Sixers Quietly Playing Great Basketball

With all the talk about the end of the Eagles season, and the Flyers battling for 1st place, we are missing out on the Sixers quietly playing some very good basketball lately. The Sixers beat the Rockets last night to even their record at 22-22 on the season, and they are 8-2 in their last 10 games.

You would think the Sixers would benefit from the return of Elton Brand from his shoulder injury after being out a month. But questions are out there as to whether Elton Brand fits the mold of this running team, and Brand is even being mentioned in trade rumors for the upcoming trade deadline. I think the Sixers can definitely be successful with Brand in the lineup, they just need to find a way for him to fit in. This Sixers team is still a very poor half court team, and it seems like every time they come down court in a half court situation, they find Brand on the blocks, and the double team comes immediately on Brand. Brand is then forced to give it up, and the Sixers will then miss an outside shot.

Under Tony DiLeo, interim coach, the Sixers are playing better, and DiLeo seems to be getting more out of his players than Cheeks was. DiLeo has also found a way to get Lou Williams, and Marreese Speights more playing time. We definitely want to see more of those guys, while seeing less of Sammy D. and Willie Green. Dalembert is a clown on the court, and a joke that he still doesn’t even really know how to play basketball, he is just a freak 7’0" athlete who pulls down rebounds that are near him. Willie Green is the epitome of the phrase "dime a dozen."

Anyways, as of today, the Sixers sit in the #7 playoff spot. The Eastern Conference features a "Big 3" teams at the top, in Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando, all three of these teams already sit at at least 20 games over .500. If the Sixers can get into the 5 spot, they would have a chance at winning a first round series, and with the way they are playing, they can definitely achieve that. Come playoff time, the Sixers will definitely need a veteran like Brand in the lineup playing at his best.

If the Sixers can find a way for Brand to fit in, and get the most out of him, while still maintaining their running, high-tempo style, this Sixers team could be a team that no one wants to play come playoff time.

Review of Lost "Jughead"

is this a young Ms. Hawkings?

I really enjoyed last night’s episode; I think it proves that Ms. Hawkings is Faraday's mom. I am worried that with Desmond bringing Penny and Charlie (how awesome was that) to LA, there is a possibility that Ben will kill Penny. If that happens, I imagine that Desmond will be on Widmore’s side against Ben. I think with Desmond it kind of shows that even with his redemption he still reverts back to his original self. Desmond had opportunities to be with Penny before he crashed the boat on the island and his honor always got in the way. He finally found her again and feels he has to do this. Before it caused him to lose her, will it again?

Widmore was the star of this episode in terms of learning more about him. He funded Faraday’s research on time travel for ten years. Finding out Widmore was a Hostile was shocking to me. I love the idea. I think Richard had Widmore to be the next in line to be leader; he might have been for a few years, until Richard found Ben, possibly exiling Widmore (hence Widmore always saying it used to be my island). Also Ellie who held the gun to Faraday while he looked at the H-bomb, we think she is Mrs. Hawkings. It would make sense, because currently off the island, she’s about the same age as Widmore and Mrs. Hawkings knows a lot about the island, which makes me believe that she had to be there. It was cool when they tied in the loop of why Richard visited Locke when he was born. With the "you cannot change time" theory that Faraday has, that is why Locke picks the wrong item, because if he picked the right one, he would have left with Richard and would have never been on the plane. When Ben visits Widmore at the end of season 4 warning him he is going after Penny, Widmore has a bottle of scotch and says he has been sleeping next to it since the dreams started happening. Could these be new memories from the past (like Faraday and Desmond) that he is waking up with?


Pitt-Nova Tonight at the Spectrum

The Pittsburgh Panthers (#3) play the Villanova Wildcats (#21) tonight at the Spectrum. This game is not only significant because it is a matchup of top 25 teams, it will also be the final college basketball game every played at the Spectrum.

In a stadium that witnessed maybe the greatest college basketball play ever, Christian Laettner’s buzzer-beater, it will all come to an end tonight. Pitt is #3 in the country, and features three elite players, who may be the best combination of three players on one team in the nation, in PG Levance Fields, SF Sam Young, and C DeJuan Blair. Blair is a double double machine, is in the top five in the nation in rebounding. Sam Young averages 19 points a game to lead the Panthers, and Fields leads the Big East in assists, and leads the nation in assist-turnover ratio. Villanova on the other hand will need to have big games from Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham. For Villanova to win, they will need to hit their three-pointers, and force the Panthers into some turnovers. If they can’t do that, Pitt will win this game by double digits.

It will be exciting, and sad at the same time to watch the final college basketball game at the Spectrum. Growing up in Philadelphia, my first memories of Sixers and Flyers games were all at the Spectrum as a child. Let’s hope my Pitt Panthers pull out a win at the Spectrum tonight.

Lost tonight at 9 PM EST “Jughead”

Lost began their 5th season last week with a double episode. These are observations by the Kotite’s crew:

The first of two episodes showed Daniel Faraday in a dharma uniform assisting in the construction of the Orchid station. How is this possible?Does he not age like Richard? Or has he mastered the time travel aspect of the island and is back there for another reason, maybe to stop something from happening? The next item to discuss is why the others do not skip through time with the 815 crew, the Freighter crew and Juliet. This is confusing. Sawyer was banging on the door of the hatch for a while trying to get the Desmond in the past (who does not know him) to open up. Faraday instructed Sawyer and crew to go back to the beach since Desmond would never answer the door, since they did not know each other back then. The crew leaves for the beach and Faraday begins to knock on the door. Desmond answers the door and has no idea who Faraday is. Was Faraday lying to everyone, or was Faraday able to get Desmond to answer because Faraday and Desmond are each other’s constant? Faraday asked Desmond to go visit his mother in Oxford and that the rules do not apply to him. Desmond wakes up in the present with a new memory and tells Penelope that they have to go to Oxford.

