Yes, my life can finally return to normal. My beloved Birds are heading to the Super Bowl! The Championship Game was a good one, but certainly didn’t feel like the domination it was for most of it. I told Lisa at one point, “I don’t want a good game, I just want the win.” I’ve seen enough good football games in my life, now I just want to see the Eagles play in the Super Bowl. And I will finally get that come February 6th.
Now for my thoughts on the game:
- That was perhaps the most perfect game I’ve ever seen by McNabb. He threw the ball well, made few mistakes, and ran effectively. He showed just how well he’s mastered the art of scrambling by using it to improvise a couple of gains as well as keeping himself free to convert an amazing 13 yard pass to Freddie Mitchell on a 3rd and 11.
- Kudos to Freddie for keeping his head in the game and redeeming himself with that catch after negating a 17 yard gain two plays prior.
- Chad Lewis has been a solid player for us for years. What a great game for him with those 2 TD receptions. Sadly, he will be unavailable for the Bowl.
- Brian Dawkins might just have a lot more left in the tank than many suspected. Coming back from nagging injuries last year, Dawkins has had a career season. He topped that off yesterday with his fourth postseason pick, and a bone-jarring hit on Alge Crumpler.
- Derrick Burgess deserves a game ball for his play against Michael Vick yesterday. While Jevon Kearse’s presence on the left side helped in containment, Burgess constantly harrassed the non-Experience in mediocrity, including 2 key sacks.
- Greg Lewis is a star in the making. Well, maybe that’s going to far. But the Undrafted One leads Eagles receivers in the postseason (ninth in the league) with 4 catches for 129 yards and a gaudy 32.3 YPC average.
- Perhaps now people will admit that Vick is not unstoppable. Not only did McNabb outpass him (17 of 26 for 180 yards and 2 TDs versus 11 of 24 for 136 yards and 1 INT) but he also outran him (32 yards to 26 yards). Taking into account the sacks (4 for 33 yards lost), the Michael Vick Experience accounted for -7 Vick yards.
- How about a little love for Dirk Johnson? While the Falcons punter struggled against the wind (with kicks of 7 and 18 yards) and sent another into the end zone, Dirk pinned the Falcons inside the 20 on successive punts inspite of a penalty and also nailed a 40 yarder that got the Eagles out of field position hell.
- ESPN radio couldn’t stop gushing about the Patriots, but paused long enough to give credit to the Eagles as the hardest hitting team in the league. Oh yeah.
- That was a lot of emotion from Andy Reid as he whipped his Championship hat around after the game. And could you imagine someone being that happy after having a cold tank of Gatorade dumped on you in sub-zero temperatures?
- Shame on Jim Mora. A rookie coach whom I respected until yesterday’s sideline tirade in which he threw a radio to the ground and stomped on it like a 10 year-old spoiled brat. Even worse, after the game he had the audacity to say that he hoped it wouldn’t take them 4 tries to make it to the Super Bowl. Real classy.
- Dear NFL, could we get something done about this officiating? I know you wanted Vick in the Super Bowl, but this was ridiculous. This crew missed a major hold on Kearse, ignored pass interference unless it was against the Eagles, flagged Sam Rayburn for roughing the passer because Vick whined, yet allowed a sucker punch on David Akers that sent him scrambling to the sidelines with a bloody nose. On top of that, could you maybe spot us the ball less than a yard behind where Westbrook goes out next time? Pretty please?
- Speaking of Westbrook… need I say anything more? He truly is Philly’ son. His 96 yards on the ground almost equaled the total for all of Atlanta’s vaunted “DVD” offense.
And thanks to everyone who called/e-mailed/text messaged me congratulations. It’s been a long time coming.