Flock of Eagles Diary of a "U Mad, Man?" Edition: A Vikings @ Eagles Live Journal
It’s Been a Long Time©Rakim
Or has it been an “eye-blink”, akin to the “Phantom Punch” described by The GOAT?
I can’t call it.
Because on a sporting fan level, I’ve been knocked out loaded ever since.
I’m not sure anything that happens this season can displace me from that lofty perch.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl on February 4th, 2018.
Birds Fans now have something to hold onto that can’t be taken away, a shimmering reflection of shared joy to forever shine, despite any obstacles we confront day to day.
But Anyway, it’s Sunday.
I didn’t attend this game but figured we’d experience it together, in our first Flock of Eagles installment of the season, a live in-game journal of the proceedings, a national TV NFC title-game rematch, the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Minnesota Vikings.
Here, virtually unedited, are, in the words of Sean Carter, “just my thoughts, right or wrong, just what I was feeling at the time”.
Transmitting From the Wudder Tower, Live & Directly, “Walk With Me”.
The Vikings have spent a considerable amount of time putting together a nice drive, featuring their two formidable wideouts (Adam Thielen & Stefon Diggs).
Luckily the drive stalls near the Eagles ten, at which point they bring in Dan Bailey, most decorated kicker in Dallas Cowboy history, last seen shanking an extra point and a field goal attempt in the most forgettable Cowboys/Eagles game of my lifetime, a 6-0 stinker on New Years Eve, in the 2017 Foles Era.
After a three-and-out by the Birds, the Vikes drive the field again.
While this seems troubling, Dallas Cowboy legend turned color commentator Troy Aikman reminds Vikings Fans their team drove straight down the field to begin last season’s NFC Championship Game at The Linc, before giving up thirty-eight straight points to the Eagles on their way to invading their city and winning a Super Bowl.
I appreciate Troy Boy for pointing that out, because in case anyone forgot…
JALEN MILLS MAKES A PLAY!
That’s not a statement that’s been made a lot this season.
But it was a nice breakup of a 3rd-down ball inside the Eagles’ 20 that leads to a second field-goal attempt. This time, Bailey splits the uprights on a 30-something-yarder.
A half-back toss sweep that seemingly looks like it should be converted goes nowhere in the inexperienced hands of rookie RB Josh Adams, following an unremarkable run from the thoroughly mediocre and replaceable but still here Wendell Smallwood.
These are the guys we’ve entrusted to do the heavy lifting on run plays?
LeGarrette Blount had 2 TD’s to help Detroit upset GODgers today.
Now it’s time for a fairly accurate graphical summation of the first quarter:
The best thing about that quarter is it’s over, with minimal damage on the scoreboard.
WELCOME TO THE NFL, SHELTON GIBSON!
Wendell Smallwood drops a red-zone third down conversion play that HMHS Bulldawg tight ends make nine times out of ten.
Stefon Diggs catches a Kirk Cousins third-down toss that’s behind the line of scrimmage and looks sniffed out enough to be tackled for a loss, but he deeks out three Eagle defenders to not only get passed the line, but move the chains.
That tells you all you need to know about the gap in respective skill guys being utilized.
45-yard Viking field-goal attempt, their third drive resulting in a chance at points…and…THANK YOU, DAN BAILEY, YOU’LL ALWAYS BE A COWBOY TO ME!
The only reason these damning graphics don’t feel more damning, is because Kirk “You Vike That?” Cousins can’t find the end-zone and Dan Bailey is kicking. When you’re the Vikings tied on the road in a game you’ve completely dominated so far, it almost feels like you’re losing. This would be a good time for a six-minute clock-eating Eagle touchdown drive to break their spirit before the half. Maybe try and get one of our two best wideouts a ball? Use Ajayi rather than Smallwood or Adams, you know, some bread-and-butter basics, since they’re lucky to be in position to lead in a game they’ve stumbled thru for most of two quarters?
After getting a couple first downs, disaster strikes, in the form of Wentz hit as he throws and the ball landing in a fat man’s hands, who chugs 63 yards for what can be classified as either a fumble return for a TD, or a pick-six, while the chubby culprit is now in the end zone doing the Neil Smith home run swing and blowing every Eagle Fan a kiss.
I can’t front, you truly earned that oxygen mask and those Deal With It shades, Big Boy.
Wentz tosses a dart on the run to Alshon Jeffrey, who doesn’t reel it in. It wasn’t an easy pass, but still a play Alshon should and normally would make. Neither he, nor Wentz, looks quite themselves yet. But Carson has the added pressure of the line not playing all that well, despite their talent, with backs and receivers shuffling in and out so much that there’s no rhythm.
