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Does an Eagles Loss Mean McNabb is a Choker?

There is a lot of chatter that Donovan McNabb–who went 28 of 47 for 375 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception but threw a few poor passes on a critical drive late in the fourth quarter—is a choker.

They point to his record of 1-4 in NFC Championship games. Many also point to the fact that McNabb not only threw interceptions but, literally, threw up in the Superbowl against the Patriots.

McNabb a Choker?

McNabb a Choker?

What’s being forgotten is that, to put it very simply, getting to the Superbowl is hard. Very hard. Go ask Barry Sanders, Dan Fouts, or Chris Carter. Winning it is even more difficult. Go ask Dan Marino or Jim Kelly.

It’s funny—we as fans and the media have the ability to cut down players and coaches if they don’t win it all. What’s forgotten is how difficult it is to consistently get to the playoffs and championship games. Afterall, at the end of every season, only one team is happy.

Does McNabb deserve some blame for last weekend’s loss? Sure. Anytime a team loses in spectacular fashion, scrutiny ensues—and it’s often understandable. It may be very possible that McNabb is a quarterback that folds under pressure—I won’t deny that. Some people have ice water in their veins—some don’t. But don’t forget that McNabb was key to the Eagles being able to reach five Championship games.

Let’s too not forget about McNabb’s supporting cast. McNabb is one of the only quarterbacks in recent memory to almost never, sans Terrell Owens, have a legitimate number one receiver. And when Owens came on board, the Eagles went to the Superbowl. Surprise, surprise?

The Eagles also need a big back for short yardage. The idea that Andy Reid believes that Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter can carry the load on 3rd or 4th and 1 is absurd. The Eagles need what the Panthers or Giants have—a reliable 250 pound workhouse to help shore up their short yardage game.

So don’t put it all on McNabb’s back. It’s true that the quarterback gets the most scrutiny. But let’s remember that football is the ultimate team game. And, though McNabb’s last drive wasn’t stellar, the ball still hit Kevin Curtis in the hands of that pivotal fourth down play.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | NFL | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Straight Cash’s Divisional Playoff Picks

There are some juicy, juicy matchups this weekend. Lots of top defenses showcased, a wild gun show on display in the South, and a good old NFC East hatefest. Let’s get it on.

Do the dance, Ray, do the dance.

Do the dance, Ray, do the dance.

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans, 01/10/09, 4:30pm EST, CBS
Line/Total: TEN -3, o/u 34

The Pick: BAL +3

Everyone’s saying that a rookie QB like Flacco will fold against Tennessee’s punishing front, but New Guy Joe gets to see this type of “D” everyday in practice. The Titans won back in Week 5 (13-10) in a grind it out, defensive battle, but I think the difference this time is the improved play and confidence of Flacco and the growth of Le’Ron McClain as a legitimate back to pair with Willis McGahee. Kerry Collins, LenDale White and Chris Johnson are stabling forces for the Titans, but the loss of Kevin Mawae under center will play a big role at the line. To me, it just seems like the Ravens D is jacked entering the postseason, led by All-world hawk Ed Reed. No doubt, Tennessee is still one of the top 3 defenses in the league, I just don’t think they have enough weapons offensively to put up points. The Ravens will keep it close and may win outright — lots of penalties, trash talking and clock running in this one.

My name is not pronounced Del-Homey

My name is not pronounced Del-Homey

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers, 01/10/09, 8:15pm EST, FOX
Line/Total: CAR -10, o/u 49

The Pick: Over 49

I’m riding the Arizona “over” train until it falls off the tracks. This team cannot cover anyone and Kurt Warner must try to outgun each opponent they face. And why not? with both NFC Pro Bowl WR starters at his disposal in Boldin and Fitzgerald, could you blame him. Carolina has found gold in their backfield tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. And of course, Steve Smith is a game changer. Need some numbers? The two teams combined for 50 in a 27-23 Panthers win in Week 8. The over is 7-2 in Arizona’s and Carolina’s last 9 games. Carolina has given up an average of 25 points in that span, and Arizona 29.5. It’s Jake Delhomme’s 33rd birthday Saturday and his wish of a Carolina win will come to fruition, just not sure it’s by the 10 points Vegas is projecting them by. So take the over, sit back on the Lazy Boy and watch some fireworks in the Bank of America Dome.

Don't do the dance, Donovan, don't do the dance.

