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Tag:New York Giants
Posted on: December 22, 2009 1:28 pm
 

NFC East Recap - Week 15

Dallas 24 - New Orleans 17

That is why they play the games and don't listen to all of the talking heads on TV and the sports talk show host on the radio or actually read a online blogs from an idiot user on CBS. Because no one, including me, gave Dallas a chance to beat the Saints on Saturday Night. And then they did it.

Was it a must-win game for Dallas? No, but it was pretty close in my opinion knowing their playoff tiebreakers. The Cowboys were swept by the Giants this season, meaning if they finished tied with the G-Men, they're playing golf in January while the Giants travel on the road for a Divisional Playoff game. It is even more likely now that the Eagles-Cowboys Week 17 game will not only decide the NFC East, but the playoff fate for Dallas and the New York Football Giants.

And speaking of those Giants, did you see that beatdown they put on the Redskins last night? Sure the Redskins looked lost and Jim Zorn probably lost his job last night if he hadn't already secured a pink slip, but that was the Giants team that I remember from years past and earlier this September. I wrote in my breakdown last Saturday that Eli wasn't playing all that well, and I was very wrong. User TuckYou correctly pointed out that Eli is having one of his best statistical season, which he is. But I was stuck on a three game stretch in late October-Early November where the Giants lost three in a row (four total the next week to SD, but Eli was good in that game) to New Orleans, Arizona and Philly. Eli threw 6 INTs to 3 TDs in that stretch and completed around 50% of his passes. Most of the Giants wins, Eli has been completeing 60% or better and perhaps I focused too much on his injury and the Giants dismal defense, which by the way showed up big against Washington.

The Eagles took care of business against the 49ers last Sunday and still control their destiny for the playoffs. They have clinched a berth and also have a shot at the #2 seed in the NFC after the Vikings didn't show up against Carolina. More on the Vikes in a minute. But the Eagles desperately need to get healthy. Brain Westbrook is eyeing a return soon and would help take the pressure off rookie McCoy and fullback Weaver in the running game. WR Maclin also missed last Sunday's game and QB Mike Vick left the game with a thigh bruise. The Eagles need to be operating on all cylinders going into the playoffs, especially if the Eagles D continues to be gashed through the air. The Eagles are on a 5-game winning streak and have won 9 games straight in December. If the Vikings lose a game and the Eagles finished tied in overall record with them, they would have the tiebreaker based on conference record.

So how did last week's games affect the rest of the season? Well, it puts a lot of emphasis on the Week 17 games for the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants. But we can't look ahead just yet. Week 16 is still on the slate and for all of this to come down to the final week, each of the three East contenders need to take care of business this weekend too. Brian Dawkins makes his return to The Linc as the Broncos come to Philly. Both teams are in the hunt for the playoffs and while the Eagles have clinched a berth, they aren't resting on their laurels and niether will Denver in the muddled AFC Wild Card race. The Cowboys head to Washington to play the suddenly inept Redskins. Normally I trust the 'Skins to show up for their rivalry game like they did in a Week 11 loss, 7-6. But after last weeks preformance and the Cowboys thrashing of the Saints, there are only two potential outcomes here: blowout win or letdown game for Dallas. The Giants welcome Carolina, led by QB Matt Moore, to the Meadowlands. Carolina has looked better of late, beating the Vikes last week, but there are still questions about the Panthers. The Giants will have to be wary about this game and not let the Panthers' Steve Smith run through their secondary.

But the real fun begins Week 17, because if all goes well and the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants all win, well there's going to be a lot of scoreboard watching on Sunday. As of now, these games are slated for 1 PM EST, but that might change with the NBC Flex Sunday Night game. First, New York heads to Minnesota to play the Vikes. New York needs the game to still have a shot at the playoffs and the Vikings need it to hold on to the 2nd seed in the NFC and a first round bye. Minnesota also plays Chicago on MNF this week. Then the Eagles and Cowboys meet in Dallas to, in all likelyhood, decide the NFC East Divisional crown. The last time these two met it was a sluggish affair and I expect more of a shootout style in a couple of weeks. The Eagles secondary has been gashed through the air and two of the best young receivers in the game, DeSean Jackson and Miles Austin, will be on display with their big-play talents. Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo should both put on passing clinics and the defense will need to make plays to decide this game.

