(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
When the Phillies won the World Series last year South Philly was basically shut down. There was no public transportation headed south towards the Wachovia Center–where I was covering a Sixers/Kings game that night. As a result, I had to walk a mile or so after a bus from City Hall let me off at Oregon Ave. The walk had a sense of history because because it was unique as I’ve had in this town during my lifetime. Every bar was packed and folks about seemed as festive as if it were New Years Eve.
I was amazed how much trash was strewn about the city but the parade was massive in scope. Hurricane Phinally hit. There were empty Bud cases everywhere. I covered the game for SLAM and had a notion to name the piece: The Phillies beat the Sixers because the city could have cared less if there was a Sixers game that night. The Phillies parade, at that time, was a once in a generation event (This was the first major pro team championship since the Sixers won in 1983 here). I interviewed anybody and everybody that night to document such a happy time for Philly. I’d been in contact with our own Anthony Gilbert who was blessed to ride on the media float and speak with the champs themselves. I remember our conversation as if it happened this very second.
Yesterday was reminiscent only because of the scores of the Eagles (9-13) and Phillies (11-0) games. Obviously there is a different tone regarding an NLCS and the NFL regular season but in this town the allegiance seems to have shifted from the Eagles and towards Phillies. The point is this shift could spell the beginning of the end for Donovan McNabb. As soon as the Oakland Raiders debacle was over, I was driving with my brother-in-law and 610 WIP host Rob Cherry was debating former Eagles player Ike Reese that Andy Reid is just not the answer here. This is in a town that hasn’t celebrated an Eagles championship since way before any of us was thought of. How is the city entitled to anything with that fact in mind? Of course I want the Eagles to win a championship, but please don’t become like Chicago where the Cubs are concerned. That ain’t cool. While it was incredulous Andy Reid chose to have Donovan drop back 52 times and only rush the ball 11, Cherry’s statement was ridiculous. After all, McNabb was near perfect last week against Tampa and no one was calling for anyone’s head then…but that’s Philly for you. I’m writing this simply to give a sense of what goes on here and how turn of events uniquely affect the pulse of Philly like no other town.
I thought the game would be a wash over just like anyone else. Richard Seymour and the rest of his line mates blew up the Eagles blocking schemes before and after prized free agent Jason Peters went out with an apparent knee injury. Oakland were getting theirs no matter what and forced the Eagles to alter whatever game plan was in place. Donovan ran for his NFL life and was sacked 6 times and hit three times as much. There was no excuse and Oakland dominated every facet of the game. It didn’t hurt that 5 called a timeout before the half that the Eagles didn’t have because Andy Reid chose to call one with 2:02 on the clock…as if that made any sense but who am I? I subsequently received 29 texts asking the same damn thing: “Did Donovan just pull a Chris Webber?
Ya’ll suck. Donovan will get ripped here in Philly this week.
This was an organization loss from top to bottom. No one was prepared to play. Pass catchers missed, passes dropped, holes not hit when they did run, miss tackles, two field goals missed, horrible clock management and injuries all over the place. Huggy Bear’s son ran inspired and even JaMarcus Russell balled out. Oakland did not look like the worst team in the NFL at the time. I wonder if those critical of Oakland actually watched an entire Raider game instead of the highlights. Oakland wanted it way more than anyone on the Eagles sideline. It was just one of those games, but the Eagles will live another day.
To the scores:
Game of the Day
Minnesota Vikings (6-0) 33, Baltimore Ravens (3-3) 31
(AP Photo/Jim Mone)
The game of the day. Brett Favre continues to shut me the hell up and is playing like Reggie White has his back again. Brett has just 2 picks and 12 td passes. The running game is opening up the entire field for old head. If you are waiting for the Vikings to blow up and fall back to earth, you aren’t alone, but don’t hold ya breath. The Ravens rallied from 17 points down and were poised to take the lead, but Steven Hauschka missed a 44 yard field goal as time expired. Ray Rice was boss for Baltimore…as was Joe Flacco. Adrian Peterson ran for 143 to offset Rice’s near 200 yard combined performance and Sidney Rice caught 6 balls for 176. The irony of Hauschka’s miss is that the Ravens let go accurate Matt Stover who had 14 game winning kicks with Cleveland and then Baltimore. When teams win games like this, it gives them a self confidence that will be difficult to match. Percy Harvin is a stud.
