Tag Archives: philadelphia eagles

Bring Plax Back

This is where Plax belongs.

We were 11-1, defending Super Bowl champs, beat every division leader; Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Arizona in Arizona, destroyed the Ravens defensive at home, we were the number one contenders to win the Super Bowl and repeat as champions…

Then Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg with a concealed handgun, fell victim to New York’s strict gun laws and our season was lost.

To say that I hated Plaxico after that night at The Latin Quarter nightclub in New York City was an understatement.

To me and many other New York Giants fans that one moment killed our season and the momentum that we had. Plaxico’s recklessness and lack of common sense not only hindered his career but it hindered our success.

Plax was one of if not the main catalyst behind our run to the Super Bowl the year before. He played injured, caught everything that Eli Manning threw in his direction and showed a sense of leadership that he never showed before. What was lost in that run was his dominance in below freezing temperatures in Green Bay as he caught 12 balls for over 140 yards on a bum ankle to get us to Arizona. Once we got there he came through once again on a fade from Manning that gave us a 17-14 victory and a place in history.

He was a New York legend. In this city winning a title (not to mentioning guaranteeing it the week before then proving it on the field) makes you unforgettable. Joe Namath was a mediocre QB but because of Super Bowl III he can never fail. Doc Gooden’s career flamed out due to drugs and alcohol, but we still remember Doctor K and the Mets of 86.

Plaxico's gun charge derailed his career and the Super Bowl chances of the Giants.

Plax had joined that lexicon, a hard-headed wide receiver that finally put his demons to rest to become a leader and guide us to victory. He could’ve killed the mayor and we wouldn’t have cared to be honest with you.

That was until the old Plax returned the exact next year.

Plax was back to feuding with coach Tom Coughlin, fined for immaturity and then the gun charge came and derailed his career and the Giants season.

I hated Plax. As I watched Dominik Hixon drop passes and the run game stall thanks to no deep threat I kept thinking back to that night in the LQ and it made me mad to no end. When Plax went to jail I thought good riddance, thanks for killing our season and the immediate future dude.

(Side note: sometimes as fans we get so caught up in the sport itself that we forget about life. As much as fans hated Plax imagine how his family felt with his impending sentence. I would just miss him catching passes, but his daughter would miss him as a father.

Sure Plax screwed up off of the field in terms of violating his contract and dooming his team, but he doomed his family structure for a few years. That softened my hatred for Plax because honestly the Giants could’ve found another receiver. Families just can’t find another dad, it doesn’t work like that.)

Two years have gone by and Plax was released from prison this past May. He looks like the same lanky receiver that was roaming the sidelines years earlier and was eager to return to the sidelines.

Rumors of the Eagles signing him as well as the Jets have surfaced, but there is one team that I think Plax should play for more than any others… The New York Giants.

That’s right, I want Plax back in blue wearing his number 17 and catching jump balls from Eli Manning again.

Let’s be real, when Plax and Eli were together they were a perfect match. He was Eli’s go to guy and Plax didn’t disappoint. He was a hard matchup for any defender and he and Eli exploited it every single time.

Plax is a Giant, always will be in my eyes. Sure he screwed up but that cant overshadow what he did in 2007 and how he performed in pressure situations.

He deserves a second chance and a chance to redeem himself for what happened 3 years ago and he deserves that chance in New York and not with the Jets.

I can’t believe that I’m actually writing this after being super salty towards him years ago. We were a Super Bowl contender with very few injuries, the toughest offensive and defensive lines in the game and it was clear that no one could beat us. Once the LQ incident happened and the firestorm that followed we couldn’t focus and we were done.

It was in part due to Plax and his selfishness. Now three years later he will walk into Tom Coughlin’s office and talk about the past and a possible future in New York with the Giants.

Hopefully when it’s over Plaxico Burress will return to the Meadowlands and don the number 17 in blue next season and link up with Eli again in hopes of bringing home another title.

That’s what Plax deserves, and that’s what we deserve as fans.