Overall, it's going to be a fun couple of weeks to end the season.
Posted on: December 19, 2009 4:09 pm
 

NFC East Breakdown - Week 15

With only a few weeks left in the NFL's regular season there are only a few interesting races left in the NFL. The AFC East, AFC Wild Card and the NFC East, whose 2nd place finisher will likely grab the final wild card spot and 6th seed in the NFC playoffs. So, here's a brief breakdown on the four NFC East teams and a suprising pick for which team might have the most impact the final three games.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4, 1st NFC East)

It's nice to see my Eagles back in first place, but there is still work to be done. The Eagles remaining three games are tough, but the first two are in Philly as the Eagles welcome the 49ers and the Broncos to Lincoln Financial the next two weeks before closing the year in Dallas. The Eagles will likely be favored in all three games, but all are tough outs. The 49ers have the offensive firepower to expose the weak Eagles defense, especially in the secondary. Crabtree and Davis could have big games for San Fran especially if the Eagles blitz packages aren't getting to the QB. The Eagles will be missing several key offensive weapons in Jeremy Maclin and Brian Westbrook, but Kevin Curtis and LeSean McCoy are likely to fill in. IF the Eagles can get healthy before the playoffs and continue to use Mike Vick effective, this will be a dangerous playoff team, and I think they're in, it's just a matter of where. I think the Eagles can win all three of their final games, but they really need the defense, linebackers and safties especially to step up. The Eagles are in control of their own destiny, win out and you win the division, and the Eagles usually play well late in the season, unlike...

2. Dallas Cowboys (8-5, 2nd NFC East)

Everyone's talking about how Dallas can't win in December. But have you seen their schedule this year? Three divisional games, two of which on the road, plus San Diego (best AFC team not named Indy) and New Orleans (best NFL team not named Indy). Seriously, that's brutal. And don't blame Mr. Jessica Simpson either, Romo's been pretty good all year. 5 TD's, 0 INTs this month too. I don't know who to blame really. All five of their losses have come against good teams, and I'm counting the Giants as good. Their early season loss to big Blue was when the Giants were beating everyone and their second loss was on the road. I don't see them beating the Saints, which means they have to beat Washington in DC and then the Eagles to close the season. They need to play well against the Saints to have a chance, even if they lose. And remember, the Skins outplayed them in the 7-6 Dallas win earlier this year and the Skins aren't an easy out, despite their putrid record.

3. New York Giants (7-6, 3rd NFC East)

The Giants are in a good spot here. They own the tiebreaker against the Cowboys and will know before their Monday Night game where they stand. It's a must win game for the Giants against the 'Skins because a win will either tie or keep pace with the Cowboys depending on their result with the Saints. I've been a firm believer that Eli Manning's foot injury has been more serious because his play has really suffered. Also, the Giants defense is so banged up, especially in the secondary that it is tough to judge this team with any accuracy. The one good news, they get a bad Carolina team at home, easiest game on the remaining slate for any of the playoff hunting NFC East teams (Washington doesn't count, divisional opponent, rivalry, etc.) I think they have a good chance to earn the final spot, and their final game at Minnesota could be a walkover if the Vikings rest players.

4. Washington Redskins (4-9, 4th NFC East)

Well, they canned Vinny Cerrato as GM or VP of Personnel or whatever his title is. Shame that 'Skins fans can't can their owner, who's been killing this franchise for years. Mr. Snyder, when was the last time your team had a surplus of draft picks? Oh that's right never...and you wonder why this team is never deep on the depth chart. In spite of all this, and the calling of Zorn's head too, this team fights, it always has. Jason Campbell has been effective at QB and the defense is stout as usually. There will be a lot of changes in the offseason to this team, but this team still has an important role to play in this season. They have a huge chance to play spoiler here for either New York or Dallas. If they beat either team, guaranteed that team doesn't make the playoffs. More so for Dallas since the Giants have the head-to-head tiebreaker. It's a shame that Washington is missing so many weapons in Cooley, Portis and Betts because they're not far away from being a good team. But they need to shake this losing mentality, and that means winning despite a terrible front office.

