NFL Week 5: NFC East Schadenfreude
The Redskins had their bye last week, which meant they couldn’t lose and I didn’t have to be angsty all day wondering whether they would or not. They even had a chance to grasp sole possession of first place in the East without having to do a damn thing. The prospect was pretty unlikely, however, since the Giants were playing host to the inept Seattle Seahawks and seemed a pretty sure lock to go to 4-1.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA – ahem, sorry.
Instead, under the Bad-Ass Quarterbacking Duo of 2011 – Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst – the Seahawks became suddenly ept and upset the Giants, thanks to a bunch of turnovers. At the end, though, it looked like the Giants were going to pull it out. They got down to the Seahawk’s 10-yard-line down 5 and were moving the ball with ease. Eli Manning tossed the ball to Hero of the Day, Victor Cruz, who’d snagged a one-handed bobbled pass and turned it into a TD earlier in the game. Cruz bobbled it, started the one-hand grab thing, and then everything fell apart as a Seahawks’ defender grabbed the ball and raced back the other way for the game-sealing touchdown.
Funny thing was, it was the second time I saw that play that day.
Just minutes earlier, the Eagles were driving down against the surprisingly competent Bills, down by a touchdown thanks to a plethora of turnovers. They too were moving the ball at will and looked likely to erase a big second-half deficit. Vick tossed the ball to Jason Avant, who’d killed a drive earlier by getting stripped of the ball, which Avant started to catch. Before he could finish, a Bills defender tore the ball from his arms, bobbled it around, and it ended up in the hands of Bills linebacker Nick Barnett.
Did I scream and dance and shout for joy when that happened? Maybe. Juuuuust maybe.
The Bills didn’t seal the game with that pick (hard to blame the QB for it, but it’s Michael Vick, so fuck that guy in the ear) and had to get a first down to put the game away. Interestingly, the Bills trotted out Brad Smith at QB on second and third downs to run the Wildcat offense. I thought it was a pretty cool idea – maybe they do it all the time, but I watch Bills games as often as I watch baseball, which would be never – but they failed to get the first down by a few inches. As I watched, I wondered if I would go for it on 4th down to try to win it. The Bills lined up, did a hard count that never works to try to pull the Eagles offside, which, being the Eagles, worked like a charm. Offsides, defense, first down, kneeldown, game.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Good times.
So this week coming up, the 3-1 Redskins face the reeling 1-4 Eagles in Washington. The Redskins have had 2 weeks to prepare for this game, get healthy and rested, study film, and prepare for this important NFC East game. Should be a win, right?
Now, don’t accuse me of over-pessimism. I’ve been a self-aware Redskins fan for 36 years. I know how this shit goes. See, last year, the Redskins had a bye before their home game against the Eagles. They had a chance to make a statement game against the team they’d beaten once already that year. The Redskins were utterly humiliated on national TV, 59-28. The game wasn’t even as close as the score indicates. Yes, a 31-point win was actually less than it could have been.
See, the Redskins rarely win this game. Over the last 10 years, if there is an NFC East team that is reeling and the Redskins get an opportunity to bury them, they don’t. The Skins seem to always be the turnaround game, just like they always seem to lose to a struggling rookie quarterback and get them their first win (Bradford and Stafford in recent years). It’s just the way it seems to work. Do I want the Redskins to win? More than I can express. But I didn’t think they’d beat the Cowfuckers on Monday Night a couple weeks ago, and I don’t think they’ll beat the Eagles on Sunday. I want it too much. The Redskins CAN win this game – they can beat anyone. But they’re more used to beating themselves than anyone else, so I don’t see it happening. The Eagles have immense talent and can score in seconds from anywhere on the field. They are undisciplined as fuck, and sometimes that can destroy a disciplined team. I hope I’m wrong.
- Philadelphia fans are hilarious. A couple weeks ago, all the sports radio callers were talking about Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and how they were glad it was his team that set the all-time franchise mark for wins in a season, since he was the best manager the team had ever had and he was amazing. Then they lose in the first round, and now they all think Charlie is awful and messed everything up and always messes everything up and his time is past and he needs to be fired. 6 weeks ago, the Eagles were going to win the Super Bowl. Now, a majority of Eagles fans want coach Andy Reid fired RIGHT NOW. It’s been 13 years, he’s been there too long, his time has passed. Forget the fact that he’s the winningest coach the team has ever had, gotten the team to the playoffs more than half the time, gotten them to NFC championships and a Super Bowl. The city wants him OUT. A sports radio show host announced this morning that he was going to root for the team playing the Eagles every week, for years if need be, in hopes they lose and fire Reid. Philadelphia sports fans are the single worst group of fans I’ve ever seen. They turn on their teams in an instant. I wonder what shit they’ll be talking when the team is 5-4.
- Of course, Reid’s idea to promote the offensive line coach to defensive coordinator, his refusal to get a power back, blocking tight end, or run-blocking offensive lineman, and horrible clock management would drive me insane if he were my coach. Still, as a Redskins fan, I hope the team fires Reid. They’ll be easier to beat.
- The Patriots play the Cowboys next week. No matter who wins, we all lose. Only the Cowboys can make me root for the Patriots.
- The Bills are a better team than I thought. They are also pretty lucky at recovering fumbles. That helps a lot.
- I think the Jets will bottom out this year. I love the KSK version of Rex Ryan, but I think the real life version is too much like his daddy to ever be a good long-term solution as head coach. The crazy shit he says will eventually sour the media, whose coverage will then sour the fans, and anytime the team doesn’t play well the backlash will start. In fact, it’s already starting. New York fans are pretty douchey, too.
- I watched part of the “old and washed-up” Steelers-Titans game. Holy shit. That was a beatdown. They looked pretty unstoppable that day against a pretty good Titans team.
- The Bucs are not a good football team, and I’ve believed that since last years. They quit during their “why thank you for handing my ass to me today, I’d wondered where I’d dropped it” game against 49ers, a team that isn’t very good either. I think their QB Josh Freeman and RB LeGarrette Blount are over-rated. WAY over-rated.
- I’ll miss Al Davis. He seemed crazy there towards the end, but football would be a very different thing without him. I’m glad the Raiders won. I don’t think it’s going to happen a hell of a lot this year.
- The Lions aren’t a great team, but they are 5-0, so there’s that.
- The Packers are a great team and they are 5-0. But enough with the undefeated season bullshit people are spouting. Christ’s sake. It’s a little early for that.
- Who gets fired first, Tony Sporano or Jack Del Rio? I say Sporano, since the Jags are too cheap to pay a coach who isn’t actively coaching.
- My picks to win their divisions this year: Patriots, Steelers, Titans, Chargers, Cardinals, Saints, Packers, and Eagles. Yes, I said the Eagles. Fuckers. I think they win it on the last game of the season. I wonder who they play?