Football, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, New England Patriots, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Sports

The Tipping Point ……………

The Tipping Point …………..

Once the Superbowl (SBXLV) wraps it will be interesting to see what comes about once the postseason ends . I’ve never placed much stock in the Pro Bowl which once again was held in Honolulu , Hawaii after last year’s rather idiotic experiment in having the game a week before last season’s Superbowl .


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Slide show for your perusal .

This NFL ___ season wasn’t one without controversy as we saw the return of Michael Vick to the grandest of stages as the player had something of a reawakening in his career. For the fans of the Philadelphia Eagles it was something of a surprise . They saw the rebirth of a player who after his incarceration many believed that he’d struggle but instead the player had something of an exceptional season as he lead the team into the postseason. They would come up short but it gave coach Andy Reid something to think about as he now has to make a choice between Vick and Kevin Kolb , whom Reid initiated would be the team’s starter during the preseason . Now the only thing that will be of concern to Reid is whether or not Vick will be re-signed to a long term contract and whether or not Kolb will remain as a member of this team .

Kolb’s performances during the season if anything were unimpressive and to my mind I think that it won’t be for the lack of trying but Kolb may well be traded by the Eagles. If the Philadelphia Eagles are to prevail this upcoming season , should there actually be an NFL season then this team will most definitely have to raise the level of their play. As good as they appeared to be it’s easy to take note that without the play of Vick this team wouldn’t not be where they were at the end of the season. Consistency was the key that the Eagles lacked and if anything this will be the thing that Reid and his staff will have to work on.

If ever there was a team that during the season you simply knew that after the idiocy that transpired both on and off the field you couldn’t wait see the train wreck that would be the aftermath. Mike and Kyle Shanahan simply led the Washington Redskins from one abyss into another. And for the fans in attendance at Fedex Field in Landover , Maryland what they saw throughout much of the season bordered on being a comedy of errors. Donovan McNabb the veteran quarterback was placed into an impossible situation with a team that was so poor and lacking in creativity on both sides of the ball.

At no time could anyone consider this Redskins’ team of being at all competitive and for Mike Shanahan who’s being paid a king’s ransom to resurrect the fortunes of the Washington Redskins it has to be said his first season was a poor one
by any stretch of the b imagination. And for Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator it has to be said that the experience he brought to the organization bore nothing on the field by way of the team’s competitiveness. Dan Snyder the team’s owner who’s not averse to spending money as a business owner has spent in excess of $70 million on managerial salaries since he assumed control of the Washington Redskins. And in that time he’s yet to see the fruits of that labor as the Redskins have simply been set adrift at sea in the midst of repeated tidal waves as they’ve floundered from season to season.

As an avid and passionate New England Patriots’ supporter I’ve got admit that for me their season was a complete disappointment and their loss in the divisional rounds of the playoffs to the New York Jets if anything proved to me how ill prepared the team and in particular Bill Belichick and the coaching staff were .

The failings in this Patriots’ team as such were too many to mention and it goes without saying that even with the post game apologies coming from Belichick and Tom Brady there was simply nothing there to truly indicate that the team and coaching staff went into the game with any real confidence against the New York Jets. From being the presumptive favorites to being kicked to the curb like a whimpering dog essentially summed up the Patriots’ season . Now it goes without saying that Belichick will no doubt look to strengthen the team by way of the upcoming NFL Draft . But herein lies the caveat are the Patriots still able to compete at the highest levels of the NFL ? Or is the team as such, one which now is one that’s simply now very good during the regular season but once the postseason
comes about they’re merely like a deer caught in headlights ? As of now I’m not so sure what the identity of the New England Patriots is meant to be ! I’m not totally at a loss for words but it has me wondering what’s next for the organization as a whole ?

I don’t think of it as being senseless but I’ve yet to see a real explanation as to why there has to be a franchise in the greater Los Angeles area . The city may well be the nation’s second largest advertising market but in reality if the calls from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others calling for a return of the NFL is a valid one then I for one would like to know what proposals does the mayor himself have in order to enable this return ? It’s all well and good to be making proclamations but in all honesty when your city is running a $3.5 billion deficit and the state itself is so burdened with debt I’d like to know how he intends to as such pay for this all if there’s going to be a partnership between the public and private enterprise to make this come into being ? That’s the real problem with politicians who merely like to hog the spotlight and then make the most asinine of statements and that’s something that Villaraigosa simply knows how to do with immense regularity .

