The home opener brings the first tailgate of the season. Plenty of “happy new years” are passed around and it’s great to catch up with some friends I rarely see between February and September. “How’s the wife and kids?” “How’s business?” “How’s that piece of ass I saw you with down the shore?” Lots of handshakes and hugs, everybody throws up the tents, hooks up the TV, props open the grills and beers are cracked. It’s good to be back. Then, the game happened.
**I fancy myself as not being a typical homer so you won’t get a full analysis of the Eagles game every week, but I have too much rattling around in my noggin to forego doing so this week.
The Eagles have a few more issues than I thought coming in to this season and if you’re thinking, “it’s only week three,” then stop turning a blind eye. Let’s start with the head coach. I’ve been a big Andy Reid supporter for a long time. I’ve defended him to the gills. After thirteen years, however, his teams still have the same glitches and make the same mistakes. I was fine with going for it on fourth and one. What I’m not fine with is this team’s inability for YEARS NOW to get a yard. They were 0 for 5 on short yardage plays of 2 or less. 4 of those at the New York 2 yard line. What I’m also not fine with is a, seemingly, continued ignorance at a position or two. When Reid came here, he was hailed as an eye for offensive line talent. The front five have been a disaster since Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas left. They haven’t been able to draft or sign a quality safety since Brian Dawkins got overpaid by Denver and there has NEVER been any emphasis on acquiring quality at the linebacker position. Just once, can we start the season strong? Why do we have to circle the wagons every damn November to save the season after a slow start?
Let’s move on to the quarterback. Pierre-Paul’s hit on Michael Vick on the game’s first drive clearly brought back some concussion symptoms. If you didn’t see Brent Celek throw Vick off the field during the mayday field goal attempt at the end of the first half, you missed a woozy #7 who didn’t have a clue to the game’s situation. My theory is the hand injury was always a bruise and they had the thought of using it as a cover to keep from divulging further head trauma to the league. This is a brain injury we’re talking about and the Giants defend him better than anyone. He shouldn’t have played and now, there are far more games in jeopardy. Reid should accept blame here, as well.
Now, the defense. Did Nate Allen all of a sudden forget how to take an angle? I want to see Casey Matthews sit down and Brian Rolle inserted in to the weak side. I find it hard to believe that 2nd round pick Jaiqwan Jarrett can’t dress in place of Jarrod Page at the safety position, yet a raw 4th round pick Casey Matthews was perfectly capable of starting at middle and, now, weak side linebacker this year. In fact, I’d consider even more radical change defensively…make Nhamdi Asomughua a Charles Woodson type safety-cornerback hybrid. Move Rodgers-Cromartie to the starting CB along with Samuel and allow Juselio Hanson to return to his starting nickelback position. The personnel needs to be upgraded. I’m tired of seeing late round draft picks starting for this defense.
Last two points…maybe, just maybe, it was an abysmal idea to let Juan Castillo coach the defense after nearly two decades coaching the offensive line. For two weeks in a row, I’ve seen his defense completely collapse as he got outcoached by the opposing team’s offensive coordinator. Lastly, Jamal Jackson should be inserted at center on short yardage situations. Rookie Jason Kelce is playing well but I’ve never seen a center get blown back 4 yards on a quarterback sneak.
Oh and, uh, I guess the Giants played well.
Here are your 2011 Week Three NFL Notes & Musings…
Can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to play for Lou Holtz and that home on the range, slack jawed idiot voice of his. Being in the huddle as he’s trying to get you focused would sound the same as a motivational speech from Corky from “Life Goes On.”
At the end of “Tin Cup,” the second greatest golf movie of all time, when Roy McElroy is half way through his impending implosion, the technical director of the US Open broadcast exclaims, “somebody tackle that guy!” That’s how I feel about Jim Irsay. Every time he reaches for his phone to tweet, someone from the Colts’ marketing personnel needs to tackle him. I’ve never seen anyone divulge such personal team information, let alone in the childish fashion of which he writes. The latest was a proclamation that Petyon Manning could return in December. Why, Jim? To pick up the team’s first win with less than a month remaining in the season? Moments later, the Indianapolis PR machine, in essence, retracts that notion. I think I’m beginning to be concerned for Irsay’s mental health. While we’re discussing Tin Cup, is it not uncanny that there’s a professional golfer named Rory McElroy? Am I the only one that yells, “c’mon Tin Cup” while he’s playing?
It’s time for this week’s KICK IN THE BALLS! Here’s how my weekend went.
Friday, my 4 year old fairly expensive Samsung flat screen went. No more color. TV is useless.
Saturday, minor car accident in my prized Yukon Denali.
Sunday, the Eagles’ debacle and my best WR in fantasy football, Kenny Britt, tore his ACL.
Not to mention, both my wife and daughter were sick all weekend.
