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The Morning After: Eagles Beat the Broncos

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Morning campers, tma

Hope the big fat man gave you what you wanted... and Santa did, too.

It was obviously a very emotional game for the Eagles' players and fans alike with an all-time Eagles legend returning wearing enemy colors. I have to tell you though, seeing Mitch Berger in the Bronco blue and orange doesn't bother me as nearly as much as it used to.

I kid of course... we were all excited to see Jabar Gaffney make his trimphant return to Philly... and some guy named Dawkins, too. And oh yeah, Correll Buckhalter, who seemed to get lost in the return of the Dawkins' spotlight... I don't know about you but I think B Dawk would still look pretty damn good in Eagle green, but what do I know?

Let's get it on...

ALLOW ME TO PHIL YOU IN...
I like color analyst Phil Simms... I really do. I think he was a heckuva tough player and for the most part, he's a pretty spot-on analyst but, like many analysts, he says some things during the course of a game that make you scratch your heaphil simmsd.

Case in point...

*Before the game started he was raving about the Birds's infamous blitzing defense saying "The Eagles blitz is relentless plus it's all the time..."Yeah, let that one sink in a minute... do you know the difference? Me neither.

*Later, during the game, he was speaking of Eagles placekicker David Akers and really heaped on the praise when he said "Akers can really flush the ball..." I'm sure there's an incredibly crass, vile and disgusting joke to be told here but... I will refrain

*And finally on Mr. Simms... I understand your network (CBS) is the home of the AFC, but Lord almighty, do you think you take that a little too seriously? I cannot be the only who thought ol' Phil was pulling just a tad for the Broncos, can I?

DON WE NOW OUR GAY APPAREL...
Donovan McNabb had a great game! I mean the guy was 20/35 for 322 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT... that's a great game, right? Well those who did not see the game will come away with that impression I assure you. However, those that did sejason avante it... well, we may have a different take...

Yes, Don was very good in the 1st Half... 15/19-242-2 TDs/0 INT...Now subtract those numbers from the ones above and you see he didn't fare quite as well in the 2nd Half.

The Champ Bailey pick was simply a horrific decision on his part and the TD catch by Jason Avant --- best hands on the team by far--- should have been another one (pick). 

He didn't do many things right in the 2nd Half but, he did scramble for a 1st Down on a 3rd and long that, despite not leading to a score, did dramatically alter the field position which in turn DID lead to the ultimate game-winning FG...

But overall his play was too up and down over the course of the game and he cannot play this inconsistently in the playoffs... again that is, if the Eagles are to go on any kind of run.

LEAVE IT TO WEAVER...leave it to beaver
Toward the end of the 1Q the Eagles had a 2nd and short followed quickly by a 3rd and short. They elected to NOT use Leonard Weaver on either play and in fact, used the Wildcat formation on 3rd Down with DeSean Jackson taking the direct snap. 

Needless to say both plays failed miserably and the 3rd Down call fooled a grand total of zero people.

Why Morty and Andy, why? Why would you call such a predictable play and in the process put your most-talented player at risk? (Check the tape, DeSean limped off the field following his ill-fated 3rd Down run.)

It's decisions like these that leave EVERY Eagles' fan shaking their heads...

PUTTING THE UGH IN UGLY...
That was arguably the ugliest half (the 2nd half) of football I have ever seen the Eagles play since I started watching thelions fanm...

Three and outs galore... countless number of penalties and mistakes... 

Lord, is this what's it like being a Lions fan? Yikes...

DID YOU NOTICE?...

*The Eagles Defense should have been rewarded a TD in the 1Q; the pass thrown by Kyle Orton was ruled to have gone forward ("Clearly that ball went forward" - Phil Simms) but anyone with half an impartial brain could see the replay was inconclusive and this the TD should have stood.

*And how bout a penalty on Kyle Orton just for being an idiot?

*Broncos WR Brandon Stokely going all "Ron Artest" on the Back Judge after Brandon didn't get the flag he thought he deserved... that was something that a rookie or 2nd year player does, not a veteran like Stokely.

*The False Start on Jason Peters that wasn't called on the same play Brent Celek scored in the 1H? Watch the replay and Peters gets a full second head start on the play; no one, and I mean no one, announcer or otherwise picked up on it...

*The dreadful call on Macho Harris following Asante Samuel's INT; this of course set off a whole chain of bizzare events but, in the irony of ironies, if that's Brian Dawkins wearing Eagles green making that hit, I don't think the flag gets thrown... macho man

*The final run of the Macho Man as kick returner? Obviously it must have been his last because after fumbling two straight kicks, only a fool would allow him the chance to do it again...

*That Referee Mike Carey apparently never got the memo on Facemask penalties? See in years past, it was either a 5-yard penalty or a 15-yarder as deemed by the officials. However there is now just one 15-yard penalty for any and all Facemask infractions. But for some reason, Mike kept referring to the Facemask penalties handed down yesterday as "major"...

*The Broncos ran an inordinate number of wide receiver screens and or quick hitch routes? And for the most part, they were successful?

*Brent Celek apparently took the 2nd Half off? At least he took off from running routes as I recall at least one instance where he played matador to Broncos pass rushing specialist Elvis Dumervil

THE BOTTOM LINE...
I know, I know, I know... a win is a win is a win.. and I have written numerous times this year in doing the Weekly Rankings that "good teams find a way to win"...

But why must the Eagles allow seemingly weaker teams to hang around?

Why is there such a disparity in their play on both sides of the ball from one half to another?

By now, we know if next week's game vs. the Cowboys is for the division or not... and by Tuesday, we will happy new yearknow if the Birds still have a shot at the 2nd seed in the Playoffs and the all important 1st round bye... 

That's all I got for now...

Til next week... Happy New Year!

Time's yours. Food's mine.