And Then Depression Set In

Posted: January 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 118 Comments »

The Giants aren’t that good of a team.  They aren’t.  And yet…they are going to the Super Bowl.  Barf.

I’m speechless.  Kyle Williams did everything he could to get the Giants to the big game.  That’d be great if he wasn’t a Niner.  Why the heck can’t the Eagles get something like that in a playoff game?

Congrats to the Giants.  And go Patriots.  Simply put, this sucks.  A Super Bowl that I can’t enjoy.  Best case scenario is Tom Brady and Wes Welker whipping the Gmen.

The 2012 season can’t get here fast enough.

118 Comments on “And Then Depression Set In”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 12:02 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Tommy if you wake up sobbing hysterically this week do not “go for a swim in the Gulf”. But seriously I think Eagles need to start making videos similar to the “It gets better” ones that we can all watch every January.

  2. 2 Brian said at 6:37 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    It doesn’t, though!

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 2:05 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    There were two teams out of the 12 I didn’t want to see make it to the Super Bowl. Amazingly, both made it

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 7:05 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Yep. My thoughts too. Worst possible outcome.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 9:44 PM on January 23rd, 2012:


    Last time I reluctantly rooted for NYG just so we didn’t have to hear about 19-0, and because the SB loss to NE was fresher in our minds then. This time I think I’ll reluctantly pull for NE because the Giants are pretty much the same sometimes-great, sometimes-flawed organization as us, they just time their hot streaks better. And I can’t bear to listen to how they won two Super Bowls in five years when we haven’t even though we more or less pwn them head to head.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 9:19 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    There were 2 teams out of the 32 in the league that I didn’t want to make the Super Bowl. I’ve never hated a SB more than the one in 2008. I’ve still never fully accepted Asante b/c his dropped interception GAVE the Giants a title a few years back.

    How many times can Eli Manning get away with throwing the ball up for grabs when pressure is in his face, and not pay the price with a turnover. Sad, sad, day and one more kick in the nuts of an Eagles fan this year.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 9:58 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    This is the worst possible Super Bowl matchup ever. I think the only way it could possibly be worse is if Jerruh buys an AFC team and also names it the Cowboys so that the AFC Cowboys could play the New York Football Giants in the Super Bowl in Dallas.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 2:12 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Can someone explain to me how the Patriots get so lucky all the time. I fully understand that they are a very good football team. I don’t question that at all. But on top of their talent, they seem to always get lucky. The most famous case being the “tuck rule,” but even if you look at this season you see they get lucky. They went 13 and 3 in the regular season and have so far won two playoff games. However, until today, they had not beaten a single team with a winning record. In today’s game, the kicker missed a chip shot FG that would have at least most likely sent the game into overtime. In the superbowl, they will be playing a team they played in the regular season who ended the season with a grand total of 9 wins. They also escaped playing the Steelers in the playoffs, a team that would have likely provided a much more challenging match up than the Broncos. In other words, in 19 games, they have only played 4 teams with winning records (one loss was to the Bills) and have only beaten one. I’d be curious to know if any other team has managed to make it to the superbowl having only beaten one team with a winning record all year.

  9. 9 Steve H said at 2:15 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Don’t forget that Lee Evans had the winning touchdown catch in his hands but somehow let a practice squad player knock it out.

    The Pats are indeed a charmed bunch it seems sometimes.

  10. 10 Tyler Phillips said at 7:37 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    more charmed than the Giants? who got 2 PR TOs that gifted them the game, AND got saved by a fumble that was quick whistled AND had 2 awful INTs dropped that also got a starting CB knocked out by his own Safety.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 11:43 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Giants did get a few gifts in that game last night, but for the Patriots, it has been a decade of good fortune. Again, I am not trying to take anything away from them and their talent, but even the most talented teams need some lucky bounces to go their way. It just seems the Patriots have gotten every lucky bounce.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 9:26 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Law of small numbers.

    When there is a limited sample of games, someone has to get “lucky,” someone has to be unlucky.
    Unfortunately, we happen to be fans of a team that has had a bad streak of unlucky the past decade.

    Some of it is exploiting luck, Eli did torch the backup CB, Brady kept the game close, while McNabb blew some opportunities – but when McNabb brings them back against the Cardinals, he doesn’t get the obvious PI call.

    And some of it is making plays, if Vick makes a good throw to Cooper, Eagles would have been “lucky” to beat the Packers in 2010. McCarthy goes from a SB coach to a guy whose team chokes in the playoffs every year.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 3:24 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Am glad that Cundiff missed the FG! Why?! Because the Patriots have the best chance of ending Eli’s ‘nightmare’ season.

    I cannot believe I’m writing this: go Pats..

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 9:48 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    The Ravens would have had a plenty good chance of beating the Giants.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 4:28 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I think the Pro Bowl might be a more exciting game.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 5:04 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I laughed out loud to this. Great one!

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 9:30 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    i, for one, will be watching the puppy bowl on animal planet once again. sigh.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 5:02 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    There are a infinite multitude of universes where the results went the other way, if only the Internet was more expansive, we could watch the game from one of them. More over and for sure, you’re the lead singer of Led Zeppelin and co-wrote Stripes with Ramis on one them too.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 8:30 AM on January 23rd, 2012:


  20. 20 Anonymous said at 7:08 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Here’s a question – is Tom Coughlin a better coach than Andy Reid?

  21. 21 Steven Steiner said at 8:10 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Amazing all true Eagles fans really share one mindset at times. I echo everything above: Can’t believe how lucky the Pats got, how come the Eagles never get special teams turnovers handed to them in Championship games? I mean, the game was over for the Pats. Lee Evans just brings that ball in and even Tom Brady isn’t marching them down for a TD with 39 seconds left against the Ravens defense. Not happening.