It will also be interesting to see how Locke aka Bentham gets off the island while it is skipping. Also is he really dead, when Ben and Jack see him in the casket? Far out theory is the spider venom that paralyzed Nikki and Paulo in season 3 that lead them to be buried alive. Going back to Locke, he is really everything in this series. According to Richard and what we have seen so far, he needs to leave the island and die back in the states so that the Oceanic 6 can go back to the island.

Mrs. Hawkings has only appeared in Desmond flashback. Now with the ending of the second episode, it seems that Ben works for her. We have two theories about her. She also does not seem to age like Richard and Faraday. We believe she is related to one of them, probably one of their mothers. Since Desmond is going to Oxford to meet Faraday’s mom, we should know soon which one it is.


Eagles Should Sign Antonio Bryant

Another season came and went for the Eagles and the fans. It seems to be a broken record after every season; we need a big running back, we need a #1 wide receiver. Well I believe that the Eagles do need a #1 wide receiver, and that man is free agent, Antonio Bryant.

Antonio Bryant, along with T.J. Houshmandzadeh, is one of the two best WR free agents out there this offseason. The Eagles still badly need a #1 wide receiver. Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson are both good receivers, however, neither has the size it takes to be a #1. If you bring a guy with the size and ability that is a #1 receiver, it instantly makes both Jackson and Curtis better. Jackson can split out wide on the other side, and after a great rookie season, will only get better. Curtis then moves to the slot, where he should be anyways, and will put up great numbers in the slot.

Antonio Bryant is a former Biletnikoff winner in college. This doesn't mean anything for his professional performance, but it does show the guy has the ability and can be an elite wide receiver. After a good rookie season, Antonio Bryant clashed with Bill Parcells and was traded to the Browns. Bryant put up his first 1000 yard season with the Browns, with Charlie Frye throwing him the ball. Then, Bryant got into some legal off-the-field troubles, and struggled, and then was out of the league. However, he made his resurgence with the Buccaneers this season, and was one of the top 10 receivers in the NFL this season. He finished the season with 83 receptions for 1248 yards, and 7 TD's, and was the only threat the Buccaneers had at wide receiver. He had multiple one-handed catches, and a 200-yard game thrown in there. He is also 4 years younger than Houshmandzadeh. He has the size and strength to be a #1 receiver. He can go deep, he can go over the middle, and had among the fewest dropped passes in the NFL this season. Antonio Bryant, assuming he stays in the NFL and stays out of trouble, which I think he will, will be an elite receiver in the NFL for a while. I just hope it with our Philadelphia Eagles.


Eagles Lose Again in NFC Championship

The Eagles lost in the NFC Championship game 32-25 against the Arizona Cardinals failing to reach the Super Bowl. The Eagles are now 1-4 in NFC Championship games in the past eight seasons. It's a tough, depressing end to the season, which we have seen far too much as Eagles fans.

The Eagles really failed to show up for this game, as the Cardinals dominated the first half. The Eagles rushing attack was ineffective, McNabb was missing open receivers, and the receivers were dropping passes. This was all occurring while the Cardinals were marching up and down the field at will against the Eagles defense. This was mostly due to the best receiver in the game, Larry Fitzgerald. It's amazing what having a #1 receiver can do for your team. The Eagles started playing well in the 2nd half, and took the lead 25-24 in the 4th quarter, but then gave up the deciding touchdown drive, which the Cardinals made look easy.

McNabb again came up short in the postseason. Brian Westbrook was ineffective for the entire postseason. The Eagles still don't have an actual #1 receiver. The defense, which has really been the reason the Eagles got this far, played poorly. Greg Lewis is still on the team, which is embarrassing. Quintin Demps had three very poor plays, and really shouldn't have been playing as much as he was, especially when you have a former pro-bowler with a lot of playoff experience in Lito Sheppard sitting on the bench. Demps had a good chance to tackle Hightower and the one or two yard line on the Cardinals touchdown, but failed to wrap Hightower up.

The Eagles have a lot of questions coming this offseason, and we will address them further once we have time to recover from this loss.


Eagles-Cardinals Keys to the Game

The Eagles will travel on the road for the 3rd straight week to play the surprising Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, for the right to go to the Super Bowl. This will be the Eagles 5th NFC Championship game appearance in the past eight seasons. The Eagles have lost those games before when being favored, so this game should be a very tough one.

One of the main keys to this game is to get pressure on Cardinals QB, Kurt Warner. Getting pressure on Kurt Warner will most likely be the defensive game plan. Jim Johnson has very good success with this Eagles defense when facing Kurt Warner. You can see here that Kurt Warner has not previously had a lot of success against the Eagles. However, if Kurt Warner is given time to pass the ball, he is deadly effective. Warner can pick any team apart when given time, and with the receivers he has now, it is imperative to bring some pressure. Larry Fitzgerald is the best receiver in the game, and has shown the past couple weeks that even when double-teamed, he will still go up and get the ball. How do you stop Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin? You get pressure on Warner, and don’t allow him to be comfortable all game. Warner will make mistakes when pressure, he will throw bad passes, and he will put the ball on the ground. The Eagles front four has not gotten to the QB so far in the playoffs, so the Eagles may need to dial up some blitzes in order to get to Warner. And what better man to devise up some complex blitz schemes than Jim Johnson.