If you put a gun to my head right now, I say that the Eagles win the division and the Giants get the final playoff spot. I won't give records or scenarios, but that's what I'm thinking. The Giants beating Atlanta was huge in the playoff race as they are sitting alone at "#7" in the NFC Playoffs. I think they have a lot of tiebreakers and a favorable schedule and they are getting healthy. Dallas will miss out and probably can Wade Phillips and the 'Skins will likely can Zorn too, which is a shame since I like both coaches and blame the front offices for most of the problems each team has. My predictions will likey set up another Eagles-Giants game in the Divisional Playoffs, something that I'm not looking forward too.

But then again, neither are the all of the Giants fans I know here in CT. Enjoy the football and the snow on the East Coast everyone and have a safe and happy holiday season.

- Eagle
Posted on: April 27, 2009 1:00 am
Edited on: April 27, 2009 4:35 pm
 

NFC East/Eagles Draft Recap

I'm going to try and not turn this into an Eagles recap, and I'm probably going to fail miserably so just a fair warning before I continue. I tried to follow the draft for the NFC East, especially on Day 1. But as I start with Dallas, there's an immeadiate problem...

DALLAS Cowboys

...umm, they didn't make a pick on the first Day. In fact, the only pick they had turned into a complete fiasco when they "passed" the pick before trading it away. Not a good start for the Cowboys in my opinion but they did have 12 picks on Day 2, and focused on defense and offensive skill positions. It's hard for me to grade players on Day 2 because I just don't know the best 200 players in college football. I do like their pickup of Texas A&M QB Stephen McGee, who is one player I did get to see a few times. Should be a solid backup behind Tony Romo.

Grade: N/A

NEW YORK Giants

I'm not going to lie (and I'm not hating) but I don't like the Giants draft for two reasons. They drafted two WRs with thier first four picks (which I always think is a draft no-no) and their first-round selection Hakeem Nicks from North Carolina is not a player I was in love with. I am not copying Pete Prisco by the way ( I mentioned this in my previous entry), but I've seen Nicks play and theres enough there to dislike. I love OL William Beatty from UConn in the 2nd round and QB Rhett Bomar in the 5th.

Edit (4/27): A friend of mine pointed out that the Giants have to replace Plaxico Burress and that drafting two WR's isn't a bad idea. This is a fantastic point that I overlooked. I still don't like Nicks, but I understand the Giants need at the position. They were awful late last season after Plaxico was suspended for the remainder of the season. Therefore, I'm upping the Giants grade from a C to a...

Grade: B-

WASHINGTON Redskins

The Redskins are usually a team that doesn't value the draft as much as other teams (Dan Synder loves free agents for some reason). But this year, they made an impact with the few picks they did have and it started right at the top with the 'Skins landing Brian Orakpo at No. 13 overall. They have to wonder a little bit how he fell that far, but they aren't going to complain. Again, with only 6 picks (2 in the first 3 rounds) it's hard to give them any reasonable grade, but stealing Orakpo is worth this grade alone.

Grade: B


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Ah, let the homer comments begin. The Eagles had a fantastic first day, landing offensive weapons in WR Jeremy Maclin and RB LeSean McCoy. However, they didn't have any 4th round picks and traded their only 3rd rounder for a 2010 pick, which is something the Eagles and the New England Patriots do quite often. This year, I thought the Eagles had a few needs on defense and one was addressed by aquiring Patriots CB Ellis Hobbs for two 5th-round picks. I was looking for the Eagles to take a safety at some point, but they took another CB in Victor Harris from VA Tech in the 5th round as well. The Eagles did pick up a TE in the 5th round by taking Cornelius Ingram who I've heard good things about. I expected a little more on the defensive side of the ball, but I can't be disappointed as an Eagles fan right now.

Grade: B+

Head Scratchers

Dallas/Oakland - It's Jerry Jones and Al Davis, I don't ask questions anymore.

Denver - I'm sorry Bronco fans (breaking out the Pitino voice) but John Elway isn't walking through that door. Terrell Davis isn't walking through that door. I have no idea what this organization has been doing for the entire off-season, but I think it started by firing former coach Mike Shanahan and it's only gotten worse. The Broncos franchise QB is in Chicago, they have 10 starting running backs after drafting Knowshon Moreno from Georgia at 12 overall and they don't have a 1st round pick next year to boot. This team and organization is a mess right now and 2009 isn't looking all that good in my opinion. Why did Brian Dawkins have to come to this mess...

