Tag Archives: Jim Johnson

Not hyped for the Super Bowl? Lively it up by playing the Pundit’s new drinking game, “The Stupor Bowl”

Before I get going on this post, I just want to send my best wishes over to Jim Johnson and his family. Jim, as you’ve probably heard by now, has cancer, a recurring case that this time found it’s way into his spine. Jim, I think I can safely say I speak for all of Philadelphia when I say that you are in our thoughts and our prayers, and we hope that you have a swift and successful recovery.

Alright – on to The Stupor Bowl.

Because, let’s be honest – who gives a shit about this game? I mean, seriously, I just don’t care. The storylines are pretty bland here. Last year, at least you could root against the Patriots. This year? I just can’t find anything to care about.

And thus, I have done the only logical thing I could think to do – devise a drinking game to make the game a bit more, ahem, spirited.

Yeah, not really what I was going for there...

Um, not exactly what I had in mind...

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Shave them playoff beards – The Pundit finds five reasons for the Eagles’ defeat

I’ve gotta say, I’m still a bit shell shocked. Sure, this game had potential disaster written all over it; after all, it seemed as though this team was destined for a title. Got a little bit ahead of ourselves, didn’t we? Tomorrow morning, I’ll put out a post arguing that we had misinterpreted this team for much of the season, and yesterday was just the cherry on the top of a slew of strange Sundays. For now, I’ll quickly list the top five reasons our Birds tasted defeat yesterday.

1. Jim Johnson Continue reading

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Why the Eagles are going to win – The Pundit previews Eagles vs. Giants

Alright, before we get into the keys for this upcoming game, let’s overview the key factors in their previous two meetings:

– In each game, the team that finished with more rushing yards, more time of possession, and a higher third-down conversion rate won.

– Plaxico Burress played in the first game, and Jim Johnson noted that much of the Eagles gameplan was designed to keep Plax in check. It worked – he only had one catch for 17 yards. Problem was, the Giants ran roughshed on the Eagles D, finishing with 219 yards on the ground. He didn’t play the second game, and the Giants ran for 88 yards. Hmmm…

Honestly, I've completely run out of Plax jokes. Which is a damn shame, I know.

Honestly, I've completely run out of Plax jokes. Which is a damn shame, I know.

– Brandon Jacobs did not play the entirety of the second game, leaving in the third quarter after rushing the ball 10 times for 52 yards. The Eagles were leading the game at that point, 10-7, though the Giants only touchdown came on a blocked field goal right before the half.

– In the two games, Donovan McNabb finished 36-66 for 385 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Oh, and he wasn’t sacked once – in either game.

– In the first game, Brandon Jacobs rushed 22 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns, and Derrick Ward and Ahmed Bradshaw combined to rush for another 91.

– In the first game, Brian Westbrook rushed the ball 13 times for 26 yards, and caught three passes for 33 yards. He did not score. (Editor’s note: I’ve been saying the same thing about the Pundit for years now). In the second game, Westbrook ran the ball 33 times for 131 yards and one touchdown, and caught six passes for another 72 yards and his second touchdown, the now infamous scorching of Antonio Pierce.

Why the Eagles are going to win this game: Continue reading

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It wasn’t always pretty, but it was positive in the end – The Pundit wraps up the Eagles win

I’ve got to say – this game went pretty much the way I expected it to. The Eagles stuffed the run for the most part, allowing Adrian Peterson to only get loose once on a long TD run. “All Day?” More like “A Play.” Jim Johnson’s blitz scheme forced Tarvaris Jackson into a bad interception, and Asante made up for his drop against the Redskins by taking it to the house. The defense is playing lights out football right now – they’ve been spectacular. Continue reading

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The Pundit previews Eagles vs. Vikings

Eagles Defense vs. Vikings offense

It’s no secret what the Vikings want to do offensively – run, run, and run it some more. They do it a lot (519 times, third in the NFL), they do it well (4.5 yards per carry, sixth in the NFL), and they’ve got the best running back in the NFL, Adrian Peterson, to do it. Surely, Tarvaris Jackson has played well as the starter the past four weeks, going 57-89 with eight touchdowns and only one interception, totaling 740 yards. Peyton Manning he is not, Continue reading

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At this point, The Pundit is just confused – Evaluating the Eagles win over the Cardinals

I made a mistake last week – I let my emotions get the best of me. I had said that I would spend the rest of the season evaluating Andy Reid in an earlier post, and then I sold him out last week. I was upset, you know? (Editor’s note: I just wish I knew which Pundit I was going to get from day to day…it’s so taxing!) I still don’t understand the McNabb benching, or much of the playcalling, but I threw in the towel earlier than I should have. I won’t overreact like that again, I promise.

