I’ve decided to provide running commentary on the Eagles vs. Bengals game today. If anyone was curious about my mindset as I watch a football game, here’s your big chance. I’ll be posting updates every quarter.
10 minutes before kickoff – I’m watching the game at Squinty’s house. The Eagles used to never lose when we watched the game here, but that was in low def. Since he upgraded to high def, they have since lost, so there are no guarantees. However, they are playing the Bengals, who suck, and the Eagles have proven very capable of beating bad teams. This is also the week that McNabb has gotten injured the past three seasons, so I’m hoping that he can get through this game healthy.
4 minutes before kickoff – First “Saveeed byyyy zeeero” Toyota commercial!
14:40 – First Bengals play is a screen pass that works perfectly, gaining almost 20 yards. Eagles have not started strong the last few weeks, so this is a bad sign.
12:45 – Never mind, Eagles force a punt.
12:08 – Back from commercial, and the Fox robot is using a leaf blower. Seeing what the robot is doing is fun the first time you see it. Much less fun the next twenty times.
12:04 – Knowing McNabb gets off to slow starts and has bad touch, the first play is a short pass that requires good touch. Not surprisingly it is incomplete.
11:13 – McNabb is off to a stellar start as he overthrows a wide open Kevin Curtis badly. Eagles must punt.
9:25 – Bengals fans just booed an unsuccessful running play. That’s even quicker to start booing the home team than you usually get in Philly.
8:30 – So are we supposed to relate to the Samsung commercial where the rich woman says everything in her house must be perfect, and then her family gets a big screen TV without asking her? And she then relents, and allows them to keep the TV while they’re watching a football game. Is this supposed to be inspiration to all whipped husbands out there? Like if you have a shrewish, overbearing wife, go behind her back to buy a TV and hope she says its OK? Sadly, there probably are a lot of fans who can relate to this.
8:15 – The Eagles actually run the ball! It only gains 2 yards, but its still exciting.
7:45 – McNabb throws another off target third down pass and we have another three and out. Eagles have gained one yard in two series.
5:31 – Eagles get called for a ridiculous roughing the passer call. Basically, you can not hit the QB without getting a penalty anymore.
1:23 – Two running plays in a row! This is really exciting.
0:38 – And McNabb promptly fumbles, Bengals recover, and they are down just short of the end zone. That doesn’t stop the announcers from openly rooting for the Bengals’ defender to get in for the touchdown.
End of first quarter – For the quarter, the Eagles gained six total yards and no first downs. McNabb has one pass completed, zero yards passing, and a lost fumble. And yet people have somehow said he is a slow starter? Can’t they have him play a simulated game in warmups or something?
14:25 – Eagles make a stand on defense, and force a field goal. 3-0 Bengals, but it could have been a lot worse.
13:55 – Second completion for McNabb! Still no first downs though.
13:12 – And then a screen pass to Corell Buckhalter goes for 45 yards. Can anyone explain why Reid doesn’t use him more?
12:20 – There’s a player on the Bengals named Chris Crocker, and his name keeps prompting “Leave Britney Alone!” jokes from Squinty and myself.
11:12 – The drive stalls but David Akers kicks a 4 yard field goal to tie the game. The offense at least showed some life there which is good.
10:02 – Does the guy in the UPS Whiteboard commercial want his hair to look like that?
9:55 – Eagles try a flea flicker. It doesn’t work, but still kinda exciting. The announcers point out that if the defense doesn’t think you’re actually going to run, flea flickers don’t work so well.
9:31 – Eagles follow that with an attempted end around that also doesn’t work. Andy Reid is showing a lot of confidence in his basic offense here.
9:08 – And the Eagles have to call a timeout on third down. Apparently Reid was too distracted by eating a donut to get the play call in on time.
7:37 – After having a 2nd and 1, the Eagles pass twice and do not get the first down. I don’t understand how this team is so bad in short yardage situations. The announcers are openly commenting on the Eagles ineptitude.
3:12 – The Bengals’ fumble is announced by Squinty and I both screaming “Fumble!” Because you can’t watch a game and see a fumble without somebody screaming “Fumble!”
3:11 – Long break as the Bengals Antonio Chatman is taken off on a stretcher. That’s always unfortunate.