Don't do the dance, Donovan, don't do the dance.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants, 01/11/09, 1:00pm EST FOX
Line/Total: NYG -4, o/u 38

The Pick: NYG -4

The Eagles are playing excellent ball at the right time. The Donovan McNabb Hall of Fame talk has resurfaced. Philly’s defense has been dynamic with Johnson at the helm. I’m still taking the Giants to win and cover. A few reasons why: 1) They’re at home. 2) Eli has more weapons to pass to than Donovan. 3) Brandon “Frankenstein” Jacobs is at full force. 4) The 3-headed monster that is Jacobs-Ward-Bradshaw is more effective than a nicked up Westbrook and Buckhalter. 5) The Meadowlands field will be slick and there’s a 90% chance of snowfall/rain, which bodes well for the Giants ground attack. 6) The Giants have been there, done that, and coach Coughlin has had an extra week to prep the troops. And finally, 7) Those two “MENSA” candidates Andy Reid and McNabb will find a way to implode on the big stage. ‘Nuff said.

Now if I could just "PLAY like a champion" on Sunday.

Now if I could just "PLAY like a champion" on Sunday.

San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers, 01/11/09, 4:45pm EST, CBS
Line/Total: PIT -6, o/u 37.5

The Pick: PIT -6

I still don’t believe in Philip Rivers. While everyone waxes poetic about his natural ability and competitiveness, I still think he’s just a gunslinger who lacks the leadership quality (charisma) to inspire his team. That said, the Steelers will bring the pressure in waves at the Chargers, and Rivers will have to get rid of the ball quicker than he’s used to. Darren Sproles has to be ready to catch short dinks from the backfield ala LaDainian Tomlinson, while Gates must push hard off the line for SD to be effective. Now, what concerns me for Pittsburgh is the offensive side of the ball. Big Ben is holding on to the ball longer than he should be, resulting in multiple sack games, while the deep threat in Santonio Holmes has been nullified throughout the year. Look for the Steelers to give the Chargers a big dose of Fast Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore. The -6 points from Vegas is pretty steep, but the Steelers have gotten all the breaks of late and it’ll be a game-changing turnover (maybe by the wavy-haired Samoan) that’ll put the Steelers over the top. Also, that same competitiveness that Rivers is lauded for will be his undoing as he’ll attempt some unnecessary deep throws into the Pittsburgh’s secondary. The only thing that worries me is Big Ben’s bell being rung to the tune of another concussion.

Went 3-1 in last weekend’s Wild Card matchups. Let’s keep up the good vibes.

2009 record: 5-2.

Straight Cash … Homey!

January 10, 2009 Posted by | General, NFL, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Open Letter From Donovan to T.O.

Let's Be Friends

Let's Be Friends

In my ever-growing passion for voyeurism, snooping, stalking, and overall invasion of others rights, I was able to uncover a letter that Donovan McNabb passed to Terrell Owens after the Eagles spanked the Cowboys with all the brotherly love they had.  I bring you this letter, although displaying it here may cause me significant bodily injury.

Hello Terrell,

Hey man, how’ve you been?  I saw you out on the field today and I wanted to say what’s up, but you seemed kind of busy and distracted.  Now I know we beat you today, but keep your head up and know that we’ll really make the most of playoff spot.  C’mon man, be honest.  Were you guys gonna really make a show with your QB always looking for Jason Witten?  I’ mean, Jason Witten!  You should’ve called a meeting or done some pushups in the driveway to show them how you’re the real deal.  They needed to be looking to number 81 all day, don’t you think?  I guess you’re a bigger man than me because I’d be yelling at everyone on the sidelines if that sh*t was happening to me.  It’s good to see you’ve grown.

Speaking of the past, man I’m sorry I didn’t understand how to communicate with you when you were up here.  I thought that when you berated me on the sidelines, divided the locker room, and threw me under the bus (multiple times) it was because you were a primadonna, bitch-ass, immature punk, but in reality you were nothing but class.  We should have been throwing to you all the time and we actually needed you to be head coach, GM, special teams coordinator, and owner.  My bad, my man.  My bad because I see how it worked out for the Cowboys when they catered to your every need.  Y’all went pretty far this year and exceeded a lot of expectations.  I’m just sorry we had to keep you out.  Andy Reid, you remember him right?  Well, Coach Reid sat me down this year and I thought a lot about how you would handle it.  I thought, “what would the humble TO do?”  So I sat back and did exactly the opposite, so I really thank you for being a role model.  In a sign of my appreciation and gratitude maybe me and you can get together in the off-season to run routes and devise new schemes for you to get the ball so that Witten and Marion Barber don’t steal all your thunder.  I won’t be available until after we win the Super Bowl, but wouldn’t that be loads of fun?  Me and you playing catch like the good old days.  Let me know if that’s cool with you. 

Hey man, I have to go prepare for my victory press conference and all the stuff that goes with being a winner (you remember that feeling, right?).  Anyhow, have a good New Year and good luck in the offseason.  Oh…by the way, Jeff Garcia says what’s up.

Your Friend,

Donovan

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

December 30, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, General, NFL, Talkin Trash | , , , , , | Leave a comment