Posted on: January 6, 2010 1:24 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2010 9:11 pm
WILD CARD ROUND --- The Dallas Cowboys (3) and the Philadelphia Eagles (6) face off for the third time this season, and needless to say, this is the most important. The winner moves on in the surprisingly tough NFC playoffs, while the loser goes home with a lot of unanswered questions.
Leading up to their anticipated Week 17 matchup, both teams had momentum. The Eagles had won six straight games, their offense was looking unstoppable, and the defense was stepping up in the crucial moments. All looked good. On the other side, the Cowboys were coming off two very impressive performances. The first was a win against the then-undefeated New Orleans Saints; the second was a shutout performance of the Washington Redskins. The defense was looking strong, and Romo's woes in December had suddenly disappeared. Two hot teams facing each other, with the stakes high. An Eagles win gave them the #2 seed and a first round bye. A Cowboys win would ensure them home field advantage for at least their first game, and with help, a potential #2 seed for themselves.
The game turned out to be a party for the Cowboys. From the beginning, the Eagles' defense could not stop the run. Marion Barber and Felix Jones began slicing through the injury-riddled defense of Philadelphia. Tony Romo began to find his groove early on, as well. The Eagles offense never got anything going, and the game ended painfully... a 24-0 loss to the hated rival Dallas Cowboys.
This week, however, the Eagles can start fresh. A win vs. the Cowboys this Saturday night and the Week 17 loss will be forgotten. A loss vs. the Cowboys this Saturday night and the Cowboys are 3-0 vs. the Eagles in the 2009-2010 season, a mark that will not be forgotten in seasons to come.
The Cowboys are the favorites to win this game, and a big reason why they are favored is because of their defense. The defense shut down New Orleans in the upset, held Washington to zero points, and then shut out the scoring hot Eagles offense. The defense's toughness starts up front with Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff. As it was last week, the matchup of Ratliff vs. inexperienced Philadelphia center Nick Cole will be a big key to this game. Cole did a better job than most assumed he would last week vs. Ratliff, but this week could very well be another story.
To stop the Cowboys, the main player that must the stopped is the quarterback, Tony Romo. At the end of the day, Romo is the man leading the Cowboys to victory. To stop Romo, the secondary must obviously play a great game. However, I think getting pressure on him is the more effecient way of flustering Romo. In Week 17, Tony Romo had all the time to throw the ball, as the Eagles' defense got minimal pressure throughout the game. With all of this time, Romo easily found Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and Patrick Crayton throughout the game and in the clutch situations. Romo got through the dreaded month of December, and while it started out scary, by the end of the month most Cowboy fans are trusting Romo to get the job done.
The main man I expect to see stepping it up for Philadelphia is defensive end Trent Cole. Cole is the best pass rusher on the Eagles' defense, as well as the leader. For the Eagles to have a chance in this game, they must stop Tony Romo. To stop Tony Romo, they must bring pressure on him. To bring pressure on him, they need their best pass rusher to step up their game, and that man is Trent Cole. If Cole and the Eagles defense can get to Romo early, I see him making some bad decisions that feisty cornerbacks Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown may be able to take advantage of.
Miles Austin has been one of the pleasant surprises this season for the Dallas Cowboys, and has made a name for himself as one of the big play threats in the NFL. Austin faces one of the best cornerback tandems in the league of All-Pro corner Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown. For Austin to be shut down in this matchup, the Eagles' corners need to cotinue their stellar play.
It's already been mentioned, but the matchup between center Nick Cole of the Eagles and nose tackle Jay Ratliff of the Cowboys is a very important one. Ratliff had a quiet game in Week 17, but chances of him being that quiet this Saturday are slim. The stakes are higher and I expect the same of Ratliff's level of play.
Eagles' defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has done a nice job of calling the defense in his first season taking over for the late Jim Johnson, but how will he fare vs. a great playcaller in the Cowboys' Jason Garrett. Garrett has more experience, but look for McDermott to do a solid job with the defense.
Eagles vs. Cowboys Stadium is also a huge matchup that no one is talking about. In Week 17, it certainly looked like there were some nerves in the Eagles' players, playing in Cowboy Stadium. The crowd can really help Dallas in this game, as it did last week.