Which means you won’t see me doing any jumping jacks after the Eagles dominant performance against the Cardinals.

Yes,  McNabb looked sharp, and Westbrook seemed to have an extra bounce in his hobbled step. The defense played really well, disrupting Kurt Warner’s timing and pounding the receivers every time a ball was thrown their way. I mean, I don’t know what was going on with Anquan Boldin, but he was like a bad cell phone plan, except he was dropping balls (Editor’s note: Oh God, that was just so lame. Besides, isn’t he a little bit old for that?) Great, great gameplan drawn up by Jim Johnson.

Oh, and Andy Reid called a balanced game. They actually…gasp…established a running game. I repeat: they established a running game. Hold on, hold on, did you happen to catch that? Hmm? Alright, one last time:

THEY ESTABLISHED A RUNNING GAME!

Ahhhhhh, that felt good. Gotta say, I like Kyle Eckel. I don’t foresee him as much more than a short-yardage, straight-up-the-gut runner, but honestly, that’s all we need him to be. Westbrook and Buckhalter, when he comes back, are perfectly capable of handling the rest of the running duties. And it was a revelation to watch McNabb scramble out of the pocket – when he uses his legs, even if it is only for a small chunk of yardage, the Eagles offense is nearly indefensible. They looked good in every phase of their game: they ran the ball successfully, McNabb was accurate from the 1st quarter to the 4th, he scrambled when he needed to, the tight ends were involved in the offense, the offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, and the wideouts made plays with the ball after the catch.

Speaking of catches, here’s the biggest one of the night: they did all of this against a mediocre Cardinal’s defense.

I mean, honestly, as you watched, were you excited by this performance? Or, like me, were you convinced that this was a beautiful game that likely couldn’t be repeated against the NFC East teams? (Editor’s note: Why you always gotta be hatin’, homeboy?) Because if they are able to play the three phases against those teams like they did tonight, they are capable, unlikely as it may seem, of running the table. But what Eagles team will show up? To me, that’s the theme of this season, and I think it is still a reflection of the coach and QB: when the playcalling is on point, and the QB is accurate and using his legs, this team is one of the best teams in the NFL. (Editor’s note: To be fair, a banged-up Westbrook has affected this offense as well. But that’s as much slack for the Birds as you’ll get from me). Seriously, when the Eagles are on point, they are as good as anyone in this league. But when they aren’t clicking, they are a subpar team on the field, and an infuriating team to watch. The type of team that will be playing golf in a month.

So I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Who are you, Eagles? Who who, who who? Because I would really, really like to friggin’ know.

(*Just thought of this: the guy played a good game, but why is Joselio Hanson starting ahead of Lito Sheppard? Is he hurt? Or are Lito’s Philly days numbered? Food for thought…)

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The Week in Review (9/15/08 – 9/21/08)

No-Show/s of the Week

So, he’s been the ace for the second-half of the season. That makes this harder. But Brett Myers, you can’t give up 10 runs in 4 innings of work against the Marlins. I know, the Marlins have been hot, and you were due to get hit hard one of these games, but this is a bit much. Everyone has off days, I am privy to that; but you can’t be this off, especially when every game is so valuable. The offense scored 8 runs, which should almost always be enough to win. Hopefully, Brett will take it for what it was – one bad start – and focus on the next one. I truly believe that, if Brett maintains his dominance, Cole Hamels keeps finding ways to win, and Jamie Moyer continues to be the ageless blessing he’s been all season, this team could legitimately make a run to the Series.