If it is Roger Goodell’s wish to bring an NFL franchise back to Los Angeles and it clearly is , then it won’t be something that will be happening anytime soon. As much we’ve heard rumblings of an imminent return to the area it appears that though the team owners are behind such a move they’ve made no apparent public statement wherein we’re being led to believe that such a move is imminent. The relocation of a team is quite possible but with there apparent talk that either the Jacksonville Jaguars or San Diego Chargers would be those teams — it doesn’t appear that the owners of those respective franchises have been forthcoming with regard to making a public statement on the issue. Neither Wayne Weaver of the Jaguars or Dean Spanos of the Chargers have been privee in letting the public know what their intentions ultimately will be.


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he cost of bringing a completely new franchise to the area, with a franchise fee and then a stadium could set a potential new owner back at least $1 billion and that’s clearly an obstacle than any potential new owner would look to assess before contemplating such a move. And while there are said to a number of parties looking to bring a franchise to the Los Angeles area at the culmination of this all may well be what input if any there’d be from the city’s government from a financial standpoint by way of inducements in terms of tax allowances and their cooperation in being a partner to any potential franchise owner. If that’s not clear from the start then the possibility of there being a franchise in Los Angeles might just be nothing more than wishful thinking at this point.

For you as an NFL fan what was as such has the main highlight of the season and with regard to there being the possibility of a new franchise in Los Angeles do you believe it to be feasible to bring a team to the city ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter.

Picture and slide show details

(1) Honolul , Hi ,. Michael Vick (7) of the NFC Philadelphia Eagles looks for an open receiver during the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 30, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii. NFC won 55-41 over the AFC. Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images ….

(2) Kevin Kolb (4) of the Philadelphia Eagles tries to avoid a sack from Anthony Spencer (93) of the Dallas Cowboys on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 14-13. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images ….

(3) Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (center) of the Washington Redskins works on the sideline with quarterbacks Rex Grossman (8) and John Beck (3 )in the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on January 2, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the game 17-14 . Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images …….

(4) Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan makes a point with a referee in the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on January 2, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the game 17-14. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images ……

(5) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28-21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Elsa Martinez/Getty Images ……

(6) City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilaraigosa seen here with a number of his political supporters and aides having recently been returned to office by the electorate in the city of Los Angeles , California . Villaraigosa is one of the major political proponents for seeing the return of an NFL franchise to city . He’s been short the substance behind his call but says that having a franchise back in the city will reinvigorate it economically. Alas, he doesn’t seem to know however, how to deal with the most acute of issues facing his city and that is one of a multi billion dollar budget deficit . Picture courtesy of Richard Meyer _________ copyrighted material ……..@ all rights reserved

NB: NFL News ……..

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….


Delicia Cordon

Eye candy ….. Delicia Cordon

I’d pull up to her bumpers !

Erykah Badu ………… “Window Seat"


Andy Reid, Arizona Cardinals, Donovan McNabb, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Sports

Always The Bridesmaid Never The Bride …………….

Well the  Philadelphia  Eagles  have  once  again  fallen at  the  last  obstacle  they’ve  got to  face. Now  when  you  consider  that  over   the  Andy Reid  reign  as coach  of  the  franchise  the  team has  gone  to  5  NFC championship  games   in  ten  years .  And  have  only  once  been  to  the  Superbowl.  One  has to  ask  what   the  franchise   now   has to   do  to  in  order  to  show  their  fans  that  they’re   capable  of  winning  the  big  one. 



Terrelle  Smith and  Gabe Watson  of the  Arizona  Cardinals are  overwhelmed  with  emotion after  the  team's victory  over  the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in the  NFC  championship  game ....................
Terrelle Smith and Gabe Watson of the Arizona Cardinals are overwhelmed with emotion after the team's victory over the Philadlephia Eagles 32-25 .............


Terrelle Smith and  Gabe  Watson of  the  Arizona Cardinals  are  overwhelmed with  emotion after the  team’s victory  having  just  earned  a  berth in  the  NFC  championship  game with  a  32-25 defeat  of the  Philadelphia  Eagles.  picture  appears  courtesy of  getty images/Chris  Graythen ……….






