As Broad & Pattison Turns: Superbowl XLVIII Edition

Broncos vs Seahawks  6:30 PM (FOX) – For this one, they should bring back the Kingdome and Mile High Stadium.

Bring back Dave Krieg, Jim Zorn and Steve Largent.  Bring John Elway out of the executive box and Tom Jackson out of the ESPN booth.

Bring back Chuck Knox and former Penn State great Curt Warner.  And while you’re at it,  bring back Karl Mecklenburg, the “Three Amigos”, and the “Barrel Man” (RIP Barrel Man).  And for a goof, bring back Brian Bosworth…

While the Seattle Seahawks played in the NFC west in their inaugural season of 1976 (and reside there now), they were actually in the AFC West from 1977 till the start of the 2002 season, where they faced the Broncos twice on an annual basis as division foes.

Ironically, their first ever playoff appearance came at home against the Broncos in the 1983 AFC wildcard game when, leading by 10-7 at halftime, the Seahawks exploded for 21 unanswered points, leading to the franchise’s first playoff victory.  Did I know that info. by researching the internet?  No…I actually remember watching that game in my parents’ family room as a little tyke growing up in Northeast Philadelphia (while I frequently struggled just to get a C grade in elementary school due to lack of interest, I can recite where I was watching random NFL games from childhood with relative ease….go figure).

With all of the history then, this is, in essence, a “Back to the Future” sort of Superbowl.   And while Peyton Manning would do an admirable job of playing “Biff” the bully, it would be his brother Eli, instead of Seattle QB Russell Wilson, that would be a better fit to play the role of “Marty McFly”.

While the main focus in the NFL usually centers on the quarterbacks, the conference championship games showed us that football is still a team sport, and losing one piece of the puzzle on your team can lead to devastating consequences.

In the AFC Championship game, New England seemed to keep Peyton Manning in check until Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib went out with a knee injury.  After that, it was as if the border patrol went out to lunch and never returned, as Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas suddenly began to get open against a mismatched secondary, ending with seven receptions for 134 yards.

In the NFC title game, even with all the talk of Russell Wilson & Colin Kaepernick, it was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman that made the defining play, followed by a defining rant that has gotten more played out than those annoying Progressive Insurance commercials with “Flo” (personally, I prefer “Jan” from the Toyota commercials).

So who wins this Sunday?  Peyton Manning was lucky to play in 63-degree weather at home in the AFC Championship, but it will most likely be much colder than that come kickoff Sunday night.   The Seahawks are used to playing in dreary weather in the Pacific Northwest so the conditions should suit them just fine.

The matchup pitting Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas against Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will be the most intriguing one to watch.  Unless the Broncos get lucky again by way of the opposing cornerback going out with an injury, think the Seahawks will take this one and win their first ever Superbowl.

Superbowl XLVIII will also be one of “firsts” – the first one where the price of admission gets you the sight of your own breath for three plus hours, plus a set of handwarmers and lip balm (as opposed to sunscreen given to attendees in Tampa a few years back).  Considering the price of the ticket, hope that it’s at least Chapstick brand…

The Last Word:   Superbowl XLVIII will be the first in 19 years featuring two teams that reside west of the Mississippi River, and the first in 14 years that will not have a participant from the Eastern Time Zone.

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As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #17: Eagles at Cowboys

Last Sunday, the Eagles and their fans embarked on a “3-hour tour” (as they used to say on Gilligan’s Island) which turned out to be a roller coaster ride that swung across virtually every gamut of emotions.

On two separate occasions, it looked like the Cowboys were on the verge of losing, yet both times, Dallas managed to keep the game alive, which eventually made the difference in a 24-23 victory over the Redskins.

With Washington holding a 23-14 lead approx. midway through the 4th quarter, and the Cowboys faced with a 4th & 6 at the Redskins 40, quarterback Tony Romo completed a 20-yard pass across the middle to keep the drive alive.

More importantly, it looked like a Cowboys loss was imminent after Dallas went from a 2nd & goal at the 1 to a 4th & goal from the 10 with only 1:16 left to play.  Instead, Romo found DeMarco Murray at the 2 yard line, and, with just enough momentum to carry him into the end zone, kept the Cowboys alive for at least one more week.

