards from Scrimmage to Matt Forte or the fact that Vick threw for zero touchdowns, one interception and a pedestrian 213 yards? What about Jackson’s fumble deep in Eagles territory? Usually, good teams don’t make those mistakes and even if they do, they have the fortitude to overcome them. You haven’t lost five games because of the refs. You’ve lost five games because, you’re just not that good.

    Finally, and I’m just curious about this … how many NFL games have you reffed because you make it sound really easy.

    1. Logan says:

      You missed Jimmy’s entire point regarding his argument that something in the officiating must change. He is saying that teams are so even these days that blown calls are determining who wins and who loses. To refute this conclusion, you essentially say that the Eagles should have played better. Yet, this does not address Jimmy’s premise at all. Obviously if a team is significantly better than another blown calls would not effect the outcomes of the games, but this argument ignores reality.

      The reality is that the majority of teams are relatively even in terms of talent (with the exceptions being juggernauts and teams like the Dolphins). Therefore, penalties have an enormous impact on the outcome of a game. With such an enormous impact and the horrific officiating this season, something really should change about the officiating.

      Another thing, you’re putting words in Jimmy’s mouth. Jimmy never said that the Eagles lost because of bad calls. Reread his post and you’ll see that.

      1. giants fan says:

        I haven’t missed his point, I’m saying that his premise is fundamentally flawed, as is yours. Your two assumptions.

        1) There is general parity when it comes to talent on modern NFL teams. I think the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles are a prime example of why this statement is patently untrue in today’s NFL. Up until before the last labor agreement, teams could essentially spend as little or as much as they wanted on their payroll, so long as it was below the cap. Due to revenue sharing, all of the owners were guaranteed to make a minimum revenue that many were comfortable with given how little they spent on their teams any given year. Assuming an open market and no transaction costs, the best players should follow the money and congregate on the teams that are willing to pay them the most, respectfully. Let’s pick a random year, and see whether the amount of money spent on any given team correlated with that team’s success in a 16 game season.

        In 2010 there were 12 teams with 10 or more wins in the NFL. I’ve listed those teams and their payrolls and relative ranking (1-32 … 1 being the largest payroll in the NFL that year) for your convenience.

        New England – 25
        New York Jets – 6
        Pittsburgh – 7
        Baltimore – 15
        Indianapolis – 19
        Kansas City – 32
        Philadelphia – 17
        New York Giants – 1
        Chicago – 5
        Green Bay – 8
        Atlanta – 26
        New Orleans – 4

        Granted, there’s more that goes into putting a winning team together than throwing money at it but it’s telling that half of the “winningest” teams in the NFL in 2010 had payrolls in the top 10 and similarly, more than half were in the top half of the payroll. I haven’t gone through other years, but I would venture to say that you would probably find similar numbers year in and year out. If there was true parity, there would be no trend whatsoever regarding payrolls and team success, but we all know that’s not the case. To be fair, parity exists in-so-far as there are always some teams that have mini-runs based on strength of schedule, talent coming together at the right time and different looks on coaching – but for the most part there is a reason why we have generationally perennial contenders and generational losers in the NFL. The eagles, undoubtedly, have more raw talent than any other team in the NFC East … maybe more than any other team in the NFL. Jimmy is upset about a call because he says that it gave the Bears “4 free points” but in my mind, if the talent played up to its potential – those points wouldn’t matter.

        2) Given perfect parity in talent, reffing, not execution dictates games. Let’s assume a perfect world with perfectly equitable talent and perfectly equitable play calling. If there were no lapses in execution in this fake world you could make an argument that good or bad reffing would determine the outcome of every game … but we don’t live in that world. Let’s take away the assumption of perfect execution and instead play with some real numbers to try and figure out if, in our fake world, reffing or other factors will tend to have a larger impact on the average game?

        In 2010 each team was penalized an average of 6 times per game. Conversely, on average each team runs between 60 and 70 offensive and 60-70 defensive plays in any particular game. Mathematically, this means that penalties are called on less than 5% of the plays that the average NFL team runs in an average game. Even assuming every call was wrong, that still leaves 95% of the game squarely in your hands and not in the hands of the refs.

        Complaining about the refs is a tired excuse and good teams shouldn’t make it. That’s what I was trying to say.

        1. giants fan says:

          This is not even considering the fact that refs tend to get the calls right more often than they get the calls wrong. On the other hand, it doesn’t take missed calls into account so it’s not clear how that impacts the calculus but there’s no real way to calculate for that short of going back and watching the games again and making your own subjective judgments about whether or not a non-call should have been a whistle.

        2. “Complaining about the refs is a tired excuse and good teams shouldn’t make it. That’s what I was trying to say.”

          Dude, seriously?

          You are most certainly missing the point wildly. I’ll repeat again:

          NOBODY IS MAKING ANY EXCUSES FOR THE EAGLES’ LOSS.

          They sucked, and deserved to lose.

          I was speaking generally about officiating this season. It has been atrocious. You’re arguing against points that weren’t made.

