Tag Archives: Tony Hunt

Eagles Preview and more

This Eagles season, more than many in recent history, is chock full of questions. So many, in fact, that I decided to do my entire Eagles preview in question format. I could make a slew of blanket claims, hoping I got some of them right, guys don’t get injured, etc. Instead, I’m going to focus on the aspects of this team that are huge question marks. I’ll put the answer that would benefit the Eagles, but not necessarily my opinion, after the question. At the end, I’ll give my prediction based upon how many questions I think the Eagles will answer to their benefit. Everybody have their number two pencils ready? And…go!

1. Will Donovan McNabb stay healthy? (Huge Yes)

2. Will Brian Westbrook continue to be one of the best best weapons in football – for 16 games? (The Biggest Yes)

3. Can Tony Hunt become a reliable fullback? (Yes)

4. Will Lorenzo Booker and Correll Buckhalter be able to spell Westbrook? (Yes)

5. Will the receiving corps hold water until Kevin Curtis comes back? (Yes)

6. Will they drop too many passes again this year? (No)

7. Will DeSean Jackson be a big-play threat? (Yes)

8. Will L.J. Smith reestablish himself as a quality TE? (Yes)

9. Will the offensive line stay healthy? (Yes)

10. Will the offensive line protect McNabb? (Yes)

11. Will our offense be more productive in the red zone? (Yes)

12. Will Andy Reid commit more to the running game? (Yes)

13. Will the DT’s get a surge up the middle, stuffing the opposing team’s running game? (Yes)

14. Will one of the DE’s other then Trent Cole become a consistent pass rusher? (Yes)

15. Will we get a bit more production from Darren Howard? (Yes)

16. Will the young linebacking corps swarm to the ball, wreaking havoc on the opposing team’s running game? (Yes)

17. Will the young linebacking corps make too many mental mistakes? (No)

18. Will the three corner circus be effective? (Yes)

19. Will Asante Samuel live up to his huge contract? (Yes)

20. Will The Agent Fatale turn Lito Sheppard into a media whore, convincing him to go by an alternate moniker such as LS or Lito Dos Seis? (Nooooooooooooooooooooooo)

21. Is Brian Dawkins past his prime? (No)

22. Will Quentin Mikell be a liability? (No)

23. Will Jim Johnson draw up a wild array of blitz schemes that work? (Yes)

24. Will David Akers return to form? (Yes)

25. Can DeSean Jackson and Quintin Demps consistently be dangerous return men? (Yes)

Quick note: A couple of these are huge, much more drastic than the others – namely, number 1 and 2. If McNabb or Westbrook get hurt, they won’t make the playoffs. So, the following scores are assuming that McNabb and Westbrook will stay healthy.

If the answers to 23-25 of these questions benefit the Eagles, they represent the NFC in the Superbowl.

If the answers to 20-22 of these questions benefit the Eagles, they win the NFC East

If the answers to 15-19 of these questions benefit the Eagles, they make the wildcard.

Any less and they miss the playoffs.

The Pundit’s Take: I have the Eagles positively answering 18 of these questions, putting them solidly in the wildcard. Questions I think they fail on: 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 17. Again, if either McNabb or Westbrook gets hurt, all bets are off. And now, your full NFL season prediction.

NFC Playoff Teams

1. Dallas (Wins NFC East, and yes, I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate writing this)

2. Green Bay (Wins NFC North)

3. New Orleans (Wins NFC South)

4. Seattle (Wins NFC West)

5. Philadelphia

6. Minnesota

(Eagles beat Seahawks in first wildcard, and Minnesota beats New Orleans in a wild weekend. Dallas beats Minnesota, and the Eagles shock the Packers, at Lambeau, behind a classic performance from Mr. McNabb. And then, in the most tragic moment in Eagles history, the Cowboys beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship game, causing the city of Philadelphia to be the first area ever in American History to be put into a “State of Depression.” Nobody shows up to work for a week, mass looting ensues, and broken beer bottles littered on the street make it impossible to drive anywhere. God, I really, really hope that I’m wrong.)

AFC Playoff Teams

1. New England (AFC East champions, losing three in the regular season)

2. San Diego (AFC West champions)

3. Jacksonville (AFC South Champions)

4. Pittsburgh (AFC North Champions)

5. Indianapolis

6. Cleveland

(Jacksonville crushes the Browns, and the Colts beat the Steelers in a competitive game. Jacksonville’s defense and running game are just enough to propel them past the now Merriman-less Chargers, and the Colts squeak by the Patriots in another classic between the two, this one ending in overtime. Jacksonville relishes its opportunity to play at home, exorcising their Colts demons and winning to go to the Superbowl)

Superbowl prediction: Every year, I want to put the Eagles here. I really, really do. And every year, I pray the Cowboys don’t make it here. But this year, they will. And I think that they will beat the Jaguars. (Editor’s note: Feel free to find The Pundit and to kick the shit out of him). I’m sorry, I feel like a traitor, but I think Adam Jones is going to be a clutch addition, I think Tony Romo will be a more focused force, I think Marion Barber will have a big year. I just don’t see a ton of weaknesses on this team. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sit in a cold shower with my clothes on (Editor’s note: YES HE DESERVES TO DIE, AND I HOPE HE BURNS IN HELL!)

