Friday, January 9, 2009

Burn, Meadowlands, Burn

I'm a terrible fan. After being severely dismantled by the Ravens in week 12, for at least the third time this season I declared the Eagles dead, extinct, no longer of the football earth. Subsequently, and highly unsurprisingly considering my history of things going the exact opposite of the way I predict they will, our Birds flew high, defied the odds by winning 4 out of 5 down the stretch, and receiving unlikely and unexpected help from the Texans, the Raiders and most importantly from Beanie Sigel (as seen above) whose attendence of the Eagles-Cowboys game resulted in the Cowboys deciding that it was best to either get down or lay down in his presence, providing us the path to the playoffs. Of course, our first round of the playoffs was spent bag-tagging Adrian "Purple Jesus" Peterson and his band of merry purple gentlemen, resulting in our first playoff win since the 2006 season.

On Sunday, we once again face off against the unlikely reigning Super Bowl champs, the much hated Giants, with whom we split our season series, with both games decided by less that a touchdown. This week we return to the scene of the last matchup, won by the Eagles much more decisively than the score would indicate, in the Meadowlands. The Giants are favored, and based upon season record alone they should be, but it is important to remember that we have a history of doing big, great things in that building. It's the last year of its existence, and there is a school of thought out there that we could very well be due for one final fuck you to the New York/New Jersey faithful. That also may be complete nonsense and we could be walking into a bloodbath. This is why I avoid making football predictions.

In that spirit of avoidance, I have defferred to Chief Naka's thorough post below when it comes to matters of the heart and mind as they pertain to outcomes of upcoming games, and instead will combine my limited knowledge of the game of football with my love for acting as if I am a complete expert on the game and offer you fine readers Flintskins' Five Keys to the Game:

Donovan McNabb vs. Eli Manning - Yes, very original, the quarterback comparison. However, this one comes with a slight twist. Most QB comparisons rely on the positives of each and who will have the most weapons come game time, blah blah. Not this time. This game will be won or lost on the ground, so ultimately what it comes down to for 5 and Peyton's special needs brother is who fucks up less. We've seen 5 throw at some feet, and lord knows that he is as capable as any of us at not paying attention during that whole "handing off" thing that he and Westbrook/Buck have to do at times during the course of a football game, generally resulting in turnover fun. However, we've also seen Eli Manning look like Eli Cohen when he drops back into the pocket, between sacks, interceptions, fumbles and general depression he can certainly be a liability back there. Less of a solution than it is an observation, but whichever QB is forced to shift the run-pass balance to the pass is likely in trouble. Not only does it indicate that the ground game has not worked out as planned, and/or they are behind on the scoreboard, but one super bowl miracle pass aside both of these guys have shown us that they do not always play their best when the game is put on their shoulders. Sure, at times they both have, but single elimination playoff games are no time for "maybe".

Brandon Jacobs – With the exception of one 40 yard end-zone finder, our defense shut Purple Jesus down for the most part on Sunday. What is fortunate about that he is seen by many as one of, if not the best RB in the league, and while BJ (editors note: heh) is not given the same consideration he is roughly the size of three Purple Jesus’. Consider our defense is beat to shit from carrying this whole team on our stretch run and this could be a problem. Potentially in our favor is that he has had some lingering injuries and did not practice at all with the team until yesterday, although if lack of practicing is detrimental, that would also apply to B-West, and I would prefer not to go down that road. My solution? True, in week 14 we held Jacobs down, but he was already kind of injured, and then he got injured more so we really didn't see that much of him. So I offer the same advice I suggested to the fucking Cowboys (yes, I gave THOSE ass-clowns advice, which they of course promptly ignored) around this time last year, and that is to force Jacobs outside, as he turns corners like a tank. Yes, he is bigger than most of our linebackers, but any combination of Mike Patterson, Broderick Bunkley, Victor Abiamiri and even Trevor “Identity Crisis” Laws forms a voltronesque Jabba the Hut that my Grand Cherokee would have a tough time busting through. Throw a linebacker into the mix and it could be a long day for Jacobs.