Eagles fans, jubilant at the thought of clinching the division on Sunday night against the Bears when the Cowboys faced 4th & goal, must have felt as if their “buzz” turned into a hangover almost instantaneously, with the knowledge that last Sunday’s game suddenly did not mean nearly as much.  Now, the Eagles had to win at Dallas no matter what happened last Sunday night at the Linc.  And later we found out that it was Chicago who had everything to play for, while the only advantage the Eagles could gain was for seeding purposes…which only holds importance IF the Eagles win this Sunday.

But it was the Birds who played as if everything depended on the game, while the Bears looked like THEY were the ones who rested their starters and trotted out a high school junior varsity team as replacement players.

Chicago looked disinterested, disheveled, and just plain discombobulated, and by the middle of the 3rd quarter, Eagles fans, while enjoying the offensive prowess of their team, still held their collective breath, hoping, PRAYING, that LeSean McCoy or Nick Foles would not lay motionless on the field because of an injury that would take more than a week’s recovery time.

Perhaps it was to remove the bad taste out of their mouth after last week’s loss to the Vikings.  Perhaps coach Chip Kelly, after watching his team practice to play a meaningful game, wanted to give them the chance to do so.  Or perhaps it was to gain a #3 instead of a #4 seed, which the Eagles will capture if they win their division come Sunday night.

There is validity to that argument.  While both the #3 & #4 seeds play at home in the 1st round and on the road in the 2nd (assuming they win their first game), the #3 seed, in theory, plays the worse of the two wild card teams.  Win that game, and you go on the road to play the 2nd best team in your conference and not the first (again, in theory).

By holding the #3 seed, the Eagles would currently play the New Orleans Saints (an awful road team) at home in the 1st round as opposed to the San Francisco 49ers, who are more adept at playing on the road outdoors.  Win that game, and the Birds would currently go on the road to Carolina in the 2nd round (a very winnable game) as opposed to going to Seattle and its “Monsters of Rock” concert decibel level at CenturyLink Field.

Make it to the NFC championship, and the Birds could play at home if the #4 or #5 seed also advanced that far.  Start the playoffs as the 4th seed instead, and you have to hope that the #6 seed advanced just as far (not very likely) to have that same opportunity.

Sure, I’m getting ahead of myself, as the Eagles first need to win this Sunday, but why not dream a little with the way this season is going?

As for Dallas, Santa dropped a lump of coal into the Cowboys playoff stocking, when it was discovered that QB Tony Romo may be out for the game (and for an extended period of time) with a herniated disk.  But while all the “Romo-sexuals” (the Tony Romo supporters) may be crying in their eggnog at hearing such news, the Eagles would do well not to relax and take this game lightly.

While Cowboys backup Kyle Orton may not be as elusive as Romo, he also may not have the “chokability” (is that a word?) of Romo either, who has gone 1-6 in playoff and regular season elimination games. ..nothing to write home about.

With the Eagles offense as potent as it is, if the defense can hold the Cowboys to 21-24 points, there is no reason they shouldn’t win this game and become NFC East champions for the 1st time in three years.  As long as the Eagles remember the Vikings game from two weeks back and don’t plan to sleepwalk through it…

Birds win 35-20 Sunday night and Birds fans will be singing “Fly Eagles Fly” in Old City, Rittenhouse Square, the Graduate Hospital area, and of course, Frankford & Cottman…

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Ravens at Bengals 1:00 PM CBS – The Bengals have won the AFC North and have an outside shot at a bye.  The Ravens need a win and a partridge in a pear tree to make the playoffs.  A game still meaningful for both teams…

Niners at Cardinals 4:25 PM FOX – Had the 49ers lost to the Falcons on Monday night, this game would have been, essentially, a playoff game for both teams.  Instead, the Niners are already in the playoffs, with a chance to get a bye, and possibly home field advantage as well, for which they will need three French hens & two turtle doves along with a partridge in a pear tree.  The Cardinals need a win and have to hope that Tampa can pull off an upset in New Orleans…otherwise, the Cardinals could end up 11-5 or 10-6 and be watching the playoffs at home in the land of the cactus.