Draft Notes

This is an unofficial stat because I was just browsing, but on Day 1, these were the schools that had the most players selected: Southern Cal (5), Ohio State (4) and UConn (4). Yeah, that's right University of Connecticut can play football now too and the NFL is noticing. Also, Miami (OH) had just as many players selected in the 2009 Draft as Miami (FL) with one selection each. I would go into my rant on how Miami (FL) [and BC] tried to kill Big East football, but I won't this entry is too long already.

Overall, this was another fantastic draft. EPSN does a great job with this event (and the Combine, Pro Days, etc.) that it almost is getting as much hype as the Super Bowl. I will never get tired of Chris Berman doing play-by-play on the draft picks highlight reels. I will never get tired of Kiper and McShay arguing, ever. I will get tired of trying to figure out every trade the Eagles pull off every year because no one reports it very well, and they trade often, leading to much cursing and refreshing of websites.

But something that will never get old: the New York heavy crowd chanting "USA!" in a tribute to the armed forces between rounds at the Draft.

- Eagle
Posted on: January 11, 2009 10:46 pm
 

NFL Divisional Recap

It seems everyone was a week early with the road teams winning games. Last week, all four road teams were favored and rightfully so in most people's opinions. But last week, only two road teams won as the Cardinals pulled off a solid win and the Chargers had the shocker of the week over the Colts. This week, three road teams won, and really only one was a true shocking upset, the Cardinals. There's no way anyone could have predicted the Cards to win that game in that fashion. And if you did, you're either lying or a psychic. But I'd like to mention on little stat that seems to have been a trend for the Divisional round: All four winning teams won the turnover battle, especially if you count turnover on downs. Don't quote me on that because I can't find a solid box score, but it's something to consider. Ball security is even more critical in the playoffs, and there are four teams going home, and two in particular, that failed to protect the ball in their games. The Sunday games

Baltimore 13 - Tennessee 10

Yes, I picked the Titans to win this game, but I'm not shocked that they lost the game. What does shock me is how they lost it. They dominated the Ravens and moved the ball effectively against one of the league's best defenses, then shot themselves in the foot repeatedly in the red zone. Three key turnovers killed the Titans, including two that probably would have resulted in at least FG attempts for the Titans. The Ravens D was gashed repeatedly by Kerry Collins through the air but was able to get key stops and turnovers through out the game to key the victory. My friend also added about the no-call on that delay of game. I reminded him that his team didn't deserve to win after turning the ball over in the red zone repeatedly and he didn't really complain. Also, Joe Flacco is also the first rookie QB to win two postseason games. When asked whether he was the most successful rookie QB of all time, Dan Marino said that Flacco could be no higher than third on the list because he occupied the first and second spots. Bill Cowher recommended Big Ben Roethlisberger. Speaking of the Steelers...

Pittsburgh 35 - San Diego 24

I was actually anticipating a much lower scoring game than this, but the score doesn't indicate how well Pittsburgh played, especially defensively. Let me explain to you the 3rd quarter of this game: Pittsburgh scores a TD on an 8-minute drive to start the half/quarter then kicks off and Sproles has a solid return, setting up the Chargers in great field position. Next Charger play, Rivers' pass is tipped and picked off by the Steelers. Pittsburgh then drive the ball for another 7 minutes before getting stuffed on a 4th-and-goal, IN THE 4TH QUARTER!!! The Steelers held the ball for 14:43 seconds OF THE ENTIRE THIRD QUARTER!!! There's no way you can come back from that. The Steelers established a running game and passed when the had to and Roethlisberger came through.

Arizona 33 - Carolina 13

Sorry, I just got off the phone with the Panthers, they wanted me to be their QB. Seriously, was that Jake Delhomme? There's no way that was the Delhomme from the regular season, throwing behind and high over almost every receiver. And there's no way that was the same Cardinal defense from the regular season either, ball hawking and stopping the run. Okay, it's easy to win a game when the opposing QB loses a fumble and throws 5 picks (and 4 were legit, only one, the Steve Smith deflection, was unlucky), but Arizona actually deserves to be hosting the NFC Championship game. I can't believe I just typed that sentence. Edge James is having a mini-resurgence that will certainly get him a contract somewhere next season and Kurt Warner is still proving he's among the league's best. And Larry Fitzgerald now makes leaping catches between two defenders on a weekly basis. Never count out the wily veteran QB's.