Giants Wide Receivers – This is normally the part where I would discuss how to deal with Plaxico Burress. Thanks to paint chips and the second amendment this has been made easy for me. If you have not yet sent a thank you card to the makers of Glocks for not equipping their gats with dedicated safeties, I urge you to do so and promise you it is not too late. That being said, they do still have a receiving corps to worry about. While it is tempting to assume that because you can’t name more than one, mayyybe two of them off the top of your head that they are not to be worried about at all, may I remind you that the majority of our receivers can’t be named outside of Cherry Hill. I mean honestly, do you know what Jason Avant actually looks like? Because I sure as shit do not, but I do know he has become our best slot receiver since Antonio Freeman and Freddie Mitchell before his first trip to Zinman Furs. My point is, Plax was by far their biggest threat and a certified Eagle-killer, but just because he decided that sweatpants were adequate for pistol transportation does not mean there is no need to worry. The key here is that our secondary keeps doing what it has been doing. Asante had the pick-six on Sunday, Sheldon covered well and should have had an INT, Dawk is possessed and as a result the Vikings for the most part had little production when going to the air. We did shut-down the Plax-less WR's in the Meadowlands in week 14 and considering that there have been no significant injuries or losses in the secondary since, if the Birds D shows up bloodthristy with heads full of game tape they should have a dominant edge. As I mentioned before, this is a game likely to be won or lost on the ground, but you can't run every down, some balls are going to have to go airborne. No homo.

Eagles Offensive Line - There's no real sugar coating this one. Our O-Line is looking like Kim Myers the day after St. Patricks Day. For the most part it held it's own against the Vikings, who despite having two of its D-Line starters injured last Sunday is very good. However, probably not as good as the Giants D-Line. The importance of our O-Line is at least twofold, in the sense that it needs to stop the pass rush of the Giants and it also needs to create holes for Westbrook and Buckhalter. Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas have been playing injured for weeks (if not years), Nick Cole is Shawn Andrews' backup's backup, but has been solid for the most part, along with Todd Herremans and Jamaal Jackson, although Jackson was shaken up a few times last week as well. While Shawn Andrews was finally cleared to practice this week, as of today he has not been activated for the game, and no indication has been given that he will be. So, it will be the same battered five guys that have been in there. Well, again, I don't really know if there is a solution to this one, other than hoping for the continuation of what we've seen thus far. Short of finding Robocop and putting him in Runyan's jersey it looks like a mix of painkillers, steroids and whiskey seems to be the best bet. There really is no downside if you think about it.

Jim Johnson - To go into cliche land, defense wins championships, and Jim Johnson causes offensive coordinators to lay awake, in puddle of their own bodily fluids worrying what is coming at them. Ultimately, if the Birds do win, it is all but guaranteed that this man will deserve the game ball. The things he will have Brian Dawkins do this week might call for children to have their eyes covered during most of the Eagles defensive downs, and frankly it is exactly what we will need. If Jimmy JJ can dial up defensive schemes throughout the course of the day that keep Eli, Jacobs and the rest of them back peddling, it will be hard for the Jints to come away with a W. Just remember, we've all heard countless times that other teams have 'figured" out Reid and Mornhinweg's offense, but have you EVER heard anyone say that Jim Johnson's defenses have been figured out? The answer is no. Trust me. If you claim you have, chances are you were very high. Chances also are that I was with you and can corroborate that you are wrong. I repeat, if Johnson brings the heat, we have a great chance of winning this game.

Those certainly are not the only five keys to this Sunday's game, but five big ones, and more importantly the first five I came up with. As mentioned, I officially refrain from making predictions in this space as NONE OF THEM have ever come true. To avoid tempting fate, I'm not going to make a prediction that I really think is the opposite of what I think will happen either, because I'm far too paranoid for that (thanks decade-plus of weed). At the end of the day, even if I'm forced to turn off the TV midway through the first quarter because it's too ugly to watch anymore, it's playoff football, and there's no better kind. See y'all bitches on Sunday.



  1. Birds theme song?

    Well done, flintskins. Go birds, indeed.

  2. I think Stand Waitie should assemble another riddle pre-Birds v. Giants. It proved fortuitous for the Cowfalcons game.

  3. Are you sure that isn't just a picture of you with Powder and Boners?

  4. Tone coming strong in the new year. I'm starting to get the impression that you smoked weed for a significant amount of your life. Call me crazy.

  5. Eagles 30-17! That picture of the gun made me really want to shoot a gun, preferably not into my own leg. And that picture of Manning made me want to fuck a blonde bitch.

  6. fantastic post--I don't think the DR has ever seen so much actual insightful commentary before. But can we get a little more homophobia into the next one?

  7. hanging on Beanie Sigel's nutts now I see. HMMMM.... Just how gay are you? Can't you even act like your a man when typing? Listen hear sugar pants, you may not be able to help being raised by a CRACK HO and never meeting your dad, but man up and try it with a girl! You never know, you just might like it. Dicks are for chicks, you silly Chokwe!