Wild Card race, Wild Thing and the MNF debut of Jaws help alleviate pain of Eagles loss.
Some musings, trinkets and observations as we run off at the computer this week ...
Packers 16, Eagles 13: Andy Reid has been a very good head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. But the loss to the Packers last Sunday was on the head coach and nobody but the head coach.
Good coaches are supposed to put their players in a position to succeed. Reid put Greg Lewis and J.R. Reed in a position to fail after asking them to do something they had not done previously in their respective careers -- return punts.
Now Reid and company have flown in Reno (not so wowie) Mahe, a punt return act we've seen before for a tryout. Is it just me or did the Eagles bail out too soon on Jeremy Bloom, the 2006 fifth-round draft pick from Colorado? We liked him in the only preseason game we attended, which shows you what we really do know.
But we really do know this: It's only one game, Eagles fans, and the defense looked good. Sean Considine played terrifically and the defense shut down the run. However, this is a team that can lose in such painful ways. Remember last year's loss to woeful Tampa Bay? Guess there has to be one of those a season for the green team.
Phillies are 2.5 games back in the Wild Card race as we write this: This team has been written off more times than the two-martini business lunch or that room in your home you call an "office." And the newest hero is none other than the former early-season villain, Pat Burrell.
Burrell hit .215 in his first 81 games and was the poster boy for the Citizen Bank Park boo-birds. But in the second half of the season Burrell has 17 homers and 53 RBI after Monday night's three-run homer against the Colorado Rockies that aided a 6-5 victory. The Phillies swept the Mets at the end of August prompting us to suggest that the Mets lacked heart.
The Mets have gone 9-1 since then while the Phillies are 5-6. Catching the Mets might be out of the question, but the Wild Card is another story and this team has plenty of lives. And if Cole Hamels continues throwing and can make three starts before the end of the season, well, you never know.
Michigan and Notre Dame, who meet Saturday, are both 0-2 for the first time in the history of college football: Cheer, cheer for old Notre ... Blame. There is plenty of blame already being put on Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis along with his counterpart, Michigan's Lloyd Carr. Somebody's 0 has to go this Saturday. You can make a case that coaching Notre Dame's football might be the most pressurized job in all of American sports, right there with the manager of the Yankees. Weis was good as an assistant in the NFL, but can he recruit? That is the question. Somebody asked us where Appalachian State's upset of Michigan ranked. How about third behind USA over USSR hockey in 1980 and Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson in 1989.
To top if off, both schools will start a freshman at quarterback on Saturday. Maybe somebody's 0 won't go. Whoops! They do have overtime in college.
Mitch Williams as post-game analyst on Comcast's Phillies Post-Game Live: Mitch has been terrific and he hasn't been afraid to be critical when needed, as when he openly questioned Hamels' ability to pitch with pain recently, prompting him to be ripped by another Post-Game Live host, John Marzano. One thing we learned about Mitch when we both worked with the Atlantic City Surf -- the guy knows the game of baseball and can be downright charming. Here's a prediction: Mitch Williams will soon join his comrade John Kruk on ESPN's Baseball Tonight.
The debut of Ron Jaworski on Monday Night Football: Jaws did fine. He has an ability to break down a complex game and make it understandable to the common fan. Plus, he has an ability to predict play calling, which he did several times in the Bengals-Ravens game Monday night. Think Jaws will have some butterflies when he arrives at Lincoln Financial Field for the Eagles-Redskins match-up?
In closing, we love football, we really do. But when we read that Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett suffered a catastrophic, life-threatening injury last Sunday against the Denver Broncos we cannot help but feel guilty that we take so much delight in such a violent sport. The injury makes all of it -- the fantasy leagues, the pregame shows, the incessant talking heads, the NFL Network -- seem so irrelevant.
Stay safe people.