I have only now caught my breath from Sunday.
Rarely do you get playoff-caliber football in September from a game involving the Eagles. Usually those are saved for when Andy’s teams have picked up some steam (aka 2/3 of the way through the year when they need to win out with help to make the playoffs)
A quick recap. Ahahahaha, just kidding, it's about as long as a dissertation.
A week after Vick threw the ball 56 times, Mornireid basically tells all Philadelphia armchair quarterbacks to go to hell and throws it 5 of the first 6 plays. Vick looks like a boss.
Shady gets one carry on the opening drive, the same number that Stanley Havili (fullback) and Damaris Johnson (wide receiver) get.
They’re literally ramming it down John Harbaugh’s dinky little throat when…
Don’t need to go any further. The good news is, at least this wasn’t EXACTLY like Vick’s across-the-body pass from last week – THAT one came when he was rolling comfortably to his left, rather than uncomfortably to his right. That’s good.
Joe Flacco’s hands are too covered with tears to hold onto the ball. Trent Cole knocks it out, and Cullen Jenkins swallows it whole.
We get our obligatory King Dunlap hold, followed shortly after by Reid whipping out his big brass pair and going for it on 4th and 1. Shady converts. Ed Reed smacks Vick in the face for roughing the passer. Of all the hits Vick has taken these past two weeks, this might be the least penalty-worthy of them all, which is funny because the last time he got a roughing the passer call was like 2003.
Shady hits paydirt. Welcome to 2012, bro.
Of course, Dionte Thompson gets a fantastic return and the Ravens start no-huddling to Kingdom Come. Kurt Coleman starts some shite with Anquan Boldin. Vonta Leach scores the first touchdown of his life, then loses his mind at Coleman. The most recent Getty photo matching “Vonta Leach + Eagles” is from the 2010 game with the Texans.
Reed annihilates Celek on the first play of the next drive. He doesn’t care.
Reid keeps giving the ball to running backs who aren’t Shady McCoy. Ravens force a punt.
Eagles hold, and Ray Rice begins walking the Trail of Tears.
Ravens try a fake punt and….Sean Considine trips over his own guy. Way to go.
This isn't the right picture, but I don't care.
DeSean starts some shite of his own on the next drive. The refs keep calling offsetting personal fouls to prevent them from having to make a game-changing call. Vick nearly throws a pick to Ray Lewis.
Bryce Brown goes “Don’t worry, I’ve got this” and lets a handoff go right off his chest. Ravens ball. Rice gashes the defense, then Flacco completes an unreal pass off his back foot to Jacoby Jones.
No defending that one. Ravens up 14-7.
Brandon Boykin has been taking Dion Lewis lessons in “Never Taking a Touchback No Matter How Deep In the End Zone You Start.” Bad returns all day.
Eagles and Ravnes trade 3 and outs. Shady drops a 3rd down pass that hit him right in the chest. Temple’s own Bernard Pierce gets a carry. He’s basically a non factor all day, though
McCoy starts getting his human jelly on during the next drive. Vick hits Celek deep downfield. Then…
Eagles stop the Ravens, then Damaris Johnson decides to field a punt inside his own 5 and goes nowhere. Ravens burn their timeouts, and Chas Henry gets off a garbage punt, allowing schmuck Billy Cundiff replacement Justin Tucker to hammer home a 56-yard field goal at the end of the half. Killer. 17-7 bad guys.
Ravens start with the ball. Each of the linebackers gets a spotlight in coverage on the drive. Akeem Jordan falls down in coverage. Mychal Kendricks breaks up a pass. DeMeco Ryans picks the next one. More Wrestlemania action. Ray Rice gets a penalty because it’s about damn time.
Eagles mix things up on the next drive. Vick rolls out left on a play fake and finds Jeremy Maclin all by his lonesome in the endzone. 17-14.
Flacco shows his inner Brandon Weeden and overthrows anyone he can find wearing purple. Three and out.
On the next drive, Celek does this:
Vick gets hit as he throws. Ball gets knocked backwards. The refs take an hour to blow the whistles and call it incomplete. Vick keeps throwing darts, but gets away with another near pick to Albert McLella
Vick comes up short scrambling on 3rd and 7 inside the 5. Reid challenges the spot. He loses, to the surprise of absolutely nobody. Henenenery knocks home a field goal. 17’s.
Flacco throws a ball over the William Penn statue. 3 and out. Eagles return the favor. Ray Rice breaks off a good run, but Flacco overthrows Anquan Boldin by about the size of a full Joe Flacco to end another drive.
In the middle of all this mess, Dunlap and Jason Kelce both get hurt. Better offensive lineman Demetress Malone replaces Dunlap. Kelce gets replaced by a guy who’s first name is Dallas. Naturally, Kelce is the one done for the season. Terrible, terrible break.
Vick goes deep to DeSean down the sideline, who hauls it in despite being popped by Reed. Doesn’t look like DeSean was thinking about his health there.
