Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Eagles vs. Vikings - Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Attack of the clones is not far from the truth. These two teams are almost a mirror image of each other. And really it shouldn't be surprising. Having Brad Childress and student of the school of Big Red. The Eagles are favored by 1 in this game which is surprising to some considering they have not covered a single game this season. The Vikings are not favored I believe because of how close these teams are in what they do, and the fact that Vikings may have pulled out all stops to win last weeks game vs. the Cowboys but came up short by ten. As an Eagles fan, I really have no faith in them at all right now. I pray and hope they win but I would not bet a dime on it. They should win this game, but they also should have won at least two other games this season. The keys to the Eagles winning this game. Number one is that they have to force some turnovers and let the offense start with the ball on the Vikings side of the field. The Vikings do have a turnover ratio of +8 which is not good for the Eagles. The Eagles are a +1. The second and most obvious thing is, contain Adrian Peterson. It is that simple. Next is pass the ball early and often to soften the defense so Brian Westbrook has room to run. Also it wouldn't hurt to give Buckhalter some more carries. Oh yea and execute in the red zone which is a whole other problem. I was able to dig up some stats I thought were interesting. Another factor that is not getting talked about to much this week is that Brad Childress ran the Eagles offense for 6 seasons. He knows the weakness' in the offense and in McNabb. Expect him to have a good game plan against the birds.

NFL rank in parenthesis.

Vikings Def. vs. Run: 76.5 ypg (4th) Rush TD's Allowed: 1 (1st) YPC: 3.0 (2nd)
Eagles Def. vs. Run: 88.0 ypg (8th) Rush TD's Allowed: 2 (2nd) YPC: 3.7 (9th)

Vikings Def. vs. Pass: 282.5 (32nd)
Eagles Def. vs. Pass: 220.2 (18th)

These teams are almost dead even on paper with the Eagles taking the edge against the pass. With that the Viking do have a TO ratio of +8 to the Eagles mediocre +1.

Rushing Yards on 1st & 10

Adrian Peterson, Min: 300 yds (1st)
Brian Westbrook, Phi: 283 yds (2nd)

I thought that was telling. As much as people cry for the Eagles to run the ball, they are ranked second only to the Vikings on 1st and 10.

Games on Turf

Buckhalter, Phi: 21 carries for 126 yards at 6 YPC (2nd-t)
Westbrook, Phi: 20 carries for 120 yards at 6 YPC (2nd-t)
Peterson, Min: 63 carries for 344 yards at 5.5 YPC (5th)
Both of these teams are extremely well on turf. The Eagles backs sitting at 6 YPC is very good, with Peterson having an amazing 5.5 YPC with 20 more carries.

YPC in 1st half of games

Peterson, Min: 54 carries for 367 yards at 6.8 YPC (2nd)
Westbrook, Phi: 49 carries for 312 yards at 6.4 YPC (3rd)
Buckhalter, Phi: 23 carries for 142 yards at 6.2 YPC (4th)

YPC in 2nd half of games

Peterson, Min: 54 carries for 303 yards at 5.6 YPC (3rd)
Westbrook, Phi: 40 carries for 178 yards at 4.5 YPC (14th)
Buckhalter does not make the list.

At this point Peterson has run for exactly 54 carries in the 1st and 2nd halfs of his games this season. He is dominant in the first half, while his YPC carry drops 1.3 yards in the second half which really is not bad at all. Westbrook on the other hand drops almost 2 yards from 1st half to 2nd half. Still, that's not bad. Again it appears the Eagles and Vikings are almost the same team on paper. You may say we have the edge at QB, but after you look at McNabb's QB rating during away games you might say they are even at QB.

What I thought was interesting.

McNabb's QB rating: at home: 106.1 (4th) away: 69.4 (24th)

McNabb's completion %: inside the 20: 40% (28th) inside the 10: 20% (32nd)

Wow. Once the Eagles get into the red zone they really do fall apart. I mean 20% inside the 10 yard line. Add to that the fact that he is not playing well on the road, and it could be another long day for the birds. Now keep in mind the Eagles WR's tend to drop the ball in the red zone. See Reggie Brown.

