Week 6 observations

After missing last week’s games (seriously, I couldn’t find a bar in Milan that carried any NFL action), I was really excited to set up the dual televisions and enjoy the last day of vacation from my sofa.   With Jodi traveling to Moncton for work for the next few days, I was on my own for snack making.  Really happy with what I pulled together…

Pita chips (pita split in half, brushed with garlic/rosemary olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder – about 7-9 mins in a 300F oven)

Pulled pork sandwiches (pork shoulder seared on all sides then dropped in a slow cooker for 8 hours with a sauce made from cooking onions/garlic in the pork fat then adding dark rum, chili sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and liquid smoke):

A couple of things from the games I watched most closely:

Eagles come back from the dead:  Nice to see my team play like it cared this week.   Their tackling was much better than it has been all year and they held the Redskins rushing attack in check.   The defence looked solid, but when you get to play against Rex Grossman, you’ve got to take the 4 interceptions with a grain of salt.   The Eagles continue to have an under appreciated run blocking offensive line.  I’ve been saying that for weeks, but against Washington, there were a number of well executed blocking schemes that opened up huge holes for McCoy to run through.  The Eagles are lucky to have Todd Herremans – he’s very versatile and played left tackle this week due to other injuries and looked great all game long.  Kudos to the coaching staff for a solid game plan and for sticking with the run.  The Eagles are off on a bye next week, and at 2-4 are very much still in danger of missing the playoffs.  Interestingly, the Eagles have never lost coming out of a bye week with Andy Reid as coach.  The match-up on Oct 30th against Dallas will be a big one.

49ers could be for real:  Their game against the Lions hurt to watch.  It was full of penalties, bad refereeing and incomplete passes and took more than 3:30 to complete.   However, the come from behind win and the dust up between the coaches at the end of the game made for good TV.  The 49ers play in a weak division and may only need 2-3 more wins to secure a playoff spot.   They’re solid on both sides of the ball and have very good special teams.

Cowboys-Patriots game: Both coaches made fundamental tactical mistakes in this game.  At the end of the first half, Belichick didn’t use his timeouts to stop the clock during Dallas’ scoring drive and ended up with all 3 timeouts unused.   Had he even used one to stop the clock, he would have given his offence another opportunity to score in the first half.  In the second half, it was the Dallas coaching staff making the mistakes.  Their conservative play calling late in the game made it obvious they were settling for a field goal and a 3 point lead.  That left Tom Brady with ample time for a game winning TD drive.   It was a classic example of a coach making decisions so that the blame would rest on his defence for losing, rather than on him for making more aggressive play calls.   You never want to count on your defence to win a game for you with a few minutes left – especially when they’re facing a pro bowl caliber QB.


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