Another key to the game is the Eagles rushing attack. The Eagles had 185 yards rushing in their first matchup against the Cardinals. However, the rushing attack has been grounded in the two previous playoff games. The Cardinals do not have a good rushing defense, and the Eagles will need to exploit that. If Westbrook is not healthy enough to carry the ball 20 times, then Buckhalter, and Eckel should both get multiple carries. This is definitely a game where we need to keep McNabb out of pressure situations, and keep McNabb off the ground. A rushing attack that is effective in this game will also keep the potent Cardinals offense off the field. The Cardinals picked off five passes last weekend against the Panthers, and their cornerbacks are playing better than they have all season. The Cardinals feature some good young cornerbacks, and also a very good safety. Look for their secondary to jump some of the Eagles routes. With an effective rushing attack, the Eagles can effectively use play action, and stretch the field with Curtis and Jackson.

Those are just a couple keys to what should be a very exciting, nerve racking NFC Championship game. As Eagles fans, we have seen our team get this far, be favored, and lose the game. Let’s hope that we after Sunday, we will be in our second Super Bowl in the past five seasons.



Breaking Down the QB's

This NFC Championship features a match up of two very good quarterbacks, who are both still playing at the top of their game, despite both being over 30. McNabb and Warner have matched up head to head against each other five times, including the playoffs. McNabb has always been on the Eagles, while Warner has played against the Eagles as a member of the Rams, Giants, and Cardinals. Here is how they match up against each other head-to-head.

15-32 179 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
32-48 312 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
18-30 171 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
26-36 330 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
27-39 260 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
118-185 1252 yards, 14 TD, 4 INT

12-24 141 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
28-42 308 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
22-33 212 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
16-28 203 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
21-39 235 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT
99-166 1099 yards, 7 TD, 7 INT

As you can see from this, McNabb has outplayed Warner in each team's head-to-head matchup, especially recently. McNabb has a better completion percentage of 63.8% to Warner's 59.6%, has more passing yards, more passing TD's, and fewer INT's.

Also, if you look at each quarterback's career stats, it is interesting as they are fairly similar, and both probably borderline hall of famers. Here are both QB's stats for the regular season and the playoffs.

2534-4303 29320 yards, 194 TD, 90 INT
294-493 3147 yards, 20 TD, 15 INT

2327-3557 28591 yards, 182 TD, 114 INT
209-332 2712 yards, 19 TD, 12 INT

McNabb has better career numbers than Warner in every category except for completion percentage, which is one of Warner's strengths. It is an interesting debate as to which if either of these QB's will go into the hall of fame one day. McNabb will soon pass 30000 career passing yards, and 200 TDs, and has the lowest interception ratio in NFL history. He also has a lot of rushing yards and rushing TDs for a quarterback, and is very good at escaping pressure. However, he has never won the Super Bowl, and is seen as a QB who has come up small in some big games. While Warner's overall numbers aren't as good as McNabb's, Kurt Warner has won a Super Bowl, as well as a Super Bowl MVP, and two regular season MVP awards. These two QB's will face off for a 6th time head-to-head for the right to represent the NFC in this year's Super Bowl.


Eagles-Cardinals Breakdown

Breaking down the NFC Championship game this weekend--

Donovan McNabb has played very well in both postseason games so far. He has survived a heavy pass rush in both games to make plays. He may be the better quarterback of the two in this matchup, but Kurt Warner can absolutely pick a team apart if given time. Warner has played well all season, and throws for a lot of yards in almost every game he plays.

Despite being shut down in the running game the first two playoff games, Westbrook is still a very dangerous weapon. Westbrook and Buckhalter form a very solid tandem if they are used correctly, and both will need to step it up in this game. Although Edge has played well in the playoffs, as has Tim Hightower, the Cardinals rushing attack is not their strength.

This is where the Cardinals have a large advantage, having probably the best receiving corps in the NFL. They had three 1000 yard receivers this season, which is almost unheard of, and Larry Fitzgerald himself is better than all Eagles receivers combined. Even if pro-bowler Anquan Boldin doesn’t play or isn’t 100%, the Cardinals get the advantage here.

The Eagles offensive line plays well when the Eagles establish a rhythm running the football. Overall, they did a good job during the regular season of protecting McNabb, however, they have not protected McNabb real well in either playoff game. The Giants got no sacks, but got a lot of pressure, and forced a safety and an interception with the pressure they brought. The Cardinals offensive line is extremely important to their success, as in order for the Cardinals to play well, the line has to protect Warner. When the O-Line plays well, Warner succeeds.

This is by no means a strength of the Eagles, but Brent Celek has a touchdown catch in both playoff games, and even L.J. Smith caught a couple balls last game. The Cardinals were starting ex-Eagle Stephen Spach at tight end, but he is out for the season, so the Cardinals just signed Jerame Tuman as their TE.

The Eagles defensive line is another unit that had a good regular season, but needs to step up their pressure on the QB in the postseason. Both tackles have done a great job at run stopping, as has Trent Cole, who has 20 tackles this postseason, but they need to start getting pressure on the QB. If the Eagles can get pressure with their front four, they are extremely dangerous. The Cardinals struggle with stopping the run, and Bertrand Berry is their only consistent threat to get to the quarterback.

The Eagles young, speedy linebacking corps has been good all season, and continues to make strides this postseason. The Cardinals strength of their defense might be in their linebackers. They have two beasts in Gerald Hayes, and Karlos Dansby. Dansby is one of the best outside linebackers in the game, and Hayes is a solid middle linebacker who plays a lot in the backfield.