1:16 – McNabb throws a bad interception, killing what looked like a possible scoring drive. McNabb does hustle back to make the tackle and does not get hurt. I’m really digging for positives here.
0:33 – The Eagles defense for some reason went into a soft zone. It fails miserably. Touchdown Bengals.
0:33 – The kickoff goes out of bounds. The Eagles get the ball on the 40 yard line with three timeouts. In theory, plenty of time to get into field goal range. But that would assume that Andy Reid could run an effective two minute offense. The first play is a screen pass that goes nowhere. i’d be shocked if they scored on this drive.
0:09 – After a nice long pass to DeSean Jackson to give them a chance to score, McNabb throws a pass off of Kevin Curtis’ shoulder for another interception.
End of first half – That was about as bad as an NFL offense can look. McNabb had three turnovers. Many coaches might turn to the running game when the passing game is doing so poorly. But that’s not how Andy Reid rolls. Brian Westbrook, who in theory is their best player has four rushing attempts. I just have to keep telling myself “Phillies are World Series Champions.” And really, Andy Reid can’t remain coach of the Eagles forever, can he?
13:17 – Eagles fumble the kickoff, but recover. They gain nine yards on the first two plays which brings up another 3rd and 1. I’m not holding my breath here. Sure enough, McNabb’s pass is tipped and the Eagles have to punt. The Bengals return the punt into Eagles territory. So we’re off to a stellar start to this half.
12:02 – Bizarre play where what looked like a Bengals incomplete pass is ruled a fumble. Sadly, it hit the sideline before the Eagles recovered. Andy Reid delivered what I think might have been the first ever fake of a challenge, pretending to throw the red challenge flag, but ultimately (wisely) deciding not to. Bengals kick a field goal to go up by 10.
9:49 – McNabb makes a nice play, escaping pressure and almost crossing the line of scrimmage (If Eli Manning didn’t cross it last week, McNabb didn’t cross here) before firing a pass to Mr. Kendra Wilkinson (Hank Baskett) who runs down to the 7. The announcers concede that the Eagles probably won’t run the ball again this game.
9:30 – McNabb throws a touchdown to LJ Smith. After the extra point and a round of me singing “Fly Eagles Fly!” and the Eagles are only down by 3: 13-10.
9:29 – The new Coors Light “venting” commercial cracks me up because the husband is played by the guy who played U-Turn on Weeds.
8:08 – The Bengals run an Eagle-like play where on 3rd and 1, they run a long pitch play, forcing the running back to run seven yards to gain one. I love it when coaches outsmart themselves.
7:21 – Amazingly, the Eagles do run the ball again. On 2nd and 10 which is Reid’s favorite time to run the ball. He thinks it will catch the defense off guard even though he does it all the time. The play gains one yard.
5:47 – Running play on first down! This is monumental.
3:43 – After the announcers spend the last few minutes saying how great McNabb has been playing, he throws a horrible interception to Chris Crocker. “Leave Donovan alone!!!!” And then Fox shows the DirecTV commercial with Chevy Chase and Christie Brinkley. Yes, this is officially horrible.
3:17 – The announcer (It’s Kenny Albert by the way) comments how “This isn’t what you’d expect to see from a quarterback who’s been in the league as long as McNabb.” He apparently doesn’t watch many Eagles games, as I could probably compile a DVD entitled “Ineplicable Decisions by Donovan McNabb.”
0:05 – McNabb almost throws another interception. He’s trying his hardest to set his personal record for interceptions in a game.
End of third quarter – Westbrook gains big yards on a run play to end the quarter. Somehow, the Eagles are in this game despite playing so horribly thus far. Of course it helps that the Bengals suck.
15:00 – Our chicken parm subs arrive in time for the start of the quarter. So things are looking up!
13:47 – Chris Crocker sacks McNabb on third down. Seriously, leave Donovan alone.
13:10 – After drinking caffienated soda up to this point, I’ve now switched to beer. This probably won’t end well for anyone around me later on.
9:57 – The Eagles have a 9 yard gain, bringing up 2nd and 1. And Westbrook runs the ball and gets the first down. I think everyone is a little shocked.
7:47 – Oh lord, facing 4th and less than a yard, instead of going for the game tying field goal, they go for it. Even though they’ve had no success on short yardage all year.