Make Or Break For The Washington Capitals

These playoffs have to be different for the Washington Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin and company should watch old footage of the 90’s Philadelphia Flyers, the early 2000’s Sacramento Kings, the mid 2000’s Philadelphia Eagles and the early 2000 New York Mets. Why you ask? Because they all have one thing in common, they all couldn’t get over the hump.

The Kings never could beat the Lakers, the Eagles never pushed themselves to a championship level, the Flyers always fell short and the Mets teased, exceeded and then failed. Washington, you’re next.

Honestly I shouldn’t care. As a homer I hope desperately that my Rangers will oust the Washington Capitals and begin a Stanley Cup march. Yet the Capitals are so much more intriguing of a storyline.

The Caps roll into the playoffs as the league’s hottest and most dangerous team. In January they were 6th in the Eastern conference and trying to figure out how the new defensive style that Bruce Boudreau implemented this year.  Now they are the number one seed after snatching it up from slumping Philly in the last two months of the year. After a 6-0 beat down by the Rangers in late February, the Caps went 16-4 the rest of the way and find themselves as the current favorite to win the Cup.

Playoff exits have been too early for the Caps.

Boudreau’s system turned out to be more than successful as the Caps finished in the top 5 in GAA and number 2 overall in penalty killing even though they were a middle of the road offensive team. Alex Ovechkin sacrificed the most of any other player as he finished with career lows in goals and points, as did Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom.

Even though the Caps weren’t lighting the lamp as much, they were winning at a higher rate and stifling opponents at the same time.

Now comes the hard part.

Sure all of this worked in the regular season and they benefitted from Tampa Bay’s drop off thanks to their younger players hitting a wall. However, the postseason is a different animal, and it’s one that the Caps haven’t been able to tame.

Last year the Capitals were number one in the entire league and were barely even challenged during the regular season.  Once the playoffs hit they began pummeling the Montreal Canadiens and led the series 3-1 thanks to a 17-goal outburst in three games. Yet they lost the series because Montreal shut them down on offensive and Mike Cammalleri was able to find the net frequently even though the Habs registered 70 less shots than the Caps in the last 3 games.

Couple that with their lackluster showing in game 7 against Pittsburgh the previous year and getting ousted by the Flyers in the year before that and the Caps are in must win mode.

This team cannot afford a third straight early round exit as the Eastern Conferences number one seed. If not for the Rangers inability to score in 09 then the Caps would have been eliminated in three straight first-round series. The Caps have to win and win impressively if they want to avoid the stigma that currently sits in front of them.

And you know who it starts with.

Alex Ovechkin has to shake off his down year and be the force that he once was in this series. He has to be physical; he has to charge Henrik Lindquist at will, he has to be 60-goal Ovie instead of this version.

For the Caps to win it all Ovechkin has to score more.

Yes the Rangers are more physical, more rugged and like to slow the game down even more than Washington, but Ovechkin has to break that cycle. If this becomes a defensive struggle then the edge will go to the Rangers simply because that’s how the Rangers have always played and it’s a style of play that benefits them. The Rangers have no Ovechkins, no Alex Semin’s, no big-time playmakers that can change a game. Hell they don’t even have Ryan Callahan who will miss the playoffs because of a broken leg suffered from blocking a shot (by the way, the Rangers lead the league in blocked shots as well as hits).

What they do have is one of the best defensive pairings in the league in Marc Stall and Dan GIrardi. They have a ton of young, big, physical forwards that love to grind it out and wear a team down like Brian Boyle and Artem Anisimov. The Rangers almost beat the Caps two years ago in the same  1 vs. 8 scenario, but were undone by their lack of goal scoring. This year the Rangers outscored their opponents by a larger margin than the Caps… and they’re an 8th seed.

Hence the reason Ovechkin, Semin and company have to get going. If they don’t speed the game up and make the Rangers play at a faster pace then the Caps will have another summer of what if’s. questions and doubts.

Do I think the Caps will win the series? Unfortunately yes. Sure the Rangers owned them in the regular season but that doesn’t matter now. The Caps are red-hot and look better than any other team has at anytime during the year. They are on a mission to quiet the naysayers and doubters and finally get over the hump and they finally have the system and players to do it.