Packers at Bears  4:25 PM FOX – For the Bears sake, hopefully they can snap out of their sleepwalk just in time to get up for this regular season winner-takes-all game against the Pack, who might have Aaron Rodgers back and could make a deep run in the playoffs as the #4 seed.  If that is the case, I’ll be singing  “I’mmmmm dreaming, of an Eagles-Packers championship…just like the one in 1960″….

Eagles at Cowboys 8:30 PM NBC   – Based on comments they made during last week’s Eagles-Bears Sunday night game, the NBC broadcasting duo of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth seem to have a “bro-mance” going with Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.  Or maybe it was the oversized picture of the Phillie Phanatic used to send in offensive signals that had them smiling?  Either way, they both do a great job, though I will always defer to putting down the sound and putting on Merrill Reese and Mike Quick on the Eagles radio network…It’s GOOOOOD!

The Last Word – From the crack staff and research department here at “As Broad & Pattison Turns” (namely, me), I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, & Season’s Greetings (the “trifecta” of famous December phrases).  And to celebrate, I leave you with a Christmas jingle sung to the tune of Wham’s “Last Christmas”:

Last Christmas, the Eagles were lousy, 

And the very next day, they fired Andy,

This year, to save us from tears,

I’d give the ball to someone like Shady,

Yes, I’m a dork I know…and to all a good night…

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #16: Bears at Eagles

There are certain things one can always count on in the month of December:

1)  Overcrowded shopping malls.

2)  Hearing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” on the radio.

3) Being asked 623 times “So are ya finished your Christmas shopping?”

4) Santa sliding down the chimney to deliver presents.

5) The Cowboys sliding down the NFC East standings as Tony Romo delivers another fatal interception.

Once again, just around the time that the Christmas trees are decorated and the eggnog is flowing freely, the Cowboys began to freefall, going from a contender to a pretender.  Last week, the ‘Boys held a commanding 26-3 lead over Green Bay at halftime, only to have it slip away when Cowboys QB Tony Romo threw not one, but two game-changing interceptions, eventually leading to a 37-36 fall from ahead defeat.

The last two seasons, it has been the Giants and Redskins, respectively, that have won the division as a result of the Cowboys implosion, and this year looks to be the Eagles turn as they try to make the playoffs in Chip Kelly’s first season, a feat that even the “Ghost of Christmas Future” could not foretell.

Don’t know what it is that has cursed Tony Romo…the guy puts up good numbers and can throw 5-6 touchdowns in a game, yet he’ll throw an interception at the most inopportune time, eventually leading to a Cowboys loss.

Back in 2006, the Cowboys were a chip shot field goal away from winning a wildcard playoff game on the road against the Seattle Seahawks when Romo, who was then the holder on field goals and extra points as well, botched the snap, leading to a Cowboys playoff loss in his 1st year as the Cowboys starter.  Who would have known then that Romo and the Cowboys would amass only one playoff win in the next six seasons?

Perhaps it’s the ghosts of “Cowboys past” that are cursing Jerry Jones and trying to get him to see the error of his ways in remaining the general manager of his football team.  It was Jones, after all, who caused former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, the only successful coach he’s had to date, to depart Dallas.  The only thing bigger than Jerry Jones ego is his stadium, and while it may hold all the technological bells and whistles, it is an awful place for the average fan to actually watch live action, and doesn’t hold any ground when compared to Lincoln Financial Field.

Meanwhile, back at Broad & Pattison, the Eagles were very much in the holiday spirit last week, as they gift wrapped a win for the Vikings.  And while Minnesota’s record was nothing to write home about, Eagles play-by-play man Merrill Reese made an interesting observation before kickoff last week that if a football game lasted 59 minutes instead of 60, the Vikings would have been 8-5 instead of 3-9-1.  This wasn’t the Houston Texans the Eagles were facing but a team that had played it close for most of their games and, if taken lightly, had the ability to beat you.  And they did just that.

But with the Cowboys loss, the Eagles received their own Christmas present of sorts, and with it, a chance to clinch the NFC East this Sunday with a Cowboys loss to the Redskins Sunday afternoon followed by an Eagles win over the Bears on Sunday night.

If both teams have something to play for, it could be a tight, close game, but by Sunday night, either one or both teams could be resting their starters for a game that might end up meaning very little (wonder if the boys over at NBC  thought this one through before they flexed this into the Sunday night game).

