“I once spent a year in Philadelphia.  I think it was on a Sunday.” – W.C. Fields

 

All eyes are on Philadelphia this weekend as the Holy See himself lays hands on the only people on the planet that would dare throw snowballs at Santa Claus.  It will make for nice memories for some Philadelphians so I thought I’d share my favorite Philadelphia memory as the focal point, Bruce Springsteen, celebrated his 66th birthday this week.

That loud groan you just heard was from all the Springsteen detractors who, for some reason, think the sports media is obsessed with him.  These same haters dislike Bruce, and this is true, simply because so many others love his music.  These people, I get.  My initial aversion to Chip Kelly was based on the overwhelming unconditional love for him as a coach without accomplishing anything at the pro level.

To the negative Bruce people, kiss my ass, because I have one phenomenal memory to share.

My all time favorite Springsteen song is a little known track called, “Frankie.”  I play it in my truck all the time and my oldest daughter at the young age of 2 had taken to it.  Within seconds of each car ride, “Daddy, put Frankie on,” would be the first words out of her mouth.  We must’ve listened to it 800 times by the time she was 3 yet having seen Bruce in concert 30 times or so, I’ve never heard it live.  On September 3rd, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park, surrounded by my fellow Springsteen concert goers, Big Daddy Graham, John Clark, Rob Charry, Brian Startare and Steve Bucci, the initial chords began to play in to the night.

I couldn’t dial home fast enough.  “Listen,” I said to my 3 year old as I held up the phone.  “Daddy, is that Frankie?”  And the tears came.  (Mine, not hers.)  I sat on the phone with her for 9 plus minutes as the E Street Band delighted the crowd to a great end of summer song.  I could hear her singing through the phone.  Of course, my buddies bust my balls to this day for getting weepy but screw them!  That was a great moment for my daughter and I.

Nowadays, my youngest (age 3+) joins my oldest who is now 6+ in asking for “Frankie” the moment we get in my car.  It’s time for Bruce to tour again so I can get them both to a show!

I can only pray that the Pontiff grants half as nice a Philadelphia memory this weekend but I wouldn’t count on it.

Speaking of Philadelphia, the Eagles are well on their way to being the league’s biggest let down.  The offensive line’s struggles are the result of the GM dismissing the unit during the offseason and there are no options to increase the talent in 2015.  For them, they must count on increasing communication as time goes on.  I’ll tell you something else and you’re not gonna like it…the Eagles will have more success if DeMarco Murray does not get the majority of the carries.  He isn’t comfortable running out of shotgun, which Chip Kelly insists upon every play, and is too much of a Herschel Walker clone to run spread consistently.  Unfortunately, Jason Peters and Brent Celek’s blocking abilities are rapidly declining which will compound this issue for the foreseeable future.

The Pick:  Jets 24 Eagles 19  If there was something last week to be encouraged about, I would feel better about Sunday but every aspect was a complete let down including the quarterback who looked tentative, uncomfortable and displayed rushed footwork in the pocket, all signs of not having enough snaps in the preseason.  This Eagles team will improve slightly over time simply from playing more snaps but great things won’t happen overnight.

The Jets run a Cover 5 Cougar defense which floats their 2 hard hitting safeties deep with dime package cornerbacks in man underneath and, boy, does New York have great man coverage CBs.  After 2 games, New York is giving up just 8.5 points per game and has a +9 takeaway ratio.  Scary numbers for what, could be, the top defense in the league.  The Eagles do not have anyone that can get separation from either Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie and Bradford will, likely, be forced to dump everything off underneath for the third straight game.  The Eagles defense is good enough to force a couple of turnovers against quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick but they won’t be enough.  Hopefully, this Philadelphia team of strangers will start to get to know each other a bit and show progress going in to next week.

 

Here are a few other games and matchups to look out for in YOUR Week 3 What 2 Watch 4…

 

Washington @ New York GEEEMen  I had higher hopes for this Giants team (not really, I’m an Eagles fan, but you understand what I mean).  You have to figure this offense has too much fire power and will, eventually, start rolling defenses.  New York’s defense, however, has absolutely no pass rush.  The Redskins are actually playing with some power in the trenches and rookie RB Matt Jones is taking some pressure off of quarterback Kirk Cousins.  The division is up for grabs so this Thursday night matchup is pivotal.