However, we said this about Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, about Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid about the Legion Of Doom and Carlos Beltran. Are the Capitals really ready to take that next step? Or are we watching the same old story with different characters? Beginning Wednesday we’ll find out.


The Eagles Love To Torture Me

I hate the Eagles.

I remember when the New York Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 10-7 years ago on a Brian Westbrook punt return for a touchdown. I remember looking the television at Champps in Columbia, Maryland a if someone had just jumped up and roundhouse kicked me in the testicles and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t move, speak or anything. I remember walking to work afterwards in the most demoralized state that I had ever been in.

It was worse than the 39-38 loss in the playoffs to San Francisco where we blew a 24 point lead the previous year because this was a divisional rival and that loss began a slow painful death to our year. It was the end of the Kerry Collins era when he got injured and was then jettisoned out of town, it was the end of Jim Fassel as we lost the next eight games to finish 4-12 and it was the beginning of my absolute hatred towards the Eagles.

Yeah I know that they’re a divisional rival and the New York and Philly are supposed to hate each other, but I always had mutual respect for Philadelphia. This goes back to my old adage of how parents shape your sports life, well my mom at a point in my lifetime loved Randall Cunningham and how he darted through defenses in those pls green, grey and white uniforms just thrashing people and leaving linebackers wondering what happened. So I started liking the Eagles a little because of Randall and his unorthodox style of play (side note: another reason why fatherless homes suck, you get confused in your sports allegiances. Had I had my dad around he would’ve slapped some sense into me and told me that he would disown me if I like the Eagles in any way. You know like how I will if my kid ever wears an Islanders, Michigan or Red Sox jersey).

If it really is deja vu, then the Giants season will take the same turn it did in 03 after Westbrook's return.

Besides I hated everyone else in the division that had to be hated. The Cowboys and Redskins were like chopped liver to me and I want Troy Aikman and Darrell Green to die more than Reggie White or Keith Byars. My thinking was that since I hated those two I might as well like the Eagles because they have to play them like the Giants did, so I made my mom and i happy.

Then, well the Eagles got better than the Giants and I got older and began to learn regional rivalries. You can’t like the Eagles, their off-limits like every other team in your division. You have to hate them it’s only natural. I mean the Packers fans can’t like the Lions because it’s not a rivalry but it’s an interdivisional matchup. How crappy would you feel if the Lions made the playoffs thanks to a win over the Packers and they missed out on the playoffs? Exactly.

(the sad part about this is that living in Maryland totally jaded this rule to so many people. Starting about 2007 there were so many people claiming that they liked the Orioles and the Red Sox that I want to drown myself in the harbor. People gave me the same answer over and over “I like the Red Sox a lot but I’m still an o’s fan… Um no you’re not. 1. You couldn’t name one Neil Diamond song, 2. You have no Boston ties except maybe in seafood and 3. You never, ever, say that a team in your own division means just as much to you as the team you grew up with. Thats like if my buddy Scully said to me that he liked the Nats now but not if they play his Phillies… I would hit him with a skillet.)

So as Donovan McNabb and gang green rolled to 4 NFC title games and a Super Bowl I had to deal with the fumble brothers Kerry and Tiki, the beginning of the Eli era and Will Allen an Will Peterson who I still loathe to this day.

Then came my moment of glory, 2008 and the Giants Super Bowl win. Scully and my other Eagles buddy Andrew always try to discredit that win by saying Eli’s a bum the Giants got lucky and other phrases I’ve heard day in and out in my life, but all I did was point to my shirt and say that Donovan couldn’t do it in 4 and Eli did it in 1. I had all the material I needed. There wasn’t a thing that any Eagles fan could say to me about the Giants. I dont care about the 2008 playoffs loss. The fact that we got swept last year or anything. The Eagles got nothing on us… Until yesterday.

That 38-31 loss was the most heartbreaking loss of my life. Yes I understand the Yankees lost a 3-0 lead in 2004 an the Rangers blew a 3-1 lead against the Caps two years ago but like the 2003 Eagles loss those were slow painful deaths. This was at the alter about to get married having the band playing for ten minutes while waiting for your bride to come out, which she obviously won’t, bad.