Here are the up-to-date, and now limited, playoff scenarios for the Birds:

– They cannot get a wild card spot, which goes to the #5 & #6 seed.

– They can only get into the playoffs as a division winner, which would give them either the #3 or #4 seed, depending on what the record of the NFC North winner is.  They cannot move up enough to capture the #1 or #2 seed (and the 1st round bye that comes with them).

– A Cowboys win against the Redskins and the Eagles would have to beat Dallas the last week of the season to win the division, no matter what happens this Sunday night.  In that case, a loss against the Bears would make it likely that the Birds would become the #4 seed instead of #3.

– For the Bears, a Lions loss against the Giants and a Packers win against the Steelers (both played on Sunday afternoon) would render the Eagles game meaningless for the same reason, as the Bears would need to defeat the Packers the following week to win their division, regardless of what they do against the Eagles.

– If the game ends up meaningless for both teams, the only thing the outcome would affect is the seeding between #3 & #4…got that??

I actually think the game will mean something for the Eagles, as the Redskins, with Kurt Cousins at quarterback, will come through and defeat the Cowboys, followed by the Birds defeating the Bears, 27-16, and giving Eagles fans an early Christmas present and an NFC East title in Chip Kelly’s first year as head coach.  If that scenario plays through, Chip Kelly will indeed be Santa Claus for the next two weeks…

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Colts at Chiefs 1:00 PM CBS – While both of these teams have already clinched playoff spots, the Chiefs still have a shot at winning their division and getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Colts still have an outside shot at a 1st round bye.

Saints at Panthers 1:00 PM FOX – A win would give the Saints the NFC South title and a 1st round bye in the playoffs.  A Panthers win would put them in the drivers seat for the same, though they would still need a win or a Saints loss the following week as well.  The Saints are an offensive juggernaut when they are playing at home, but unfortunately, this game is in Carolina.

Cardinals at Seahawks 4:05 PM FOX – A win would give the Seahawks home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.  While the Cardinals future is bright under new head coach Bruce Arians, they still need some help to make the playoffs in 2013.

Patriots at Ravens 4:25 PM CBS – With neither team having clinched a playoff spot yet, and playoff seeding still in the air, this should be a dandy.

Bears at Eagles 8:30 PM NBC – While this game is currently a marquee matchup, that could change before kickoff based on how other games pan out.

The Last Word – With Christmas fast approaching, just remember – if Grandma has been drinking too much eggnog, just tell her not to go.  And make sure she doesn’t forget her medication, and stagger out the door into the snow…

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #13: Cardinals at Eagles

The Eagles bye week came and went (thank god there is only one a year) and while we could not watch our beloved Birds, there were still a plethora of games played last Sunday that had an impact on the Eagles playoff chances.

With five weeks to go in the NFL season, the NFC East race is pretty clear – basically a two-team race between the Eagles and the Cowboys  with the Giants still in the picture, albeit barely.

But if the Eagles were not to secure the NFC East title, they are still in line for a possible wild-card berth, and only a game behind the Cardinals and 49ers, who are currently tied for the 2nd wild-card spot at 7-4.  Unfortunately, the picture here gets much more muddled, with seven teams vying for only two spots.

Last week’s outcomes brought about the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly.  The good (losses by both the Lions and the Bears), the bad (wins by the Panthers, Cardinals, Niners, and most importantly, the Cowboys), and the ugly being a 26-26 tie between the Packers and the Vikings.  And as we all know, a tie in football is the equivalent of kissing your sister (no offense Neelj).

This week brings us the four F’s (feast, family, friends, and football) which are always a staple of Thanksgiving, and with it, the annual trifecta of Thanksgiving NFL games, which not only help to keep us entertained at grandma’s, but also keeps us aloof from partaking in more “serious” discussions like the Obamacare health exchanges, Black Friday sales, and Uncle Louie’s new hairpiece.

And while none of the Thanksgiving day games could be classified as marquee matchups, two of the three (Packers at Lions, Raiders at Cowboys) will have an impact on the Eagles playoff picture, while the night game features the Steelers at the Ravens in the “Mediocre Bowl”, sponsored by the 1) turkey leftovers in your refrigerator and 2) La-Z-Boy recliners.

