2011 Philadelphia Eagles Notebook: December 14th Practice

Taking It to the House Lead Writer Matt Lombardo stopped by the Eagles Nova Care Complex on Wednesday December 14th as the Birds (5-8) prepare to face NY Jets (8-5) in another must-win game for both teams. 

To the Eagles credit, though some fans have been rooting half-hearted for them — some in hopes of head coach Andy Reid leaving — the Birds were able to produce a solid win over the Dolphins in Week 14.  However in this week, head coach Rex Ryan will lead his charismatic NY Jets into the Linc and they should be a much tougher test than their lower AFC East rival.

Of course all eyes will be on the NY Jets’ stars QB Mark Sanchez, WR’s Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, and All-world CB Darrelle Revis. Continue reading

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Loss to Cardinals Could be the start of Another Cowboys Late Season Swoon by Lloyd Vance

Could the Dallas Cowboys improbable Week 13 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals lead to another late season swoon? We know team owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett sure hope not.

Week 13 of the 2011 NFL Season was not a good one for the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (7-5).  A purely winnable game turned into a devastating loss as the Arizona Cardinals (5-7) gladly took home a close 19-13 overtime home win.  While the Cowboys were left to wonder, “What If”.  The winning margin came quickly in OT as Cardinals reserve RB LaRod Stephens-Howling turned a short pass from QB Kevin Kolb into a dazzling darting 52-yard touchdown reception.  Continue reading

Taking it to the House: 2011 NFL Week 14 Power Rankings

Kevin Burnett’s 34-yard interception return for a touchdown put the Dolphins up 34-0 en route to a 34-14 win over the Oakland Raiders. Given the way the Dolphins have been playing they vault to number 12 in Taking It To The House’s Week 13 Power Rankings
  1. Green Bay Packers (12-0) – The Packers wrapped up the NFC North and are now focused on home-field advantage in the playoffs.  Week 14: 12/11 vs. Oakland
  2. Baltimore Ravens (9-3) – The Ravens offense is best when Ray Rice is the focal point.  Week 14: 12/11 vs. Indianapolis
  3. New England Patriots (9-3) – The Patriots have the inside track on home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs.  Week 14: 12/11 @ Washington
  4. New Orleans Saints (9-3) – The Saints offense looks unstoppable in the Superdome.  It will be an interesting race for the number 2 seed in the NFC over the next month.  Week 14: 12/11 @ Tennessee 
  5. San Francisco 49ers (10-2) – The 49ers defense hasn’t given up a rushing touchdown in 12 games this year.  Their number one priority over the next month will be getting Patrick Willis healthy for the playoffs.  Possible letdown game this Sunday without their leader.  Week 14: 12/11 @ Arizona Continue reading

2011 NFL Week 13 Remix by Lloyd Vance

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice was this week’s game ball winner for his 200-yard rushing effort in a dominating win over the Cleveland Browns

The third quarter of the 2011 NFL Season is completed and there is not much time left for teams to either join the San Francisco 49ers and the undefeated Green Bay Packers in the playoffs or step aside.  I love this time of the year as desperation is in the air for everyone in the NFL with jobs and playoff berths both on the line in equal numbers.  After 13 weeks of NFL play, there are still the “Have’s” (7 teams with 8 wins or more including the league’s only undefeated team — Green Bay Packers,12-0) and the “Have Nots” (10 teams with 4 or less wins, who are now basically spoilers). 

But a good portion of the league (15 teams) are still caught in the parity-laden middle with records ranging from 7-5 to 5-7 including former 2010 playoff teams – NY Jets (7-5), Atlanta Falcons (7-5), Chicago Bears (7-5), Seattle Seahawks (5-7), and KC Chiefs (5-7).  So with only four games remaining for teams there is little time left for the “Contenders” and “Pretenders” to sort themselves out — 10 playoff berths remaining. Continue reading

Philadelphia Eagles Wrap-up: Patriots Throttle Reid’s Reeling Squad

In a “Must Win” situation, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) came-up very small in a humiliating 38-20 home loss — have now lost 8 of their last 9 at the Linc — to the surging New England Patriots (8-3).  In the rather easy win, Tom Brady and company could do no wrong, while the Birds after an early lead couldn’t do anything right for the next 50 minutes of the game.  There were penalties, Patriots receivers running free, in-fighting, not enough touches for LeSean Mccoy, and most importantly several dropped passes — including two in the endzone by WR DeSean Jackson (benched).

Unfortunately for him, Taking It to the House Lead Writer Matt Lombardo was there to take in the ugly scene — Chants of “Reid Must Go” in the air — and he filed the following wrap-up report.

Patriots-Eagles Preview: Another Must Win Situation by Lloyd Vance

CBS Sports video preview of the Eagles-Patriots game in Week 12

In a highly anticipated game, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) will further try to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive when they take-on the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (7-3) at Lincoln Field this Sunday.  The game will be the CBS featured afternoon match-up as a national viewing audience will be tuning in at 4:00 PM EST to see if the underdog undermanned Birds and their beleaguered head coach — Andy Reid fighting for possibly his job — can pull off a miracle. Continue reading

2011 Philadelphia Eagles Notebook: November 23rd Practice

The Eagles returned to practice on Wednesday November 23rd and now they are focused on their next “Must-Win” game against the New England Patriots in Week 12 of the 2011 NFL Season.  With both the Thanksgiving holiday and the Patriots approaching, Taking It to the House’s Lead Writer Matt Lombardo returned to the team’s NovaCare Complex to get the pulse of the Birds as they prepare to face Belichick, Brady, and the rest of the AFC East-leading squad

 Matt’s 1-on-1 with emerging rookie LB Brian Rolle

Continue reading