Philadelphia 23 - NY Giants 11

This might be the weirdest game I have ever watched. With the score 7-5, 7-8 and 10-8, I was openly making baseball jokes throughout the 2nd quarter (There's only one NFL Playoffs! There's only one Super Bowl!). I will contest the intentional grounding/safety play, but not enough to actually care. A case could be made for a "hit as he threw" defense in a court of NFL law, but that's as far as I'll go. The Asante Samuel interception really changed the game however, because even if the Giants were close, every Giants fan I was watching the game with didn't like how the first half ended, with the Eagles marching down the field running the two minute offense for a FG to take a 10-8 lead at the half. However, the Fred Robbins interception was high comedy and had a chance to change the game but the Giants couldn't punch it in and settled for a FG, the last points they would score all game. The Eagles would score 13 straight, including a TD pass to TE Brent Celek  on a play-action pass on the goal line that I wanted in the first quarter. The ironic moment of the game, the Giants getting stuffed on back-to-back possessions on short yardage conversions, just like they did to the Eagles in their first matchup in the regular season. The entire Giants day was summed up in one play. Eli Manning hit Steve Smith for a pass late in the 4th-quarter and while avoiding a tackle, Smith just fumbled the ball, dropped right out of his hand. It was one of those days for the Giants and we have two underdog and bird themed Conference Championship games to play out next week.

One more theme from my weekly picks. I'm 4-4 so far in picks, but most importantly 0-4 on Saturday games. This means that I'm also 4-0 on Sunday games, which are the only ones left on the schedule. It doesn't mean that I'll win them, I'm just saying. I also happen to be one of the very few happy football fans in the Northeast, but I'm not going to gloat. My team has to beat a wily veteran QB next week on the road...

- Eagle
Posted on: January 10, 2009 1:27 am
 

NFL Divisional Preview

And we're back with CBS' favorite preview blog. I'm not sure if it is the favorite, but there were 1500 views of my Wild Card blog last week so I figured I'd do the Divisional round as well. Whether or not it gets featured on the CBS Community home page is not up to me, but thanks again to whoever decided to do that.

Last week the theme was road favorites, with both 6 seeds, Philadelphia and Baltimore, advancing to the next round. This week's theme is rematches, because all four games were played in the regular season. The key is whether or not those games play a factor into this week's playoff game. You probably wouldn't look at game that was played in September because teams could have changed many different schemes and players have been injured. But a game that took place in December would hold a lot of value to teams as they go into the Divisional rounds. Will all four home teams having an extra week of rest be a factor? And what about the terrible whether moving towards the northeast? I might be doing my recap entry with a foot of snow on the ground...

Baltimore Ravens (11-5, 6th seed, Wild Card) vs. Tennessee Titans (13-3, 1st seed, AFC South Champ)
Week 5 (10/5) - Tennessee 13 @ Baltimore 10

The Titans haven't played a meaningful game since Week 16 when the beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at home to clinch home field advantage. Baltimore has been playing very well down the stretch, winning five of their last six, the lone loss coming to the Steelers by four points. That doesn't include the Ravens romp over Miami last week. The first game between these two teams was all defense and I expect nothing different in this game either. But while everyone is focusing on the defenses, I'm going to be watching the QB match-up, rookie Joe Flacco for the Ravens going up against the veteran Kerry Collins and the Titans offense. I expect both defenses to be blitzing and putting pressure on the QB's and which signal caller handles the pressure could determine this outcome. Both defenses will pounce on errant throws and knowing that ballhawk Ed Reed is lurking in the Ravens secondary means that every pass his way could be an interception at this point. How he didn't win Defensive POY is beyond me, with 10 INT's in his last seven games (including last week vs. Miami). I'm not a gambling man, but if I was, I'd bet the under in this one.

