After this past Thanksgiving, I am all in favor of one rule change for the NFL – have the Eagles and Cowboys face off EVERY Thanksgiving.
Sure, the desired result may not always be as favorable as it was this year, which could result in the carcass of a turkey being thrown at your cousin Lou, who happens to be a Cowboys fan even though neither he nor his immediate family members ever lived in or around Texas (one can only presume that such “misguided” thinking must be attributable to lack of “family values”).
But watching the Eagles “cook” the Cowboys only made the turkey taste that much better. Watching the Cowboys on the sidelines gasping for breath with Chip Kelly’s high octane offense at full steam during their first two drives only made the pumpkin pie taste that much sweeter.
The Eagles got off to a quick 14-0 lead and never looked back, and their defense surprisingly played very well, putting constant pressure on Tony Romo. But while I am not usually a “Debbie Downer” type, the lack of effectiveness in the red zone is a cause for concern.
During Mark Sanchez’s first few weeks as the Eagles quarterback, the Eagles were 7 for 7 in the red zone, but against Dallas last Thursday, the Birds could only manage to go 1 for 5 in the red zone, and while that did not come back to haunt them against the Cowboys, it is something that will need much improvement if the Eagles are to go far in the playoffs.
On the season, the team is ranked 29th in converting red zone opportunities into touchdowns, with a success rate of less than 44%. The good news is that while Seattle has one of the best defenses in the league, they are somehow one of the worst when it comes to allowing their opponents to score touchdowns in the red zone (64.5%). So something has to give.
Now that we find ourselves in December, another factor that could come into play is the weather. And while skies should be clear, the winds could be whipping, which could have an effect on the kicking game.
While I still have the Seahawks ranked higher than the Eagles due to their tougher schedule and more quality wins, the homefield advantage will aid the Birds this week, as they go to 10-3 on the season, winning 27-14.
The Last Word:
If you were to walk into the Phillies corporate offices these days, you will most likely find David Bowie’s “Changes” playing over the intercom.
– Cole Hamels is likely to be traded (along with a pound cake from Stock’s Bakery) for a package of prospects from most likely either the Dodgers or Red Sox.
– A “deeply discounted” Ryan Howard will be available for less than that 60-inch television on December 26th.
– Rumor has it that Jonathan Papelbon was offered as a charitable donation to the 1) Salvation Army, 2) Goodwill and 3) Purple Heart, but they all politely declined.
If anything, changes with the Phillies are long overdo. Longtime part owner John Middleton desires to be the majority owner, and will become so in time. Middleton, who made billions in the cigar business, will put the right people in place and light a fire under them (no pun intended) to turn the Phillies back into a winner, something that never seemed to be a priority with David Montgomery as president.
While the Phillies will probably not become winners for at least a few years, just watching new and young players will be a welcome change from the old and standard “over the hill” gang, which the team trotted out over the last few years.
Ch-ch-changes….turn and face the strange….
Amit’s Top 5 Power Rankings:
1. Broncos (2)
2. Patriots (3)
3. Cardinals (1)
4. Packers (5)
5. Seahawks (new)
Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless noted otherwise):
Steelers at Bengals 1:00 PM CBS
Ravens at Dolphins 1:00 PM CBS
Colts at Browns 1:00 PM FOX
Bills at Broncos 4:05 PM CBS
Chiefs at Cardinals 4:05 PM – Game of the Week
Seahawks at Eagles 4:25 PM
Patriots at Chargers 8:30 PM