Monday, September 19, 2005

How tough is this task?

Please don't confuse this post as being anti-Phillies. That is not the case. It meant to be a reality check.

I mentioned this in passing the last couple of days, but it is worth pointing out again, now that the Phillies have a day off.

After going 7-3 in their last three series against the Braves and Marlins, the Phillies have picked up exactly one game. They have played .700 ball and have moved from 2 1/2 games out of the wild-card lead to 1 1/2 games behind the Astros. A lot of good work for not a lot of reward. The schedule does not lighten up with three more road game against the Braves.

Houston begins a series with Pittsburgh tonight with Roger Clemens on the mound and the Marlins are headed to New York to play the Mets beginning tomorrow. You would have to figure that the Phillies will begin play tomorrow night two games behind Houston with 12 to play.

Philling Station points out the same thing and says the Phillies fate is in their own hands.

Taking 2/3 in Florida is still a worthwhile feat, but the Astros swept a weekend series with the Brewers and ended Sunday a game-and-a-half up in the Wild Card race. Tonight they begin a four game series in Pittsburgh, then head to the Cubs for three, St. Louis for two, and close with a weekend series at home against the Cubs.

The Phils have the night off before going to Atlanta for three games. Most experts are pointing to the schedule and favoring the Astros, but to a large degree the Phils still control their own fate.

The Phillies Fan Union is just as confident:

So, in spite of questionable managerial strategizing, the Phillies players seem to have taken matters into their own hands, which is exactly what we said they would have to do to see post-season play. There are still the Mets, Braves, Marlins, and Nationals to deal with, and Cincinnati, at this stage of the season, will not be a push-over. But this team seems to have realized that if they are going to get into the post season, they will be doing it on their own. So it is a matter of taking matters into their own hands, of rising to the occasion and not letting the managerial deficits continue to haunt them. To a man, the Phillies are showing that they can be a team to be reckoned with. Just two more weeks. The rest of the division is waiting in the closest race in all of baseball. It doesn't get any better.

Breathing easier

There was a huge sigh of relief coming from Eagles fans after yesterday's 42-3 spanking of the 49ers.

A loss against the Falcons in the opening week and Donovan McNabb's injury was reason for concern.

Rest easy all, your Birds look just fine (except for David Akers, of course.)

Akers, who has made only one of four field-goal attempts this season, injured his right hamstring on Sunday. Today he was getting examined.

“David Akers has a hamstring strain and we did an MRI on it," said coach Andy Reid. "The MRI was a little better than what we anticipated. We will just see how he does here in the next couple of days."

That sounds promising and should add to the sense of relief that yesterday's game provided.

Here is what you had to say about Sunday's romp:


This is the kind of game Eagles fans needed after last weeks tough loss to Atlanta on Monday night. Donovan McNabb silenced any of his critics and showed his chest injury wasn't going to effect him. Donovan went 23 of 29 for 342 yards and tied his career high of 5 TDs.

Eleven different Eagles caught a pass, talk about spreading the ball around. T.O. and L.J. had big time games both reaching the endzone, Terrell twice. Koy Detmer even went 9 for 9. The only disapointment may have been Owens' lack of creativity after his two touch downs.

The defense was pretty much stellar all around. They had three picks and Lito almost took one of them to the house.

All is well in the world of Eagles fans. The Eagles are now 17-3 following a loss since 2000. The bottom line: San Fran stinks and the Eagles are a Superbowl contender.

Next up Randy Moss and the Oakland Raiders next Sunday at the Linc - 1:00PM

From For the Birds:

Well, there’s not a lot to say about the butt-kicking the Eagles just handed the 49ers. A lot of questions that were unanswered last week were given some emphatic affirmations–mainly whether Donovan McNabb was physically ok. Five touchdowns later, he emerged looking better than ok.

But when a glass is 95 percent full, the Philadelphia sports fan will eventually turn his or her head to the other 5 percent. One puzzling question I haven’t heard an answer to yet–I was at the game and I was in mid-commute when Andy Reid gave his postgame press conference–is why Shawn Andrews was sitting on the bench by the middle of the third quarter. He didn’t appear to be tended to for an injury, but was he pulled to let backup Adrien Clarke gets some reps or something else? The OL still didn’t do a particularly stellar job run blocking, and Lamar Gordon was able to make a couple of nifty cutbacks to get more daylight than the line provided. It was encouraging to see Gordon get more playing time, including a touchdown run, but rookie back Ryan Moats was again de-activated.

One other concern was the lackluster play of the defensive ends. Kearse was a no-show again, and only blitzes created pressure that led to sacks by Darwin Walker and Lito Sheppard. The line will need to step it up next week because Jim Johnson won’t be able to send corners and safeties blitzing like mad with Randy Moss and Jerry Porter running routes rather than the 49ers mediocre wideouts.

Ok, now back to enjoying that 95-percent-full glass.

From Philly Sports Net:

... For the time being, it is safe to say that the Eagles haven’t missed a beat from last year.

They looked dominating. Utterly terrifying (for other teams, that is). 42-3 blowout that was worse than it looks (should have been something more like 68-3).