NFC Obituary/Hierarchy with Week 11 in the books

Graveyard:

Obituaries: None this week

Hierarchy:

8 – You blew it!

Your wounded nemesis is coming to town.  You know, the team that had gleefully beaten you 6 straight games, before you pulled out an unlikely victory Week 3 when your team was decimated by injuries?  Their QB was out.  Their best receiver was out.  Their other receiver was beginning to look like he was becoming a distraction in their locker room because he’s unhappy with his contract.  They lost to the freaking Cardinals last week, a team led by John Skelton.  And not only did they lose to the Cardinals, Skelton went off for 315 yards and 3 TDs against them.  That’s the same John Skelton, who when facing a real defense in San Francisco yesterday, had a passer rating of 10.5 and got benched for Richard Bartel.  Fans and media types had been calling for the defensive coordinator’s head since Week 3, and began calling for the head coach’s as well.  This was a team that for two consecutive weeks didn’t sniff the opposing QB.  A team that struggled to stop the run all season, and a team that played some of the dumbest brand of football I’ve ever seen from a professional team.

You had a chance to put them out of their misery.  And…

We didn’t even see the Eagles’ “A game” last night either.  Far from it.  We saw it against the Cowboys, but not last night.  We did, however, see their “A effort,” but that’s not exactly the same.  Vince Young wasn’t exactly what you would call “sharp.”  He gift wrapped interceptions, and missed open receivers for the better part of the game, despite having all day to throw.  What we did see last night should really be far more concerning to Giants fans, and that was their offensive and defensive lines getting completely dominated in the trenches.  Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, and Jason Pierre-Paul were completely non-existent.  Brandon Jacobs had literally nowhere to run, as the Giants simply couldn’t block the much faster Eagles D.  Eli Manning, while somehow only being sacked 3 times, was roughed up all night, and had very little time to throw.  The Eagles came in and punched the Giants in the mouth.  They wanted that win more.  And they got it.

It doesn’t get any easier.  The Saints had their bye this week, and now the Giants have to go to New Orleans to face them.  Then they come back home and have to play the Packers.  Good luck with all that.

Most of the country was doing this in their living rooms, especially single lonely males imitating Sav Rocca.

7 -Lucky

The Cowboys were at the mercy of Graham Gano’s right leg in overtime yesterday, and as 99% of Redskins fans knew he would, he missed.  The Redskins only mustered 3 FGs in Miami a week ago.  The week before that they scored 11 on the Niners, although 8 of those points were in garbage time.  The week before that they were shut out by the Bills, a team that is otherwise giving up an average of over 28 points per game.  Rex Grossman.  Tashard Choice.  Roy Helu.  Jabar Gaffney.  Donte Stallworth.  Fred Davis.  How do you give up 24 points to that mess, especially considering the Skins had a banged up OL?

After taking care of two lesser opponents (Seattle and Buffalo) the previous two weeks, the Cowboys played down to their competition yesterday.  Next up are the Dolphins and Cardinals.  Perhaps this game was a wake up call to the defense and specials teams units?  It better be, because they were both really bad yesterday.

Is that Gus Frerotte? Did Gus Frerotte beat someone with the Lions on Thanksgiving? Anyway, I'm sure I had no interest in watching the Lions play on Thanksgiving that day, just as I don't have an interest in watching the Lions on Thanksgiving most years. Even though the Lions and Cowboys are competitive in '11, this dumb tradition must end.

6 – Not as good as their record

The Lions still have holes galore, particularly on defense, and they showed yesterday.  The Lions have given up 35 and 37 points the last two weeks.  I would consider it a resounding success if they can hold the Packers to 35 or less when they come to town for Thanksgiving.  And then again the following week in New Orleans.

By the way, the Lions and Cowboys are both competitive this year, so you won’t hear anyone bitching about both teams playing on Thanksgiving this year.  Allow me to fill that void, as I’m among the people that complain about it every year.  If you’re not a fan of the Lions or Cowboys, please raise your hand if you’d be disappointed if the NFL scheduled teams other than the Lions and Cowboys on Thanksgiving every year.  At the very least, the NFL needs to make the Cowboys and Lions play on the road every other year, as it’s a major advantage playing at home on a short week, as former Cowboy Troy Aikman has mentioned on several occasions.

5 – Easy schedule ahead

Here’s what the Falcons have ahead of them: Vikings, @ Texans (w/Matt Leinart at QB), @ Panthers, Jaguars, @ Saints, Buccaneers.  Working in the Falcons’ favor in the wildcard race is that they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.  Expect the Falcons to overtake the Lions by this time next week.

4 – Jay Cutler’s thumb

In case you were unaware, Jay Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand yesterday, and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.  I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Cutler this season.  Somehow, he’s become one of the most underrated players in the league.  When you talk about the Top 10 QBs in the game, rarely will Cutler’s name be included.  I think he’s there.  The Bears will miss him bigtime.

Still, I’ve learned never to doubt this team.  They’re ugly, they have that atrocious field, they ball hawk, and they play tremendous special teams.  They’ll continue to win.  It doesn’t hurt that they have the following schedule upcoming: Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Seahawks, Packers, Vikings.  Even without Cutler, they should cruise to at least 10 wins.

3 – How’d they get a bye this late?

Shouldn’t byes this late in the season go to teams that stunk the year before?  Like the Panthers, or the Bills?  Huge advantage.  They get the reeling Giants this week at home.  Enormous game that will help shape the outcome of the NFC.

2 – Best defense in the NFC

The Niners won the most lopsided 23-7 game in the history of football yesterday.  Time of Possession was comical – The Niners controlled the ball for almost 3 quarters.  They had the ball for 44:16.  The Cardinals had it for 15:44.  That’s just funny.