    I was also thinking a lot about Coughlin. He’s now entrenched in New York. No amount of losing will get him fired ever, now. He’s going to be their coach for a long long time unless he chooses to leave. I can’t decide if this is really bad for the Eagles though. I have a lot of respect for Coughlin on gameday – I think his head is really in the game and he seems to make a lot of good football decisions in them. As far as leading his team during the whole season – his teams to falter for long stretches. He’s almost like the polar opposite of Andy. I really question him on gameday sometimes, but during the season he is very steady and his teams rarely stay in slumps. So they are sort of opposites of one coin – and one side of that coin has a Superbowl win and one more appearance than the other one. So you’d have to say that he’s better right now, yes.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 10:23 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Yes. Not really debatable at this point. More super bowl appearances and wins.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 12:26 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I actually looked at this earlier in the season and compared the Giants record to the Eagles. After updating their records since I looked at it, here is what I found.

    Since Coughlin came to the Giants in 2004, The Giant’s record has been 74-55.
    The Eagles record during that time has been 76-52-1.

    Also during that time, the Giants have won 7 playoff games including a superbowl (and have a chance at a second one).
    The Eagles have won 5 playoff games and have lost a superbowl.

    In terms of playoff appearances (which seems to be Lurie’s new standard), the Giants have made the playoffs 5 times since Coughlin was brought there (2005 – 2008, 2011). The Eagles have also made the playoffs 5 times since 2004, (2004, 2006, 2008-2010).

    I think based on those stats since Coughlin started coaching the Giants, you have to say that Coughlin has done a better job as a coach. They have nearly identical regular season records (in fact, when I first looked at their records right before the Seahawks game, it was 71-52 vs 71-51-1) and have the same number of playoff appearances. The huge difference is that Coughlin has a Superbowl win with a chance at a second compared to our Superbowl loss.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 10:24 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    That’s interesting, because before seeing the numbers, I would have said the two follow roughly the same arc. Generally they win more than they lose, but they go through more tough stretches than elite coaches should.

    Personality aside, they’re the same coach in terms of effectiveness — especially if all games were created equal.

    Right now I’d say Coughlin is better because he’s won a Super Bowl and been to two … but like anything with Andy, one Super Bowl run and suddenly the rest of his resume looks like it can stand up next to anyone but Belichick’s.

  25. 25 Zachary Kaplan said at 8:14 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    The Giants aren’t a great team game in and game out – but unlike the Eagles they seem to be able to get hot when it matters – at least they have 2 times in the last 5-6 years.

  26. 26 James Coe said at 8:28 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    And the rest of the times they’ve managed to get really really cold at the business end of the season. I’d still take the Eagles last decade over the Giants.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 8:32 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Are you serious?!? The Giants might win the 2nd Super Bowl since 2007 and you would still take the Eagles’ last decade over the Giants?! LOL, I hate the Giants as well, but this is ridiculous.

  28. 28 Thorin McGee said at 9:06 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I usually agree with this reasoning, but not if they win 2 super bowls.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 10:24 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Then you are crazy pants. I’ll take a super bowl victory over anything the Eagles have accomplished over the last decade.

  30. 30 Thorin McGee said at 10:42 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Would you really rather be a Buccaneers fan? Lots of suck, a couple good years, one Super Bowl win and lots more suck since? I wouldn’t. That’s a lot of years of simply wasted football fandom.

    I respect the Eagles for constantly doing what they think is best to get good teams out there. There’s some gap that keep them from getting over the hump, but you’ve gotta be in it to win it.

    The Giants are different, though. They do put together good teams, even though they’re inconsistent. They’re often in the hunt (although not as often as the Eagles) and sometimes peak at the right time and win. That … that I have to admit sounds pretty good.

    To be as good as the Eagles have been (and especially WERE) and only get to one SB that they puked away … that’s disappointing.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 11:48 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    We weren’t talking about the Bucs, we were talking about the Giants. Those same Giants that are about to play for their second super bowl championship, both of which would be more recent than the Eagles last super bowl appearance. I’ll gladly take that over what the Eagles have given us any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Once again its not even debatable.

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 12:05 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I don’t care about any day of the week, but I’d sure take it on Sundays, as well as the occassional Monday, Saturday and Thursday night.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 6:21 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    When it comes to Tuesday nights, I would have to go with the Vikings.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 12:11 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I think Thorin was talking about this:

    “I’ll take a super bowl victory over anything the Eagles have accomplished over the last decade. ”

    That is not about the Giants, it is just a general statement, and it is a common sentiment of Philly fans. Whether you meant it literally or a bit hyperbolic, some make the statement with an honest belief that they would gladly take 9 years of being the Browns with one Super Bowl mixed in. It is something that I also disagree with

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 12:22 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    But I was responding directly to the statement that the original poster would prefer the Giants success to the Eagles. I was pointing out that their super bowl victory trumps anything the Birds have accomplished. Since they are playing for their 2nd in the last 5 years, they obviously aren’t the Bucs.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 12:28 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Yeah, I understand. Your phrasing just sounded like the common chant of how they would trade perennial competitiveness for one day in the sun and everything should be sacrificed for a better chance to win now.

  37. 37 Thorin McGee said at 2:54 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I was responding directly to the line ATG mentioned. Look, you said you’d take one SB over everything the Eagles did. If you meant you take 1 victory, another potential victory, and the Giants mostly successful decade over everything the Eagles did, that I actually agreed with. But that’s not what you said.

    Even in context of the comment you were replying to, you still said “I’ll take a super bowl victory over anything the Eagles have accomplished over the last decade. ” Which is exactly what the Bucs did.

  38. 38 Zachary Kaplan said at 11:00 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    There is no way you can say this without looking like a straight up homer (which we all are)…

    But really since Eli took over the Giants, their level of success is heads and shoulders above that of the Eagles.

    They are 7-3 in the playoffs under Eli. They’ve made the playoffs 5 times in his 8 seasons. They’ve won two NFC Championship games, they’ve won one Super Bowl (and have a shot at another).