Next play, Vick fires it off Celek’s hands. Reed catches the deflection and barely even jogs until he’s tackled. It’s a little bit on Vick for an off-target throw, but Celek got two hands on it. For all the good he did Sunday, he should’ve held onto that one.
Flacco goes deep and spins Torrey Smith around like a pinwheel, but somehow completes it to end the quarter deep in Eagle territory.
DRC illegally contacts someone. Eagles get a stop on 3rd down, but accept a holding penalty to push the Ravens back for a tougher field goal for Not Billy Cundiff. Naturally, they follow this up by getting flagged twice on the next play – Nnamdi for hand-checking Jacoby Jones all the way downfield, and Babin for being in Flacco’s general vicinity after a pass. Harbaugh takes the “general vicinity” penalty.
Flacco overthrows Dennis Pita Pit in the end zone. A delay of game and a DeMeco sack push Baltimore back to the 34. No matter. Tom Dempsey strolls in and crushes a 51-yard kick. 20-17 Ravens.
Weird sequence on the next Eagles drive. On a passing play, Evan Mathis gets called for holding (30 yards in penalties in two weeks for the Twitter king). Vick nearly gets sacked as well, but contorts his body and throws it away before his knee hits the ground. Instead of taking the 10-yard hold, Harbaugh challenges, hoping for the loss of yards and down that a sack would bring. Challenge NOT ACCEPTED. Ravens blow a timeout.
Vick gets obliterated as he releases the ball on the next play by Pernell McPhee. Any time that happens and he doesn’t leave the game for a play is a little bitty miracle. Eagles punt.
Kurt Coleman gets upfield nicely on a tackle of Ray Rice in run support. Rice picks up a first down on a swing pass on the next play, then gives some body back to Coleman. A few plays later, after Kendricks nearly picks one off, Rice smokes the Eagles on a swing pass again, this time with a blitzing Coleman sprinting right past him (to his credit, Coleman wheeled around and chased him all the way down, but he blew the tackle from behind), Nobody likes Kurt Coleman.
Bernard Pierce goes backwards twice before Jacoby Jones catches a touchdown in the corner…that is called back for offensive pass interference.
Lots of hand action going on. Could go either way. Just be glad it went ours.
Flacco checks down on 3rd and forever, and Morten Andersen Jr boots home another one. 23-17 with 5 minutes left. It’s Mike Vick time.
Interesting stat: in the past five weeks of regular season football dating back to last season, Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson are No. 1 and 2 respectively in the NFL in yards per catch. Vick goes to each of them to start the drive, then scrambles out of bounds on the next play. Enormous asshole James Ihedigbo gives Vick an extra shove as Vick trots out of play. It’s that perfect ticky-tack type of shove that isn’t harsh enough to get a flag, but enough to prove your point – that you’re a dick.
Vick keeps working the Ravens secondary over. The refs call a second “roughing the passer” penalty against the Ravens, making this game about as common as Haley’s Comet. Refs don’t know how the clock works and we get two 2-minute warnings somehow.
After the second 2-minute warning, Vick throws a wobbly pass incomplete. We know this is a pass because the ball went forward, and because common physics suggest that when an object goes forward, there is generally propulsion forcing that object forward.
In addition to not knowing many of the basic rules of football, the schmuck refs also don’t know physics. The obvious incompletion is ruled a fumble recovered by Baltimore. The booth tells them to go correct their enormous f*** up. They do.
Eagles waste no time. Vick draw play. Chumba wumba. 24-23.
In lieu of completing passes, Flacco spends the entire final drive looking incredulous about things. He finally completes one to Pita Bread, who gets out of bounds. Nnamdi gets another illegal contact penalty.
Eagles start deflecting everything. A couple plays after Brandon Boykin skied for a deflection, Nate Allen breaks one up. Flacco overthrows Pita again, then sails one about a hundred miles over the diving hands of 3-foot 2 Ray Rice. Flacco interprets Rice having to dive for the ball as evidence that some kind of penalty should have been called, because why not?
Vicktory formation. Harbaugh has 2 timeouts with 50 seconds left, but decides not to use them for some reason. Ballgame.
A couple other notes:
· Expect a lot of “Let’s give Juan Castillo credit” articles in the next few days. The defense has been solid this year save for getting gouged by the Ravens sorta-no-huddle in the first half. Expect them to give up 35 points in a week or two once these Castillo articles hit a crescendo.
· Every time Vick makes a somewhat bad throw, it ends up nearly being picked off, or actually intercepted. Every other ball he throws is gorgeous.
· Shady carried it five more times this week and picked up 30 fewer yards, in addition to another fumble. Don’t care. Just keep feeding him the rock.
· After solidifying the offensive line for the next 3 years or so with contracts in the offseason, the Eagles are now starting two backups in all likelihood (Bell and Dallas Reynolds).
· Arizona Cardinals next week. Kevin Kolb, who beat the Pats despite staunchly refusing to throw the ball to one of the best receivers in the last decade, actually gets a chance to play. Ohhhhhhh boy, here we go.