KICK! IN! THE! BALLS!
For the first time since 1992, Buffalo has opened the season scoring 30 points or more in each of their first 3 games.
Tom Brady set an NFL record with 1,326 yards passing in a 3 game stretch.
The Patriots have scored 30 points or more in 11 straight games. The NFL record is 14, set by the 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams’ greatest show on turf.
In the last 2 games, the Bengals are 2 of 21 on third down.
The 49ers lead the league in rushing defense.
The 13-8 barn burner of a game between San Francisco and Cincinnati marked the first time in league history a game ended with that final score.
While LeSean McCoy may the best player on the Eagles right now, Darren McFadden is making a better case to be the third best running back in football. His 171 yards on Sunday (393 for the season) were a big reason the Raiders took it to the NY Jets on Sunday.
The Ravens set some records on Sunday: 406 yards of offense in the first half, 533 total yards for the game and Joe Flacco threw for 389 yards, a career best.
The Bears ran for 13 TOTAL yards at home against Green Bay. They also only recorded 12 rushing attempts, including a scramble by Cutler. This was the second straight week for Chicago with 12 rushing attempts. Somebody tackle (bears offensive coordinator) Mike Martz!
Larry Fitzgerald passed Roy Green (LOVED ROY GREEN!) with his 67th touchdown reception, most in Cardinals’ franchise history.
Atlanta has trailed by double digits in all three of their games this season.
Dallas has now had 9 straight games decided by 3 points or less.
Despite winning an ugly game, Ben Roethlisrapist turned the ball over 3 times Sunday night in Indianapolis.
Dallas kicker Dan Bailey tied a rookie record with 6 field goals Monday night against the Redskins.
I often wonder why Tony Romo has such high expectations on him year in and year out. He’s never been a top flight quarterback and has only won one playoff game. I don’t call him “Chokey” for nothing. I’ve figured it out, though. It’s not that he dated Carrie Underwood or that idiot that looks like Kirstie Alley from the neck down. It’s this: He’s good looking. He has a million dollar smile. That’s it. Kyle Orton has had a similar career yet he looks like a side character from “Beetlejuice” so you don’t see those kind of expectations on him. Keep smiling, Romo. As long as you wear the pentagram on your head, I don’t have to worry much about the Cowboys.
Over a libation last week, I turned to Jeff and told him how much I was looking forward to the Bills-Patriots game. “Why,” scoffed Jeff? “40-10. No reason to watch that game.” I merely wanted a measuring stick to see where the Bills really were in terms of improvement. I doubt Jeff will question me again.
Speaking of Jeff, he’s a close friend. One of the best I could ask for. He has, however, become an adjective. He set me up with a great baseball app called MLB.com LITE. His beer of choice is Miller Lite. So, “Jeff Lite” makes it’s way in to daily conversations. “What’ll it be, Dar,” say the great bartenders at McMichael’s in Gloucester City. “Jeff Lite.” “Got a long day tomorrow, Dar?” “Nah, Jeff Lite day. I can make it to happy hour.” “Big tailgate crew next week?” “Nah, Jeff Lite crew.” Consequently, with Jeff being a big Phillies fan, instead of the coming Phillies run taking place in Red October, we’re heading full steam in to Jeff October. 4 days and counting to Jeff October.
My Jeff October is anything but Lite. I have a birthday and a wedding anniversary this month. Jeff Lite and I have tickets to games 1 and 6 of the World Series and in between, I’ll be in my second home, New Orleans, for 4 days for a bachelor party. Any good divorce attorneys can send their info to: Darren@voodoobrown.com
And finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to rip my great friend, Jay, who is so cheap he hoards hot sauce packets from Taco Bell and brings them on Sundays so he can say he contributes to the tailgate meal. Jay is so cheap that as the best man at my wedding, he tried to bargain with the tuxedo rental guy to get HIS tux for free, too. Some of that may or may not be made up but while we golfed last Saturday for our former high school’s baseball team, my tyrannosaurus armed friend introduced us to his new golf clubs. These clubs were so old, Merv Griffin signed them. I’m fairly certain the head on the driver was made of solid wood. Story gets better. On the 10th hole, there was a charming young fella who lived in the adjoining neighborhood selling golf balls he had found on the course. I only hit Callaway War Birds, so I passed. Jay, however, decided he would buy the cheapest ball, a fluorescent yellow driving range ball. Fifty cents was all he was willing to pay. Good thing, too. His first drive with that yellow beauty went in to the woods. At least he found his ball.
Beginning this week, start checking in on Fridays as I’ll give you my “WHAT TO LOOK FOR” as we approach the weekend. Subjects will include the NFL, college football, maybe some playoff baseball and entertainment. If anything else, it’s a reason to tell me what an idiot I am.