To get you set for Thanksgiving and for Week #13 of the NFL season, below is a “cheat sheet” of who Eagles fans need to root for this weekend. Feel free to print out and place on the living room center table right next to the Macy’s and Best Buy holiday circulars…

Lions over the Packers (why you ask? Lions have an inside track to their division while the Packers could be battling the Birds for a wild-card spot)

Raiders over Cowboys (DUH!)

Bucs over the Panthers

Vikings over the Bears

Rams over the Niners

Redskins over the Giants

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Cardinals at Eagles  1:00 PM  FOX  – The Eagles are a marquee matchup for the first time since October 2012, and face what could be their toughest test of the remaining five games against a Cardinals team that has won four straight and could present a major headache for the Birds defense with wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald & Michael Floyd, coupled with the improved play of quarterback Carson Palmer, who will be making his first ever visit to play the Eagles in Philadelphia.

I’d like to say that the Eagles will prevail over the Cardinals simply because eagles are “large, powerfully built birds of prey” (at least that’s what Wikipedia says) while a Cardinal keeps trying to come through my office window being too dumb to realize that there is glass there.

But unfortunately, this is a very tough game to predict.  While the Eagles defense will be tested, there is also the factor of teams from the West Coast not winning very often in games played at 1 PM on the East Coast.  In that respect, it was a good thing that this game did not get “flexed” to Sunday night football.

In addition, the Cards are generally a dome team, and will be playing outdoors in the elements of temperatures in the high 40’s.  For that reason, I see the Birds winning 30-24, and extending their winning streak to four games.  A win will also give the Eagles the tie-breaker should these two teams end up tied at the end of the season for a playoff spot.

Broncos at Chiefs  4:25 PM  CBS – Both teams sit at 9-2 and the winner will have the inside track to home-field advantage in the AFC.

Saints at Seahawks  8:40 PM  ESPN – Much like the Broncos-Chiefs, this game will go a long way to determining the #1 seed in the NFC.

The Last Word – Rumor has it that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro will be spending Thanksgiving Day visiting 1) 55+ communities, 2) assisted living centers and 3) nursing homes.  No, he won’t be there to visit family or friends, but to look for potential free agents to sign for the 2014 Phillies season.  Perhaps 86-year old Oscar in the long-term care center could challenge John Mayberry Jr. for an outfield spot?

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #9: Eagles at Raiders

While I’m not at all in favor of the NFL’s desire to start a new franchise in London (sorry Brits), I am totally in favor of the NFL moving the Eagles remaining four home games to London, Mumbai, or even Guam for that matter.  Perhaps that’s what it will take to salvage the season.

What seemed like an anomaly has now grown into a “scarlet letter” of sorts for this franchise…ten straight losses at home, a feat not even accomplished during the lean years of the 60’s and early 70’s when this writer was not even part of the world population.   With each loss, the ire of the fans grows, as the Eagles approach the NFL record of fourteen straight losses at home.

On Sunday, the Eagles continued their offensive ineptitude, moving slower than an automobile trying to meander its way down the hairpin turns of San Francisco’s Lombard Street.   If you’re keeping score, the offense has scored exactly three points in two games, and even that was because of a gift DeMeco Ryans interception that gave the Birds the ball at the Cowboys 30 yard line.

The recent scoring drought not only has Eagles fans frustrated, but has prevented the faithful at the Linc from singing their fight song, “Fly Eagles Fly”, on a regular basis (after each touchdown).  Perhaps we need to follow Jacksonville’s lead (since they rarely score touchdowns either) and come up with a jingle for every first down like “Move those Chains! Move those Chains! Move those Chains, Whoo!”

Yes, that is the actual Jaguars song (whatever Jacksonville marketing guru came up with that should be fired), second only to their “We Are….Jaguars” chant.  No wonder they’re a losing franchise (personally, I’ll stick with my alma mater’s “We Are..Penn State” chant).

But going back to the Birds, what was once a promising situation at quarterback has now turned into a conundrum.  This past offseason, after fourteen seasons with Andy Reid at the helm, the Eagles decided on a “No Reid option”,  vying instead for Chip Kelly and his “read-option” offense.  But over the last two weeks, this so-called progressive offense has morphed into “read-optionless-injured”, with one QB hurt (Michael Vick), one recently concussed (Nick Foles), and one inexperienced (Matt Barkley).