Arizona Cardinals (9-7, 4th seed, NFC West Champs) vs. Carolina Panthers (12-4, 2nd seed, NFC South Champs)
Week 8 (10/26) - Arizona 23 @ Carolina 27

The Cardinals didn't exactly finish the regular season strong, losing four of their last six before ousting the Falcons from the playoffs last week. The Panthers were within an overtime of clinching home-field advantage in the NFC and have won four of their last five. Carolina also boasts the only undefeated home record in the NFL at 8-0, while the Cardinals are only 2-20 in their last 22 games on the East Coast. The only thing that bodes well for the Cardinals is the fact that the Panther pass defense isn't really that strong, and since the Cards don't have a reliable running game, this might keep things interesting for a while. But I don't see the Cardinals lingering like they did in the first match-up between these two teams.  The Panthers are just too good at home and if they dominate ball control in this game, I could easily see them winning this one going away and covering that absurd 10-point spread. The major key here is Anquan Boldin health. Odds are he's not 100 percent and that's going to be a major problem for the Cards if he can't go because then the Panthers could put their focus on Larry Fitzgerald and attempt to slow him down. Even with all his weapons, Kurt Warner is still going to need a running game to help him out, and I can't see the Cards running much on that stingy Panther defense. Plus, the Cards have to also stop the Panther offense, featuring Jake Delhomme to Steve Smith and the duel running back tandem of Williams and Stewart. This is a tall task for the Cardinals.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1, 6th seed, Wild Card) vs. New York Giants (12-4, 1st seed, NFC East Champs)
Week 10 (11/9) - New York 36 @ Philadelphia 31; Week 14 (12/7) - Philadelphia 20 @ New York 14

The New York Giants could have packed it in after beating the Panthers and clinching home field in Week 16. But they played their starters for a half in a meaningless game in Minnesota that they almost won were it not for a last-second Viking field goal. The Giants did struggle down the stretch and desperately needed the time off to get RB Brandon Jacobs healthy. Jacobs and WR Plaxico Burress were both out for the Week 14 match-up that the Eagles won. And this time around, the Giants will need a healthy Jacobs to fend off a confident Eagles team that has been lighting it up for the past month. The Eagles were counted out after a Week 16 loss to Washington, but got some help and made the playoffs and now are looking for another berth to the NFC Championship game that they always seem to be in. Donovan McNabb and Brain Westbrook lead the Eagles offense and Def. Coord. Jim Johnson and FS Brian Dawkins lead the free-blitzing Eagles defense. If Andy Reid sticks to the running game like he did last week, the Eagles should be in good shape, although I'd like to see RB Correll Buckhalter used a little more in the running game. Reid tends to abandon the run, but it worked out last week as the Eagles wore down the Vikings defense and Westbrook scored on a back-breaking 71-yard screen. I think the Eagles defense can have another solid game this week, but it's the offense that needs to finish more drives. The Eagles scored three field goals last week in the first half against the Vikings, but they're going to need to punch it in early and often to keep the Giants at bay. A winter storm is going to slam the Northeast this weekend, but the game conditions should be fine.

San Diego Chargers (8-8, 4th seed, AFC West Champs) vs. Pittsburgh (12-4, 2nd seed, AFC North Champs)
Week 11 (11/16) - San Diego 10 @ Pittsburgh 11

The Chargers might be the hottest team in the AFC right now after winning four in row just to make the playoffs and knocking off the Colts last week. The Steelers had a major question mark with Ben Roethlisberger (concussion) getting injured in the last week of the season. But Big Ben seems to have recovered and will be a go for this weekend. LaDanian Tomlinson on the other hand, will most likely be out for this game for the Chargers. That means the Wild Card hero Darren Sproles will most likely get the bulk of the carries into the bruising Pittsburgh defense. The first match-up between these teams ended with that weird, hook-and-ladder interception/forward pass that Troy Polamalu should have had a touchdown on. Again, I don't see this game staying as close as the first matchup. San Diego's offense won't be able to move the ball effectively without LT and with Heinz Field's notorious reputation for sloppy conditions, this weekend's weather won't help that. The Steelers defense should be able to contain the Chargers' running game and then attack Philip Rivers when he drops back. One interesting stat I've seen a few time this week: The Chargers have only beaten the Steelers twice in Pittsburgh, and both times came in the playoffs.