We had the division wrapped up, a first round bye and legitimate Super Bowl shot all wrapped up and we threw it in the fire. I’ve never seen a football team collapse the way that we did and of all places it had to happen to me while I was in Boston on a personal holiday. It was almost the ballbuster of the trip, thank god Elizabeth was sitting next to me so I couldn’t go into full meltdown mode and she would think i was a nut.

Here’s all you need to know; the Giants absolutely dominated 52 minutes and 30 seconds of this game. We kept Mike Vick in check, stopped any big DeSean Jackson plays and threw all over the Eagles defense. It was 31-10 after Eli threw his 4th TD of the game and it was over, I told Liz it was over I even sent Scully and Andrew messages mocking that stupid E-A-G-L-E-S chant. I was thinking about the Packers next week and how we get the number two seed in the NFC… then this ridiculousness happened.

At 7:38 in the fourth quarter Vick hot tight end for a 70 yard touchdown because Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell stayed aggressive with a 21 point lead and Kenny Phillips tried to make a big play and failed miserably. 31-17 G-men. No problem.

Then the Eagles recover an onside kick, understandable… EXCEPT OUR SPECIAL TEAMS COACH DIDN’T HAVE THE HANDS UNIT OUT JUST IN CASE A TEAM DOWN BY 14 POINTS MIGHT WANT TO TRY AN ONSIDE KICK THIS LATE IN THE GAME!!!!!

(side note: my buddy Tara always says Scully and I should have our own ESPN show, I disagree because of games like these. Can you imagine me doing a show after this game? I’d get fined or fired because I would rip everyone in a series of f bombs.)

You think I was ticked, try talking to him.

What happens Vick makes a great play on third down because, again, Fewell takes another risk an fails. Three plays later Vick runs it in to cut the lead to 31-24.

At this point I’m not even paying attention to anything Liz is sitting there probably thinking I’m going blow a gasket. He told me her dad gets like that during Browns games so she probably was having a flashback. Poor girl.

Giants get the ball back and I’m praying we get first downs. We get one which leads to this new great moment in the play calling history of Kevin Gilbride: run on first down, pass play on second down which gets us an offside call, run, pass play, sack… ok WHY THROW THE BALL WHEN YOU RUN THE BALL AND KILL CLOCK AND MAKE THE EAGLES USE TIMEOUTS?!?!?! The pass plays cost us clock and a penalty. If we run the ball we kill the clock, game over done. Instead the Eagles get the ball with 3 minutes left.

After forcing another third down Vick runs 30 yards for a first down because Aaron Ross over plays him instead of containing him (at one point I wanted an Aaron Ross jersey, I’m glad I never got it). The two minute warning hits and Liz goes to call her mom, she’s seen this picture before apparently. One minute left Vick to Maclin, touchdown, tied game… Shoot me.

So instead of it being tied with seconds left, which should’ve happened if Gilbride had common sense, there’s a minute left, the Giants are so discombobulated we get nothing an get sacked with 14 seconds left.

Now the ridiculous part… Let me tell you how scared I am when Matt Dodge punts the ball, Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween scared. He’s terrible, I’ve watched him punt this year, league’s worst punter hands down… And he’s kicking to DeSean Jackson… Tom Coughlin tells him do what even Helen Keller knows to do in this situation with a guy like Jackson back there, kick the ball out of bounds. Easy right? He’s a punter, it’s his job, what does he do… Kicks the damn ball directly to Jackson… I’m not making this up.

As he returns the ball up the sidelines I immediately thought of the Westbrook return and how it killed our season in 2003. I knew our season was done, we won’t make the playoffs with two road games left, we won’t recover from this. The damn Eagles did it to me again. They ruined a promising season where the Giants should be going to the playoffs as a two seed and home field advantage. Instead we won’t make the playoffs it’s done.

38-31 Eagles win. When Liz came back she tried to console which led to me going into the bathroom and cursing Matt Dodge and his mother to hell. Of course this happens in Boston and I’m sure Scully, Andrew and every pats fan got a kick out of it.