MICHAEL BENNETT SIGHTING!
Oh, wait, it’s a personal foul, for sacking the quarterback from his knees, after being blocked to the ground. That was almost as terrible as the last time a roughing the passer call got made on Clay Matthews two weeks ago while sacking, wait for it, Kirk Cousins. Does the NFL think people tune in to watch an overrated, overpaid, never-was, nondescript signal caller like Cousins, rather than permit All-Pro defenders to sack him?
Ask Viking Fans if they feel better paying to see Cousins rather than “Case Keesum, Keenam, I’m sorry”(c)John Elway.
They’re the same guy, with any difference being mostly a byproduct of PR and opportunity.
Meanwhile, this poorly run league continues to hustle backwards.
And now the score actually reflects the way the Eagles have been outplayed, all due to a freak play on a turnover, and an absolutely atrocious personal foul call.
If the Eagles can’t protect Carson Wentz and the refs are gonna reinvent the rules to protect Kirk Cousins, this is gonna be a long-ass day and I’m glad I’m not at The Linc.
Halftime will likely be spent repeating “The Eagles Won The Super Bowl” to myself like a mantra, similar to Angela Bassett as Tina Turner chanting “Nam Myho Orenge Kyo” in What’s Love Got To Do With It.
Jay Ajayi starts the second half with a rambling run that nets negative four yards.
After Ajayi’s poor start running backwards, a promising drive begins, then comes to a screeching halt due to a fumble by…Jay Ajayi. Did he fumble that thing by banging the ball into his own shoulder pads?!?
*thinks about restocking the shelf with Tito’s, then remembers work in the AM and South Jersey’s scarcity of liquor stores selling booze after six on Sundays*
*deeper, somewhat more defeated, sigh*
But then again…
“The Eagles Won The Super Bowl”
Remember when Jalen Mills made a play earlier today or nah?
Welp, neither will the Philly fanbase, or local sports-media this week, after how badly he got burnt on that Adam Thielen double-move, on a Cousins pass from his own end-zone, which went for approximately eighty yards.
*grumble, commercial break, now musing on movie trailers to focus on something other than this game*
“An accurate portrayal of Freddie Mercury’s life would not be rated PG-13”
“Night at the El Royale looks cool to peep on cable or NetFlix, when i’m in the mood for a stylized 90’s-flick homage, and don’t just re-watch Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead instead”
Jalen Mills breaks up a third-down-and-goal play. Mills and Thielen get into some jawing. You gotta give it to the Green Goblin, he seems to have a short memory and a stubborn streak that allows him to keep at it even as he’s over-matched. Fletcher Cox then yells at Mills in a manner the way most WIP callers would love to do, but can’t because they aren’t 6’5” 300 LB All-Pro Defending Athletic Freaks with a mean streak.
The “scrappy” and “deceptively athletic” Thielen has been trash-talking every corner on the Eagles all day. And hey, you can do that when you’re putting on this display. Although I recall a Vikings receiver of yesteryear doing so while performing at otherworldly levels and many (current Play-by-Play guy included) excoriating him like he’d shot the president.
Now ask yourself….Why Is That?(c)B.D.P.
Conversely, Thielen likely doesn’t go undrafted if he wasn’t someone scouts classified as “deceptively athletic”.
He’s like the answer to the question “what if Tim Dwight or Matt Jones had been good?”.
On 3rd and 14 in the Vikings red-zone, the Eagles throw a screen pass to Wendell Smallwood. To no one’s surprise, it doesn’t pick up the balance. Doug elects to kick the field goal. I can’t blame him for it, but the entire sequence sorta mirrors this season vs. last season metaphorically.
It’s a two-score game. After all this, the Eagles are essentially one “are-you-serious-throwing-that-right-now?!?” Cousins toss away from being in position to steal this game.
Washington fans know that’s not a pipe dream.
That too-high first down throw to Thielen was nearly it.
Three-and-out. The Vikings can’t run the football, their QB is known to be a bit turnover prone at inopportune times, while quietly the Eagles have moved the football at will on this Vikes’ D in their first two possessions this half.
Jay Ajayi questionable to return. Darren Sproles was out coming into the game. Corey Clement is active, but hasn’t been seen. Wendell Smallwood is still Wendell Smallwood. LeGarrette Blount won the last two Super Bowls and scored two touchdowns in Detroit today. If putting out a Blount was part of Doug Pederson’s “Nick Saban at Alabama Recruiting Process” to holding a Jay, I’m not sure that was the right play.