One quick tangent before I wrap this up. I've heard this from a few places, articles, etc. Instead of re-seeding the teams in the Divisional round, let the number one seed pick who they want to play. Meaning, I think both the Giants and Titans would have rather played the fourth seeds (Arizona and San Diego respectfully). There's no way the Giants want to see Philly right now and the Titans would probably have an easier time with the Chargers D than the Ravens. I think it's an interesting concept and maybe it should be looked into.

Again, I'll have my picks sometime later today since I'm posting this late Saturday morning. I am incredibly excited for this week's slate of games. I think all four could be great games, unlike last week when I could see all four being complete duds. And I can't wait to hear Joe Buck's FOX promo: McNabb! Manning! Westbrook! Jacobs! Eagles! Giants! The Rematch! It's the Divisional Playoffs on FOX!

Can it be a "rematch" if it's a divisional rivalry? Is it a re-rematch? I don't care, I just know he's gonna say it.

- Eagle
Posted on: June 11, 2008 1:39 pm
 

Farewell to a Giant

Michael Strahan announced his retirement from football this week, ending speculation about whether he would return for a 16th season. But after 15 years in the NFL, compiling 141.5 sacks, 22 forced fumbles and 851 combined tackles and assists, Strahan will hang 'em up. And I hate to say this as an Eagles fan, but I will miss Strahan. My dad is a big Giants fan and I love to rib him about Strahan's teeth and the gap that you could drive a truck through...but that's not the point. Strahan is one of the good guys. He has fun with what he does and I can never take him seriously because despite his ferocious play on the field, he's just a fun-loving guy. I hope he gets a job with Fox or ESPN doing football games because he'd be funny and probably pretty good. I would love to see him cracking up with Bradshaw and Long on Fox or with Chris Berman on ESPN on Sunday mornings. Everyone will remember Strahan missing the bulk of training camp "holding out," but it was really just a cleaver stall tactic to be more fresh for the playoffs where he led the New York Football Giants to a victory over the 18-0 (now 18-1) New England Patriots.

Flashback - 2008 Playoffs - In typical fashion for myself, I wore my McNabb jersey to the Giants first round playoff game at my friend's house. There was about 10 of us, dads and sons, all Giants fans except yours truly. I was harking on the fact that Jeff Garcia beat the Giants last year with the Eagles. Alas, despite my efforts the Giants won and moved on to play the Cowboys. Again, same group of people, same clothes (we're all superstitious), but this time, my overwhelming hatred for the Cowboys (and one certain WR who will not be named) put me in a position where I was rooting for the G-Men. Of course, the Giants won and moved on to play on the "Frozen Tundra" of Lambeau Field and the Packers. This time I was a school in NJ, still wearing my Eagles jersey, much to the ire of many of my fraternity brothers, who are Giants fans. I explained the situation when they asked me to take it off, saying that removing the jersey would cause the Giants to lose. Despite the fact that I was rooting for the Packers, and for Brett Favre to pull the Elway (instead of Strahan) and win his final game in the Super Bowl, the Giants won again. And for the second time in a month, I was rooting for the Giants. You see, the Patriots eclipsed all of my most hated teams this year. I can't really explain it, but seeing a whole team brainwashed by Bill Belichick (henceforth called "Darth Hoodie") that showed no emotion at all with their play or the media caused me to hate them. So once again donning my 3-0 Eagles jersey and completing the original mojo with my dad and everyone back home, I watched Eli "MVP" Manning fearlessly charge down the field to score the go ahead touchdown late in the 4th quarter. I called my dad who answered the phone, but I couldn't hear him, my living room was alive with cheers and celebration. I hung up and waited until a few minutes after the game, escaping my overjoyed fraternity as well, to let my dad know that an Eagles jersey had just gone 4-0 for the Giants in the playoffs and that Tiki Barber was probably going to end up in a hospital somewhere with alcohol poisoning.

Now Strahan is riding off into the sunset, hopefully to a bright career in television. I will always remember the cover on "NFL Blitz" that featured Strahan with a menacing look on the cover...and that gap in his teeth again. Most of you will remember a die-hard warrior in the trenches, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer (and that's guaranteed or something is wrong) and an all-around great guy. I'll miss him too, but I won't miss him sacking Donovan McNabb anytime soon.

So long Strahan, enjoy your retirement. You've earned it.

- Eagle
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com