Eagles vs. Vikings - Episode One: The Hairless Menace

This week the Eagles will be traveling to Minnesota to face an old friend now turned foe, Brad Childress. With this match up against and old friend, it is taking a back seat in the news to the Eagles inability to do anything really good these days. With the thoughts of facing off against Childress I started to think of some great battles in history, where friends turned into enemies. Now obviously there is no animosity between Big Red and Childress but there is nothing like the challenge of trying to whoop on your mentor or your student. Now there are the obvious recent football battles like Bill Belichick vs. Bill Parcells or Eric Mangini that come to mind first when thinking of battles between coaches, but I want to turn to cinema for this. What are the top 5, friends turned into enemies movies of all time. Now this was, and is harder than it sounds. Cause finding movies were there were two people who were either friends, or had a student teacher relationship which in the future turned them against each other is not easy. Now I just stared at my DVD collection for about 5 minutes and was able to pull out five movies that I thought fit this criteria the best. You may not agree but oh well.

5) Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith - This was the obvious choice for the student vs. teacher category. Personally I like all the Star Wars movies except for the corny Phantom Menace one. But watching Anakin turn into a scitzofrantic sociopath right before your eyes was cool. Then add in the fact that he got his ass handed to him by OG Obi Wan was pretty sweet. Especially after Anakin was talking smack the whole time.

4) Gangs of New York - When I was thinking about at first I didn't think that this fell into the category cause Vallon hated Bill the Butcher from day one. But I remembered that Vallon started to kind of like Bill for a moment but then tried to off him which failed miserably. Great fights, and good movie overall.

3) Training Day - Again Alonzo knew the whole time he was going to use Hoyt, but Hoyt didn't know that. He thought he was being trained by the best NARC in the city. In turn he was being set up, so Alonzo could rob a drug dealer for $1M. Again great movie. With a great shoot out scene in a small cramped apartment in Compton.

2) Fight Club - A crazy insomniac, played by Edward Norton, meets a soap salesman named Tyler Durden and they become inseparable. In fact, they were never inseparable at all, cause they were the same damn person. Great all around movie with Ed Norton in thee end shooting himself in the face to kill his split personality, Tyler Durden. It worked.

1) Kill Bill - Now for this movie I was going to say the Bride vs. Bill, but the Bride vs. Oren was the best fight out of the whole movie. So either way it works. She was originally friends with all the people she killed. But that fight scene in the snow with the blood and the yellow suit was just bad ass.

Mike Lowell raising his stock in post season.

Mike Lowell is playing as well as anybody this post season. With that he is raising his stock for being the best all around third baseman on the market excluding A-Rod of course. His defense is lights out and hitting and getting on base consistently. Teams can expect to pay $10M-$12M per year over at least a three year span for his services. Now will the Phillies step up to the plate. I wouldn't bet on it. They will probably trade for an average third baseman that is a slight upgrade from Nunez. Joe Crede or Garrett Atkins have been rumored, which would be better then Nunez or Helms at this point.

Mike Lowell's Post season numbers through ten games.

11 RBI, 3BB, 3 SO, BA .333, OBP .369, SLG .533

Thursday, October 18, 2007

While I was in the John....

