My only thought on the Packers-Seahawks train wreck of an ending last night: at least M.D. Jennings gets to have a Wikipedia entry longer than two sentences now.

On to recapping train wreck of particular interest for this blog.

FIRST QUARTER
Seriously, this is starting to piss me off. Yes, Vick is a free runner here, and this play is a legal hit, but give me a break if you think they wouldn’t have flagged Daryl Washington here for shucking Vick as he headed out of bounds. However, this did set the tone for the entire game, particularly for Washington.

Three straight passes for the Eagles to start. Awesome. Puuuuuunt city. The last first punt of a game for Chas Henry as an Eagle, incidentally.

Fred Durst starts throwing darts left and right. Big Fat Beanie Wells and his big, fat self fall down for a couple yards at a time. Thom Brennaman calls Trent Cole the name of the only white guy on the Eagles’ defense.  Jay Feely, who is probably incredibly popular in Arizona, knocks it home. 3-0 Black Cardinals.


Shady gets his first carry of the game. Mornhinreid determines this suffices as “establishing the running game” and commences Operation "Play Action Is Our Only Action." Vick gets annihilated, then has a tipped ball nearly fall right into William Gay’s hands, which is about the only way William Gay is coming up with an interception. The last second punt of a game for Chas Henry as an Eagle.

Andre Roberts begs for a flag on DRC for “preventing the receiver from catching the football.” Kolb tries to pull a Favre “going to the ground” shovel pass, and thanks to Larry Fitz, it almost turns into something.  Dave Zastudil, 33 going on 53, punts it to Damaris Johnson, who promptly coughs it up. Former Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach scoops it up and pretends he wasn’t down, jogging to the end zone. 853rd turnover of the year for the Eagles.


Durst overthrows Andre Roberts by a country mile, so Roberts begs for a penalty on the uncatchable ball. On the next play, he catches a quick hitch for a first down and celebrates his first career Super Bowl victory.
What a joke.

Even more of a joke: Michael Floyd’s twice-deflected touchdown reception.
In no universe should this scene ever turn into “Touchdown Black,” as they say in Scab Ref-ese. 10-0.

Celek ends the quarter with his usual manly ways, spinning away from Rashad Johnson for a few extra yards on a long pass.


SECOND QUARTER

Demetress Malone false starts by about a year.
Re-watching this game, I nearly forget how the Eagles ended up not scoring in this position. Then, to steal a phrase from Phil Sheridan, the Michael Vick Turnover Machine strikes again, as the ball pops out as he dives for a whopping two-yard pickup. Somehow, the refs give the Eagles possession, but after a Whisenhunt challenge, it’s Blackbirds’ ball.

At about this time, my friend Vince sees the following graphic and says “Vick’s turned it over 11 times??”
No, those are the total team turnovers. But the fact that 11 Vick turnovers seems like a reasonable number is telling.

So, as for Zona’s next drive…
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The ruling on the field is that the football is...uh...should be somewhere....between these lines...and there are two outs here in the bottom of the third set...Philadelphia has not been charged with a power play...according to my good friend at Aamco...Rob Schneider is...a carrot...herp de derp de deeedly dum...
I don’t know how much you guys have heard about this spat going on between the NFL and its regular referees, but if you weren’t aware, the current refs are replacements – that is, presumably not as good as the normal ones. You won’t believe this, but that’s causing problems in the game.

Take, for example, this sequence: On first down, Ryan Williams gains nine yards. After the play, Cards fullback Anthony Sherman starts some shite and gets an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That’s a dead ball foul, which means the penalty is added to whatever the result of the play is. That makes it 2nd and 16. Those are the rules. If you’re a rule junkie like me, it’s in Article 7.

Schmucky McSchmuckington, today’s head scab ref, declares it 1st and 16. This is wrong. Fox’s broadcast booth basically ignores him.

On 2nd and 16, Darryl Tap sacks Durst for about an 8-yard loss, but Arizona is hit with a holding call. Naturally, Reid would decline the penalty and put Arizona in 3rd and 24 rather than 2nd and 26. Schmucky doesn’t bother to ask Reid, though, and just tacks it on. Andy is….not impressed.
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I don't even care enough to go get this screengrab again without all the bells and whistles humming around. I just don't care.
Schmucky comes out for the correction. Then Ken Cheez Whiz pulls the ref aside to complain about….well, ahahaha, no idea. But somehow, this conversation encourages Shmucky to indicate that Andy wants to accept the penalty, and he goes to tell Andy he has no choice, and it is now 2nd and 26. At this point, I assume Andy has used up his daily allowance of oxygen and gives up as the ref hits his microphone for the third time about the same penalty.

Fortunately, the replacements spend another 45 minutes figuring out where to spot the ball. A Campbell’s soup can figure out where the ball is supposed to be on a down-to-down basis, but I have seen the scabs screw up ball spots after penalties in each of the Eagles first three games. These guys may be replacement officials, but this is not the first time they’ve seen this peculiar Earth-game involving an oblong-shaped piece of leather. I would assume that they’ve had to spot balls after penalties in Division III, high school football, or the annual prisoners vs. guards games they’ve worked before.

Anyways…*deep breath* If that last rant was too long and boring for you, I don't care. Ryan Lochte loved it.
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"I give this rant six swims....out of three."
Larry Fitz nearly picks up a 26-yard 3rd down conversion simply by virtue of being Larry Fitz. He does reverse the field position enough to allow Zastudil to pin the Eagles deep in their own territory.

Three passes, two deep in completions to DeSean, one sack. At least D-Jax spent the last 15 yards of his route complaining to the officials before the ball had even landed. The last third punt of the game for Chas Henry as an Eagle. I’m not tired of this joke yet.

Four plays later, Kurt Coleman and Nnamdi Asomugha get all kinds of screwed up by the play action fake, and it’s Fitzy again.
Tooooooo good. He probably cured AIDS while he was rolling into the end zone, too. 17-0.

Demetress holds, Celek gets hit twice by Kerry Rhodes after the ball sails out of his reach. They go to Shady on 3rd and 20 (of course), and he’s stopped. This is pretty much when you know the magic rally ain’t happening this time. The line is simply being manhandled.

The d-line keeps up the pressure on Durst, at least, and forces a punt.

Highlights of the last drive:

--William Gay makes his first play in eight years

--Damaris Johnson puts on a nice spin move in the open field to extend a big play

--The tight end screen picks up its 4th yard in as many attempts this year.

--Great Vick scramble on a broken 2nd-down play. As bad as he’s been at times this year, it’s always fun to see that.

With about 16 seconds left, Vick connects with DeSean at the one-yard line. As he turns to get into the end zone, Rhodes, who’s suddenly become LaRon Landry, stops him stone cold before he reaches the end zone. Reid burns his last timeout.

If you’re any kind of Eagles fan, you knew at this point there was an 85 percent chance they weren’t coming away with points. On the last play of the half, I gave it better than a 90 percent chance that Vick would either throw the ball away too late and let the last seconds tick away (a la the Buffalo game last year), or throw a pick in the end zone.

Turns out I was wrong.
24-0.

It’s not even worth talking about the second half. DeSean dogged it on a few routes, the line still looked like junk, and Vick looked like he was lost in Lollipop Woods. Arizona’s defense looks downright impenetrable. They are shockingly good.

G-men next Sunday night. Get ready, kids.
 


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