The Eagles are now more hated in my house than the Cowboys or Redskins ever will be. They’re secondary to the Eagles who continue to torment me. Westbrook, McNabb, and now Jackson. If my mom or anyone influences my kid to like the Eagles I’m jumping off of a cliff.


McNabb: A Play

I guess Shanahan is MacBeth to McNabb's Banquo, look close and you can see the kinfe.

And now I present to you a piece of a new play I’m writing. A tale about talent, time and torture, the story of a man that is strong in will and leadership but is done in by his graceful persona and meekness. Ladies an gentlemen I give you MCNABB:

Act 1, scene 1:
(the three witches. Loria, Reid and Owens sit calmly outside of The Linc in Philadelphia. Their eyes fixed on their television screens eyeing the moves of McNabb and his associate Shanahan. Owens laughs at the misfortunes of the man he once considered his friend while Reid and Loria ponder McNabb’s misfortune)

Witches: double double toil and trouble, Fedex burns and Dan Snyder bubbles. Wicked man Shanahan turns all the wheels while Donovan paces with wounds yet to heal.

Owens: soft man McNabb winner of zero, without my aid he wouldve never been a hero. Look at Philly thrives in his departure, his is just a novice while Vick is the archer.

Reid: oh dear brother I stood by at war, when words pierced us together an we fell on our swords. I benched thee in the same fashion of the present. Though Rex Grossman in my eyes would never have left my bench kid.

Loria: I gave unto thee riches never seen before Snyder made player contracts obscene. I traded thee to a familiar circumstance with no weapons, no receivers and nary a chance.

Witches: we see you again and again you are down, but now at 34 are you down for the count. New contract at hand but the future is dim. Dear friend we fear your time is at end.

Scene 2:
(Donovan sits next to Albert Haynesworth contemplating what to do next after another debilitating setback that has lessened his influence as an excellent quarterback and now brings him more doubters.)

Albert: cardiovascular endurance huh? I would love to hear his excuse for me.

Shanahan believes Rex runs the offense better, or is he hiding the truth?

Donovan: wouldn’t we all.

A: you have to speak out against these demons with huge egos. How can a man that was fired after it was clear that he couldn’t lead a team without a superstar quarterback tell us that Rex Grossman is a better fit for out team? Did he not see how terrible he was in Chicago?

D: indeed it is troubling. But I have been here before with Owens, and Limbaugh. With follies overtime rules, which are dumb to begin with, and the lack of a ring. This is nothing new to me. Nor will it get old.

A: time and time again Donovan you have handled these failures of judgement of character with grace and humility. You are one of the best men in the league and yet you are constantly disgraced. It’s not your fault we have no receivers, no run game or no direction. The shanahan’s are merely deflecting blame to save their name.

D: indeed but who cares we’ll be rid of them next year with I in Minnesota and you with Giants.

A: hopefully. I would say I shouldn’t have left Tennessee but you see that mess.

D: indeed.

Scene 3:
(Dan Snyder throws money in every direction in ignorance. He’s currently wondering about the price of possible free agents Jon Kitna, Brian Westbrook and even aging defensive end Kyle Vandenbosch… there is no dialogue just imagine the stupidity and the possible amount of money that Snyder is about to waste on aging players… Again.)

Scene 4:
(the shanahan’s Kyle and Mike comb over their evil plots of self-absorbency of their egos and their plots of showing their power)

Mike: we’ve finally rid ourselves of Donovan McNabb.

Kyle: an excellent play dad of putting every blame on the aging moor when in reality injuries have decimated us, we’re on our fifth different running back and my play calling had been atrocious.

M: yes. Deflecting blame is what I do best. Yes this is partly my personnel and I did want McNabb here, but I can’t take blame for this mess. These players will understand that I am in charge if I have to cut or bench everyone. This is my team and my rules. I care not that I gave McNabb nothing to work with or that he has a bad offensive lone that could block a soccer ball. You play by my ridiculous rules and if you cant comply with my ridiculousness then sit down.