Speaking of Barkley, while I give him a pass for not having much NFL experience, I don’t give him a pass for stating that he played “okay”.  One plays okay when the offense scores 14 or 17 points, not when you score zero points and you’re the quarterback for three quarters…OKAY???

So what happens when the Birds visit the “black hole” that is Oakland’s Almeda County Stadium this Sunday?  Of course, the Birds win with my man Nick Foles at quarterback.

That’s right…even after my whole diatribe above, the Eagles salvage the season and win this Sunday as long as Foles remains healthy enough to start.

Remember, you heard it here first peeps.  Of course, if I’m wrong, it could be a long flight back from the Bay Area for the Green Legion and its members.  At least there’s always Fisherman’s Wharf and some adult beverages from Napa Valley to  help dull the pain…

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Bears at Packers  8:40 PM ESPN  (Mon) – This is the perfect Sunday to finally rake the leaves that have been building up in your yard, as there is only one marquee matchup on the docket this weekend, and that is not till Monday night.  The Bears started out 3-0 this season but have come back down to earth as of late (don’t they always?), losing three of their last four games.  The Packers, with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, are quietly leading the NFC “Snowbelt” division at 5-2.  My prediction – there will be frost on the cheese.

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #8: Giants at Eagles

If I had told you before last week’s Eagles – Cowboys game that the Cowboys would score only 17 points, many in the Delaware Valley would have bet their house, their 401K retirement savings, and their kids’ college fund on an Eagles win.  But as a certain commentator on ESPN always says, “That’s why they play the games!”.

For the last game and a half, Nick Foles had been as accurate and steady as they come while filling in for the injured Michael Vick.  But at approximately the stroke of midnight Monday morning Kazakhstan time (1 PM EST), his “accuracy carriage” turned into a pumpkin, as he looked disillusioned and just plain disoriented while running the Eagles offense, resulting in a 17-3 loss that may be looked at three months down the road as the game that kept the Eagles out of the playoffs in 2013.

Come to think of it, even Kazakhstan’s favorite son, Borat, while being offensive to some, could have led the Birds to at least one offensive touchdown, causing Eagles fans to cry out “VERY NICE!  HIGH-FIVE!”

To add injury to insult, Nick Foles, who usually makes wise decisions, chose to hold the ball and get sacked on one particular play instead of throwing it away or running out of bounds, resulting in a concussion which will keep him out of Sunday’s game and possibly cause him to lose his starting job, which was his for the taking.

Rookie Matt Barkley came in to try and rally the Birds in the 4th quarter, but his three interceptions would probably have had Borat (and Eagles fans) spewing obscenities that I cannot repeat in this PG rated blog.

As Broad & Pattison turns, so does the Eagles quarterback carousel, as Michael Vick, suddenly healthy once again, gets his chance to win back the job he supposedly never lost as the Birds face the Giants this Sunday at the Linc.

Much has been made about the Eagles nine-game home losing streak, with many suggesting that the venue is to blame for the lack of a home-field advantage.  But while the rugged, blue-collar environment of the old donut-like Vet has been replaced by the wifi, the solar panels, and the EZ-Pass like concession stands at the Linc, it’s not as if the fans are sitting on their hands discussing Obamacare, the recent government shutdown, and the rise in their small-cap mutual funds while the Eagles are going for it on 4th down.

No, the reason for the Eagles woes at home is twofold – after they beat the Giants at home on Sept. 30th, 2012 to go to 3-1 on the season, they managed to win only one game the rest of the season as the team felt apart and finished 4-12.  Simply put, they were just a bad team last year…home or away.

This season, all three of their wins have come on the road but just look at the schedule and the picture is clear.  The three teams they beat this year have a combined win total of three….an average of one win each between them.

Contrast that with their three home losses, which are against teams that are averaging five wins on the season so far.  Simply put, the Eagles have faced better competition at home.

A win against the Giants this Sunday would not only snap the home loss hex, but would put the Eagles at 4-4 at the halfway point of the season…just where many thought they would be.   It’s hard to say about this game…I think the Birds will prevail, but I speak more with my heart than my head.  Birds win 24-20, but it’s not easy.   With this team, it never is.

