Again, another Monday Night Bust. Now as an Eagles fan, I certainly take solace in the win, but I'll be honest; beyond the first quarter the game was uninteresting...especially to a national base. What it do do was assist in explaining the playoff scenarios, which essentially leave the top four something like this:
- Dallas Cowboys - Win out and they're in (Baltimore, @ Philadelphia). That being said, they certainly have the toughest remaining schedule, given that Baltimore most likely needs to win out as well to get in and Philadelphia is potentially playing for a birth of its own and/or pride in preventing the Cowboys fromg getting in
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Again, win out and they're in (San Diego, Oakland). Tampa faces the most interesting test. Oakland is a total slouch and easy game, while the San Diego game wreaks of potential upset given the way the Bucs have played the last two weeks. Still San Diego has to travel and the Buc defense is still fairly solid. They appear to have the easiest road into the playoffs
- Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons technically need help to get in, and as state above, they also need to win out (@ Minnesota, St. Louis). Should either the Cowboys or Bucs falter once, the Falcons then move into position to claim a spot. The hitch is Minnesota (9-5) has a 1 game lead on Chicago (8-6) and also has the Giants in week 17. Should the Giants lose to Carolina and fall to 11-4, Minnesota has a chance to overtake the second seed and a bye by beating them (tying their record and having the head-to-head tie breaker). So Minnesota has plenty of incentive to win. Their running attack could crush Atlanta, but their quarterback (Tavaris Jackson), regardless of his four TD game, is still a huge question mark.
- Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles are essentially in the same position as the Falcons and they also have two tough games that they must win (@ Washington, Dallas). Fortunately, by virtue of defeating Dallas in week 17, the Eagles move up (and everyone else) one spot. And therefore, they need one loss, by either Tampa or Atlanta to assume the 6th seed (and if both lose, the 5th). It may appear that they're in the worst position of the four, but its basically the same as Atlanta's and I'd argue the Cowboys is worse (they have the two toughest games by far).
- Chicago Bears - The most improbable of playoff births, Chicago needs tons of help and also must win out (Packers, @ Texans). Then they need three of the following four things to happen: A) Cowboys lose to both Baltimore and Philly, B) The Falcons to lose to Minnesota and and St. Louis, C) The Bucs to lose to San Diego and Oakland, or D) The Eagles to lose once to either Dallas or Washington. Of course, this can be alleviated by Minnesota losing out (Atlanta, New York Giants) and Chicago winning out, thus giving them a one game lead. I'd argue this is Chicago's best chance.
- New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins - Technically speaking, they both can get in contingent on winning out, but its almost impossible. They need four of the five teams above to lose out in order to get in and some other weird instances. Its essentially impossible.
- Carl Peterson resigns as the Chiefs GM...Probably because that team has perpetually sucked ass for years (though they have had their occasional explosive team). This can't bode well for Herm "You play to win the game!" Edwards.
- The Phillies made a few subtle moves, keeping Jamie Moyer and adding Chan Ho Park. The Park deal is one year at $2.5 million that could reach $5 million with incentives. The Moyer deal is believes to be as much as $20 million, most likely based on some incentives (I surmise innings pitched, as his previous deal was).
- After news of the Angels 8 year offering over the weekend, it appears the Red Sox have made their own 8 year contract offering. Tim Dierkes at MLBTR cites Michael Silver of the Boston Herald in the possibility that the deal could be worth more than $170 million and perhaps close to $200.
- In some other stunning developments, Rafael Furcal is expected to go back to Atlanta and Jake Peavy is now going to stay in San Diego...for now.
- Chase Utley appeared before the Philadelphia media yesterday to address things from his surgery to his now infamous parade speech. He plans to be ready for opening day, though the Phils are more pessimistic, expecting Eric Bruntlett to fill in for about a month. And he had this to say about his World Series speech:
"That was definitely an emotional day that we all had," Utley said. "That drive down Broad Street to the park was one of the best days of my life. I imagine for a lot of Phillies fans it was the same. I could have used different words to express myself. At the time, I didn't. I tell all kids not to use that word. If they're 29 and they win the World Series, I think they can say that. But I definitely would say to all the kids out there, 'Kids, it's a bad word. Don't say it.' And I'm dead serious."Is there any doubt this guy won't be in Philly (and a hero) for his entire career?
- Jared Allen believes in Karma...which is ironic given his thoughts regarding Carl Peterson.
- Someone at the LA Times refered to Northeastern Alum Jose Juan Barea as a "Mexican Smurf" - Man that paper is alllll classssss. For the record, JJB is not 6 feet tall...oh and he's Puerto Rican...If I remember correctly...Mayaguez is his home town.
- And finally, EC's DMt gives us the top 11 key sports moments in a fans life...