|10-28-2005, 11:56 AM||#1|
...there ain't no devil
Join Date: Aug 2005
S.I. game preview...and Fergie was a Ghost...
Hopefully none of this has been posted yet...
Apparently SI feels this is news of some kind...
... Broncos safety Nick Ferguson, who grew up in Florida, recalls, "I wore one of those cheap, plastic Casper the Friendly Ghost costumes that cost about $3. It had the rubber band that squeezes the back of your head, and you had this little mouth hole to breathe out of. The mask was really sweaty. Come on, in Miami? I was dying. It got to the point where I put the mask on my head, with my face exposed, went to houses and said, 'Trick or treat. Sorry but it's too hot for that damned mask.'
Philadelphia (4-2) at Denver (5-2)
The Broncos already are playing their fifth game at home (where they are 4-0), but the worm is about to turn. After the Eagles visit, Denver has just two home dates between now and Christmas Eve. Putting teams away has become a problem for the Broncos. The Giants rallied to beat them, and the Patriots and Redskins nearly did the same.
TIME: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. EST.
Maybe running the ball effectively isn't something the Philadelphia Eagles need to do as long as they prevent the opposition from doing it.
After shutting down arguably the NFL's best running back, the Eagles try to hold one of the league's most potent rushing attacks in check when they visit the Denver Broncos .
Coach Andy Reid's refusal to call more rushing plays has made opposing defenses focus that much more on Donovan McNabb and the passing game, resulting in two straight unimpressive performances from the Eagles offense.
The first of those games was a 33-10 loss to Dallas in Week 5, and the bye week did not make Reid alter his gameplan because McNabb set an Eagles record with 35 completions in 54 attempts last Sunday as Philadelphia escaped with a 20-17 win over San Diego.
''You need to balance it up a little more. We are a little too heavy with the passing,'' Reid said.
Philadelphia pulled off the win thanks to Quintin Mikell 's blocked field-goal attempt, which was returned 65 yards for the game-winning touchdown by Matt Ware with 2:25 to play. The Chargers drove to the Eagles' 19 on the ensuing possession, but cornerback Sheldon Brown stripped San Diego receiver Reche Caldwell , and defensive tackle Darwin Walker recovered.
While the play on special teams saved the day, the Eagles never would have won if not for their run defense. LaDainian Tomlinson was held to a career-low seven yards on 17 carries, and had his NFL record-tying streak of games with a touchdown stopped at 18.
Philadelphia knows stopping the run will be just as critical this week, facing a Broncos team which is second in the NFL with 158.7 yards per game.
Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell make Denver the only team with two players to have rushed for at least 450 yards. Anderson tops the team with 478, and Bell has 455, including 301 on just 33 attempts in the past three games.
''Those guys run downhill and each guy presents a different challenge for us, but they both run hard and both can break tackles,'' Eagles safety Brian Dawkins said. ''It's going to be a physical game. This is a team that certainly sticks behind the run.''
Philadelphia certainly doesn't.
The Eagles offense had 10 rushing attempts last week, excluding McNabb's scrambles and kneel-downs. Despite all of his pass attempts, McNabb threw for just 287 yards and one touchdown as he often settled for short throws.
Leading rusher Brian Westbrook had as many carries, 10, as he did receptions. Though he leads all NFL running backs with 35 catches and 367 receiving yards, Westbrook is averaging just 10.8 carries and 42.7 rushing yards per game.
In the last four games, he's run 25 times for 52 yards and has not scored a touchdown.
''You have to run the ball, you definitely do,'' McNabb said. ''When you get into a rhythm you have to stay with what's working. It's going to get better as this season continues on. It's only been six games.''
This might not be an ideal time for Reid to change things up.
The Broncos own the league's fifth-best run defense, allowing 89.6 yards per game. Meanwhile, they're 26th against the pass and their eight sacks - none in the last three games - are tied for fewest in the NFL with Cleveland.
''If you really studied the film, you'd feel pretty good about our rush,'' Denver coach Mike Shanahan insisted. ''Obviously, you'd want more sacks. If you studied our guys and how hard they're working, those sacks will come.''