And  you  know  what   took  place   during  that  infamous  game  against the  New  England  Patriots ?  We  saw  the  play of  Terrell  Owens  and   the  seemingly  meltdown  of  Donovan McNabb.  Owens’  calling  out  of  the  player  in the  aftermath  of  the  loss  was  about as  much  to  expect   from  Owens  himself.  Never  one  to  take  responsibility  for his  own  shortcomings.  But  then again  what  primadonna  player   out   there  ever  is  ?






Sunday’s  NFC  championship  game  against  this  year’s  Cinderella  story  in the  guise  of  the  Arizona  Cardinals,  was  one  for  the  ages.  Both  teams  played  at an  exceptionally  high  level.   McNabb  himself  was  out  there  to  set  himself  apart  and  to  answer  those  who  felt   that  he  was  past  his prime.  His   counterpart   for  the  Cardinals  was  the  ageless  wonder   Kurt  Warner.   And when  one  considers  that  Warner  has  all  but  placed  this   team  on  his  shoulders  and   guided   them  to  their   first   postseason  in  ages.  One  can  understand  the  reason  why  .this  story  more  than  any  other  this  postseason  has  been  the  one  that  everyone  has  been  talking   about.   



A somewhat  inconsolable  Donovan McNabb at  the  postgame press  interview  in  Glendale Arizona ..............................



A somewhat  inconsolable  Donovan  McNabb  as  the  postgame interview   in  Glendale,  Arizona .   picture appears  courtesy of   getty  images /Chris  Graythen ………………





The Arizona  Cardinals  all  but  thought  of  as  an  afterthought , the  franchise has played    with  abandonment and  passion  this  postseason.   In doing   so  they’ve   taken   care   of  the  Atlanta  Falcons and   Carolina  Panthers.    That  not  being   enough  to  prove their   prowess  this  postseason  they  then  had  to  face  Eagles.  Who for   if  anything   the  NFC championship  game  as  such    has  been a  home  away  from home   as  such  over  the  last  decade.   Ken  Whisenhunt  as  coach  of  the  Cardinals   has  placed  this  team  at  the  pinnacle  of  a season   that  was  totally  unexpected   to  many  within  the  NFL  and  their  fans.    With  their  offensive   potency  and  a  defense  that  has  been  playing  above  themselves   during  this   postseason.  It  was  expected  that  the  Arizona  Cardinals  would  be  the  cannon  fodder   for   the   physical   play  of  the  Philadelphia  Eagles.










For  two  quarters   this   game   was  everything  that  the  Cardinals’ fan had  wished  for  and  more. Taking  a  24-6  lead  many   thought  the   game  to  be  all  but  over.  And  with  the  Eagles   facing   almost  certain  elimination   Donovan McNabb  took  it  upon  himself  to  lead  this  team  back  into  the  game.  Well  he  did  that   and  it  seemed  that  this  was  to  be  their   day. And  with  McNabb  we  know  that  he’ll either  succumb under  real  pressure  or   he’ll   just  fall  short  of  what’s expected.  Well  McNabb didn’t  disappoint  as  he led  the  Eagles  back  into  contention  with a  chance  to  win  the  game.  A 25-24  lead  with   two  and  a half  minutes  to  play  must’ve  seemed  a  godsend  to  the  Eagles’ fans  and  those  watching  live  on   broadcast  television.  What  then  transpired   was  enough  to  make  you  believe  that  there  is  such  a  thing as  fairy  tales.  






Cardinals' strength  coach  John Lott congratulates  Kurt  Warner  after  the  team's  victory over  the  Eagles ..........................
Cardinals' strength coach John Lott congratulates Kurt Warner after the team's victory over the Eagles in the NFC championship game played in Glendale, Arizona .......................



Cardinals’ strength coach  John Lott  congratulates  Kurt Warner  after  the  team’s  victory  over  the  Philadelphia  Eagles in  a  game  played  in  Glendale , Arizona.  picture appears  courtesy of  getty  images/ Chris   Graythen ………………….