    Since 2005 – the Eagles only have 4 playoff appearnces, they are 3-4 in those apperances, 0-1 in the NFC Championship game, and no Super Bowl appearances.

    I understand your decade statement includes 2002, 2003 & 2004 as well, but I think that’s a unfair comparison, and even so – I’d trade 3 NFC Championship game apperances, more playoff apperances, and more playoff wins, for the 1 title, two NFC Titles and a chance at the 2nd NFL title.

    Since 2002:
    Regular Season
    Eagles 99-60-1
    Giants 88-72
    Eagles 7-7
    Giants 7-4 (with 1 game left to play)
    NFC CG’s
    Eagles 1-2
    Giants 2-0
    Super Bowls
    Eagles 0-1
    Giants 1-0
    Head to head:
    Eagles 14 : Giants 8 (note 2 playoff wins by the Eagles)

    I think it’s that last stat that leads to the Eagles increased hatred at moments like this. We’ve owned them in a 10 year strech, winning over 60% of our games against them, yet they have the titles, and THE title.

    End of the day, I’m a Eagles fan, who is seriously jealous of the Giants success.

  39. 39 Thorin McGee said at 5:15 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Maybe it’s that helpless puppy dog look he gets when he screws up. It motivates his team to rally and protect him like he was their little sister.

  40. 40 Mac said at 6:15 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    haha… it’s funny because it’s true

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 8:37 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Tommy, if you’re a PSU fan, you’ve got to root for the Patriots. I’d think that O’Brien flashing a SB ring would pay dividends while recruiting. With Urban Meyer in the neighborhood, we need all the help we can get.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 8:40 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Step off the ledge, people! The Cowboys are NOT playing in the Superbowl.

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 9:23 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Maybe because I’m a bit younger and I went to school with a lot of NYG fans, but I honestly think I’d rather have the Cowboys win than the Giants. I can not stand the Giants. I can not stand “you can’t spell elite without Eli”, I can’t stand Antrel Rolle and his incessant smack talk even though he isn’t that good, and now I can’t stand Kyle Williams because he gave them the freaking game

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 8:47 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    “Step off the ledge, people!” has an entirely opposite meaning to “Climb in from the ledge, people!” for me.

    Hopefully you are not assigned to job of talking down jumpers.

    Then again, any police chief who is comfortable saying into a bullhorn, “Just stay calm. This is ChaosOnion, he is going to talk to you for a bit.” probably deserves to clean up a bunch of person puddles.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 8:54 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    In general the Giants aren’t that good, but when they get hot and start playing good football they’re pretty good team. Their defensive line is extremely solid. Eli is playing great and Victor Cruz and Hakeem nicks are too big time play-makers in the outside. They have weapons and they can get pressure on the quarterback. That’s all you need in the NFL.

  46. 46 Kristopher Cebula said at 9:00 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    of all the teams in the games yesterday, i wanted the ravens to lose the most. i know it is not a traditional rivalry but i live 45 minutes south of philly and 45 minutes north of baltimore so it is a huge rivalry where i live. i didn’t used to hate the ravens, until i was about 18 and started talking to more ravens fans. after discovering their overwhelming smugness and their hatred of the eagles (ravens fans in my area despise the eagles. i have ravens friends who would root for the steelers over the eagles) i decided to hate the ravens. i’m glad they lost. i can’t wait to throw it in all of their faces

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 9:06 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I live in D.C. and know alot of Ravens fans from upper MD who despise the Eagles. I’ve always kinda rooted against Balt as well.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 10:39 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    That’s odd. I work in D.C. and live in No.Va. and nobody I know who likes the Ravens has much feeling one way or the other toward the Eagles, and that’s about how I feel about the Ravens. In fact, I kind of like them.

    I don’t think there’s any Baltimore-Philly rivalry the way there’s a D.C.-Baltimore rivalry or a Philly-New York rivalry … even though geography might suggest there should be.

  49. 49 Thorin McGee said at 9:05 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Well I’ve lost my faith in everything else, why not football too.

    QOTD from BGN comments (sorry, did not notice poster name, and this may be a paraphrasing):
    “In a world where Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning win two Super Bowls, how can it matter who our defensive coordinator is?”

  50. 50 Thorin McGee said at 9:09 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I don’t think I’m hating when I say that was the worst evening of NFL championship games I’ve ever seen. Both games were entirely decided by blown plays. I know some people thought those were great games because they were close, but they were only close because they were sloppy as an MTS toilet. Some good defense was played, but even on D opportunities were mostly dropped.

  51. 51 Anonymous said at 9:29 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I think we can stop calling Harbaugh (SF) a brilliant coach.
    One of the worst coached offenses I’ve ever watched in a playoff game.

    And for all the people who think the Eagles are too small, the “Law Firm” ran through the Ravens like a knife through soft butter. Where was Ngata?

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 10:15 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Look to Alex Smith instead of Harbaugh. He was putrid yesterday and couldn’t hit anything but the ground on the move. One on the least accurate QB’s out of the pocket I’ve ever seen in a game for someone who was supposed to be pretty mobile. SF’s ran the offense they’ve won with all year, and had guys open deep every chance they took. Smith just couldn’t connect but for 2 throws.

    15 for 68 and a td?? Hardly knife through soft butter if you ask me.I’ll take that 16 games/year. On the flip side, the big, physical Pats held Rice to 21 for 60 something and a td as well. The big and physical 9ers held NY’s new found running game to 25 for 87. Bottome line, big+physical+athletic > small+not physical+athletic

  53. 53 Furt said at 10:50 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Calling a reverse hand off in the pouring rain on your own end of the field… Harbaugh was stinkin up the joint there

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 10:25 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Harbaugh is a great coach who called a good game. Alas, his WRs are terrible and Alex Smith doing his best Donovan McNabb impression.