          1. giants fan says:

            Forgive me. Typically when people write things, they have a point. I assumed you had a point, that one is on me.

            1. Will says:

              The point was blatantly obvious, but you didn’t see it. I guess that is on you.

  19. Free Plax says:

    Jimmy, your a good football fan and obviously know your stuff that’s why I love coming over and giving you a hard time. But you got to get off the officals it won’t help. Blown calls are part of the game and they usually even themselves out. Babin might have got jobbed, however the play where Babin drove the Tight end into Cutler and stoped the Bears drive in the Red zone, Babin had his hands all in the TE’s face and should have been called it wasn’t. Sometimes you do have to use your challenges to correct a bad call that’s why challenges are in the game, but Ref’s are human they are going to make mistake, and harping on calls and saying it was the call that won the game is absurd.

    1. Thanks. Buuuut… I don’t see where I said the call cost them the game. Also, very easy to brush off poor officiating when your team has been the recipient of horrendous calls.

      1. Free Plax says:

        My point is why even bring up the officals, they were not the reason the Eagles lost. Yeah they missed some calls on both sides but it was not that poorly of an officiated game to go off on them.
        Only reason I say that is becasue I started doing some Ref work with local youth hockey teams, as a player or fan I would get outraged at blown or missed calls. However after putting on the black and white stripes, I realized how tough these guys jobs are.

        1. Yes it was. The roughing the passer call gift wrapped 4 points for the Bears. That’s not crucial to the outcome of a game? It’s not noteworthy? And it’s not like I gave it its own post or something – It’s 1 of 17 bullet points, and not even on the front page.

          I happen to be a former referee as well. Basketball. Little shithead 10-12 year olds. I would fantasize about going up into the stands and strangling the one parent that yelled “3 seconds!” the entire game. So I get it. But these guys are supposed to be the cream of the officiating crop. And they’re not doing a good job by any realistic stretch.

          1. giants fan says:

            Realistic compared to what you see from the best possible angle in slow motion on a high definition tv from the comfort of your living room or compared to what they see on the field in the elements with players running around in normal time.

            Good teams don’t let games turn on a few calls either way.

            1. Stop it with that “good teams don’t blah blah blah” stuff. That has nothing to do with it. If you’re blowing teams out by 3 TDs every week, then yeah, I guess the occasional incompetence doesn’t matter. But that’s not the reality of today’s NFL. But that’s beside the point, since there isn’t anyone claiming that Philly is a good team about now. The point is… The officials have a job to do – get calls right. And they’re not. Poor play by the team getting jobbed is no excuse for jobbing them. Just get it right.

              Also, I’m not down with the slow mo defense either. The referee is standing right there. As soon as the flag came out for the unnecessary roughness call, there were like 6 Eagle defenders near the play that were furious. And not the usual “complain after every call” thing… They knew for sure it was a garbage call. And it was. It was pretty freaking obvious Babin got pushed.

              1. giants fan says:

                Sorry for the re-post, below. Delete if necessary.

                Of course the “good teams” story has something to do with it. Bad calls are a part of the game and they haven’t been any more prevalent this year than they have been in years past. It’s not as if the Eagles are the only team that has ever been impacted by bad calls. But you tell me what lost you that game, the “roughing the passer” call or Jay Cutler’s 90.6 Total QBR? How about giving up 150 yards from Scrimmage to Matt Forte or the fact that Vick threw for zero touchdowns, one interception and a pedestrian 213 yards? What about Jackson’s fumble deep in Eagles territory? Usually, good teams don’t make those mistakes and even if they do, they have the fortitude to overcome them. You haven’t lost five games because of the refs. You’ve lost five games because, you’re just not that good.

                Finally, and I’m just curious about this … how many NFL games have you reffed because you make it sound really easy.

              2. 1youngwiz says:

                an eagles’ fan complaining about roughing the passer calls. ironic

    2. Turd.Ferguson says:

      Yeah, it was probably a bad call. But depending on where the official is standing he may have not been able to see the push, just the result of the push. The one that really pissed me off was the late hit by Tapp towards the end of the game.

      1. Yep, the Tapp late hit happens on every play in the NFL. In fact, I was told that Tapp actually got credit for the tackle on the PA system in the press box. That’s gotta be a first – credit for the tackle AND a late hit on the same play. That’s how bad that call was.

        1. packimop says:

          That was crazy.

    3. Anders says:

      Why should we accept blown calls? It seems the officals arnt watching.

      Also watch up with flags thrown 5-10 sec after the play is blown dead, just because a WR or QB complain? If you didnt throw the flag the first time, why throw it when he complains?

      1. adbrunsonsr says:

        *ding ding* exactly….its like the official is punked into throwing a flag

  20. bdawk4ever says:

    As much as I’m going to hate rooting for the Niners to go 8-1, I have too.

    The Niners have a cake schedule (NFC West anybody?) and the Giants have been gifted a couple of wins.

  21. BBI says:

    You’re a good man, Jimmy.

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