- I’m being forced against my will to reevaluate my long standing opinion that Jay Cutler “sucks at football”. 11 touchdowns and four interceptions in his last five games, and the Bears are 4-1 in that stretch…
- Jay Cutler is from Santa Claus, Indiana. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
- I’m watching Good Day Philadelphia right now, and I hate it.
- Why couldn’t Dwayne Bowe play like this when I started him in my fantasy football playoffs two weeks ago?
- I love seeing the Giants fall apart every once in awhile. Eli Manning threw 17 more interceptions yesterday, or something like that. View full article »
Tag Archive: Mike Shanahan
Former Eagles player and current Redskins third-string quarterback Donovan McNabb broke his silence this morning on his benching and even spoke on his future in the NFL. Here are a couple of blurbs I’ve seen across Twitter and elsewhere.
On learning Thursday that he would be benched: “Communication is key. You would like to hear it early. If you hear it late, it throws off a lot of guys.”
Was McNabb disrespected?: “You get in that situation and all of a sudden you get this news a couple days before the game, you do feel somewhat disrespected.”
Has McNabb heard from upper management?: “I haven’t heard from the owner. I haven’t heard from the GM. “
Does McNabb want to stay a Redskin? “I definitely hope so, and I expressed that. I don’t want to go anywhere.”
For years, the city of Philadelphia was forced to put up with a passive-aggressive approach to press conferences and interactions with the media. This is the one time where I would have loved to have seen McNabb go off the deep end and let his true feelings be known.
Benching a franchise quarterback for Rex Grossman is an insult. Sending your benched quarterback out as a captain for the coin toss on Sunday in a stadium he has already been embarrassed in twice? That’s another insult. The Shanahans’ handling of the Redskins this season, especially in the case of Donovan McNabb is embarrassing. McNabb had the right to go off.
But he never does, and he never will. Must still be lining himself up for that analyst job when he calls it quits.
What can be said that hasn’t been said… that you haven’t read… that you haven’t felt.
The Philadelphia Eagles did not play well enough to win in their 38-31 victory, but somehow, the Birds are one win away, or one Giant loss, from their first NFC East Championship since 2006. (It has been awhile, hasn’t it?)
I’m not going to sit here on a Monday night and recap a game that you’ve watched the highlights for a dozen times. That would be wasteful.
What I will do is look beyond the despair and euphoria we lived through yesterday as a fan base, and reflect on the positives and negatives that will affect the final two games of the regular season and beyond. There are surely plenty of them, but I’ll try to keep it short.
We can certainly revel in the last eight minutes of yesterday’s
impossible improbable comeback. The Eagles showed they have bounce back ability deep in a big game, when most people saw an opportunity to change the channel. Michael Vick had 94 rushing yards and a touchdown in the final quarter of the game, and Brent Celek and Jeremy Maclin capitalized on secondary mistakes to make huge plays.
We can’t revel in the first 52 minutes, where blown coverage in the Eagles’ secondary, especially where Dimitri Patterson was involved, helped the Giants immensely. Say what you will about Eli Manning and his 20 interceptions, but he was able to pick on the right defenders at the right time and move the ball effectively in the first half.
Continuing with mistakes, there were three plays where Andy Reid could have thrown the red challenge flag and won, but opted not to. There was also a blown call by referees at the end of the first half that allowed the Giants to get another quick opportunity in the red zone. They scored a touchdown on that play,when Dimitri Patterson gave Hakeem Nicks way too much room in a short-field situation.
The Birds have allowed 30 passing touchdowns this year, including three yesterday, and were disappointing in the red zone again. They remain the worst in the league in that defensive category. I’m still waiting for that to come back and be the dagger in a big game. I just hope it’s not in the playoffs. Hell, it should have been yesterday.
On the defensive side, the Eagles were sharper in the second half. Mistakes were minimal and the Giants could only muster one touchdown, and that was off a turnover in the Eagles zone. Rookie 7th round pick Jamar Chaney got his first start at middle linebacker with Stewart Bradley out the rest of the season. In case you missed it in all of the excitement, he had 16 tackles and only a couple of mistakes. Not bad for a young 7th rounder.