Stud/s of the Week

The entire Eagles defense and Jim Johnson. 9 sacks, a safety and 3 turnovers against the Steelers will get you Stud recognition every week. We’ll just ignore the fact that technically Monday night’s game against the Cowboys falls within the dates I listed in the title; they more than made up for it this week. The front four generated a rush on its own; Big Ben never knew where the blitz was coming from; Dawkins was soaring through the air and causing mayhem; Asante Samuel made a beautiful interception; Willie Parker had 20 rushing yards. 20! And they didn’t allow a touchdown. As dominating a performance, against a good team, as I have seen from this unit in a while. They were solid across the board, and will need to be again next week, as a game against the Bears, potentially without Brian Westbrook, will probably be another defensive struggle.

My All-Encompassing Thought of the Week

This isn’t about Philly, but bears mentioning – last night was the last game ever played at Yankee Stadium. Now, you may not like the Yankees; God knows I don’t. But it is still sad for me to think that a place that fielded the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, and yes, we’ll someday say Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, will no longer be hosting MLB games. Yankee Stadium is our Colosseum, though it wasn’t a place where warriors were beloved for defying death and committing acts of violence. (Editor’s note: That sounds more like a description of the Vet and its fans). No, Yankee Stadium was a place where perhaps otherwise ordinary men captured the imaginations of people everywhere while playing a child’s game. Where Babe Ruth, a man who looked more akin to the chubby guy on the corner playing cards than a great athlete, represented an American love of excess and just having a good time. For every home run, there was a beer, a woman, and a hot dog to go along with it. Yet the measure of his power, especially when compared to his peers, will likely never be duplicated. Babe Ruth often hit more homers in a season than some teams did, and did so without ever missing a good time. A deity amongst mere mortals. Contrast him to Lou Gehrig, who’s work ethic and consistency perfectly mirrored the blue-collar lifestyle of so many Americans. Fittingly, Gehrig was vastly underrated, and remains so, though I believe him to be one of the five greatest hitters ever. Than there was the tragic figure of Mickey Mantle, whose Herculean abilities were only stymied by his constant injuries and habits. Yet, if you ask anybody who ever saw him play to describe the experience, they will remember it with a certain degree of awe and reverence that is rarely reserved for athletes. Certainly, we all admire the athletic prowess of our favorite sports figures, but to hear someone talk of Mantle is to hear them describe something more than simply a ball player; he was Superman, a man lacking weakness on the diamond. And yet, he was also the protagonist in his own tale of Greek mythology, befallen by tragic flaws but an important reminder that even the most spectacular of us is simply human. Joltin’ Joe dated Marilyn Monroe and hit in 56 straight game; Yogi Berra was always a quip away from profundity.

The Yankees, and how they’re received outside of New York, are strangely representative of America itself. Many people don’t like them, but they win more than they lose, and many of the most important accomplishments in baseball history have come from their players. They’re the big spenders, the guys with money, the team that’s got it made. And yet, much as they are despised, they have traditionally set the bar for success in baseball. The best players in baseball want to play for them. Any true fan of a team from another city will tell you that they despise the Yankees; what they won’t mention is how much they respect them, at least their legacy. Farewell to Yankee Stadium; you may now take your place next to all of the greats you hosted, firmly entrenched in both baseball and American history, and perhaps more fittingly, forever etched in our imaginations.

My Painfully Specific Thought of the Week

It doesn’t bother me one bit that the Yankees will miss the playoffs this year.

Moment of the Week

Yesterday was awesome, and frightening, but mostly awesome. The Eagles D looked great, but seeing both Westbrook and McNabb leave the field with potential injuries was horrifying. The Phillies won, but Lidge sure made it more exciting than it needed to be. So, after three games, the Eagles look like, if they stay healthy, one of the NFC’s top teams, and the Phillies, with 6 games left and leads of 1 1/2 in the division and 3 over the Brewers for the wildcard, look as though they’re headed to the postseason (Editor’s note: Somebody knock on some frickin’ wood, for God’s sake!). I mean, the following things happened yesterday: Big Ben was hit so many times by Eagles defenders, he had to leave the game; we beat the pesky Marlins and don’t have to play them again until next year; the Mets’ bullpen blew another game. A beautiful Sunday, and though it most certainly is not always sunny in Philadelphia, it sure as hell is today.

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