7:05 – And Reid actually calls for a quarterback sneak, and its successful.
6:44 – McNabb is trying his best to get hurt by throwing a big block on an end around play. He’s OK though.
5:40 – And we have another 4th and 1. And they’re going for it again…or not. They just called timeout. Presumably so Reid can go get a donut. As Squnity says, if you went for it earlier, you pretty much have to go for it here too. I would prefer to see a game tying field goal though.
5:18 – And they kick the field goal. Probably a smart play, but Squinty is right. If you go for it earlier, you have to go for it here. But its now a tie game.
5:15 – King of the Hill is cancelled. I realize I haven’t watched that show in about eight years.
5:12 – After watching the commercial for Family Guy, we learn that Squinty has never heard of a “Hurts Donut.” Apparently, he never went to elementary school.
2:44 – I point out now that I can’t recall McNabb leading a game winning fourth quarter drive since 2004.
2:00 – And yet another 3rd and 1.
1:56 – Pass is batted down. Can you say fatal flaw?
1:48 – Eagles punter Sav Rocca delivers a 17 yard punt. This is some clutch play right here.
1:25 – And the Eagles get the ball back on the 30 yard line. Two timeouts left. Going into the wind. Fox puts up the friendly reminder that the Eagles are 0-4 in games decided by six points or less.
1:03 – Three incomplete passes later, and another short punt. The Eagles are doing their best to give this game away.
0:08 – Eagles get the ball back. And the Eagles choose to run the ball. We’re going to overtime.
End of the fourth quarter – First OT game since 2006. The Eagles lost that one. But they win the coin flip and get the ball. But are going against the wind.
13:02 – McNabb makes a great throw to Jason Avant on third down. Only the pass is five yards short of a first down and the Eagles have to punt.
8:08 – The Bengals, apparently have no great desire to win the game either as they run on 3rd and 6 and come nowhere near the first down.
7:27 – In case anyone missed it, Eagles defensive end Trent Cole went to school in Cincinnati. The announcers have only mentioned this about thirty times.
6:36 – I kinda hope that Westbrook is playing injured, otherwise he looks like he’s on the downside of his career. The old burst doesn’t seem to be there.
5:45 – Kevin Curtis’ good catch is nullified by a questionable offensive pass interference call. Eagles are moving in the wrong direction.
4:46 – We are shocked the announcers have not yet mentioned when the last tie in the NFL was.
4:32 – After not committing a penalty for three quarters, they have now committed three on this drive.
4:26 – The announcers comply and tell us when the last tie was just before McNabb narrowly misses throwing another pick.
4:18 – As the punting unit comes on, I feel like the best hope for an Eagles victory is a defensive turnover.
4:12 – Yet another short punt. The Eagles are doing everything in their power to lose this game. Really, I’m hoping for an interception here.
2:18 – After a long delay for a booth review, Andy Reid calls timeout while they’re on defense. It’s not like they might need that timeout if they can actually get the ball back. You’re telling me that the fat idiot couldn’t get the defense ready in the three minutes that the booth was reviewing the play?
1:50 – Eagles get the ball back. One last chance for them to go down the field and win the game.
1:42 – I’m almost convinced that McNabb wants to lose this game.
1:29 – The Eagles have 4th and 1. And they’re lined up to punt. Honestly, why not go for it here? If you punt, you can only lose or tie. There’s no way they can punt and win. But they punt. So Reid is now playing for a tie. Way to have a killer instinct, Andy.
1:14 – With the game hanging in the balance, the refs call roughing the passer on the Eagles. Which basically means that you are officially no longer allowed to touch the quarterback. Apparently, the refs do not want to be involved in a tie game.
0:48 – The Eagles hit the QB and miraculously, no roughing the passer is called.
0:38 – And now, the Bengals go for a 47 yard field goal to win.
0:07 – The field goal misses. I think that might have been the first missed field goal by an opponent all year. The Eagles now have seven seconds to score. I wouldn’t be suprised if Reid called for a kneel down.
0:00 – Incomplete pass and we have a tie game. I can’t believe they just tied the game. I really don’t know how to feel.
End of overtime – Next August, if I start getting excited about football season, please show me highlights of this game. This was one of the worst football games I have ever watched.