Friday Morning Quarterback
* The Eagles beat the Houston Texans 34-24 and live another day in the NFL playoff race. But let’s not get carried away. The season still comes down to the next two weeks: games at the Dallas Cowboys and at the New York Giants. If the Birds beat the Cowboys next week, they MAY be in the playoffs. That would reduce the amount of potential losses on their remaining schedule to one: the game the following week at the Meadowlands and likely make their final record 11-5. (Don’t give me the Vikings. They’ll have packed it in by then. And there is no way the Cowboys are going to turn around and beat the Eagles in the final game of the season at Lincoln Financial Field.) If the Eagles should by chance lose to the Cowboys next week, but beat the Giants, that will GUARANTEE them the playoffs as the NFC East division winner. They would win the tiebreaker with the Giants based on head-to-head play. [SIGNUP]
* I love the way the Eagles started Thursday night’s game. All week long the issue was DeSean Jackson’s unhappiness. His contract. His concussions. His not getting the ball. Him being singled out (allegedly) by Andy Reid. So what do they game plan? First play, long down the middle of the field to Jackson. Nice. You gotta put food in front of the puppies if you want them to grow up big and strong. Now do the right thing and rip up his current contract and pay him the allowable 30 percent increase on his salary right now without regard to whether there is going to be a Collective Bargaining Agreement next season or not. The guy is making less money than Jason Avant, for Christ’s sake.
* LeSean McCoy is a pretty good player.
* There was a Brent Celek sighting on Thursday night! The Eagles missing tight end caught four balls against the Texans, none bigger than the one in the fourth quarter where he stretched out and got a key first down (after a challenge). A couple of plays later, he made a block that sealed off two Texans that allowed fullback Owen Schmitt to catch the clinching touchdown. But don’t get used to this Celek resurgence. Right tackle Winston Justice got banged up in the game, likely meaning that King Dunlap will have to play against the Cowboys…and Celek probably is going to have to stay inside much of the game to help Dunlap block.
* The NFL Network broadcast leaves a lot to be desired. First of all, doesn’t it sound hollow, like they’re broadcasting from a subway platform? Secondly, Joe Theisman might be the annoyingly worst color analyst in football today. And Bob Papa, the play-by-play guy, ain’t no bargain. Jesus, fellas, if you’re gonna do a game, do a game. Otherwise, just do those stupid studio shows with clown-like Deion Sanders and overrated Rich Eisen. (Why is Rich Eisen so well regarded, by the way? Looks like a completely empty suit to me).
* David Akers is now the longest tenured Eagles player. With all due respect, shouldn’t there be a separate category for Akers? After all, using the word “player” for Akers is a bit of a stretch. Akers got one of the game balls after the Texans game. They should have given him one of those mini-footballs we all use on the beach.
* Don’t want to spoil the little party we have going here right now, but the Eagles defense has now given up 26 touchdowns in 33 opponents visits to the red zone this year. You won’t win a Super Bowl with that kind of defense.
* Michael Vick threw one interception and would have had another (and this one for perhaps a pick six) if Texans defensive back Glover Quin wasn‘t playing with a broken hand. Jesus, no wonder why the Texans are 31st in the league against the pass: they’re so depleted in talent back there that they have to play a cornerback with a cast on his hand?
* Who on the Eagles sidelines though sending Smurf-like Chad Hall into the game to run a Wildcat play from the six-yard line was a good idea: Mickey from Seinfeld?
* And finally, I have THE solution to eliminate all these brain-rattling helmet-to-helmet hits to the head: the penalty box. Yep, let’s take a cue from hockey. A defender his a defenseless player helmet-to-helmet, he’s sent to the sidelines for two minutes, making his defense use 10 players against the offense’s 11. Think hurting your team like that might make a defender think twice?