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Cowboys at Lions  1:00 PM FOX – Perhaps they should bring back Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders for this showdown in Motown.

Dolphins at Patriots  1:00 PM CBS – The Pats are leaking oil with all of their injuries so this may be a chance for the Dolphins to steal one.

Jets at Bengals  4:05 PM CBS – The Jets have two of their four wins on last-minute field goals after “gift” calls from the officials.  The Bengals may actually win their division this year.

The Last Word:   In the “weird stat” department, the last time the Eagles won a home game, none of the coaches of the four major sports teams in Philadelphia (Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Flyers) held their current jobs.

 

As Broad & Pattison Turns Week #7: Cowboys at Eagles

“We want Dallas, Dallas, we HATE you…Dallas!”

Most likely, the scruffy, bearded man on the classic NFL films video had probably downed one too many Schmidt’s beers in the Veterans Stadium parking lot before professing his disdain for “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys.  Or maybe he could have been drinking Schlitz or Miller High Life as well.  But his statement echoes the sentiments of many in the Delaware Valley…we just love to hate the Cowboys.

The feeling is really not mutual.  On the two occasions that I’ve been to Dallas (once at the old Texas Stadium in 2004 and again in 2009 at the new Cowboys Stadium), the fans have been nothing but nice, though the detractors would say that it is really a “phony” kind of nice.  I’ve never hung around in the “Metroplex” (as the Dallas – Ft. Worth area is called) long enough to know which opinion is accurate.

So why do we hate Dallas?  Perhaps it is the smugness with which the Cowboys conduct business.  Perhaps it’s Jerry Jones and his larger than life persona (though we hated the ‘Boys in the days of Tex Schramm and Tom Landry as well, when Jones was still a young tyke poking his head in the ground and searching for oil).  Or perhaps it’s the title of America’s Team, coined by NFL Films Editor Bob Ryan when working on the team’s 1978 highlight film.

Which begs the question…are you really America’s Team when you’ve only achieved one playoff win in the last sixteen seasons? During that same stretch, the Eagles have won ten playoff games if you’re keeping count.   I know, I know, the ‘Boys have five Super Bowl rings while we still have a big , fat goose egg, but if you haven’t won a Super Bowl in the last ten years, how many you had in the past is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned.

But whatever the reason may be, on January 11, 1981, the Eagles exercised their demons and years of futility by beating Dallas in the NFC Championship game, 27-10, which to this day remains the only time the two teams have faced off in the NFC Championship game.  It is also the Eagles only postseason win (out of four tries) against the Cowboys.

And while we are only in Week 7 of the NFL season, this week’s game will be huge, if only for the fact that the winner will be in 1st place in the NFC East with a 4-3 record, in a division where 8-8 could win it.

While the Eagles, with Nick Foles at quarterback, have the ability to actually score in the red zone, the downside is that the defense will be hard pressed to stop Tony Romo, who is a far cry from facing a rookie like Tampa QB Mike Gleason, or an error prone Eli Manning.

But with the home fans at the Linc hungry for a win and in a frenzy, and the accuracy of Nick Foles continuing, the Birds win this Sunday, 37-34.

Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Seahawks at Cardinals  8:25 PM NFL Ntwrk (Thurs) – The Land of the Sun welcomes the Land of the Clouds in a rare Thursday night marquee matchup, though I’m coming around to the idea that weekly Thursday night football is not such a good idea.

Bengals at Lions 1:00 PM CBS –  An intra-conference battle as the Queen City visits Motown.  Though coincidentally, did you know that many Chryslers are made in Ohio?

Niners at Titans 4:05 PM  FOX – Wonder if Colin Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh will don cowboy hats and visit a country western bar after the game.

Broncos at Colts  8:30 PM  NBC – Peyton Manning goes back to where it all began, and where he won only ONE Superbowl.  Andrew Luck has the Colts thinking Super Bowl earlier than anticipated.

The Last Word – Speaking of the fans, the Eagles have lost eight straight games at home dating back to last year.  To put that in perspective, an Eagles season ticket holder who’s made a financial investment in the team over the course of the last year (which usually covers eight home regular season games) has ZERO wins to show for it.  Let’s change that this Sunday peeps!