  55. 55 Anonymous said at 10:30 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    It was an extremely predictable game plan, run Gore, play action, simple routes, it took half a game to realize that the Giants are vulnerable underneath with Blackburn and Kiwanka in coverage. Every short yardage play seemed to be a run between the tackles that was stuffed.

    Knock MM all you want, but he’d have done a much better job of play calling. Smith did not pass well, but he didn’t have a lot of open targets.

    Harbaugh got the “new kid in town” glow this year, let’s see what happens next year.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 10:41 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Good point. His best strength seemed to be getting the most out of his players. I’ll be interested to see if he can sustain it once other NFL coaches have had a chance to study him and when players get geared up to play the 49ers.

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 2:46 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I agree, Harbaugh is clearly a good coach. He got Stanford competing with the big boys in the PAC-10(12), and took a 49er team that was 6-10 last season and had them one game away from the Super Bowl.

  58. 58 Mac said at 9:45 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    This year, and last night in specific have vindicated my thoughts on the NFL playoffs.

    When it’s a one game series and both teams are talented… the game is basically decided by luck. All those people who say you make your own luck can suck it. That notion is a bunch of garbage. I have no vested interest in any of these game and can honestly say they were decided by luck. Crazy plays determined the outcome.

    In the NFL the best team doesn’t always win. It would just be nice to hear some commentator on TV actually acknowledge this…

  59. 59 Thorin McGee said at 10:06 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    In the NFL, the best team usually wins unless it blows it. there’s a few games decided by bad calls, but even then, the better team had its chances. The Giants and Patriots both got lucky, but they were mostly lucky because the other team screwed up. That doesn’t mean the game was decided by luck, it just makes it unforgiving of mistakes.

    This is part of the NFL’s secret to success. Series make it seem like no games really matter because the sample size is large enough that any bobble can be overcome. In the NFL, everything matters. If you screw up and muff a punt, don’t grab a TD hard enough, just don’t take the game when you have a chance, then your team loses and it is your fault.

    It just all matters, every detail, and sometimes you don’t get a second chance. That’s not the same as the game being decided by luck.

  60. 60 Mac said at 2:22 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    So you like luck… I suppose it was Williams excellent play that had him on the field this game, not the bad luck that Gin was hurt. I suppose it was the fact that the 49ers were so incompetent that they didn’t teach their punt returner that you’re not supposed to touch the ball if you’re not going to field it…or wait it looked like they did teach him that and he attempted to jump out of the way but failed by a very small margin, but of course the fact that an oblong shaped ball just happened to graze his knee has nothing to do with luck, that’s skill.

    Also, pro bowl kickers miss routine 33 yard field goals all the time…

    It all matters, but at the end of the day, you have two professional teams of players who are all professionals… any team CAN win… and often the deciding factor is a small….what I would call lucky… detail.

    I realize I’m not changing your mind with any of this… But I don’t have a better word to describe what happens than…luck

  61. 61 Thorin McGee said at 5:14 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I’m saying that luck as you’re describing it, to me, would mean something out of the control of the players and coaches. But it seems to me that most of what you’re talking about was within the control of the players and coaches. Execution isn’t luck. Are injuries? Yes, but that’s part of every NFL game. If the players on the field blew it, that ain’t luck.

    When I think of games truly decided by luck, I think of games 100% decided by officiating gaffes. Or the fog bowl! That was blind luck! A game where the fog rolled in and kept teams from scoring for 45 minutes so the team that scored first had to win is a different kind of luck than having a player screw up his execution. Execution is part of the game.

  62. 62 Mac said at 6:19 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I guess I just attribute more things to luck than you do… when the other team gift wraps the ball for you twice off of muffed punt/fumbles… that’s not really a Giant’s win in my mind as much as it is a “lucky” Giants win.

  63. 63 Mac said at 9:48 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Maybe next year the NFL can adopt a new playoff format…

    Punt, Pass, and Coin Toss.

    To increase fairness, the Coin Toss portion will be the only real deciding factor and it will be a best of 5. The team that has the most combined yards in the punt and pass competition gets to call the first flip, then the teams will alternate calling the flips.

    We could have a super bowl champion crowned in early January instead of having to wait till February and risk all these needless injuries.

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 10:41 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Coughlin is deffy a better coach than Reid….look at the amount of injuries that the Giants had this season and in spite of that they are going to the SB…on the other hand Reid gives excuses that we are a young team with rookies so we made mistakes…just a load of BS….they even picked a guy of the street – Blackburn as an LB and he plays decently….
    On another note….our Defense can learn a hing or two from the SF defense…the hustle pursuit and TACKLING was superb…that is one well coached unit…I hope Castillo was watching the game and taking notes…
    Did anyone else think that Harbaugh called a stupid game especially in the last quarter and the OT…Alex Smith was putrid and with 1.30 left in the game – they call for 3 straight passes taking 14 seconds of the clock…Gore was decent and I for one thought he could have deffy used a few more touches

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 10:49 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Don’t get carried away, Blackburn was on the Giants for a few years before he got cut this year, it would have been like the Eagles cutting Jordan then bringing him back.

    The Giant injuries have been a tad exaggerated, the one serious one was Thomas, Prince probably wouldn’t have beat out Ross or Webster as a rookie, Goff was a decent MLB, that’s about it for impact injuries. Victor Cruz coming out of nowhere (he was on the PS in 2010, if they knew he’d be this good he’d never have been exposed on waivers) more than makes up for any injuries. Ironically, if Steve Smith hadn’t been injured, Cruz probably would have been cut this year in favor of keeping Barden.

    The SF defense is a veteran unit with almost no 1st and 2nd year players other than Aldon Smith and Culliver, and Bowman in his 2nd year is the only young starter. Most of their starters and key reserves have 5 or more years of NFL experience (Tremaine Brock is in his 3rd season, that’s pretty much it). They were serious underachievers until this season. Their DC had an awful NFL track record until this season, but coached with Harbaugh at Stanford.