Kurt Warner  given  enough  time   can  and  has  shred  a  defense apart  with  his  play.  And  with  him   having   hooked  up  with   Larry  Fitzgerald   three  times  in the  first  half. It begs  the  question why  didn’t  the  Eagles   have  their   defense   keeping  a watchful   eye  on  Tim  Hightower  ?  But  then  again  these   sort  of  lapses   do  happen . And  it  all   but  led to  the  Eagles’  day  ending   in   sorrow.  Not  only  did  Hightower  score  the  winning  touchdown.  But  the  Cardinals  went  on  to score on  the  two  point  conversion   thereby  putting  the  game  beyond   the  Eagles’  reach.   If  nothing  else   for  Andy  Reid  and   Donovan   McNabb   this  may  well  have   been  their   last   chance  and   grasp  of  the  one   professional   prize  that  has  eluded  them  both   over  the  course   their  professional  careers  in  the NFL.   And  if  anything  one  can  assume  that  it  had  to  have  been  heartbreaking   for  not  only  their   fans   but  also  the  players  themselves.   




Edgerrin  James  of  the  Cardinals is  tackled  by  Eagles'  safety  Brian Dawkins  ................................
Edgerrin James of the Cardinals is tackled by the Eagles' safety Brian Dawkins ..............


Edgerrin James  of  the  Cardinals  is  tackled  by  Eagles’  safety Brian Dawkins .  picture  appears courtesy of  getty images/Phil  Dallhauser ……………………..




The result  32-25   now   guarantees   Whisenhunt’s   team   a  berth  as  the  NFC  representative  in  Superbowl  XLIII in  Tampa  on  the  1st February.  Their  opponents  there  will  be  the  Pittsburgh  Steelers.   The  Steelers   will  be  looking  to  raise  the  Lombardi  trophy  for  the  sixth time.  And   with  their  coach  Mike Tomlin  looking   to become  only  the  second   African  American  coach   to  win a  Superbowl  as  a coach.  Some  historic  precedences  will  be  set   whomever   raises  the  trophy.






It’s been  a  long  time  coming   for  the   Arizona  Cardinals  but  it  may  well  be  a  long  time   before  we’ll  ever  see  the  Philadelphia  Eagles  again  in  this  sort of  a  scenario.   So  close   but   yet  so   far   away.



Andy Reid, Arizona Cardinals, Donovan McNabb, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, New England Patriots, NFL, NFL Divisional playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles

The Feel Good Story Of The NFL Weekend ……………..

Well it has to go without saying  that  the Arizona  Cardinals’ play  this season has come as  a surprise to all.  Never  mind  the fact that  they won a woefully  lamentable division (NFC West) with a  9-7 record.  That in ofitself  should be  enough to suggest  to  us  all  how  bad  the  division really is.  Now some  of  you might say  well  what  about  the AFC  West ?   Well  that’s a  story for  another  day  at  this  juncture. 






Coach  Ken Whisenhunt  in but  his  second season with the franchise has  them  heading  in the right  direction.  And  who’d  have  thought that a journeyman  quarterback  who  many  had  left  for  dead  would be  leading the  team’s  resurrection.  Matt Leinart with  his  Hollywood looks  and  college  football pedigree  was  thought of  as being  the  franchise  quarterback  needed  to lead the  team.  But  instead  it’s  been  left to two-time league  MVP Kurt Warner  to  lead  and  lead  by  example.




Teammates Antonio Smith  Antrel Rolle  and   Roderick Hood  celebrate  Hood's  interception  in the game against  Carolina..................
Arizona Cardinals' teammates Antonio Smith, Roderick Hood and Antrel Rolle celebrate Hood's interception during the game against the Csrolina Panthers ........



Antonio Smith(94) and teammates Antrel Rolle (21) and Roderick Hood(26)  celebrate Hood’s  interception against the  Carolina Panthers.  The  Arizona  Cardinals would  go on to win the  33-13. picture appears  courtesy  ap/photo/Ken Hambleton ………………….







Though not totally  unexpected by their own  fans  Arizona’s  complete and  utter dismantling  of  the  Carolina  Panthers,  was  about as  efficient  and  comprehensive  as anyone  could’ve  wished  to  have  seen from a  team.  And  the  play of  wide  receiver  Larry  Fitzgerald  was  outstanding.  If he’s  not  the  most  dynamic  player  at  his  position within the league  at  present.  Then  I’d  like  for someone  out there  to  tell  me  who  is ?