I'm going to start a new weekly segment thing here where I bring some old crap or a gem or two from old issues of the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. Of course involving Philadelphia sports stories only. So I went to the bathroom to ummm, take care of business, and was looking through my collection of SN and SI's that are in my magazine bin. I came across a issue of SI from May 2, 2005. It was the 2005 draft review. Nice. I love reviewing past drafts and seeing who's doing well and who's been locked up for making it rain on strippers then slapping them silly for thinking that they could actually keep any of the money they were showered with. Silly Ho's. I know I just rambled like crazy. But anytime I can bring up making it rain with Pacman, I just have to. So anyway. I was flipping through and came across a segment, Winners and Losers. As soon as I read it, I knew I would find the Eagles as the winners. In every draft for the past 5 years they have been known as winners. As I read the list of winners; Cowboys, Dolphins, Cardinals, Browns, ah, here we are the Eagles. With every word of this 40 word piece of crap I read I just had to cringe. Here it is. EAGLES: I love the way they chose solid performers rather than workout warriors. I'm talking about USC defensive tackle Mike Patterson, only 5'11 but what a motor; outside linebacker Matt McCoy of San Diego State; free safety Sean Considine of Iowa; and running back Ryan Moats of Louisiana Tech, (and I quote) a Brian Westbrook clone. Cue the laugh track for that one. Where to start. Of course its easy to rip this to pieces 2 years later, but that's the fun of it. The first line alone is enuff to make he heave. " I love the way they choose solid performers". I'm leaving more solid performers in my toilet than they chose in this draft. Let's start with Mike Patterson. As of right now he is an average DT. Probably worth a third round pick. And they probably could have gotten him there. That's the one problem with the Eagles. They pride themselves on being so much smarter then everybody else. Picking players 2 rounds before they should and acting like they got a steal. News flash, Mike Patterson at 31st is not a fucking steal. He's a $5 DVD of a movie you kind of like but not sure if its worth the $5 in the bin at Walmart. You ponder for a minute, end up buying it, thinking the whole time your waiting in that long ass line that this really isn't worth the $5. Then you go home a little excited, watch it, and then realize you could have used that $5 for something much better. Next, Reggie Brown. If I hear Howard Eskin say one more time that he's a "nice" receiver, I will murder a small defenseless animal. I know better then to listen to Howard but I like to be annoyed sometimes. Reggie Brown is below average at best. He only catches a pass when hes got two steps on a DB and that's so rare cause he runs like he's in friggin quick sand. I have never seen anybody move so fast and get nowhere. Its horrible. Again, below average at best. Here's the next gem in the second round. With the 63rd pick in the 2005 draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select, Midget Linebacker who gets run over on a consistent basis, Matt McCoy. See my review of the Eagles-Colts game from last season to see how I feel about this turd. Next, the Brian Westbrook clone. That is the biggest insult to Westbrook I've ever heard, and I think BWest deserves an apology for being linked to this bum. Ryan Moats. I know he's thanking god every day that he blew out his knee this summer cause he would have ended up being a substitute teacher in some high school Louisiana. Horrible. With the first pick of the fourth round the Eagles select a lanky white safety. Woo Hoo. Sean Considine. Alright, I will give him this, he is having a okay season right now. Okay, not good, not bad, again, just average. The theme of the Eagles 2005 draft should just say, average. Last year was different for Considine. He was the solution to Michael Lewis being on the outs and it was horrible to watch. Again see Eagles-Colts game review. The next two picks were hits. Todd Herremans in the bottom of the fourth and Trent Cole in the bottom of the fifth. Great picks, salute to your ability to be able to pick good players in the fifth round. So there, would you consider the 2005 draft a success?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Great Philly Sports Videos.

I added some new videos to my VodPod on the left side of the page. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Keith Byars gives one of the best blocks I've ever seen. Pepper Johnson meet Keith Byars, and turf. Night night.

Brian Dawkins suplexes some horrible Redskins reciever. The only thing I hate about this video is listening to Joe Theisman give his two cents. Thank god we don't have to listen to his garbage anymore.

Allen Iversons top ten plays. Brings back great memories of a better time for the Sixers. Now we have to watch Iguodala and those other four guys.

Chase Utley gets his own figure.

This Febuary McFarlane Toys, created by comic book writer and avid baseball fan Todd McFarlane, will be releasing their 20th series for MLB. Included in that series will be the rookie figure of Chase Utley. In the sports figure world this is going to be a huge hit and many are looking forward to picking up Chase. In MLB series 18 Ryan Howard made his debut and just this month the Eagles Brian Westbrook made his debut in the NFL 15 series.

More photos and info a here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Aaron Rowand has a list of demands, Croce would like to buy Phillies, and Two AL East studs could be in Philly.

One day after the Phillies cut ties with Nunez and the worthless Rod Barajas. There are rumors that Aaron Rowand has let teams know what they could be expected to pay if they would like his services. Quite frankly its comical. He would like a 6yr $84M contract. Wow. Umm your not Torii Hunter and your not Andrew Jones. I mean he had a career year, and was probably one of the best leaders on the Phillies the past 2 seasons, but that is a ridiculous demand. First off, there is no way he's worth 6 years. That money is guaranteed and 6 years is far to long for a guy like Rowand. And I do not know how the hell he thinks he is going to get paid $14M a season. Re-donk-u-lous is what that is. Funny part is the White Sox are so in love Rowand that they will probably end up paying close to that. Bye bye Aaron Rowand.

Pat Croce told the Daily News that he was not trying to buy the Phillies at this time. He did say that two years prior he tried to approach David Montgomery about making a deal but was turned down quickly. When asked if the team were to be on the market, would Croce again be interested? "Yes," he said. "I have people who would be willing to do it with me."

Rumors are running rampant over Philadelphia about the Fightin's and most include Mike Lowell, Curt Schilling, and Mariano Rivera. Wow, that would be a hell off a winter. Let's start with Mike Lowell. Good third baseman, but has stated recently that his first choice is the Red Sox. Personally I would like to see the Phils go after Joe Crede or Garrett Atkins. I wrote last spring that I thought they should have tried to make a deal for Crede or even Josh Fields. At the time Josh Fields was the back up and Crede was healthy. As far as Schilling goes, that would be a great signing on many levels. Fans have missed him since losing him back in 2000, plus hes still throws hard. Now for the Sandman to enter Philadelphia, would probably require a small miricle. First hes in love with Joe Torre. He looks into grandpa Torre's eyes and just melts. Second, if the Yankees kick him and Torre to the curb, believe he will be sitting in the bullpen up at Fenway playing the set-up role for Jonathan Papelbon.