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 3:10 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Whoa, claiming that Vic Fangio the 49er DC had an awful NFL track record until this season is absurd. He coached the LBs on several good Saints teams in the ’80s, and the Saints had several pro-bowl LBs during his stint. He was DC under Dom Capers’ 12 win Carolina Panthers that went to the NFCC in 1996. He coached on some good Colts teams under Jim Mora, and the Ravens under Billick. His only sustained bad period was as DC for the Dom Campers coached Texans. Fangio has been successful at nearly all of his coaching stops in the NFL.

    Altough I’m not a 49er fan, I don’t think they underachievers, they were poorly coached. How can they go 13-3 with majority of the starters on offense and defense having been drafted by 49ers, i.e. homegrown talent.

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 3:20 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Fangio as DC:
    1995: 7/8
    1996: 10/2
    1997: 15/14
    1998: 30/27
    started strong, ended leaving a disaster behind him
    1999: 15/17
    2000: 21/15
    2001: 29/31
    inherited a disaster, brought it to mediocre, ended leaving a disaster behind him
    2002: 16/20
    2003: 31/27
    2004: 23/15
    2005: 31/32
    hmm, see a pattern developing?
    Bet on a SF defensive collapse in the next couple years!

  68. 68 Anonymous said at 5:31 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Are you serious?!?! You really think cutting and pasting two statistical categories really proves your point that Fangio is an awful DC!?! What a joke. You totally ignore Fangio as LB coach of the Saints from 1986-1994, when they had the “Dome Partol” LB crew that was arguably the best LB unit in the NFL. And your myopic focus on yards and points allowed ignores any and all the real life nuances (ageing talent or loss of veterans that’s not replaced, or poor drafiting/acquisition of talent by a GM) that likely contributed to the decline in performance of the defenses he coached.

    I bet actual current and ex NFL coaches–such as Dom Capers, Jim Mora, Brian Bellick, and the Harbuagh brothers–would strenuously disagree your assessment.

    If your good at seeing trends, what is your trend analysis of the Eagles defense under Juan Castillo?

  69. 69 Anonymous said at 9:25 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Who cares what he does as LB coach.

    Three different places, three different defenses deteriorated to terrible under his command. And yes, when you’re ranked 30th both points and yards allowed, that’s a terrible defense. He had to coach at Stanford b/c no one would hire him as a DC for 5 years.

    We’ll see where Juan is a couple years from now, but this year they started terrible and finished strong, FO rated them 7th in weighted DVOA, which takes into account opponent strength. That was the opposite of what we saw under Sean, who started strong and went steadily downhill. Carolina had the worst defense in the NFL this year, so that wasn’t a fluke.

    Any decent DC can take bad talent and get it to play mediocre, to be really bad requires both a lack of talent and poor coaching.

  70. 70 Anonymous said at 10:10 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    “Who cares what he does as a LB coach”?!? LMAO at that remark, considering how many DCs come from the ranks of LB coaches. Please put the Football Outsiders pipe down. Based on your metrics Jim Johnson was an awful DC in Indianapolis before his career in Philly, and thankfully you weren’t advising Andy Reid when he looked at a LB coach to be his DC.

  71. 71 Furt said at 12:38 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Play calling was bad (see comment above), but that series you pointed out…Awful. It made me ill watching it

  72. 72 Eric Weaver said at 11:13 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    So does the Giants success without Spags show that he may not be as good as people think he may be? He struggled defensively with the Rams.

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 11:34 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    No it just shows that I would rather have JPP and Cruz and BG and Cooper.

  74. 74 Mac said at 2:24 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Coaches can do a lot…. but they’re not on the field taking the snaps.

    It’s possible that Spags had a fluke year, it’s also possible that Fewell is a good coach. It’s also possible that the Rams just aren’t that good as a team defensively.

    I do think that Spags will struggle in NO… he will have to reinvent himself to make that defense work.

  75. 75 ike said at 11:54 AM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Hating the Giants, more than the Cowboys, I guess is a generational thing.

    The first Eagles game I saw was at Franklin Field. The Cowboys won the game 38-7 — and it wasn’t even that close. The next Eagles game I went to was at the Vet: Cowboys over Eagles, 42-7. Again . . . not that close.

    In the next 10 years, the Eagles blew through 4 head coaches, while the Cowboys went to 5 Super Bowls, winning 3.

    But the Giants back then were lousy like the Eagles. Then the G-men drafted Lawrence Taylor.

    For me, I can’t stand it if the Cowboys win a regular season game. But the Giants? The hate’s just not there because they didn’t piss all over the Eagles year after year for the decade before I turned 18.

    At present — as commenter Zach Kaplan richly documented — since Eli came to NYC, the Eagles and Giants have gone in different directions. Not a lot. But a few degrees at a time.

    The Giants have proven to be the better franchise. 2 SB appearances to 0 for the Birds.

    Regarding the Eagles’ lack of post-season bounces — that might have been different if Reid had given McNabb 3 WRs like D-Jax, Maclin, and Avant or Nicks, Manningham, and Cruz — instead of Thrash, Stinkston, Mitchell, and Greg Lewis.

    Seriously . . . Thrash, Pinkston, Mitchell, and Lewis. That was MAL-F’ing-PRACTICE!!!

  76. 76 Anonymous said at 7:02 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Cruz was pure luck, Giants put him on waivers in 2010 to move him to the PS.
    Manningham has horrible hands.
    Nicks over Mitchell is your only valid argument.

    Couglin takes over in 2004, makes the trade for Eli
    #34 Chris Snee
    #43 Corey Webster
    #74 Justin Tuck
    If Tuck does a VA (he was injured his first two years, what if he never got health/), Coughlin is probably fired by now
    #110 Jacobs
    #32 Kiwanuka
    #124 Barry Cofield
    #20 Aaron Ross
    #153 Kevin Boss
    #31 Phillips
    #63 Thomas
    #95 Manningahm
    #165 Goff
    There was never a magical Giant draft that built that team, they picked up some good FAs over the years, Robbins, Pierce, Canty, Boley.
    Yet overall they haven’t been better than the Eagles, they’ve gone 8-8 twice and 9-7 in the last seven years, it’s just when they jell, twice, they really jell, other wise it’s either miss the playoffs or one and out.
    This year is a perfect example, they limped into the playoffs, had a -6 point differential for the season, hard to claim this was a “good team.”