K: thank you father for sparing me in this process. I have pathetic in my practice especially in that Giants game two weeks ago were I looked like a moron. You saved me from all harm dad.

(Our act ends with McNabb riding the bench looking as stoic as ever, waiting patiently for his time in Washington to be done. A shadow emerges in the form of Zigi Wilf and a message reads “come to minnesota” and McNabb heeds the warning and plans his escape north.

Shanahan watches as Grossman fumbles and trips over himself and the Redskins begin the descend deeper into mediocrity while Dan Snyder talks about adding the Panthers Steve Smith to his team for 100 million dollars, again past his prime. Shanahan can no longer place blame, but he can’t take it either so he steps down a year later as does his son.

Haynesworth moves to New York for a million dollars and explodes for thirteen sacks and another huge deal as the Giants become the most dominate team in the league. How the next act will play out is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure, this has been one big comedy of errors.)


The NFC Is Just As Good As The AFC

Matt Ryan and the Falcons might be the team to beat... in the NFL.

Maybe we should start rethinking this whole AFC is better than the NFC thing.

Think about it. A few weeks ago the top 5 on the NFL all hailed from the AFC. The Ravens, Steelers, Jets, Pats and Colts were all in our top 5 in some order with the Titans and Dolphins in the mix as well.

The Falcons, Packers and Bears were all after thoughts and the Giants, Eagles and Saints we we were iffy about. Now? Who wouldn’t take the Falcons and Bears over the Jets or Ravens?

After Sunday it’s become clear that the power in the NFL is just as big in the NFC as it is in the NFC. The Falcons sit atop the league at 9-2 in a loaded division with the Saints at 8-3 and the surprising, yet well playing, Buccaneers at 7-4 and they each play again in the last five weeks. With the Saints hard charging and the Bucs getting tougher with each week, the Falcons have no room to breathe easy.

However neither does the rest of the conference. With Matt Ryan behind center the Falcons have lost only one game at home in his two plus years in Atlanta… once. If the road to the Super Bowl does run through Atlanta then we should just pencil the Falcons in right now.

Problem is that they haven’t played the Bears and that rejuvenated defense that is playing like it’s 1986. Julius Peppers and company have a overshadowed a terrible offensive line that hasn’t gotten better. Yet it doesn’t matter. What they did to Mike Vick and the Eagles attack was mind bending. Four sacks, a pick that was Vick’s first all year and shutting down LeSean McCoy in a dominant performance that may finally have skeptics believing that the Bears are really good.

The Bears defense has turned them into a contender

Also, Jay Cutler is playing efficient, smart football… yeah, I just wrote that. He’s finally realizing that he doesn’t always have to go for home runs on every play. He threw for four touchdowns yesterday with no picks and no bad passes. His steady play gave Chicago’s defense room to be as aggressive as it was without having to worry about his mistake-prone ways.

They have a date at the end of the season with the Green Bay Packers who seem to have righted the ship after an early rough start due to a rash of injuries.

Aaron Rodgers is playing like the best QB in the league and that 3-4 defense les by Clay Matthews is looking like one of the league’s best heading into the home stretch.

The Packers hold pressing wins over Philadelphia and New York and go on the road to Boston to take on the Patriots in late November. Despite the loss on Sunday to Atlanta the Packers are still in great position to get a nber two seed in the NFC and a central division title.

The normally strong NFC East will come down to two enigmatic yet dangerous teams in The Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants.

The Eagles have looked in good in spurts, dominating Indianapolis, Atlanta and the Giants while looking terrible versus Tennessee, Chicago and Washington.

The offense has become the strong point of the team with the big play capabilities of Jeremy Maclin an DeSean Jackson and Mike Vick is an MVP front runner. The problem lies with their game to game consistency.

After destroying Washington on Monday night they almost let the Giants win a game that the Eagles should’ve won by 14 and then came the Chicago game where the Bears physically dominated them for four quarters and left the Eagles scratching their heads.

As good as they’ve been the Eagles need to put together consecutive good efforts if they want to go further than just a NFC East title.