Phillies get Joe Crede and Jon Garland trading away Pat Burrell (of course paying some of his enormous contract, and probably over $1M to Burrell to waive NTC) and some minor league players.

Phillies sign Curt Schilling.

Red Sox resign Mike Lowell and add Mariano Rivera to their bullpen.

Would love to see them trade for Dontrelle Willis but it would cost us Shane Victorino.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Phillies for Sale? Well, maybe...

Where there is smoke, there is fire. As cliche as that phrase is, its the truth. Yesterday, two Philadelphia journalists ( I use that term loosely ) Howard Eskin and Stan Hochman reported that their inside sources told them that the Phillies were approached from a group looking to buy the team. Now if this was just one reporter saying this, you could say, they're making this crap up. But Eskin and Hochman are positive that this is the truth, and I fully believe them. The story continued today, with Eskin saying that the majority owner of the Phillies, had convinced the other lesser partners that it was time to sell. David Montgomery was quick to put the rumors to bed, stating the Phillies were not for sale, right this second at least, cause they can't. Why can't they? Most likely because when the City of Philadelphia helped the Phillies get CBP built, they stipulated that they did not want the Phillies ownership group to make a quick buck and sell the team within the first 5 years of the new ball parks existence. So pretty much this story was leaked about a year to early. Right now the Phillies ownership has to make it through the 2008 season, the fifth and final year in the agreement before they can sell. Now the question is, who is the group that wants to buy the Phillies? Most likely it is a group of 3-5 partners with deep pockets that have other vested interests in this city. Now just about every fan has the dream of Pat Croce or Mark Cubian buying the Phils but I do not think that is the case. Now this is complete speculation but I believe I know who it is. I just got done reading a book about the Boston Red Sox called Feeding the Monster. Very good book. Now this was about the selling of the Boston Red Sox in 2002 and how new ownership came in and changed the Red Sox losing ways. The book goes in depth into the whole behind the scenes story of the bidding wars between different groups trying to buy the Red Sox. At the high point the bids were in the $650M to $750M range. They ended up selling the team for $700M ($40M donated to charities) to John Henry, former Marlins owner. Now the highest bid for the Sox of $750M was not accepted because the group did not follow the guidelines set in place in order to bid. Now this group was dead serious about purchasing the Red Sox, and if another opportunity to purchase a good ball club came along they might jump on it. They were so serious about buying the Sox that their original bid of $700M was bumped to $750 within a day. They wanted that team bad. So who is this group. The leader of this group is a man named Miles Prentice, who is involved in minor league baseball but is also a well known lawyer in New York City who represents many big corporations worldwide. At the time he was ready to buy the Red Sox he had the backing of two big corporations. The first is the Quadrangle Group, which is an investment firm with $6B in assets. Not bad. Now the second group was a Philadelphia based media company called Comcast. With $110B in assets the Comcast corporation was ready to back Miles Prentice and go forward and buy the Red Sox for $750M. Now I'm going to go out on limb and speculate that I believe that Comcast has been waiting to purchase Phillies since they lost the bid for the Red Sox. Now with the Phillies clearly being only steps away from being a true contender, I think they are ready to ponce. With the last year of that 5 year agreement with the city only being 2 months away, they probably wanna get the bid down and the ball rolling on something that could take up a year to complete. We can only hope. With the new Comcast building taking over the skyline already with a March 2008 completion date, Philadelphia is Comcast's city. Owning a sports franchise like the Phillies would be great for business, especially if they can bring a parade down Broad St. one day. My feeling is they wouldn't have a problem pushing the Phillies payroll up to around $115M to get championship to this city. And I would gladly have them bump my cable bill up to $200 to help them make that happen. Comcast's Triple Play anyone?

Tomorrow I play GM. Look out Pat Gillick, I'm breaking hips and taking names later.

Dick Vitale is a god damn jinx.

In the words of the famous Lloyd Christmas, "You're one pathetic loser." Huge favor Dickie V, please keep your horrible sports predictions to yourself. Bald bastard.
Guess who's back, back again,

Yes he's back, tell a friend.......