  77. 77 Anonymous said at 12:07 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Tim Tebow must believe in a different God than me, because the Big Man I know just keeps sticking it to us.

  78. 78 Matthew Verhoog said at 1:02 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Sometimes the Asserians win.

  79. 79 Philip Chapin said at 12:47 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    As a Penn State fan, I am rooting for the Pats, simply because I want O’Brien to have a nice gaudy diamond encrusted ring to take around on recruiting trips. As an Eagles fan I am just sick about this matchup…sigh

  80. 80 ike said at 1:15 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Have the Giants beaten the Eagles in the personnel front over the past five years?

    Anyone have any thoughts?

  81. 81 ike said at 1:15 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Have the Giants beaten the Eagles in the personnel front over the past five years?

    Anyone have any thoughts?

  82. 82 Steven Steiner said at 1:57 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    My attention span is a little short to go back all 5 years, but recently I’d say they had. The thing sticking in my mind are two particular drafts for the Giants. They wound up with Pierre Paul instead of Brandon Graham. Would they have won these games without Pierre Paul? I can honestly say they would not have. He’s all over the field, not just the backfield. I mean, that play where he tackled Alex Smith when he scrambled, turning around from pass rushing to reach out and grab him with those 18 feet long arms. He’s a special player. Advantage Giants. I love Jeremy Maclin, but Hakeem Nicks is a better player right now and he’s an awesome weapon for them. These are two drafts where we drafted the same position, and drafted HIGHER than the Giants trading up both times, and they got the better player when they stayed patt. Are drafts have not been awful of late, and you can’t say Maclin was a bad pick, he’s a really good WR – but facts are facts…

  83. 83 Anonymous said at 4:51 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Small sample bias, look at overall performance since 2004, and remember Eagles basically had to start rebuilding in 2005, Giants went 4-12 in 2003 and 6-10 in 2004 so they were a couple years ahead in that process:

    Giants 68-44
    Offense top ten 2005, 2008-2011
    Defense top ten 2008, bottom ten 2006, 2011
    Eagles 62-50
    Offense top ten 2006, 2008-2011
    Defense top ten 2007-2008, 2011

    Biggest difference is continuity at QB, Eli is in his prime and very durable
    And Giants have had two hot playoff runs off mediocre regular seasons where they backed into the playoffs

  84. 84 Anonymous said at 6:42 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Okay . . . so how do we fix that?

    Vick is not in Mannings’ class. All else being equal (and it’s not), the Giants will remain better.

  85. 85 Anonymous said at 9:27 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    We had as good of an offense and a better defense in 2011.

    Just have to get the TOs back to “normal” which is about 25 a year instead of 38. That would probably result in 2-3 more wins.

  86. 86 Brian said at 1:49 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I’m extremely envious of the Giants. They’ve ridden their hot streak all the way to a Superbowl that they might win.

    The Eagles would have gotten into the playoffs with one more win, but if things had broken the way we needed them to in the last two weeks of the season, does anyone have any confidence that the Eagles are capable of playing four consecutive quality games against good opponents?

    It seems the only constant with this team since at least 2007 is that you just don’t really know what you’re going to get from week to week. The Eagles were this team after the 2008 season, they got hot at the right time and beat the Vikings and Giants on the road…only to come out with that pathetic first half against the Arizona Frickin’ Cardinals.

  87. 87 Mac said at 2:30 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I don’t understand why everyone gets so hyped about Super Bowls… With all the weird and fluky junk that has to happen for a team to actually make it there… I guess I’m just not that impressed. With the “one game series” that exists in the NFL, any team that enters the playoffs has as much chance as any other team that made it to win. So in my opinion playoff appearances are really the only reasonable measuring stick. A stick that our Eagles fell short of this year.

    Raise a pint to 2012!

  88. 88 Anonymous said at 2:01 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Should the Giants D stop Tom Brady & Co in Indy, is there a chance to take a look at Fewell to become our DC?!

  89. 89 Brian said at 2:15 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Why would he take that job? Offer him HC.

  90. 90 Anonymous said at 3:40 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    This is the worst Superbowl possible for me out of the 12 teams who made the playoffs.

    But I guess the silver lining is Bill Obrien can come to Penn State off of a Super Bowl win.

  91. 91 Anonymous said at 3:51 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Speaking of depression . . . Peter King reports in his MMQB column that:

    “Someone Who Knows told me a major roadblock to Steve Spagnuolo taking the defensive coordinator job in Philadelphia was the presence of very strong personality Jim Washburn on the defensive line.”


    Does that explain how JC became DC last season?

    Is hiring a D-line coach before the DC a good move . . . even if sacks increase while TOs decrease?

  92. 92 Anonymous said at 4:04 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Peter King is a moron who knows nothing about football. If he ever does get information from a real source, chances are that he misinterprets it before he ever writes it down.

    I recommend you only experience his ill-informed and hackneyed writing through the lens of Kissing Suzy Kolber’s weekly analysis of his column:

  93. 93 Anonymous said at 4:30 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I don’t know Peter King’s IQ . . .

    But he’s predicted 4 of the Eagles last 5 picks in the 1st / 2nd round.

    I’d say he has a descent bead on the Eagles.

  94. 94 Anonymous said at 4:48 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Having a decent bead on the Eagles would require him to think about football and that’s time he’d rather spend spouting off about the Boston Red Sox.

    Seriously… The idea that Peter King of all people has some kind of insight into the Philadelphia Eagles that goes beyond what any person that reads this forum regularly already knows is ludicrous.