While the Cardinals do have a good safety in Adrian Wilson, and a very good young cornerback in Rodgers-Cromartie, the Eagles are very deep in their secondary. The Eagles have two pro-bowlers in their secondary, and that doesn’t include Quintin Mikell, and Sheldon Brown, both of whom are beasts. It should be a great matchup with the Cardinals wide receivers against the Eagles secondary.

Special Teams
Both kickers are good, Akers hasn’t missed a field goal in a while, and Neil Rackers is a former pro-bowler. Also, both teams have punt returners capable of taking a kick to the house, the Eagles in DeSean Jackson, and the Cardinals in Steve Breaston.

The Eagles get the edge here as Andy Reid has a lot of playoff experience, and is not in any new territory with this game. Reid has shown that he will stick with the running game when need be lately. Let’s hope he continues that philosophy against a team that is not great against the run. Jim Johnson also gives the Eagles an edge being one of the best defensive coordinators in the game. Ken Whisenhunt is young and this is his first time in the playoffs.

The Cardinals are at home, are very good at home, and should feed off some of that momentum. They also have to feel like they are just playing with house money, and have nothing to lose. This will be more of a disappointment if the Eagles lose this game.


NFL Bowl Games (Part 2)

The Third String Bowl: Panthers vs Lions

In this bowl, the Lions can play their lineup, which practically is a group of third stringers. However, to even up the match-up, the Panthers must also only use their third stringers. Surely DeAngelo Williams and Stewart could run all over the Lions, but how would Brad Hoover or Nick Goings do? And Delhomme won’t be throwing to Steve Smith, Josh McCown will be throwing to Dwayne Jarrett and Ryne Robinson. No starters will be allowed in this game for the Panthers. Estimated final score: Cards 44 Lions 9.

The Philly Bowl: Buccaneers vs Raiders

This game will be played with all expenses paid for by the city of Philadelphia, and will be played at the Linc to a sold out cheering crowd. The teams will stay in the nicest hotels, get into the finest restaurants and clubs, sip the finest champagne, be given money to buy anything they want while they are in town, and will have a parade thrown for both the winning team and the losing team after the game is played. Even after all that, Philly will still be in debt to these two teams for what they have done.

The Viagra/Just for Men/Rogaine Bowl: Jets vs Titans

Short writeup here, but it makes sense, those sponsors want to support their biggest endorsers: Favre and Collins.

The Rematch Bowl: Patriots vs Giants

Only because Tyree will never make that catch again and Samuel will never fuck up an int like that again. Even with Cassell as qb, I would like to see the Giants exposed for the frauds that they are. Luckiest run ever.

The Purgatory Bowl: Redskins vs Texans

Why? Because just like Purgatory, these teams are not too good, but not too bad….they’re kind of just ehhhhhh…..

The Vegas Mafia Bowl: Chargers vs Steelers

Remember last game, the 11-10 game when the Steelers returned a TD with no time left, but for some reason, they did not count that? Well the Steelers were favored by 4 that game, and that play would have given them the covers. Millions of dollars were won and lost because of that play, and it is still not understood why the TD did not count. The ref said that there was no forward pass. There is only one explanation: the Vegas Mafia was involved. I’d love to see what would happen here. You know that they would have Ed Hocculi refereeing this one.

The How to Draft a QB for Dummies Bowl: Vikings vs Falcons

The Vikings thought they had found a diamond in the rough when they drafted Tarvaris Jackson. Have you seen him play. Sure, he has some good games vs horrible teams, but whenever he is playing a real opponent, he looks like Simba in The Lion King when he gets caught in the middle of the stampede. Hes a cub in a land of Lions. Animal lions that is, not the Detroit Lions. He'd actually fit in pretty well there.

The Falcons, on the other had, drafted a QB who has turned around the entire franchise. Fans love Matt Ryan so much that the thought of Vick ever playing for the Falcons again is less likely than seeing him eating popcorn and bon bons in a theater showing Marley and Me. The Falcons did not just have a good season, they started a dynasty. Their fans have fallen back in love with football. As far as the Vikings fans are concerned, I think you could get a ticket to their playoff game for less money then a replica Tarvaris Jackson jersey.

The We Can Build on This Bowl: Chiefs vs Bengals

It was the best line uttered all season: it made people forget about his famous “You play to win the game” rant. In all fairness, you are never going to find a 2-14 team better than the Chiefs were this year. They found a solid quarterback, have the best TE in the game, have a few WRs who are solid 2-3 receivers in the NFL, and they had a very good rb. However, their defense and their ability to hold leads and win close games were nothing short of putrid. So maybe Coach Herm was right: Maybe they can build on this. Get a RB, a new defense, and a number one wideout in the draft, and this could be next years Falcons.

The Bengals, who were putrid for 12 of their 16 games, actually won their last 3. So as football philosopher Herm Edwards would say, maybe, just maybe, say it with me now: “They can build on this!!!”

NFL Bowl Games (Part 1)

Hollywood here. Recently, the fine gents at Kotites Corner created a very interesting scenario and diagrammed what a NCAA Football tournament would look like if they used the same style as NCAA Basketball does during March Madness.

That got me thinking, what if the NFL’s postseason was just like NCAA Football's, where instead of just a Super Bowl, every team got to play in a Bowl game of some sort. Well, I took the time to create 15 Bowl games that NFL teams could play in. Although unlike college, the selections here don’t have anything to do with either talent or money, rather random quirks that could make each game as interesting as the next:

The Alzheimer’s Foundation Bowl: Broncos vs Bills

All proceeds from this bowl will go towards fighting the horrible disease of Alzheimer's, a disease which makes people forget things that they would likely remember. Like when the Broncos were 4-1 and averaging over 30 points per game. Jay Cutler was having a breakout year and running away with the MVP. Brandon Marshall was the new Randy Moss. They were Destiny’s Team. Does ANYBODY remember that?
And then there were the Bills. Do you remember that Trent Edwards was having a breakout year? The Bills were 4-0, the Pats had lost Brady, the Jets were struggling and Miami looked so-so. The Bills were going to win the AFC East!!! Does anybody remember this??? Hmm, maybe the proceeds of this bowl will be put to good use.