Denver had a five-game winning streak snapped last week, losing 24-23 to the New York Giants on Eli Manning 's 2-yard touchdown pass with 5 seconds left.
The Broncos blew a 23-10 lead in the fourth quarter. They've been outscored 68-29 in the final period this season.
''Hopefully, we've got the same opportunity next week,'' Shanahan said. ''I'm hoping that we're up by 14, 21 points so I can find out if my words of wisdom have sunk in or not. That's the problem I want.''
STANDINGS: Eagles - 1st place (tied), NFC East. Broncos - 1st place, AFC West.
EAGLES LEADERS: Offense - McNabb, 1,751 passing yards and 12 passing TDs; Westbrook, 256 rushing yards; Westbrook and Lamar Gordon , 1 rushing TD; Terrell Owens , 44 receptions, 609 receiving yards and 5 receiving TDs. Defense - Dawkins and Darwin Walker , 2 1/2 sacks; Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown , 2 INTs.
BRONCOS LEADERS: Offense - Jake Plummer , 1,335 passing yards and 8 passing TDs; Anderson, 478 rushing yards; Anderson and Bell, 3 rushing TDs; Rod Smith , 37 receptions and 483 receiving yards; Kyle Johnson , 3 receiving TDs. Defense - Gerard Warren , 2 sacks; Champ Bailey , 3 interceptions.
EAGLES TEAM RANK: Rushing Offense - 57.5 yards per game (32nd in NFL); Passing Offense - 299.7 ypg (1st); Total Offense - 357.2 ypg (7th). Rushing Defense - 101.8 ypg (T-10th); Passing Defense - 219.2 ypg (22nd); Total Defense - 321.0 ypg (20th).
BRONCOS TEAM RANK: Rushing Offense - 158.7 yards per game (2nd); Passing Offense - 181.4 ypg (25th); Total Offense - 340.1 ypg (13th). Rushing Defense - 89.6 ypg (5th); Passing Defense - 240.6 ypg (26th); Total Defense - 330.1 ypg (22nd).
LAST MEETING: Oct. 4, 1998; Broncos, 41-16. At Denver, Terrell Davis rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns, and ex-Eagle Bubby Brister threw for four TDs.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Eagles - McNabb's 1,751 passing yards are two fewer than his total through six games last season, but he has 41 more attempts. ... WR Owens is tied for the league lead with 44 receptions but is averaging just 8.6 yards per catch over the last two games, compared to 15.8 during Weeks 1-4. ... K Jose Cortez was claimed off waivers from Dallas and will take over for Todd France , who was released. K David Akers (hamstring) is expected to return in the next few weeks. Broncos - K Jason Elam has missed six field-goal attempts, one more than all of last season and two more than in 2003... Under Shanahan, the Broncos are 17-4 at home against NFC opponents. ... WR Smith needs one TD to tie Davis for the most in team history with 65.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Eagles - 1-2 on the road; Broncos - 4-0 at home.
INJURIES: Eagles: OUT: K Akers (right hamstring). DOUBTFUL: LB Jason Short (ankle). PROBABLE: DE Trent Cole (hamstring); P Dirk Johnson (groin); QB McNabb (sports hernia); RB Ryan Moats . (concussion); WR Owens (shoulder); TE Stephen Spach (ankle); DT Darwin Walker (thigh). Broncos: DOUBTFUL: S Sam Brandon (shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: CB Lenny Walls (groin). PROBABLE: CB Bailey (hamstring); LB Keith Burns (shoulder); S Nick Ferguson (ankle); T George Foster (knee); QB Plummer (left shoulder).
Oh, and here's Anna Kournikova. The Ace King of the tennis world, looks good, but never wins.
(I stole that one from the WSP)
Last edited by Dagmar; 10-28-2005 at 12:02 PM..
|10-28-2005, 12:20 PM||#2|
...there ain't no devil
Join Date: Aug 2005
We don't like SI around here do we...?