The Carolina  Panthers  guided  by  coach John Fox had  his  team ready  to  play  and  no doubt  ready  to  make  their way  to  the  NFC championship  game  without  too  much trouble  or  stress. What unfolded  during  the  game  gives  us  reason to believe  that  you  should never   count  all  of  your  eggs  before  they’re  hatched.  Panthers’  quarterback  Jake  Delhomme  had  one  of those days  at the   office  that  no  doubt he’d  rather   forget.  As  he  was  harassed  and  manhandled  by  the Cardinals’  defense. Cardinals’  defense ?   Now  there’s something  that  you don’t  often  see  or  hear.




Disheartened Steve Smith and  teammate Brad Hoover of the  Carolina Panthers seated on the sidelines  during the waning moments of  the game ..............
Disheartened Steve Smith seated on the sidelines along with teammate Brad Hoover in the waning moments of the game played against the Arizona Cardinals....................


Disheartened  Steve Smith and  teammate  Brad  Hoover  seated on the sidelines  during  the waning  moments  of  the  game.  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Roger  Masterson …………………….








I, as an avid  fan  of  the NFL  was expecting  to see  Carolina  prevail  but  little did  I have  in mind  what  millions  of  fans  nationally  witnessed  in  watching   the  game  on network television.  Never  mind  the fact  that  fans  there  in the  Panthers’  home  stadium were  watching.  Perhaps a shock to their  system  ?  What  unfolded  was something  that  even the  most fervent  fan   couldn’t  have  expected. Arizona  set  about beating  the  Carolina Panthers  mercilessly  and  did  in  such a  way  that  you’d be  questioning  which of  the  team was infact  favored   to begin with.   The  oddsmakers  in Vegas  most  certainly  had  to  have  been  offering  favorable  odds  towards Carolina.  But then again  the guys  in Vegas  do  tend  to  know  that  they’re   doing  the  majority  of the  time.







Now  for me  to suggest  that  the  result  of this  game  would  end  up  being  33-13 in a  victory  for  Arizona.  I’d  dare  say  that  a number   of  you  would  have  felt  that  I’d  been some  top of the  line  narcotics.  But  since  I don’t  do  anything of  that  nature .  one  can  only  surmise  that  this  was just  one  of those  rarities  where  the  stars  had  to  have  aligned  for  the Cardinals  on the day. In  reality  however  they  just  completely outplayed  their  NFC counterpart in  almost every  facet of  the  game.   So  much  so  that  their  defense  was  simply  outstanding and  they  offered  the  Panthers  no  respite. It  was a rarity  on this  day  where  the  Cardinals   and  their  fans  learnt  what is  was  like  finally  to garner  and  gain the   respect  of  their   peers.  Over the  years  the  franchise  has  been often likened  to  a  bottom feeder  of  the  NFL.  And  the  Bidwell  family  as  the  franchise owners  were  viewed   as  nothing  more  than  vultures.   Funny  what  success  can  then  do  to  a  change  in attitude  as  to  how  an organization is  viewed.  Now  the  Cardinals  await the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in the NFC  championship  game  and  are just  one  game  away  from   gaining   a berth  in the  Superbowl.





Kurt Warner  of the Arizona Cardinals acknowledges  the  applause  of the crowd after the  team's  victory over the  Carolina Panthers  33-13 ..................
Kurt Warner acknowledges the applause of the crowd after the team's victory 33-13 over the Carolina Panthers ...................


Kurt Warner acknowledges the applause of the crowd after  the  team’s 33-13 victoryy over  the  Carolina Panthers.   picture appears courtesy  of  ap/photo/Ken Hambleton …………………………….





On this  day it  was  all  about the  Cardinals  and  what  they’ve  achieved  this  season  is  a  bye product  of  having  a  good  coach and  players  who  bought  into  his system. But  it’s only  that  but  the  fact  that  their  fans  after so  many  years  of  futility have  still  seen fit  to  show  their  faith  in the  team.  It  shouldn’t  come  as  any  surprise  that  as  hosts  of the  NFC championship  game  at  their  stadium  in Glendale, Arizona .  All  of the  tickets  have been  sold  out.  The fact  that  this  all happened  within   6  hours   only  leads me  to  believe  that the   fans   there  having  been starved  of  success  for  so long  are   hoping   for  something  special  to  happen  this   Sunday.