The bad news for the defense (other than allowing the most touchdowns through the air in the Andy Reid era), they lost another defensive starter in safety Nate Allen, who tore his patellar tendon in his right knee. The injury is serious enough to keep him out possibly after the beginning of training camp next July.
That makes it three starters on the defense that have been lost in two short weeks. The aforementioned Bradley is on that list, as is rookie defensive lineman Brandon Graham, who tore his ACL. If you throw Ellis Hobbs in there, the Birds are falling from flight too quickly on the other side of the ball. The Eagles will likely sign a player tomorrow to join their secondary in the wake of Allen’s injury.
If you consider all of this, plus the fact that the Eagles are a win or a Giants loss away from a playoff birth and the NFC East division, where does that put them in your mind? Is the explosing Eagles offense featuring Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson enough to carry the Eagles through the postseason? Are you still worried about the playcalling and decision making of Andy Reid and the coaching staff? Are the defensive ailments becoming too much (terrible red zone percentage, injuries, youth and inexperience in the secondary) to overcome?
There are a lot of questions and not many answers. The closest thing to a response would be 10 wins and four losses, but that means nothing in the second season.
What is true is that incredible minutes following 52 dismal ones won’t fly in the playoffs. This is the NFL…
…and the Eagles can’t play every game in the Meadowlands.
Other observations from Week 15, in no particular order.
- I said last week that Matt Cassel was the most important player on the Kansas City Chiefs. I wasn’t kidding.
- From the “awesome sign” department: “Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Joe Webb?” One of the best signs I’ve seen this season. ESPN showed a fan holding it up after Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb’s rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the Bears Monday night. Good for him.
- Tom Coughlin’s tirade on rookie punter Matt Dodge was hilarious, but I do feel bad for the kid… I’m also thankful for his actions.
- Rex Grossman’s four touchdowns were impressive, but he still wasn’t the solution for the Redskins, and benching Donovan McNabb was a mistake and an insult.
- Staying with the ‘Skins, Mike Shanahan sending out McNabb as a captain for the coin toss was despicable, tasteless, and heartless. His handling of the team and his son’s handling of the offense is something to take a look at when the final fingers are pointed at season’s end.
- Dan Snyder is clueless and he should sell the Redskins or stay the hell out of football decisions. He’d be a great hands-off owner.
- Matt Flynn performed as well as Aaron Rodgers would have in the Packers 31-27 loss against the Patriots last night… until that final 30 seconds, where Flynn’s youth and inexperience cost the Pack the chance to steal one from the likely representative for the AFC in the Super Bowl.
- The New York Jets aren’t dead, but they’ve had too many close games this year to get deep in the playoffs. We’ll see if I’m on to something… because they’ll be there.
- Classy move by Jeff Fisher to give Mike Heimerdinger the game ball yesterday. Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer in November and has continued to remain with the team. A touching moment for a team that has struggled mightily this year.
- I love Andy Reid’s enthusiasm this season. I guess having a young team can… well… make you feel young again. I’m loving it, Big Red. I’m loving it.
Each week, I take on the sportsbooks in Vegas and make my picks in the NFL. It was a 2-1 week for me (42-37 overall) in Week 14 after Rex Ryan and the free-falling New York Jets made me look stupid. Here’s how it looks on paper, folks. And below are my picks for Week 15.
|12/12/10||Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers||ATL -8||Win||41-36-0|
|12/12/10||Cleveland Browns @ Buffalo Bills||BUF||Win||42-36-0|
|12/12/10||Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets||NYJ -6||Loss||42-37-0|
Washington @ Dallas -9 – Ryan’s Pick: Dallas
Rex Grossman is not the answer. Suspending Albert Haynesworth was not the solution. Mike Shanahan must feel like Joe Gibbs the second time around, as coaching the Redskins seems to be much more of a curse than it is a gift.
The free fall in Washington will continue today as they roll into the Lone Star State to play the Dallas Cowboys. The ‘Boys are not the 1-7 team we saw earlier in the season. They’re playing much better football. The Redskins are 2-4 against the spread in their last six games, and the quarterback change from Donovan McNabb to Rex Grossman isn’t going to help here.
