1. “Pennsylvania Keepaway” could become a big, big hit for those of us NFL fans living within the Keystone State. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles combined on Sunday to hold the ball for over 81 minutes of their 120 minutes of game time. Their opponents, the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys respectively, thereby had to make the very, very most of their very, very rare possessions. They did not. Analysts remind us of this all the time. Common sense, but worth repeating from time to time so we’re all on the same page. If you can keep the ball from the opposition their offense can’t get on the field, get a rhythm, ramps up the pressure when they do get the ball, etc. Of course, it helps to actually score yourself while having the ball the majority of the time. The Steelers and Eagles did…and Pennsylvania had a great NFL weekend as a result. This helps us greatly get over the disappointment of the Pirates not making the post-season. Oh…and the Phillies also. (What do you mean the Phillies made the playoffs…? Really?)
2. Speaking of our Eagles, the City of Brotherly Love is predictably overreacting to the trashing of those hated Cowboys. LeSean McCoy is presently being fitted for a bust in Canton by fans here. Yes, this is the same guy who the same fans were booing a couple of weeks ago because he couldn’t get a yard when that was the only requirement. Yes, this is the same team who entered the game looking up at everyone else in the NFC East. I will offer this up…picture a Defensive Coordinator in the NFL who has to face the following in upcoming weeks:
a) A healthy Michael Vick.
b) A healthy LeSean McCoy.
c) A healthy Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant and Brent Celek.
No Defensive Coordinator wants this job. Indeed, it now seems the only person who could possibly shut down a healthy Eagles offense is Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid. In the last couple of weeks, McCoy has gotten a ton of carries and the Eagles’ offense has started to jell. Here’s a Fun Stat courtesy of the Philadelphia Daily News…LeSean’s two highest rushing totals in his career have both been against Dallas. He had 185 yards on Sunday evening and 149 last December. The only players other than McCoy who have ever racked up 140 yards-plus twice when toting the football against the Cowboys’ franchise are John Riggins, Walter Peyton and Jim Brown. Andy…feed this man the football. Please. We know it’s not your style…but your style hasn’t gotten us a Super Bowl either.
Bonus Fun Stat…You may have missed the Monday Night Football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs as you were celebrating Halloween. Don’t worry. Primarily all “Tricks” and no “Treats” watching this debacle, which may qualify as the worst-played overtime game in the modern era of football. The teams combined for eight turnovers, matching the most in any NFL game this season. The Chargers were called for a dozen penalties. The “highlight” however was Chargers’ Quarterback Philip Rivers fumbling the ball away as San Diego was moving in for a winning score. Stat from the Elias Sports Bureau…The last player to lose a fumble on a red-zone play in a tie game with less than two minutes to go was Sammy Winder of the Denver Broncos (vs. the Cleveland Browns) in October of 1989. His team eventually lost the game…as did Rivers’.
3. The New York Giants have a giant problem…Brandon “Bleeping” Jacobs. You may ask why I have the “Bleeping” part in there. That’s because it is how I refer to him on my wife’s iPhone. She (unbeknownst to me) recorded a rant I went on during a game last season when Jacobs let me down near the goal line for the umpteenth time as a player on my fantasy football team. In fact, I had a giant notepad I took to this season’s fantasy league draft that had but one note on it…don’t draft Giant Brandon “Bleeping” Jacobs.
Brandon has stated his unhappiness with the organization and pretty much announced to the world he’s on his way out of New York. As usual, Brandon is “late to the line” in his rushing attempt at a pre-emptive PR strike as the Giants themselves already were using him in a manner pretty much announcing to the world he’s on his way out of New York. After fumbling his first rushing attempt on Sunday vs. the Miami Dolphins (he did recover it), he dropped an easy catch two plays later. The boos were audible. He has since announced he is playing for his teammates. Fine with me. Geez, for the Giants’ sake play well for a change. You’re not playing for me. Why? My wife can cue that up for ya.