And so this is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year over, and a new one just begun…
Apologies to the late John Lennon, who actually did some footy commentary in the MNF booth with Howard Cosell, Dandy Don and Al Michaels one night back in the day, but Happy Christmas to all!
However, football war is far from over.
A win over Oakland and the Eagles clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. Sounds simple, right? But Dave Spadaro of PE.com reminds us: “The Eagles need to play a great football game tonight to win. That’s the mindset needed against an Oakland team that many thought before the season would be in the Super Bowl conversation with rising quarterback Derek Carr throwing to Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, with running back Marshawn Lynch added to bring some bruise to the ground game, with a defense spearheaded by an offense-wrecking pass rusher in Khalil Mack.”
“They don’t look like a 6-8 team when you watch the film,” Pro Bowl offensive guard Brandon Brooks said. “This is a good football team coming in.”
It’s gonna be cold and windy at the Linc tonight. I don’t expect a lot of “getting cute” on offense for the Eagles. Perhaps more importantly, the Eagles defense needs a bounce-back game. Fran Duffy of PE.com wants to see the D put up a strong showing in front of the home crowd, where they’ve been so good under Jim Schwartz for the last two seasons: “The key this week will be tackling, and that’s against both the run and the pass. Marshawn Lynch is a beast to bring down in all areas of the field, and wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are both slippery after the catch.”
[Meanwhile, the NFC playoff field has one remaining opening after Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Carolina joined Minnesota and the Eagles in the postseason. Here’s what it comes down to: Atlanta controls its positioning, and a win at home on Sunday against Carolina puts the Falcons into the tournament. A loss by Atlanta and a win by Seattle over Arizona puts the Seahawks in.]
Kickoff is at 8:30 P.M. EST.
Local Radio: 94.1 FM
National Radio: Westwood One
Vegas betting line: Eagles favored by 10
Once again we are spoiled by the benefit of having Ryan Lubrich’s alternative live game thread available to us.
Here’s a link to his live in-game talk show if you wish to give it a look:
As Ryan explains, it’s like a chat channel, primarily used by like-gamers who stream on Twitch, but he figured we might be able to use it for gameday chats. I have found it to be very functional and very entertaining. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of some of the whistles and bells, but after a short while I was zooming along with the other EYE guys and Bored members there talking Eagles football.
It even auto-refreshes on every comment!