Keys to the Game
For the Eagles, the main thing they have to do is get going early, offensively and defensively. They will be nervous, knowing that they are the underdogs and playing possibly the hottest team in the NFC. If the Eagles can get going early, however, they will forget about the critics and just go out there and play. If not, I see them losing confidence quickly, as it seems they did in Week 17.
For the Cowboys, the main key is stopping the Eagles' big plays. They did a great job in Week 17, and if they can keep it up in this game, look for them to have a huge advantage. DeSean Jackson is at his best when he's making the big plays, something he hasn't been able to do vs. the Cowboys this season.
Donovan McNabb does not like losing, and I think he'll come out with fire in this game. Look for him, along with tight end Brent Celek, to have big games for the Eagles on offense. The Cowboys' defense has shut down DeSean Jackson well this season, and I see them slowing him down this game as well. With Jackson being bottled up, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant have to have big games.
As a diehard Eagles fan it's hard to go against them, but I like the Dallas Cowboys in this game. They are hot at the right time, and it's not just one particular unit. The offense is on fire, and very balanced. Marion Barber and Felix Jones can slice and dice through that plagued Eagles' defense, while Tony Romo has great targets to get the ball to. The Cowboys' defense is aggressive, and they haven't allowed any points in the last two games vs. NFC East competition.
There you have it... should be a great game, one that I am looking very forward to. While the Cowboys are the frontrunners to win this game, the Eagles have what it takes to not only win this game, but advance deep into the postseason. I made my prediction of the Cowboys to win the game, but here's to hoping that I am dreadfully wrong. :p
Posted on: September 19, 2009 1:22 pm
Posted on: August 15, 2009 2:35 pm
When I found out that the Eagles had landed Michael Vick, I was surprised. Not surprised at the signing but surprised at how much I loved the move. Vick is not going to get a lot of love or support, sure, but he instantly becomes the best backup quarterback in the game. Kevin Kolb might be the #2 QB now, but there's no way that he maintains it over Vick.
Vick spent his time in prison, which he definitely needed. Now that he's out of prison, I firmly believe his attitude will improve tremendously. Hopefully NFL fans will give him a chance to see if he's changed.
You can't deny that Vick was a great quarterback when he was in the league. He's athletic, can run the ball, and bring some new looks to the already dangerous Philly offense.
I think this move will also help Donovan McNabb. Vick and McNabb are both competitive players that want to be the best quarterback on the field, and as a result, I see both giving 110%, something McNabb has not always done.
Vick's versatility and skill set are going to be great in Philadelphia. It may take some time, but I think Michael Vick could be a huge asset to the team.
Posted on: August 11, 2009 4:54 pm
1. Pittsburgh Steelers - Last time I checked, the Steelers were defending champions. They keep one of the most clutch players in the NFL, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, and defensive player of the year James Harrison. The offensive line is the only concern for Pittsburgh, and even that is not a huge problem for the champs. Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall is a pretty underrated duo in my opinion.
15. Dallas Cowboys - Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Marion Barber make this team scary on offense. Defensively they are not as bad as people think, as their D can really rush the opposing quarterback. DeMarcus Ware remains one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Felix Jones is a solid second string back who can give Barber some much needed rest. Roy Williams the receiver will need to have a big year for the Boys.
Posted on: September 8, 2008 11:00 pm
Well I will have to say this. Watching this game really made me believe that the Eagles are as talented as any team in the NFL. Sure, it was the Rams, but the Rams are an NFL team that has some talent as well, and to me a win is a win. But that was no win the Eagles got on Sunday... that was a thrashing. Every facet of the game was beautiful. The chemistry was there, the response, the defense was pumped up, the signals were understood and executed properly, and the Philadelphia Eagles are now officially "in the hunt".
I myself was a Donnie Mac doubter, but after the Rams game it is hard to continue doubting. By no means do the Rams have a daunting defense, but McNabb really played his heart out in one of the best games he's had for awhile. DeSean Jackson impressed me as well, not only as a receiver but as a kickoff returner and punt returner. I see good things from this kid.
The defense was superb. Bulger was under pressure all day, no room for Steven Jackson to bust out a big run, and Holt was shut down by the secondary. The ends and linebackers are impressing me already, not to mention the corners. Jim Johnson as well.
All in all, very impressed and looking forward to a fun game against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night!