Then there’s the 7-4 Giants who at one point were considered the best team in the NFC before injuries and the annual second half swoon kicked in. As good as they’ve looked the main issue for the Giants is turnovers… and lots if them.

They lead the league with 30 on he season which has overshadowed top 5 offensive and defensive units which have played outstanding throughout the season putting up points and getting to the quarterback (occasionally injuring them. They also lead the league with 5 injured QB’s at their hands.)

Unfortunaely that’s 7 well qualified teams for only 5 open spots (thank you pitiful NFC West). The race for the last two spots in the conference should be exciting as every team plays against each other in some fashion with Giants facing the Packers and Eagles, the Packers against the Bears and the Saints, Bucs and Falcons all with a game left against each other. It makes for some very exciting football down the stretch as the beat are goin against the best in the last 5 weeks.

Don’t sleep on the AFC however. This weekend the two main attractions in he league are on Sunday and Monday night as the Steelers go to Baltimore to face the Ravens and the Jets head to Gillette Stadium to play the Pats. Those two games should begin to decide the seeding in the AFC which seems to have its top 2 set with along the wildcard with the South and West a mess and seemingly non important.

However the rest of the season belongs to the NFC. The most intriguing and exciting teams and games will feature the conference that we all saw as an afterthought but might be the ultimate power in the league.

After ten weeks we thought we has the league all figured out. The AFC was the king and should’ve rolled to another Super Bowl victory. Then Tennessee fell off Baltimore, Jacksonville and the Jets fell to the best in the NFC in their stadiums and here we are wrong as ever. Hey it happens, I mean I did pick the Bengals to win the Super Bowl.


Vick For MVP

So, Peyton Manning is having a good season, Matt Ryan is having an MVP caliber year, Tom Brady, Arian Foster (until yesterday), Clay Matthews and even Hakeem Nicks. They could all be seen as possible MVP candidates and all deservingly so… but the award is Mike Vick’s to lose. Without question.

Honestly, who else has had an impact on their team the way that Vick has had? Without him the Eagles are probably 4-5, maybe 5-4. The offense wouldn’t be as potent… scratch that, dominant.

MVP? You're looking at him.

The air around the team wouldn’t be the same. There wouldn’t be that spring in DeSean Jackson’s step or in LeSean McCoy’s. There wouldn’t be the same connection with Jeremy Maclin. There wouldn’t be an assurance to the defense (which isn’t Philly’s beat in years) that they could play more aggressive because they have an offense that can score on anyone at anytime.

What Mike Vick has done is what he was always expected to do; elevate a team to the next level and make it look easy. He’s always had the speed when flushed out of the pocket and the arm to fire a bullet for a huge game. Now however he is becoming a more complete quarterback as accuracy has been a much needed addition to his passing game. Vick not only can fit the ball into small windows, but he knows when to check down to McCoy, he puts the ball on the money to his tight end Brent Celek and Jason Avant, and when need be he can gun the ball downfield with ease to a streaking Jackson.

Vick is now more than just an athletic playmaking quarterback, instead he is now just a quarterback. You can trust him just as much with his arm as you can with his feet. However those feet are still one he’ll of an asset.

Against the Redskins Vick used his feet to run circles around the defense and scampered in for two scores to go along with his four TD tosses. With Vick behind center it has helped hide Philadelphia’s poor pass protection as defenses can’t keep up with Vick once he exists the pocket.

So how does this make Vick MVP? I mean he did miss a few games and Kevin Kolb was effective in his place. However, you can’t compare what Vick has done to other players. Vick has made the Eagles a contender all by himself. The Packers were expected to be good even with Matthews’s huge season. With Brady and Manning you expect the Pats and Colts to contend year in and year out. Vick was a wild card that has turned into a trump card. He’s putting up college football numbers in the NFL. Cam Newton eat your heart out.

(speaking of which my buddy Will sent me a text. He says that Vick just helped Newton and Terrelle Pryor’s draft status a lot with what he did tonight. That might be true because Newton to me matches Vick from the same athletic standpoint. Pryor in my opinion still has the opportunity to become a really good small forward in the NBA.)