The McDonald’s Big Mac Bowl: Eagles vs Browns

This Bowl game would have a quirk. Before the game, Andy Reid and Romeo Crennell would have a eating contest to see who can eat the most Big Mac’s before the game. The winner’s team starts with a 10-0 lead. I can only imagine Romeo raising his hands in victory after finishing 14 as opposed to Reid’s 12, only to find out that Reid was unaware the contest had actually started, and he was just warming up. He would then proceed to eat 17 more and give the eagles a 10-0 lead to start the game. The Eagles would go on to win the game, 10-0.

The Ambien Snooze Bowl: 49ers vs Bears

Both of these teams have won games this season, and both have lost some. The reason they are in this game is that, they both play such a boring game of football, that if you are awake at the end of it, you should call your doctor about getting Ambien immediately. Can you imagine the play by play: 2 yard run, 3 yard run, incomplete, punt. 5 yard run, -2 yard run, 7 yard pass, int. 4 yard run, fumble. 26 yard pass, 1 yard run, 4 yard run, incomplete pass, field goal. You see where I am going with this. Boring football. As for Kyle Orton? Well, he'd probably just get drunk on the sideline.

The Wal Mart Bowl: Jaguars vs Packers

Walmart has become America’s Mecca for a place to go when they expect to pay less. So who else would play in the WalMart Bowl than the two teams who performed much less than everyone expected them to. Good think the Jags have Dave Garrard locked up to that huge contract. Nobody on that team will ever have to look up the word “mediocre” again, they have the walking definition right in front of them. As for the Pack, Rodgers actually was better than most expected. But their defense was so bad that they were only able to beat the Lions by 10. And they gave up 21 points to them. That’s like me beating up Elijah Wood, but only after a 30 minute fight, and I still walk away with a black eye and bloody knuckles. Their defense is awful.

The Timberlake Bowl: Dolphins vs Ravens

Remember when Justin Timberlake was in N’Sync and every guy thought he was a pansy. Then he went solo and he was still looked at by males as being a fruit. But then, after a few decent songs, he released sexy back and started nailing Jessica Biel, and all of the sudden guys were like, this JT guy is pretty much a baller! Thanks kind of how these two teams are. The Ravens were dominant in the early 2000’s, but lately they have suffered through an apparently aging defense and Kyle Boller. The Dolphins barely avoided an 0-16 season last year. The only team they could beat: you guessed it, the Ravens. On a overtime TD connection from Cleo Lemon to Greg Camarillo. Not exactly Manning to Harrison. But now, all of the sudden, these teams are great again. Pennington and Flacco have been their teams Jessica Biel. Ray Lewis brought Sexy Back. Unfortunately, the Dolphins were eliminated when these two teams met in the playoffs, so Pennington and crew are now crying me a river. You see where I am going with this, I’m done. See ya. Or should I say, Bye Bye Bye.

The Burt Reynolds Bowl: Rams vs Seahawks

We all know that for a long time, Burt Reynolds was the man. Women wanted him yet men wanted to be him because of all the tail he got. And he had a great moustache. But then, soon after Boogie Nights, Reynolds started to suck. He made a few studio flops and was last seen doing a straight to video movie about womens’ volleyball. It is to the point where it is painful to see how far he has fallen.

For a long time, the Rams and the Seahawks were perennial contenders. The Rams had the Greatest Show on Turf, and the Seahawks had consistency all over with Hasselback and Shaun Alexander, along with a ferocious defense. Now, both teams are near the cellar, and, just like Reynolds, it is almost painful seeing Hasselback and Bulger and Holt involved with these teams. They are guys who deserve better, and who we hope will someday get a second chance to be awesome. The only question is, who is the NFL’s Tarantino to make that happen?

Note: The above bowl was almost called the Dennis Hopper Bowl.

The Christopher Reeve Bowl: Cardinals vs Saints

Christopher Reeve can not run, so there is no point in him trying to do so. Same thing for both teams. Final statistics: Brees 42-60 489 yards, 3 tds 2 ints. Warner: 35-70, 433 yards, 2 tds, 3 ints, 1 fumble. Bush: 7 rushes, 16 yards. James: 13 rushes, 28 yards. Hightower: 2 rush, 3 yards, TD

The Gun Show Bowl: Cowboys vs Colts

This would be fun. Remember that scene in The Last Boy Scout when the running back is about to score a TD but he stops, pulls out a gun, shoots the defenders and then shoots himself? Well that is one of the most unrealistic sports scenes in movie history; unless you get Marvin Harrison and Pac Man Jones in the same game. The ultimate satisfaction: Pac Man returning a punt for a TD, pulling out a gun and shooting a defender, then pulling out a wad of $100 bills and making it rain over the guy he has just shot.

Eagles Back in NFC Championship

The Eagles beat the Giants 23-11 to advance to the NFC Championship game... again. The Eagles were in the NFC Championship game in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and now 2009, which makes five times in the past eight seasons. Impressive? Very. Unfortunately, this team and the players on it will not be judged by how many NFC Championship games this team plays in. The fans are also not interested. We want a Super Bowl, and the Eagles trophy case is currently devoid of this hardware.