The  task in  facing  the  Eagles  won’t  be an  easy  one.  As  the  Eagles  themselves  have  had  their  own  struggles  this  season.  They’ve  been  able  to overcome  them  and  play with  a  great  deal  of  resolve, as evidenced  by  their   postseason  displays.  They  made  short  work  of  the  New York  Giants   and  are looking  to  do the  same  with  the  Arizona  Cardinals.  But  I  doubt  Andy  Reid’s  team  will  be  looking  that  far  ahead  with  regard to the  Superbowl.  They  know  that they’re  facing  a  team  in the  Cardinals   that  after   some   long  mean and   meager  years   are on the threshold  of   doing  something  big.  And if  it  means  bursting  the  Eagles’  bubble  once again.  Then I’m  sure   that’s  what  they’ll  be  prepared to  do. And  in doing  so,  deprive  Donovan McNabb and  Andy Reid  the  one  major  prize that  has  eluded  them professionally  over the  years.  Five  visits  to  the  NFC  championship  notwithstanding  and  just  one  Superbowl  appearance  which  ended in  a  loss.   A  loss  now  would  for  all  sense  and  purpose be  deemed  a  tragedy  of  monumental  proportions.




Larry Fitzgerald makes  a leaping  catch during  the  game against the Carolina  Panthers  .................
Larry Fitzgerald hauls a catch during the game against the Panthers ..................


Larry Fitzgerald  hauls in a pass  from  Kurt Warner during the  game.  picture  appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Isselman …………… 






The loss to the New England Patriots was  enough  to damper  the  ardor  the  Eagles’ fans.  And as alluded to  previously  a  loss  the  Cardinals this  time  around  would  be  viewed  with  immense  displeasure to  the  fans and  something  of a failure  within  the organization.  If  this  meant to  be  the  Eagles’ year .  Then  they’re   going  to have to  deal  with  the  Cardinals  with  a great  deal  of  efficiency.  This  is certainly  not  a  team  to  be  taken  lightly as they’ve  proven  that they  can  play with  the  best  of  them. 








For the  Arizona  Cardinals  and  their  fans  it   would  be  viewed  as  divine  intervention  from  up  above.  If  nothing  else  they’ve   languished for  long enough within the  depths of  mediocrity,  looking  at  long  last  to  be viewed as  a  credible  entity  within  the  NFL.  Scripted or  unscripted  stories  like  this  when  they come  along  are   often  viewed  as  heartfelt  and  warming  to  the  heart.

Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, New York Giants, NFL, NFL Divisional playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles, Sports

Well The Sound That You Hear ……….

The sound you hear  are  those  of the  Eagles and  Giants’ fans looking  to  hold sway  this  weekend as to the  two teams  meet in  the  divisional rounds  of  the  playoffs.  It’d   appear to  be the marquee matchup  of  the  round.  Albeit  that the  fans  of  the  Arizona  Cardinals  and  Carolina Panthers  might be  of  a different  opinion  altogether.



Manning throws an incomplete pass whilst being tackled by the  Eagles' Trent Cole  and  Darren Howard in a regular season  game won by the Eagles  20-14....................
Eli Manning attempts a pass whilst being tackled by the Eagles Trent Cole and Darren Howard in regular season game which was won by the Eagles 20-14 ...................


Eli Manning  attempts  a pass while  being tackled by  the  Eagles’ Trent Cole  and Darren Howard  in  an  earlier regular season  meeting  between the  two  teams. The Philadelphia Ealges would go on  to defeat the  New York Giants  20-14 in the  game played in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Thom  Brennan………….. 






And whilst  we  can all agree  that  these are  of the  better  teams within the  NFC . One cannot overlook the  season  that  both the  Cardinals  and  Panthers have  had.  Painstakingly Kurt Warner  has guided  his  team into  the  playoffs . And  their defeat  of  the Atlanta  Falcons was  a welcome and  pleasant  surprise  to many.   The Panthers for their part  not to be outdone  have  played  at  a high  level .  And their quarterback Jake Delhomme  seems to be  back  at  his  level best.  He’s being  ably supported by  the duo of  receivers  Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad.   Less  we  forget  also  they  possess a very potent  running  back  tandem. 