The Vikes are getting pressure on the pass again. The Wentz scramble isn’t quite the weapon it was last season pre-knee injury, but the kid is doing everything he can out there.
Wentz tosses the ball away on 4th-and-1, which would seem crazy until you remember the Eagles are just gonna go for it anyway.
The Eagles, knowing before third-down that they were taking two shots at gaining one yard, somehow don’t get the fourth-down snap off. Doug burns a timeout.
That was Dono/Reid-esque right there.
Alshon makes a play at the 12 to preserve this drive and the game.
*wipes sweat from brow*
WENDELL SMALLWOOD CATCHES A TOUCHDOWN!
Always liked that guy.
Why is this being replayed?
Because it’s the NFL, where nothing good can happen until everything stops and we wait for it to be deliberated by a few Morgan Stanley annuities-selling retirees, working weekends in striped costumes.
HERE WE COME NOW.
Diggs makes a big first-down catch at the 41.
WHY ARE YOU CHALLENGING THIS, DOUG?!?!
*commercial break spent muttering to self*
We’re back, and to no one’s surprise, aside from possibly Doug or Andy Reid, the call on the field is confirmed, and the Birds have now burned two of their three timeouts.
I would have thought Cousins would be the culprit, but instead it’s a rookie running back on a weird backwards pass ruled a lateral and live ball.
Actually, drop or not, not thinking enough to toss a halfback screen past the line of scrimmage is at least fifty-percent on the passer who made it. Thanks, Cuz!
Carson is nearly in the grasp, then attempts to toss it left-handed like Patrick Mahones did last week. It does not go nearly as well.
After a penalty for intentional grounding on the above play, Carson throws a twenty-yard dart to Alshon Jeffrey, who has the ball in his hands while in the air, but upon getting blasted in the kidney area in midair by the safety, can’t hold onto the ball.
This would be a 58-yard field goal.
Instead, Doug is at least acting like they’re going to go for it.
Why, I have no idea. Zimmer calls timeout.
Maybe that was what they were trying to do.
Nope, Carson is still out there, the play clock runs down to one, Doug burns his last timeout.
And now they elect to punt.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!
Monday Editor’s Note: He took the delay of game, rather than burned the timeout.
The Vikings possession begins. Is that game-clock time an omen for them?
Or a reflection of three numbers I felt like dialing while watching that Eagles’ 4th down sequence?
You Make The Call©Harry Kalas
Latavious Murray carries for what feels like the Vikings very first running play gaining a first down all day. Don’t fact-check that, I used the softening term feels for coverage.
Either way, that is not a positive development for the Eagles.
Kyle Rudolph gains 17 yards on 3rd-and-1. First down Vikes, inside field goal range which would essentially end this game. Then again, the reason this game is still in question is due to Dan Bailey’s presence.
Bailey’s 52-yard-attempt is…(Matt Cord Opposing Team Scored Basket Voice)…
The Eagles sneak in a play before the two-minute warning.
Jordan Matthews sighting.
He catches a five-yard out and then promptly runs out of bounds, rather than fighting to pick up yards with a mandatory clock stoppage coming anyway. Perfect.
*Cut to Commercial*
“WE’RE FROM HADDONFIELD, COULDN’T BE PROUDER,
CAN’T HEAR US NOW? WE’LL YELL A LITTLE LOUDER!!!”
This game is like a Super Bowl that the Eagles aren’t playing in, where the commercials are giving me more pleasure than the game.
Speaking of pleasure, and Super Bowls, did you hear the Eagles won the last one?
Carson and Ertz trying their best to make this interesting, while taking what this Vikings prevent defense will give them. It would be nice to have any timeouts.
A defenseless receiver penalty on a pass to Ertz in the end zone. Why that’s a penalty, but the one to Alshon wasn’t, is anybody’s guess. But whatever, I’ll take it, these refs owe us for that Bennett sack-ruled-personal-foul mess.
“So you’re telling me, there’s a chance…”©Jim Carrey
Ramblin’ Jake Elliott’s onsides kick is pitch-perfect (see what I did there?) but after it careens off his chest pads a la Jay Ajayi, the ball is reeled in and emerging from the bottom of the pile is…Adam Thielen.
Because of course he is.
This dude, and to an only slightly lesser degree Stefon Diggs, destroyed the Eagles today.
Alright, that’s enough of this Live Journal for yoūse , or more specifically, for yours truly.
Signing Off Temporarily Frustrated Yet Super Bowl Winningly Sedated,