New England (4-2) 59, Tennessee (0-6) 0
(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Tom Brady threw for 6 touchdowns and 380 yards…in the snow…before being replaced in the third quarter with a 59 point lead. He was 29 for 34. Wes Welker had 10 catches for 150, Moss had 129 yards and 3 tds and Maroney had 123 yards on the ground. I don’t know what is going on with the Titans. It can’t be all about hybrid Albert Haynesworth’s absence. Yeah, he rushed the passer and stopped the run with the best of them, but wth? Vince Young finally replaced Kerry Collins after an abysmal 2-12 passing day. The only bright spot was Chris Johnson running for 128 on 17 carries…a 7.5 per carry clip. If they are not going to play you Vince in a season that is awash, BOUNCE. If the Pats can do it like this in the snow, the league better watch out.
New Orleans (5-0) 48, New York (5-1) 27
(AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Man listen, this Saints team is looking like the Vikings of ’98, the Rams of ’00 and the Pats of ’07. They are blasting everyone. It doesn’t matter how high on the totem pole a team is, they are running over and around them as if they are playing on another planet. Drew Brees is throwing darts to a myriad of weapons and the defense is playing just well enough to keep their opponents on their heels and uncomfortable as hell. 7 different players scored for the Saints and Brees was touched just once…after a touchdown pass. This is hands down the best team in the NFL and with the Vikings heading into Pittsburgh this week, the gap may be widened. Brees has exactly 1400 yards passing in 5 games. How many will he end up with? Can this team go all the way? Are they gangsta enough to really go deep into the playoffs when they really haven’t done anything of note in the recent past? Is their defense strong enough? Do the Giants miss Plaxico Burress? Are they as good as their record states? Has the NFC East fell off?
Houston (3-3) 28, Cincinnati (4-2) 17
I guess the Bengals aren’t for real huh? Matt Schaub goes off. Antwan Odom, who leads the league with 8 sacks, is out with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Green Bay (3-2) 26, Detroit (1-5) 0
Donald Driver passes Sterling Sharpe on the GB reception list. Aaron Rodgers throws for 358.
Pittsburgh (4-2) 27, Cleveland (1-5) 14
Big Ben passes for 417 as Steelers gain 543 total.
Carolina (2-3) 28, Tampa Bay (0-6) 21
DeAngelo Williams rushes for 152, Jonathan Stewart 110. Carolina piles up 267.
Kansas City (1-5) 14, Washington (2-4) 6
Washington benches Jason Campbell. Strips Jim Zorn of play calling and gives responsibility to Sherman Lewis. Jim Zorn is hanging by a string. 7 first downs for the Skins.
Jacksonville (3-3) 23, St. Louis (0-6) 20 OT
David Garrad passes for career high 335. Maurice Jones-Drew runs for 133 and 3 touchdowns.
Arizona (3-2) 27, Seattle (2-4) 3
Larry Fitzgerald catches 13 for 100, Warner ties fastest to 30,000. Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu out for season with torn pectoral muscle.
Oakland (2-4) 13, Philadelphia (3-2) 9
Despite Brian Westbrook getting 8 yards a rush, the Eagles put the ball up 52 times. That damn pigeon sucks! The Eagles are not as good as advertised and the Raiders are not as bad. JaMarcus should build on this huge win and be determined to develop into more than just a play action quarterback. Stanford Routt has a great game defending Philadelphia receivers.
Buffalo (2-4) 16, New York (3-3) 13 OT
Mark Sanchez throws 5 picks to offset Thomas Jones franchise record 210 yards on the ground. Does Terrell Owens still play for the Bills? Kris Jenkins likely done for season with serious knee injury. MRI forthcoming. Trent Edwards leaves with concussion.
Atlanta (4-1) 21, Chicago (3-2) 14
The Bears ineptitude to get into the end zone on 3 drives inside the 5 cost the Bears a win.
Check out Temple 3′s recap as well. It’s really good. That picture…my gosh man!