Monday, November 12, 2007


Gosh, the Eagles win yesterday seems to have brought cynics out everywhere. The PDN writes: you know that game last week between the Patriots and the Colts, that everybody said was like a midseason Super Bowl? This wasn't like that.

But not for Frank! People, it is still whipping the stupid Redskins. It NEVER gets old. As much as I want to dial off the V-Chip of hate and caring on this 2007 Eagles’ campaign, I never tire of defeating loathsome NFC Rivals. Oh, I detest Gibbs and their churlish, unattractive fans. Doesn't Coach look fey throwing the challenge flag above? Ending the Redskins season’s larger relevance- for most intents and purposes- makes me happy, lifts the gloom. I mean, for one afternoon, it is like “Yo Giants! You’re next.”

For a further example, the malfunctioning V-Chip is my head makes me enjoy this sort of reporting:
A Washington blitz had created an opportunity; there were three defenders in on McNabb, all of them suddenly irrelevant when the quarterback wristed a toss over their heads. Redskins linebacker Rocky McIntosh had an angle on Westbrook as the ramble began, but center Jamaal Jackson saw McIntosh coming and yelled the name of right guard Shawn Andrews. Andrews later explained that he knows to look back inside if he hears Jackson call his name. Andrews looked back, and McIntosh was vaporized.

"I pinned back and gave him what we call 'chicken,' " Andrews said. " 'Chicken' is when you thump a guy, real good."
The old maxim certainly rings true: winning always helps. Winning means that McNabb limped a little more forward- generated some big plays late, keeps that old risk-reward thing (4 TD passes versus one turnover) going. Postgame, McNabb and Reid proclaimed they “love” each other; locker room crises are defused for another week- buying time for the regime. Losing meant cries for Kolb and organizational chaos. I know what I vote for.

But I am a realist. Other than McNabb’s halting progress, no immediate 2007 concerns seem fixed. Still, if the season is now largely about finding out if McNabb can move forward- and resume both his role as franchise quarterback and trusted executor of Reid’s vision- then you can’t mark this sort of win down. As to the more immediate 2007 impact, well, Philadelphia is an okay team. Washington is probably okay too- but a loss to Dallas might move them back to doormat status right quick. But more likely, Philadelphia and Washington are both seven-eight win teams; they split. Seems fair.

Following up on the thought above, if you can’t mark the win down, you can’t mark it up too much either. I am not losing perspective; one thing I have learned about the NFC East is that as long as Joe Gibbs is in charge on the other sideline, you have more than a fighting chance. Unfortunately, some in Washington are coming to the same conclusion. But we can hope Gibbs will be back next year with no tangible advances in his medication.

Something always seems to work against the Redskins late: too many men on the field penalties, willfully taking the ball out of the hands of your most effective player in the red zone over and over again, poor time out management. You endlessly get this sort of horrid karma: the one time to safely take the delay penalty, save a time out, is when you botch the on field personnel for a chip shot field goal. Move it back five yards. Who cares? But the Redskins can’t even commit lucky delay penalties correctly.

Anyway, the Eagles have a chance to make their resurgence from September “bad” to November “sort mediocre” official this Sunday. Beat Miami as an eleven point colossus- and they present a pretty respectable 5-3 mark for an ersatz half a season. That is something positive before the schedule goes from hard to ridiculous in December. A semi-disappointing 8-8 with a solid story at quarterback is a whole lot better than a 5-11 Kolb-time meltdown- and this win was a step in that direction.

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