Awesome “Harbaugh Bowl” matchup on Thanksgiving against the Ravens.  That’s must see football.  The Niners actually remind me quite a bit of the Ravens in many ways.

1 – Still the best

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  9. SB71 says:

    KNOCK KNOCK is that coming from a coffin Jim? you hear something?

    1. Ha, I’ll gladly ruin a slice of my credibility to have the Eagles back it in for real.

      1. Jason-E says:

        I think you’re safe. Even if we win out (which we won’t), the Cowboys have a cake schedule. They could end up losing one to the Giants and tie with us, but I don’t see us winning out. We’ll beat the Pats and all hope will be restored, then we’ll do what we did against the Cards somewhere down the road (Seattle). This defense is just terrible and it’s mostly the playcalling. The same things we saw against the Cards were there against the Giants. Babin/Landri just made a great play off of a Manning mistake.

        1. fiftyfourd says:

          I disagree that it’s play-calling, I’d attribute it more to penalties at the wrong time, free lancing at the wrong times and tackling.

          1. Jason-E says:

            You must not watch the games.

            A rookie LB one-on-one with Larry Fitzgerald. A safety one-on-one with Hakeem Nicks. Playing the best press-man CB in the league in zone. Leaving Asante Samuel on the field, despite the fact that he is routinely blowing assignments and hurting the defense. There are plenty more examples, but I try to forget this defense exists as soon as the game is over.

  10. Immynimmy says:

    On behalf of all Eagle’s fans: “Screw you Graham Gano!”

    It also didn’t help that Rex Grossman’s dumbass got sacked on the previous play.

    1. Matt says:

      Some of the play calls in that last Skins drive were maddening. They couldn’t run the ball to save their lives and the short dump passes were working great.

      1. Shaun says:

        Not only was the play calling stupid, but Shanny playing Choice and Torain over Helu is idiotic! He is by far the best RB on the team and cant do any worse than the other RBs….screen passes to Torain? just stupid honestly. And I thought we had one of the worst decision-makers in the NFCE in Big Red….smh

  11. DerfDiggy says:

    My boy Vince Young(Longhorns fan…still sickens me that he’s a Eagle) came through in the clutch once again. He continues to be Tebow before Tebow was Tebow…..I don’t want to start a ruckus, but I seriously think the Giants win that game if Vick starts. While Young had his issues, I think that comes moreso from not playing in a year and getting up to gear with the speed of NFL football again. Young will always be up and down, but he always plays within himself with the game on the line. I’ve rarely seen him make a dumb decision when it counts. Which I can’t say as much for Vick.

    What say you Eagles fans? I know you’re in love with Vick, and I’m not about to start to claim that VY should be the starter….but you know…something to think about.

    1. Personally, I don’t think the game is even close if Vick plays. The Eagles might have won that game by 3 scores.

      But I’m more than pleased with VY effort yesterday. Definitely clutch.

      1. DerfDiggy says:

        We’ll have to agree to disagree….I don’t think Vick takes them down the field without trying to do too much and fumbling or throwing into triple coverage. I think Vick thinks a little TOO highly of his own athletic ability and that’s dangerous.

        Although he probably hits Desean and others for some of those wide open passes that VY missed. So you may be right.

        1. Don’t forget – VY threw 3 picks.

          1. DerfDiggy says:

            And shook it off and drove them down to win the game. I’m not making light of VY’s mistakes. I just think he’s cooler under pressure than Vick. But we’re speaking in hypotheticals. Either way….Congrats on the win last night..I hope that’s the last of the season.

            🙂

            1. You won’t get an argument from me on clutchness (if that’s a word). VY has done that his entire career. Vick has had some moments here and there as well, but not like VY.

              That 9 minute drive was awesome, but VY was pretty bad for the majority of the night.

              Credit Jason Avant too. That catch he made with his fingernails was ridiculous. Meanwhile, Vick has the misfortune of having Avant fumble (ruled a pick) in the final drive against Buffalo, and Maclin fumbling during the game winning drive against the Niners. The whole offense has to contribute on those kinds of drives. VY got a little more cooperation from the troops last night than Vick has in some other games this year.

              Honestly, I don’t think it’s close if Vick plays the whole game. Final drive is probably unnecessary if Vick goes. That’s how badly the Eagles were beating the Giants in the trenches.

              If given the choice between VY or Vick next week against the Pats, it’s Vick all the way for me.

              1. Matt says:

                Well I think it depends on Vick’s health. Vick showed how poor he can look trying to play through the injury against the Cards.

              2. Shaun says:

                Well said Jimmy….totally agree. Couple points to add: the “gift” to Amukamara, Vick hits DJack in stride on that one -TD; the pass to Cooper that Ross picked off, I think Vick makes a better throw there-TD. Add to the fact that VY threw several passes late….game could have been 31-10 honestly. oh and dont get me started on that terrible officiating last night…ugh!

              3. slandog says:

                I agree with you Jimmy, I go with Vick all the way. The Eagles defense played one of their best games last night and that is forgot to be mentioned as well. If the Eagles defense play terrible like they have in the past this would be no contest.

                Derf you hanging VY’s balls because he went to Texas. If the defense didn’t step up tonight the Eagles would have been toast. Also, Giants receivers didn’t help Eli out much either….too many dropped passes. VY is out backup, hopefully for this year only, after this season I hope he’s gone.

  12. Immynimmy says:

    So Charlie’s predictions were right? Apparently your dog is better at picking games than you Jimmy haha.

    1. Ha, that’s right! Forget about that. I guess I gotta let him pick again.

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