Oh, and please read this in case you’re not sure what just happened above. Focus on paragraph four. And ignore Sports Illustrated from now on, please.

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(Editor’s note: Ok, these titles are getting out of hand)

Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is a fine day to be a sports fan. The US Men’s Basketball team is taking on Argentina as we speak. Then, this evening, you have more Olympics, the Eagles against the Patriots, and the Phillies opening up a key series against those pesky Dodgers. Alas, The Pundit will be working until 10 this evening (Editor’s note: Damn boss), thereby missing both the Eagles and Phillies. Blasphemy! Anyway, on to the day’s links.

Hey fans. Listen up out there: there is no way you are getting Anquan Boldin. You crazy idiots! (Editor’s note: The Pundit would just like to emphasize that these are not his words. These are the word’s of the “experts” and the Eagles). Clearly, a trade for Anquan Boldin would have already happened if it were going to happen. Because when we were first shopping Lito Sheppard, you know, we didn’t have 2 first round picks next year. And Boldin hadn’t been talking on the Dan Patrick show about how he wanted out. And, though the Eagles probably were inquiring about receivers, I fully believe they were perfectly fine with going into this season with the receivers we had in place, which, of course, included a healthy Kevin Curtis. And, apparently, they’re still okay with it. But its okay, everyone, because we have Lorenzo Booker to take some reps now. Whew, forgot about that. Thank God for the legend that is Lorenzo Booker. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to turn on a blow dryer, throw it into the bath tub and get myself washed up. (Editor’s note: Lucy! Yup, the Xanax, please).

Your guide to the Eagles preseason duel with the Patriots tonight. Yes, pay attention to the wide receivers. Let’s get a taste of how our receivers react to bland, basic coverage schemes. Also, how will Asante Samuel react to playing his old team – in a meaningless preseason game? Good golly, you could cut the tension with a spoon. (Editor’s note: I’m sensing dangerous levels of cynicism. He’s still angry about the Boldin thing). Let’s see how Demps does on kick returns, and DeSean Jackson on punt returns. Let’s see how crisp McNabb’s passes are, and how he looks in the pocket. Look to see how Tony Hunt looks at fullback, if they give him reps there. Focus on whether or not the offensive and defensive lines are able to get a surge, the offensive line in the running game (pay attention to Shawn Andrews, who is back), and the defensive line so that the linebackers can make plays unblocked. Look to see if the Eagles are swarming like they did against the Panthers – this isn’t a team with a ton of guys who will dominate match-ups, so they have to play excellent team defense to excel. Watch Mr. Akers – I’d like to see him tee up some 40+ yarders.

You broke my heart, Phillies. (Editor’s note: Insert dramatic kiss of brother here).  Beerleaguer misses Aaron Rowand, and so do I.

Ed Stefanski is okay in The Pundit’s book (Editor’s note: It’s a pop-up book – he likes the pictures). Some good stuff from Stefanski over at The 700 Level.

Just in case you missed the USA in basketball this morning – another liveblogging here (Editor’s note: I feel dirty). Pretty cool excerpt about LeBron James asking Kobe Bryant to translate some trash talk to the Argentinian players for him (Editor’s note: That’s diplomacy, people).

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Waking up with The Pundit

Required Reading

Your daily Eagles fix here (Shawn Andrews getting back in the swing of things), here (Tony Hunt being experimented with at fullback), and here (McNabb keeping expectations for DeSean Jackson realistic).

With the craziness that has been the Olympics, the torture that has been the Phillies, and the looming question mark that has been the Eagles, The Pundit has neglected to touch on one of his favorite sports – college football. Be sure to check out Fox’s top 25 questions for 2008. (Be sure to check out 17 for a bit of love for Penn State, 10 for a Big Ten call-out, and number one, where their prediction for Ohio State is frustrating).

Andre Iguodala also wants to go to the moon, scale Mount Everest and bring us all world peace…his expectations for the future and Sixers notes here.

Okay, so this whole J-Roll frontrunning thing has totally taken on a life of its own. Deadspin, we need details! (Editor’s note: If this actually goes down, it will be one of the greatest feats of widespread sarcasm ever accomplished).

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