 

Cincinnati @ Baltimore  More than anything else associated with this game, I’m curious to see if the Ravens go 0 – 3.  The Bengals come in at 2-0 with Andy Daulton playing as good as any QB in the league and a healthy Geno Atkins, the top DT in the game.

 

New Orleans @ Carolina  As much as I’m a Cam Newton detractor, it would not surprise me if the Panthers push the Saints down to 0 – 3.  Drew Brees is not healthy and the organization, to me, appears to be heading in to transition mode.

 

Atlanta @ Dallas  If the Falcons can win their 2nd straight road game, I’ll officially consider them a playoff contender.  The Cowboys, despite trading a 5th round pick for Matt Cassel (WHAT?!), will start Brandon Weeden who lunatic owner Jerry Jones described by saying, “you won’t see a more gifted passer.”  Actually, I will, Jerry.  Every day when I look in the mirror.

 

Jacksonville @ New England  If Tom Brady, who is playing as well as he ever has in his career, can light up the stingy Bills defense for 466 yards on the road, what will he do to the Jags’ defense at Foxboro with Jacksonville coming off a big emotional win at home?

 

Pittsburgh @ St. Louis  Last week, I noted that WIP Producer extraordinaire Mike Angelina informed me that 92% of the betting public was on Balt -6 at Oakland yet the line hadn’t moved.  This week, Mike tells me the same % of people are on the Steelers and the line hasn’t budged with Pitt a 1 point favorite.   As he and I suggested last week, the Raiders won outright.  This week, we feel the same way about the RamWagon.

 

Indianapolis @ Tennessee  What division is worse?  The NFC East or the AFC South?  This could be a telling game in determining that answer.

 

Buffalo @ Miami  Big early season win for both teams looking to keep pace with the World Champions.

 

Chicago @ Seattle  The 0 -2 Seahawks sport their home opener as well as the return of safety Kam Chancellor who got tired of being docked game checks.  The 0 -2 Bears enter CenturyLink Field with Jimmy Clausen at QB who, frankly, isn’t good enough to start for the 3 – 0 Temple Owls.  This game should be over by halftime.

 

Denver @ Detroit  The 2 – 0 Broncos and, arguably, the best defense in football head in to Detroit to take on the Lions and Matthew Stafford who is 3 – 32 against teams with a winning record.  Please go back and read that record again.

 

Kansas City @ Green Bay  The heavyweight fight of week 3 takes place on Monday night as the Chiefs attempt to get over their 5 turnover performance from last Thursday.  Green Bay may be without Eddie Lacy putting even more pressure on the NFL’s most accurate quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.

 

 

Check back here at Voodoobrown.com on Tuesday for Week 4’s NFL Notes & Musings.

 

Follow me on Twitter:  @darrendegaetano

 

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Darren DeGaetano
A lifelong buddy of Voodoo Brown's, Darren was born in Philadelphia and resides with his family in South Jersey. His resume includes ten years producing sports radio in Philadelphia and five years as a writer, director and producer for NFL Films. His weekly NFL NOTES & MUSINGS column provides his thoughts, anecdotes and eye opening statistics that happened over the previous weekend. Additionally, every Friday, Darren offers his "What 2 Watch 4" column to set you up for the coming weekend football action. Darren's best known annual piece features his Darrentees, a collection of NFL bold and not so bold predictions for the season at hand. Finally, Darren is a full time NFL Insider for Philadelphia's Sportsradio 94.1 WIP and co-hosts the Thursday night / Friday morning overnight show with Big Daddy Graham and can be heard on the official Philadelphia Eagles post-game show. He also likes red wine. Lots and lots of red wine.

1 COMMENT

  1. I love Springsteen too! Especially when he intro’s a 3 minute song with a 15 minute story about how his parents didn’t want him to be a rock star! Those never get old! Sarcasm aside, your appearances on BDG’s show are the best. You should have a weekend shift or something more regular (if your interested), just don’t let Mike from South Philly call in, we get enough of that monotone bore.

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