So up next are the New York Giants a defense that has had success against Vick when he was with the Atlanta Falcons. Yet that was the old Vick, the one who thought his athletic ability would help him get by.

This Vick is much different. His game has evolved and he ha gotten better. He’s as good with his arms as he is with his legs. So things might be a little different this time around.

Just watch and see for yourself. Vick isn’t back, he’s just better. How much better? Better enough to be the NFL MVP. No doubt about it.


Shanahan’s Trick Trumps The Redskins Treat

Shanahan's comments about Donovan McNabb are beyond ridiculous.

I’ve heard of a lot of crazy things from NFL coaches in my lifetime. I’ve heard Lovie Smith continually say that Rex Grossman was his quarterback for months, even though Rex couldn’t hold on to his jock strap without losing it. I’ve heard Andy Reid call his quarterback situation a blessing when it really is a huge curse. I’ve heard Ken Whisenhunt say that Derek Anderson is the perfect man for his offense ( somewhere Matt Leinart is still laughing at that one)…

But there is nothing dumber than what I heard from Redskins coach Mike Shanahan when discussing why he benched Donovan McNabb with less than two minutes and the Redskins down only 6 points yesterday at Detroit in favor of the aforementioned Grossman. Shanahan claimed that Grossman had a better grasp of the two minute offense and gave the Redskins a better chance to win than McNabb… Um, what?

You mean the same quarterback that was cold coming off of the bench that hasn’t played a live snap in two years? You mean the same quarterback who lost his job in Chicago to Brian Griese? You mean he gave the Skins a better chance to win over the six time pro bowler who lead the Eagles to four straight NFC title games and a Super Bowl and that you paid a hefty price for to acquire from Philadelphia? Really Mike… REALLY??!!

Now let me ask Mike Shanahan a question, do any of us from spectators to Skins fans look that stupid? Apparently so in his eyes. Because after Grossman fumbled away the game to Ndamukong Suh and the Lions finished off the Skins 37-25, there was Shanahan feeding the football world his trash. Unfortunately for McNabb he’s seen this episode before.

This is the second time that McNabb has been pulled from a game due to ” performance” in his career and for the second time it leaves you scratching your head as to why.

In Philadelphia he was pulled by Reid for Kevin Kolb at Halftime of a game versus Baltimore where the Eagles were only down by 3 points. Reid’s reasoning was that he felt the offense needed a spark and he pit Kolb in to do so… against the best defense of the decade. The Eagles then got blown out.

However that was different than this benching in the sense that McNabb and Reid had a history, Shanahan has no history with McNabb at all. What he did was undermine his quarterback and basically his entire team.

What kind of message do you send to your team when you bench your starting quarterback late in a game where you need one score to tie and you’re in the thick of a divisional race? Call me crazy but not a good one.

Unfortunately McNabb is used to this.

For once in his career I just Donovan to go off on someone like they properly deserve. It seems as though every year McNabb is in the center of some type o controversy and always takes the high road like a true professional. Just once I want him to rear back an let some venom fly onto the individuals who continuously put him in a bad situation. Instead he calmly addresses the situation after it’s over an moves on. He’s a better man than I would’ve been.

The worst part of the whole situation is that the Redskins now have a bye week to let this whole story stew before the Eagles come to Fedex Field on the 15th. That means two weeks of stories, analysis, questions and no answers.

Shanahan says McNabb will stay his starter, but for how long? What about that contract extension McNabb sought after? Why would he want to stay after this incident? Also you have to wonder about the ever present Haynesworth situation. Maybe his behavior towered Shanahan wasn’t his fault after all. Maybe Shanahan brought that tension on by himself just like the McNabb situation.

Just what the Redskins and their fans needed, more uncertainty about their team. They tried to create an identity for themselves with the acquisition of Donovan McNabb and now at 4-4, an improvement over season, they still seem to be stuck in the same position as last year.

In the NFC 4-4 is good enough to stay on the playoff hunt. However, you have to wonder with Mike Shanahan’s decision making how much longer they’ll be there. If any of his decisions are as bad as the McNabb benching then not very long.