As far as the game goes, it was a nerve racking, intense, back and forth game, in which the Eagles finally pulled away in the 2nd half. The Eagles went into halftime with a 10-8 lead, and actually showed signs on a successful two-minute drill at the end of the first half, which resulted in a field goal as time expired. Both teams exchanged field goals in the 3rd quarter, but then the Eagles finally launched a 10 play, 63 yard drive, which resulted in a touchdown to Brent Celek on the first play of the 4th quarter.

The Eagles offense was average, but the Giants defense really played well. McNabb again had a lot of pressure on him throughout the game, and even though he threw 2 INT's, he moved around well which allowed him to convert some big plays, and ultimately played a good game on the road in cold weather, and a hostile environment. McNabb had a touchdown pass, and also rushed for a touchdown. Brian Westbrook, who the Giants were obviously keying on, only ended up with 36 yards rushing on 18 carries. The Eagles did a good job however of continuing to rush the ball even when it wasn't working, just like they did against the Vikings. DeSean Jackson led the receiving corps with 81 yards receiving, and a huge 48 yard reception down the sideline late in the 4th quarter to ultimately put the game away.

The story of this game on the Eagles side of the ball was the defense. The defense has really been playing well all season, and continued to do so in this game. If you look at the Giants 4th quarter possessions you will see, Turnover on Downs, Turnover on Downs, INT, Fumble Lost. That's four possessions in the 4th quarter, and four times the Eagles defense gave the ball back to the offense. And that doesn't count the 1st quarter INT by Asante Samuel, which he returned back to the Giants 2-yard line. That is exactly why they brought Samuel in this offseason. We saw him make a big play against the Vikings, and he did it again this game. The Eagles had not one, but two four down stands in the 4th quarter on defense. They stuffed Eli on 4th and inches, and then stuffed Jacobs on 4th and 2. To keep the Giants offense out of the end zone in their own stadium in a huge playoff game is amazing.

To certain veterans, getting this far in the playoffs is nothing new. McNabb, Westbrook, Runyan, Tra Thomas, Dawkins, Sheldon Brown, Akers and others have been this far before. Let's hope that the Eagles, and the entire city of Philadelphia can keep this sports momentum we have going.

McNabb booking his trip to Arizona


Eagles-Giants Keys to the Game

The Eagles will travel up to New York (I mean New Jersey) to play the division rival Giants in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The Eagles were in this position two seasons ago, and were unable to stop the Saints powerful rushing attack. The Eagles will need to stop the Giants rushing attack if they want to win this game.

There are a few important keys to this game, which may be the difference between a win or loss in this game. One of the keys will be to stop the Giants rushing attack. The Giants feature two 1000 yard rushers this season, and aren’t afraid to run the ball over and over again, and dare the other team to stop them. The Giants feature a very solid offensive line, which allows Jacobs, Ward, and Bradshaw to be successful in the running game. Brandon Jacobs, the Giants feature back will pound the ball up the middle this game. The Giants know it, the Eagles know it, the Giants know the Eagles know it, it is just a matter of whether we will be able to stop it. The tackles, Patterson, Bunkley, and Laws will need to stuff the holes in the middle, and Stewart Bradley will need to come up big with a lot of tackles.

If you are able to shut down the Giants rushing attack, it makes things look good on the defensive end, because we should be able to force Eli into some 3rd and long situations. This is the situation that the Eagles defensive thrives on, because they can then get to the quarterback with some complex blitz schemes, and hopefully force Eli into throwing some interceptions. And this time, Eli does not have Plaxico Burress to throw the ball to. His safety valve will not be there, mainly because Plaxico does not know how to use a safety valve.

Another key to this game will be how the Eagles call plays. The Eagles have been successful during this late-season run, and it has mostly been due to the rushing attack. Even if the Eagles have not been able to run the ball successfully, like last week against the Vikings, they still stuck to the run. The one game Reid decided to go back to his pass-happy offense, the Eagles put up 3 points and lost to the Redskins. Brian Westbrook had 100 yards rushing in the Eagles 2nd game against the Giants, and will need to be used a lot in this game as well. Another person who Andy Reid needs to realize is on the team is Correll Buckhalter. Buckhalter has been amazing in the 2nd half of this season, and lately it seems that every time he touches the ball, he makes a big play. The Eagles have used Westbrook and Buckhalter a lot on the field together, and I hope we see that formation a lot in this game, because right now, Buckhalter is one of the best offensive playmakers on the team, no matter what position he plays.

Those are just a couple keys to what should be a very good, tough, hard fought game, as it usually is when these two teams play. The Eagles and Giants know each other well, and do not like each other, so it should be a great playoff matchup in the Meadowlands.


Humorous Look at Sports

We recently came across a new up-and-coming website, by the Global Sports Fraternity. We checked it out and it is definitely worth taking a look at. Take a look at the Global Sports Fraternity.

One of the characters these guys came up with is Dr. Gerald Leavenworth, who is obviously an Eagles fan, and happens to be a gynecologist. One of his videos is included below.


Eagles-Giants Breakdown

Breaking down the Eagles-Giants showdown this weekend--

Donovan McNabb has better career numbers, and at his best, is probably better than Eli at his best. However, Eli has something McNabb doesn’t – a Super Bowl ring. McNabb has never been able to get over that hump, and the Super Bowl experience from Eli last season will help in this game.

The Eagles probably have the most dangerous weapon of all, probably on the entire field this game, but Brandon Jacobs is a monster, and he’s only 1/3 of the Giants potent rushing attack.