The game however between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles  will no  doubt  go  a long  way  letting  us  know who’s  likely to be the presumptive  favorite to  make  out of the  NFC.  And that’s with no disrespect  to  either  Cardinals  or Panthers.  As  good as  they  both are , the  Eagles  and  Giants  on  paper would  appear to  have  a much  balanced  roster. Donovan McNabb  of the  Eagles  and  Eli Manning  have  both  raised  the  level of  their  play  and  at the  same time have  their  teammates  believing  that  they’re  ready  to  take  it up  a level or  two  as  need be.



Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings  forces a fumble as Donovan McNabb attempts a pass in their wildcard game won by the Eagles 26-14..........................
Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumbles as Donovan McNabb attempts a pass. The Eagles would go on to win the game 26-14 .................


Jared Alen of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumble as the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb attempts  a pass during their wildcard berth  game .  The Eagles  would go on to win the game 26-14.  picture  appears courtesy of  getty  images/ Adrian Ward   ……………





Both teams defensively  are  no  novices  and  if  anything  that’s  been  one  of  their  strengths.  We’ve   seen this  evidence  as  to the  way  that  both  have  played thus  far  in the  postseason.  They’ve  been  staunch  and  miserly  as and when  necessary.  The  game itself may  well  come  down to the  play  of  both  quarterbacks  and the  protection  that  they’ll  receive  from their  offensive  lines.  That may well be  how  the battle  in  the  trenches will  be  won.  Brian  Westbrook  will  have  to be kept  in  check  also  if  the  Giants  are  to prevail.  They  cannot allow  him to have  any  room  in the backfield  or  at  the same time  allow him  to  catch  the  ball and gain  yardage.  He’s  quite  able to do  that  and  punish the opposing  team’s  defense  quite  ably. 







The Giants  are not  without  their own  offensive  weapons  and they too  will  be looking to  take  whatever  advantage  that they can of  the Eagles’  defense.  So it’ll be very intriguing  to see  what  both  teams  will  have in  store  for one  another.  Both Andy  Reid  and  his counterpart  Tom Coughlin know what’s  at  stake  for both  teams.  And for  the  Eagles  in particular  this may well be  the last  chance  for McNabb as  a  player  to  prove  once and  for  all  that  he  can  lead  a  team  to  the  NFC  championship,  having  won  it.  But this  time  lead  them to  another  appearance  in the  Superbowl  and  perhaps this  time  around   acquit himself  well.   The  acrimony of  the  team’s  last   appearance and  their  loss to New  England  still no  doubt  lingers  fresh  in his  mind at  that  of  the  fans.   Never  mind  the  fact that  his  courage  and  manhood  came into question  by  his  former teammate  Terrell  Owens.  Who’s  now sitting  at  home  alongside  his  teammates  on the Dallas Cowboys’  team.   So much  for the  fact  that  everyone  as  such  felt  that the  Cowboys were the  presumptive favorites  to win it  all.     Their  luster  is now beginning to look  like  that of an old  family heirloom that’s  gathering  a  great  deal  of  dust.  But  the  thought  is  that it’s  still  good  to take out  and  have  a  look at  when  visitors  come to  visit.






Much  as  I  like the  look of  both  teams  and how far  they’ve   both  come.  I’m of  the  opinion that this  may  well be  the  one  game that  when it’s all said  and  done.  It  could prove  to be  the  decisive  competitive  game  that’s  played  this  postseason.   The Superbowl itself notwithstanding  has a way  of either  exciting  us  or  letting  us  down when it  comes to  the overall standard of  play and  excitement.  OK  so last  year  we had  the  David Tyree catch.  But beyond  that   was  there  really  anything  else that   got   your  juices  flowing  other than seeing  the  New England Patriots being  upended  the way  that they were ?  Eli Manning  ended being  the  game  MVP and   Plaxico  Burress  proved to  us  that he  does  have  his  uses  when  he’s not  idly spending  the  time  either making  an ass  of  himself  or  shooting  himself  accidentally  in the foot, allegedly.






So come  game  time  it’ll  be  all or nothing  for  both  teams  and  absolutely  nothing  can be left to chance.  Each  team has  set  its  sights  on the  NFC  championship   game. But the  real goal  will  be   a  berth  in Superbowl XLIII and  the  chance  to  raise  the  Lombardi Trophy  aloft.   So  that’ll be  the  sound  that  you  hear  as the  fans  of  both  teams look to  lay  claim  that  they’re on  their way  to giving  it the  best  that  they’ve  got , with  their  fans in unison  playing  their  part as well.