Monday, December 29, 2008
Un-fucking-believable. The team that couldn't get one yard. The team that couldn't beat the Bengals. The team that benched its quarterback. The team that refused to run. The team that choked away an important game just last week is in the playoffs. Playoffs?!?
I mean, after choking it away against the Redskins, did anyone really think the Eagles had a chance to be a playoff team? I sure as shit didn't. I knew there was no way, no how that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after dropping three in a row, were going to lose to the Raiders at home. Only they did. And I watched the crap out of it.
Earlier in the day, Arkansas Fred called me to let me know a friend of his was trying to get rid of his tickets to the Eagles game. I respectfully declined, deciding not to spend any money on a team that was going to come up just short yet again—a strong enough finish to keep the status quo but not good enough to mean anything. Plus, I was still at my parents' house visiting, and I was all settled to watch the game with my dad.
While that decision can be argued, the one plus was I got to watch as the Bucs completed their masterful job of collapsing. Once 9-3, Tampa was now 9-6. And then, after failing on a 4th down conversion up 24-21, Michael Bush, the third-string running back for Oakland, took the first play 67 yards to the house. Suddenly, it was 28-24 Oakland in the fourth quarter, and I was going nuts. The very next play from scrimmage, Jeff Garcia threw a pick. Then, with his team down 7 and no timeouts left, he took a sack—the only thing he couldn't do—to end the game.
Yeah, that's the same guy moron Eagles fans wanted to keep and have start over Donovan. You people are retarded. Add Garcia and company's masterful choke job with the Bears loss and all the sudden, the Eagles controlled their own fate once again. And this time, they did not let it slip through their fingers.
Andy Reid, the man I love to hate, coached quite possibly the best game I've ever seen him coach. He committed to the run, mixed in his passes and really just managed a beautiful game. The defense was brilliant, the offense efficient, and the special teams solid.
The Eagles played the perfect game, while the Cowboys folded like a deck of cards. Donovan was fantastic, throwing beautiful passes, like that perfect one to DeSean and a great touch pass to Brent Celek. Correll Buckhalter finally got some touches … and did a ton with them. His 59-yard catch and run was huge, and his touchdown catch really put the game out of reach. And the offensive line was nearly perfect, keeping McNabb clean and punishing the Dallas defensive line.
But this game was dictated by Jim Johnson and that ferocious defense. All day long, the Cowboys looked confused, unsure of themselves and beaten. Receivers were running wrong routes, linemen was getting confused on blocking schemes, and the quarterback, oh, Tony Romo, made Doug Pederson look like Joe Montana.
Tony Romo is a fraud. Reporters, writers, analysts, write that down. There's no two ways about it. In the playoffs, Romo is 0-2. In December, the Cowboys, led by No. 9, are horrendous every year. The guy is jittery, afraid of taking hits, and yesterday, he made some of the worst throws I've ever seen. The guy is a joke. Enough with all the knob-slobbing already. Tony Romo is an absolute fraud. Yesterday, he proved that once again.
It's hard to say anyone on the defense didn't play great, but Trent Cole, Chris Clemons, Brian Dawkins and Broderick Bunkley particularly stood out to me. Bunk was all over the field, even as a d-tackle, disrupting plays left and right. Cole was routinely hitting Romo, Clemons was flying off the edge and, oh by the way, had a touchdown and a forced fumble. And Dawk had two incredible strips, both of which were returned by his teammates for touchdowns.
Anyone who's watched Dawk his entire career knows the guy has lost a step or two. He can't cover like he used to. But man, the guy can still play. He's proved that the past few weeks, and he did it again yesterday. As did everyone on that defense. They played incredible.
I honestly thought, going into the game, that the Eagles were going to choke again once everything fell in place for them. But they didn't. Andy, Marty and Jim coached the perfect game. The offense, defense and special teams played the perfect game. And now, suddenly, unbelievably the Eagles are in the playoffs. Frankly, I'm stunned.