    I guarantee you he was just repeating some opinion he heard from another sportswriter as if it was inside information.

  95. 95 Anonymous said at 6:39 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    The guy called Watkins, McCoy, D-Jax, and Justice as Eagles picks.

    Sorry. I don’t but that he’s a complete loser.

  96. 96 Anonymous said at 10:09 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    He also called the trade up for Brandon Graham.

  97. 97 Anonymous said at 4:24 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    If this is true, that really bothers me. There is no question he improved our dline, but the defense as a whole must work together. It’s useless if only the dline is playing well. The fact (if true) that quality defensive coordinators are passing on the job because of an inability to work with Washburn says a lot. It also makes you wonder if we missed out on other DCs this year and last year because of him.

  98. 98 Kammich said at 4:06 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Senior Bowl, baby!

    Russell Wilson measured in at a hair over 6-foot. I’m happy for the kid. I’d absolutely love to add him in the 5th or 6th round and develop the hell out of him. There’s always a place for a kid like that on a football team.

  99. 99 Anonymous said at 4:34 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Wilson’s exciting. A real play-maker. Good arm. Pretty decent accuracy, too.

    But I’d think I’d rather have a young guy with McNabb’s height/weight at this point. Not Vick’s.

    UNLESS . . . Russell Wilson has the pocket presence of a Drew Brees, i.e., sliding to find throwing lanes. And not taking off at the first sign of trouble.

  100. 100 Kammich said at 4:12 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Mayock has Dre Kirkpatrick as his 5th-ranked CB. o_O

    Wonder if that is solely based off of the character concerns, or is it an on-the-field assessment? I’ll be looking forward to Mayock’s take on that.

  101. 101 Morton said at 4:17 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    My theory is this:

    There are four cursed franchises in the NFL, two for each conference: The Eagles, Vikings, Browns, and Chargers.

    Every team has suffered plenty of heartbreak throughout the history of the NFL, have had long-suffering fanbases, great teams that failed inexplicably in the playoffs, and peers who are far more successful in the Super Bowl.

    The Eagles are the NFC equivalent of the Chargers: effete, finesse passing offenses over the years integral to their dominant teams that nevertheless suffered crushing upsets in playoff games despite several teams loaded with talent (Fouts era Chargers, then recent Chargers teams, and the Jaworski era Eagles, Ryan era Eagles, and now recent teams)

    The Vikings are the NFC equivalent of the Browns: lost-in-the-wilderness franchises who once fielded crushingly dominant defenses but lost multiple times at the pinnacle of their success before ever winning a Super Bowl (Vikings in four Super Bowls, and the Browns in four AFCCGs) and now stumble through seasons as consistent dreck of the league

    In 20 years, these will be the four remaining franchises to remain without a Super Bowl win. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Tenessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, and Detroit Lions will all win a Super Bowl before the Four Cursed Franchises do.

    While we watch the Giants celebrate yet another Lombardi Trophy, we can look forward to yet another miserable year of failed expectations and wretched losses. Hopefully, this year will at least remove one of the tumors symptomatic of the cursed nature of the franchise and we see the long-overdue firing of Andy Reid. We can only hope, but in the end, it won’t matter because this team, like the three others, is destined to never win a Super Bowl.

  102. 102 Kammich said at 4:28 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Not gonna stop me from rooting for them, bub.

  103. 103 Anonymous said at 4:52 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Won’t stop any of us . . . bub.

    But it’s interesting how the Giants’ run to the SB this season puts Reid’s last 7 years in Philly in a pretty stark light that reflects the Eagles’ post-season disappointments.

    QUESTION: What exactly does it take to win a damn SB? A big QB? A small QB who can find throwing lanes? A good running game? Great receivers? A dominant defense? A turnover-driven defense? Just a pass rush?

    Also, is Morton’s *curse* theory all because Eagles’ fans at Franklin field threw snowballs at Santa Clause?

    Maybe Laurie should bring Santa back and the fans can give him a standing ovation . . . maybe that’ll break the curse.

  104. 104 Kammich said at 5:10 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I don’t really get Morton’s theory, to be honest. Not to mention, I flat-out don’t believe in “curses” to begin with.

    The Detroit Lions have been around for 3 years longer than the Eagles and have never even made a Super Bowl appearance. They have 14 playoff appearances in over 80 seasons.

    The Cardinals(in all of their different locations) have made the playoffs a grand total of 8 times in 92 seasons.

    How in the hell are we more “cursed” than a team like the Lions or Cardinals? We’re not. Morton just likes beating dead horses. Horses that died because he drowned them in negativity pessimism.

  105. 105 Morton said at 5:30 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    The Lions have never flirted with expectations and crushed dreams and broken hearts.

    I guarantee you that this current Lions core with Stafford will win a Super Bowl in a summarily easy fashion, with rapid progression in each year culminating in a Super Bowl victory within the next three years. Nothing like that could ever happen to a cursed franchise. The Lions are merely late-bloomers.

  106. 106 Anonymous said at 6:38 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Hell . . . with a good QB, the Cards’ll be right back in it.

    K-Kolb, respectfully, is not the answer. Had he been here this entire season, it’d have been even worse than what we saw w/ VY and MV

  107. 107 Thorin McGee said at 5:08 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    How can you in the same post blame a curse, and then turn around and blame the coach? If a curse is to blame, then there’s nothing Reid could have done anyway. It’s the curse or the coach, pick one. You can’t have both.

  108. 108 Morton said at 5:32 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I didn’t blame Reid. I said he was a tumor symptomatic of the curse. Only a cursed franchise would be saddled with an inept bumbling coach like Reid for more than 13 years without any real championship results.

    You have to be cursed to be forced to watch another coach in the same division win two Super Bowls in a five year span while your own coach hasn’t won one in 13 years and will never win one.

