Week 13 observations

Through some incredibly fortunate dumb luck, I was scheduled to attend some business meetings in Redmond, WA which coincided with my Eagles playing the Seahawks in Seattle.  A couple of clicks through Ticketmaster and I had myself a seat about 10 rows up in the upper deck on the 35 yard line:

I’ll write more about my experience at the game in a later post, for now I’ll concentrate on the game itself.

Eagles reach a new low

The 31-14 final score flattered the Eagles.  Among the problems in this game:

1. Vince Young is an atrocious QB.  Three of his four interceptions were horrible (one came on a deflected pass that was more his receiver’s fault).  The game clinching TD for Seattle came when he was picked off on a screen pass.  What was terrible was that *I* knew that a screen pass was coming based on the formation the Eagles lined up in.  Unfortunately, so did one of the Seahawks linebackers who stepped in front of the pass and returned it for a TD.

2. Tacking – Really, there wasn’t any.  Marshawn Lynch ran for 150+ yards, many of those after first and second contact was made.   His first TD was a symbol of the Eagles defensive softness.  He should have been tackled by about 4 guys, but kept the pile moving until he shook free for the TD.

3. DJax – The seat I had at the game provided a great perspective on his complete lack of effort all night long.  Numerous times he just jogged through his routes showing no effort.  He missed downfield blocks which would have resulted in longer gains for his teammates.  He looks completely disinterested in playing.  The Philadelphia media is awash in stories that he should have received a contract extension earlier in the season which shows a complete lack of understanding of human motivation.  For my money, the Eagles and DJax can’t part ways soon enough.

4. Really, running the football is an option – For me, this is a dead horse I wish I could stop beating.  How McCoy only has 17 carries in this game is beyond me.  Just give him the $^&*$#@ ball already. 

5. Game management – A couple of items of note: (1) The lack of pace in the hurry up offence with the Eagles down 24-7 then 24-14 was perplexing.   Still very much in the game, they were using most of the :40 clock to get their plays off, reducing their chance of mounting a comeback; (2) Andy Reid elected not to call timeout inside of 1:00 left in the first half.  After a Seahawks FG, the Eagles were only left with less than 0:30 to get points – it could have been twice that; (3) In an obvious punt situation in the 4th quarter, the Eagles couldn’t get the right guys on the field in time and had to burn a valuable timeout.  These three are symbolic of troubles in game management that have plagued my team for years.  Reid should really have an assistant coach to whom he delegates all time-related decisions.

All that being said, it was a great experience to see the game in Seattle.  The Eagles were so bad that I didn’t feel any urge to stand up and cheer, which likely helped me return to the hotel with all my teeth (ok, a bit of an exaggeration – Seattle was by far the friendliest stadium for visiting fans I’ve been to so far).

**********************

I was stuck with only regular broadcast TV in my Seattle and Redmond hotel rooms on Sunday, so only got to see parts of a couple of games.   This also affected my snack lineup – this is what I could scrounge up from a very sketchy corner store close to my hotel:

Here’s what I saw from the few games I got on TV:

Steelers – Bengals:  Cincinnatti is losing steam and it’s tough to see them hanging on for a playoff spot.  Pittsburgh laid a good beat down on them.  The most encouraging thing I saw for the Steelers was the play of James Harrison.  After injuries slowed him earlier in the year, he looks like his old self, and that means trouble for any offence they go up against. 

Packers – Giants:  I watch enough football  that I’ve got strong held opinions about the ability of each of the officiating crew (yes, I need help).  Jeff Triplett’s crew officiated this game, and they’re normally horrible (and Triplette just looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing most of the time). However, in 4-5 extremely close calls, they got all of them right.  (Note: The day after the game, there was a still photo published that showed the crew should have awarded the Giants a TD that they ruled as an incomplete pass – so maybe not as strong a game as I first thought).  As for the game itself, it was one of the top 3-4 games all year.  Great back and forth action, exceptional plays by both teams and a few lead changes down the stretch.

Lions – I only saw about 25 minutes of this game and saw them commit 3 really dumb penalties (including one player shove an official).  That team is really one of the most undisciplined teams after the whistle, and with their actions over the past 2 weeks, will only draw more attention from officials until they clean up their game.

With the time difference out here on the west coast combined with some evening conference activities, I completely missed the Monday night game.  Looking at the game recap on SportsCenter this morning, it doesn’t look like I missed much.

I love traveling, but I’m very happy that week 14 will see me back home with Sunday Ticket, Red Zone, dual TVs and gourmet snacks.

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