And for now, that is all.
To be continued...
Posted on: July 5, 2008 2:05 am
This season should be a great one for the Philadelphia Eagles, and their loyal fans. After last season's somewhat disappointing sixteen games, the Eagles are back and wanting to win more than ever. And we have the pieces to do so...
Also, the drafting of DeSean Jackson was not as bad as I first made it seem. He is actually a speedy reciever that will provide the Eagles with... well, speed. Also can be used as a return man, which is a plus one for us.
And Brian Westbrook remains one of the best running backs in the league. His ability to make big plays, running and receiving, will continue to show him as one of the elite backs in the NFL.
When healthy, there's no doubting what Donovan McNabb can do. He has always been a great scrambler, a strong passer, and a good quarterback, period. However, a full, healthy season from Donnie Mac is rare, and something I want to see happen.
The WR core is not bad, but can certainly get better. Kevin Curtis is a tad overrated, but still is a good player. Reggie Brown is underrated on the other hand, and fits in very will with the Eagles system.
I'm not Trevor Laws biggest fan, but I won't bash him until I've seen him play with the Eagles.
David Akers is getting inconsistant, but can still hit 45+ yards when he's focused.
I like Sav Rocca more than some others do. Hopefully we won't have to use him much this season, though.
Lastly, Trent Cole is a STUD at defensive end. I love his agressiveness when he steps on the field. Every time he makes a big tackle, I love the look of pain on his victim's face... HEHE
All in all, look for a big season from the Eagles. I believe we will go far this season, as long as we stay healthy and don't get streaky. GO EAGLES!!!
Posted on: June 27, 2008 1:21 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2008 2:11 pm
After looking at the two players Miami got through yesterday's draft, I am actually quite thrilled.
Michael Beasley, PF, KSU:
I've decided to give Beasley a chance, although he was not the guy I wanted to see on the Heat originally. However, I think a young rebounder/scorer can really help us. With improvement on his defense, I think he can make some noise, especially being mentored by Shawn Marion, a similar player that can help Beasley tremendously with his defense. I love Beasley's rebounding skills, I cannot deny that. I also love his ability to score. If he improves his work ethic and defense, I think he can prove some doubters such as myself, wrong.
Mario Chalmers, PG, KU:
This trade was a very good one. We needed a defensive point guard, and we got one. I think there is a very good chance that Chalmers begins the season as a starter. There are lots of things Chalmers needs to work on, but some things I like about him are his clutch play, his lockdown defense, his ability to steal the ball, and just pressure the opponents. He is small no doubt, but that won't make me regret this trade to land Chalmers. Also, it doesn't hurt that Chalmers was my favorite Kansas Jayhawk!!!
After the Philadelphia Eagles blew their draft, this draft was definitely a breath of fresh air. Next year's team will be very dangerous if both Beasley and Chalmers play up to their potential. There is a very high chance now that Haslem goes, but to where, I do not know... unless we choose to keep him and play him at center, which could possibly work, although Haslem is a true PF.
Miami Heat Depth Chart
Harst's Thoughts: Solid group of young guys that all have tremendous upside. Quinn was impressive late last season, Banks has a lot of potential, and of course Chalmers is great defensively, and very clutch as well. Underrated group here that will make some noise.
Harst's Thoughts: Dwyane Wade is of course the leader of the team, but injury-prone. Cook has shown he is a capable backup. I think Cook can be a great role player in this league.
Harst's Thoughts: Shawn Marion is the only player in this group that can do anything, but if needed, Davis is not half bad, although he needs to do more than just score. I'm not Wright's biggest fan, let's leave it at that.
Harst's Thoughts: I love this group, although it will probably look different soon. Haslem is very good on both sides of the ball, Beasley is a monster on the boards and on offense, and Blount is not as bad as people make him seem. He can actually shoot the ball when called upon.
Harst's Thoughts: Zo is not the Zo of his prime, and Earl Barron isn't good for much more than 5 points and 5 boards...
I truly think the Heat could make some noise with the pieces we have set in place right now. Other than center, I think we have strong depth at every position. An upgrade at center could really mean possible playoff contenders for the Heat next season.
Let's go HEAT!
Posted on: May 30, 2008 10:29 pm
Week 1: vs. St.Louis