If Plaxico Burress didn’t shoot himself (Yes, we still find this funny), this advantage would go to the Giants, but without him, the Giants have an average receiving corps. The Eagles receivers aren’t much better, but DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, and Jason Avant have really played well during this Eagles turnaround.

The Eagles offensive line did not look good against the Vikings, when it came to rushing and passing the ball. The Eagles offensive line is still very good, but the Giants may feature the best O-Line in the league.

Kevin Boss is an average tight end, definitely a downgrade from Shockey, but the Eagles don’t get much out of this position. Brent Celek is emerging, and had a good game against the Vikings, but L.J. Smith is a waste of space, and neither Eagles tight end can block very well.

Both defensive lines are solid, and have good players are each position. Both teams are very good against the run, and both teams get pressure on the opposing quarterback. This goes to the Giants because when Tuck, Kiwanuka, and Robbins are playing well, they are dominant.

This may be the most important position when looking at this game. The Eagles linebackers are maybe the best young group in the game, Stewart Bradley is a beast in the middle. How the Eagles linebackers do against the Giants rushing attack is a huge key to this game. Antonio Pierce got punked by Westbrook last game, and Pierce will never get any respect from us.

This may be where the Eagles have an edge on almost anyone in the league. 2 pro bowlers, and the other 2 could easily be pro bowlers if they were bigger names. They should be able to do well without Burress in the lineup. The Giants secondary is better than advertised, but still not as good as the Eagles.

Special Teams
In a game with two evenly matched teams, the special teams will be very important. The kickers may be similar, even though Akers always has a tough time kicking in Giants stadium, but DeSean Jackson gives the Eagles a home run shot every time he returns a punt.

If Andy Reid keeps his head out of his ass, this might be a push, but we have to be wary of Andy Reid resorting back to the pass 80% of the time. Coughlin actually has a Super Bowl as head coach, Reid just acts like he does.

Eagles are the hotter team coming in, and the team you don’t want to play in the playoffs, and the Giants struggled down the stretch. That said, the Giants still have had a week to rest, and are at home, which is always a big deal in the playoffs.

Below is from a New York Giants fans prospective, from our friend Jersey Boy--

QB- push (you guys will obviously disagree, but i think both QBs can either be great, so-so, or suck it up every sunday)
RB- Eagles (overall i would say push, but no question westbrook is the best player on the field sunday)
WR- push (both teams have a bunch of solid average receivers-- damn plaxico!!!)
O-Line- Giants (no question)
TE- push (both are average)
D-Line- push (great d-lines on both sides. you could make an argument for either way)
Linebacker- Giants (i can't even name an eagle LB)
Secondary- Eagles (no question)
Special Teams- slight edge eagles (kickers are a push, but desean jackson on punt returns gives you the edge)
Coach- Giants (on Sunday mornings Coughlin polishes his superbowl ring and Reid eats donuts.)
Intangibles- Giants (Confidence. I think if the Eagles take the lead in the game the Giants have the confidence to keep fighting and win it in the end. As for the Eagles, if they are trailing I think the ball game is over. Too many players will realize that they are just an average team this year and it's all over.)


Pitt Panthers Ranked #1


For the first time in the 101 year basketball history of the Panthers, Pitt is ranked #1. The #1 ranking comes after the Panthers stomped Georgetown in D.C., and are one of four unbeaten teams remaining in college basketball. Pitt is 14-0 overall, and 2-0 in the Big East, both road wins.

The Panthers being highly ranked is nothing new to this team, especially recently. The Panthers have been to the tournament 7 straight seasons, making 4 sweet 16 appearances, and basically have been ranked in the top 25 for the most part all 7 seasons throughout. The Panthers always have a good Big East record, and always do well in the Big East tournament. The hurdle that this team has to get over is getting past the Sweet 16 in March Madness, and hopefully advancing even further. We have seen Pitt get high seeds many times, only to blow it come March Madness.

This Pitt team is built to make a long run in March, with a lot of toughness and experience, with guys like Levance Fields, Sam Young, and DeJuan Blair. So while the #1 ranking is well deserved, and something every Pitt player and fan should be proud of, this team will be judged come tournament time, and I think this is the team to get past the Sweet 16.

NBC Loses Its Mind

Imagine you’re one of the thousands of Detroit auto workers out of a job, or living in fear hour to hour that the axe is about to fall. Having no real pro football team of your own, you attempt to find a few hours of soothing escape watching other teams in the playoffs. You got your popcorn, you got your chips, you got your pizza, you got your Miller’s. You switch on the NBC pregame show on Saturday and your jaw drops to the floor in disbelief. Could that really be Matt Millen sitting next to Costas, offering up pearls of wisdom about the upcoming contests? Matt Millen, arguably the worst GM in the history of the NFL? Matt Millen, whose football expertise directly contributed to the Lions’ historic 0-16 season? Matt Millen, first class loser and utter incompetent, has the balls to be taking money as an NBC analyst? Competent workers in Detroit are being laid off by the thousands, and the city’s pro football team is in ruins, but NBC hands a contract to this incompetent hack who destroyed a franchise? What the hell were they thinking? Who the hell cares what Millen has to say about anything? The guy should have been tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail – but here he is with pancake makeup, lucrative contract in his back pocket, sharing his deep NFL insights with little Bobby Costas! For any true NFL fan from any city (other than Dallas where no true fans exist), this has to be sickening, but for the poor SOB’s in Detroit, this has to be downright nauseating! NBC has clearly lost its freakin’ mind!

Eagles Advance to Divisional Round

The Eagles beat the Vikings in the wild card round to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs to face their division rival New York Giants.