Ryan’s main concern – Under their “skin”: Dallas is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games when playing Washington at home. Numbers like that will always make you think twice, but Grossman will make you think a whole lot more than that. Washington is experiencing a free fall on and off the field. As Washington “experiements” while dividing the locker room, Jason Garrett’s team is playing for pride. Take the ‘Boys.
Atlanta -7 @ Seattle – Ryan’s Pick: Atlanta
I’m a believer, and I’m taking the Falcons for the second straight week on the road. The Falcons are hot, winning their last seven games. Matt Ryan’s team dismantled the dismal Panthers last week and to be truthful, the Seahawks really aren’t that much better. They are 21st in points in the NFL and 26th in total yards. The Falcons will have no problem shutting down the league’s second-worst rushing offense.
The Falcons are 9-4 against the spread last week in the 2010 season. They’re also playing with the New Orleans Saints on their coattails. Mike Smith will not let his team falter against a dismal Seattle team. Look for Atlanta to take this game by more than a touchdown.
Ryan’s main concern – Still in it: The Seahawks play in the painfully terrible NFC West. While it tests my gag reflex, that’s the reality. Seattle is… um… challenging the St. Louis Rams to take the division, meaning they still have something to play for. Teams are always more interesting to watch when there is a potential light at the end of the tunnel. But this is also the 11-2 Falcons were talking about here. Not the matchup Pete Carroll was hoping for with the playoffs on the line.
Kansas City +3 @ Saint Louis – Ryan’s Pick: Kansas City
Matt Cassel will start for the Kansas City Cheifs today, and that is vastly important. He has 19 touchdowns and only one intereceptions in the last eight games that he’s played. The Chiefs went without him last week and only amassed 19 yards in the passing game.
St. Louis has covered the spread in three of their last five games. In the three games they covered, they played the 49ers, the Broncos, and the Cardinals. In the two games they didn’t, they played the Falcons and the Saints. Make no mistake about it, the Chiefs are closer to the latter teams mentioned than they are the former. With Matt Cassel under center, this team will be able to handle a very talented Sam Bradford and a not-too-talented Rams team. Cassel is 8-3 against NFC opponents.
Ryan’s main concern – Rams at home: Steve Spagnuolo’s team is 4-2 at home this year (They’re 2-5 otherwise). They beat the Chargers earlier in the season in the dome. The other three teams? Washington, Seattle, Carolina. Quality, not quantity folks. Take the Cheifs, or take Matt Cassel. However you want to look at it.
Enjoy Week 14!
Johnson, the beat reporter for the Redskins, also reports that the Redskins locker room is divided over the move. Many players are upset with the decision.
The writing was on the wall this past week as McNabb and Grossman shared first-team reps during practice. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports initially reported earlier in the week that the Skins’ were prepping Grossman to take over for McNabb against the Dallas Cowboys this week. Speculation continued during Mike Shanahan’s press conferences this week, remaining ambiguous.
“I don’t go through the starting lineups. I have told you guys that before.” Shanahan said.
His excuse for doing so?
“It gets people ready for our game and they’ve got to get ready for two, three players for the game. That’s good for us.”
Shanahan’s decision seems to have caused a divide, and this comes just after the NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Redskins for their recent suspension of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. The suspension will keep him out for the remainder of the season and some have questioned the move despite glaring problems between the embattled player and the former Super Bowl winning coach.
As far as McNabb, this news comes in the wake of last week’s 17-16 loss to the Buccaneers, where Donovan McNabb engineered a touchdown drive in the closing seconds of the game. A mistake on the point after attempt cost the Skins a point and the game.
If there was a time to pull McNabb, this wasn’t the right time to do it. Some reports are emerging that Kyle Shanahan is using McNabb as a scapegoat on a team that has lost six of their last eight games.
Whatever the case is, it seems that McNabb’s future in Washington is in doubt. If the Redskins release the six-time Pro Bowler, McNabb will test free agency for the first time in his career. It’s safe to say that McNabb will have a tough time getting the money he’s used to, as his stock over the past two years has dramatically dropped.
Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.