    Reid is one of the manifestations of the curse inherent to the franchise. He’s like the plague of locusts in the Bible. It’s one of the cruel injustices we, as fans of a cursed franchise, have to be subjected to: the Joe Paterno of the NFL without any championships to show for it.

  109. 109 Anonymous said at 9:29 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    If only Reid could get opponents to run into each other and drop bad passes , or to muff punts, or drop sure interceptions.

    Obviously, he has to work on his voodoo technique.

  110. 110 Thorin McGee said at 10:44 AM on January 24th, 2012:

    So you admit there’s no logical reason to fire Andy Reid?

  111. 111 Kammich said at 4:30 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    I love this North squad’s group of RBs and LBs. 7-on-7s should be fun to watch.

  112. 112 Anonymous said at 6:14 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    Not only did Williams allow the team I hate the most to make the SB, he cost me $ in fantasy for his two fumbles. If I have to watch Jacobs do hid corny celebration, I might break my tv. I feel like a hater when I say it but how does Eli always get breaks. He throws it up and turn his whole body and his guy catches it or nobody picks it

    PR cost ravens and niners, these dudes need to realize the team is more important than them taking a chance to make a play.

    Niners d played amazing, I would love the eagles d to have a little bit of their toughness.

    Smith won’t throw the ball past 7 yards unless the guy is open by 5 yards

  113. 113 Anonymous said at 6:18 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    When was the last time eagles got a break in the playoffs like these other teams?

  114. 114 Anonymous said at 6:34 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    In 2008, I’d say.

    They played the Vikings w/ Tavaris Jackson at QB. Could they have gotten more luck?

    Then the next week, they played at Giants stadium — in a gale wind — against Eli Manning, which Eli still can’t handle . . . but which D-Mac always could. (2004 NFC title game!!!)

    In NFC title game, in the 2nd half, D-Jax caught a long TD pass that Rogers Cromartie should have at least batted down, but instead tipped it up and D-Jax made a juggling catch.

    But then came the uncalled pass-interference call.

  115. 115 Anonymous said at 7:32 AM on January 24th, 2012:

    I meant punt return/kick return fumbles and stuff like that. I feel eagles never get stuff like that in the pkayoffs.

    The desean catch wasn’t tipped if I remember correctly. He beat drc and drc amazingly caught up to him at the last second and just missed the tip, the ball hit desean in the face and bounced and then he caught it. But his man was beat a nd didn’t tip it.

    Yeah rod hood def PI’d

    West had that 70 yard screen play, that was a little lucky but I mean fumbles and stuff near our end zone.

  116. 116 Anonymous said at 7:15 PM on January 23rd, 2012:

    The natural order of things is for the Eagles to play in a division full of big name teams that win Super Bowls, yet never win one themselves. As Eagles fans we eek pleasure out of the Eagles beating those teams, occasionally playing spoiler, but never being so pretentious to believe our team will rise to heights of our divisional rivals. The key to happiness lies in the acceptance of our station.

  117. 117 Alex Whiteleather said at 7:31 AM on January 24th, 2012:

    It’s a really tough pill to swallow that piles onto a miserable season. However, I don’t care to dwell on two of my least favorite teams being in the Bowl. Any combo of Steelers, Pats, Boys, Giants is my nightmare but honestly, I’m over having a pity party and moving forward. If the Pats win we have to deal with another Brady/Belichick title and be reminded of our lone Bowl loss to one of the smuggest franchises ever or the Giants win they can simply rub another ring in our face and I’ve dealt with that crap my whole life so what’s one more to rub in going to do. I’m hoping for a good game may the best team win and here’s hoping the Birds get there next year..

  118. 118 Anonymous said at 8:03 AM on January 24th, 2012:

    Per the discussion on being lucky: If I may get technical and nerdy for a moment! What some people refer to as luck is what others call events that occur in the tail of the distribution. Most people tend to think of events being drawn from a normal or Gaussian distribution in which there is the “average” event and deviations from which occur with regularity in equal magnitude in both the positive and negative direction.

    When an event occurs that typically is not associated with being drawn from a normal distribution, we tend to think of it as being abnormal and sometimes “lucky” or “unlucky.” However, there is a difference between a tail event and luck. A tail event is just one that you cannot, with any degree of real accuracy, predict. I doesn’t mean they shouldn’t occur, or that it is random chance. I think the reason why we like to associate tail events with randomness is because they are by definition low probability events, but tend to have profound consequences because you normally don’t take them into account.

    This doesn’t even get into the fact that the outcomes of plays may not actually be drawn from a normal distribution, but that’s a different and more complicated topic, but possibly more important. In short, some events are drawn from distributions that exhibit “fat-tails;” meaning the extreme events tend to occur with more regularity than you would think if you assume the events are drawn from a normal distribution. Moreover, the tails don’t have to be symmetric; they can be either more likely to be below or above the “average” depending on the distribution.

    These events ARE the ones that shape football games. The fumble of the ball that lands into a defenders lap in full stride returned for a td, the INT where defenders collide that falls incomplete, the tipped ball that either is caught or intercepted, etc. The fact of the matter is that the more often defenses created situations in which something negative can occur for the offense, more often something negative will occur.

    Defenses typically play with facing the ball, so that any time the ball is in the air there are numerous people watching and reacting to it. Offenses rely on timing and spacing on the field to go where they are supposed to go. Defense is more reactionary. They will naturally be better suited to get the tipped ball. Fumbles are a little bit different in terms of expecting to recover one, but the more often the ball is stripped, the more often it will be recovered; perhaps not in percentage terms, but in absolute terms.

    The Giants weren’t lucky that Williams knee hit the ball; he made a poor decision by being that close to the ball knowing that it doesn’t bounce perfectly straight every time. He should’ve fielded the punt to begin with since he had droves of daylight ahead of him. The Giants weren’t lucky that he fumbled the next punt because the Giants defender knocked the ball away from him; something that does occur, just not on the majority of plays.

    That’s all….