Back to the game at hand, the Eagles pulled away in the 4th quarter in a close game throughout. It felt like the game was 16-14 for most of the 2nd half, and the Vikings were just a field goal away from taking the lead, but the Eagles defense held strong. The Vikings were everything they were advertised to be, a very good defensive line that didn't give the Eagles much room to operate on the offensive end. Correll Buckhalter's 27 yard run was really the only long run the Eagles had all game. The Eagles ended up with only 67 yards total on 23 carries. The Vikings defense was also constantly pressuring Donovan McNabb on passing plays. The Eagles only offensive touchdown came in the 4th quarter, and essentially won the game, a 71 yard screen pass touchdown by Brian Westbrook.

Donovan McNabb played great in this game. He ended the game with exactly 300 yards passing and a touchdown and an INT. He was constantly pressured, and escaped the Vikings pressure well, and was able to hit his check downs a lot, and take what the Vikings gave him. Brent Celek and Jason Avant had some big catches, a lot on 3rd down.

The Eagles defense was also solid, and made sure the Eagles would not give this game up in the 2nd half. The Vikings had two long scoring drives, which both resulted in Adrian Peterson touchdowns runs, but that was all the Eagles would give the Vikings. Overall, the Vikings only ended up with 301 total yards, and Asante Samuel scored on an interception return for a touchdown. We knew coming into this game how good the Vikings rushing attack was, with Peterson, who was the league's leading rusher, and also Chester Taylor. The Eagles did a decent job on both of them, but more importantly, did not let Tarvaris Jackson beat them. Trent Cole, Brian Dawkins, and Quintin Mikell were beasts on the defensive side of the football.

Also, DeSean Jackson's punt returns were solid, and always seemed to give the Eagles good field position. Jackson had over 100 yards on punt returns including a 62 yarder. Also on special teams, David Akers was 4-4 on field goal tries, including a 51-yarder. For a guy who couldn't make a 40+ yard field goal halfway through the season, Akers has really stepped it up in this playoff run. Hopefully it will continue at New York.

It was definitely a nerve racking game, and the Vikings game it their all, but in the end, the Eagles prevailed, and advance to play the Giants next weekend.


Eagles-Vikings Breakdown

Breaking down the Eagles-Vikings game--

The Eagles have a resurgent Donovan McNabb, who when the play calling allows for it, is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The Vikings will start Tarvaris Jackson, who has only made 5 starts this season, but does have 9 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. McNabb has much more playoff experience and very good numbers against the Vikings.

The Vikings feature what might be the best running back in the game right now in Adrian Peterson, who led the league with 1760 rushing yards this season. The Vikings also have a good 2nd running back in Chester Taylor, who can come in and spell Peterson when need be. The Eagles also feature two solid running backs in Westbrook and Buckhalter. While the Vikings simply run Peterson over and over, the Eagles use Westbrook in a variety of ways, running the ball, and splitting Westbrook out wide to run receiving patterns. While Westbrook is one of the best in the game, it's hard to pick against the NFL's leading rusher.

Neither team is particularly solid at this position, as the Eagles feature a rookie as their leading receiver, and an underachieving tight end. The Vikings top two receivers were Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wade, and at tight end, Visanthe Shiancoe had a solid season. Neither team had a 1000 yard receiver, but Berrian and Shiancoe both had 7 touchdown catches this season. No Eagles receiver had more than 3 touchdown catches.

Again, the Vikings have the NFL's leading rusher, which definitely counts for something, but the Eagles offensive line can also run block, and the Eagles offensive line allowed fewer sacks than the Vikings offensive line.

Defensive Front 7
The Vikings have the #1 rush defense in the league and also one of the best pass rushers in the league in Jared Allen. The Eagles have the #4 ranked rush defense, and also have some good pass rushers. The edge for the Vikings may come on the line, but the Eagles probably have a slight edge at linebacker, led by Stewart Bradley.

The Eagles defense is #3 against the pass, while the Vikings defense is #18 against the pass. The Eagles secondary features two pro-bowlers in Asante Samuel and Brian Dawkins, and the Eagles are deep in their secondary. Because teams are not able to run on the Vikings, it may exploit their secondary a little bit, and the Vikings secondary did have a lot of interceptions this season.

The last game the Vikings played in the playoffs, they lost to the Eagles. As stated before, McNabb has very good numbers against this Vikings team. However, the game is in Minnesota in the dome, which is a hard place for a visiting team to go in and win, even if the Vikings still can't sell this game out.

It looks like the weaknesses of the Vikings play right into the Eagles hand, and if the Eagles are smart, they should be able to exploit the Vikings. Donovan McNabb is playing very well lately, and if the play calling is good, the Eagles should win this game.


Pittsburgh Panthers Basketball 13-0

Due to my Pitt Panthers disappointing finish to the college football season, I would like to officially welcome in the college basketball season to the forefront. The New Year means the bowl season will soon end, and conference play starts in college basketball, which is a very exciting time for anybody who likes college basketball.

There are six remaining undefeated teams in college basketball, the Pittsburgh Panthers being one of them, standing at 13-0 after a solid win at the RAC yesterday. The #3 Panthers will face the #8 Georgetown Hoyas this Saturday at noon on ESPN. This Panthers team boasts a "Big 3" with 3 players averaging in double figures, led by Sam Young. DeJuan Blair and Levance Fields also score double digits, and DeJuan Blair averages a double-double, and is 2nd in the nation in rebounding.

While Pitt has been to the tournament for 7 straight seasons, we have never been past the Sweet 16 in any of those seasons. This season may be our best chance to break through that Sweet 16 barrier.

Either way, it should be an exciting year as we welcome in conference play in the college basketball season.