2013 Philadelphia Eagles: Predictions for All 16 Games

2013 Philadelphia Eagles: Predictions for All 16 Games

Week 1 at Washington – Win, 37-27

Chip Kelly shocks the world with his offense – by coming out and running the triple option out of the Flexbone on Monday Night Football. Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, and Bryce Brown combine to rush for over 300 yards against the Redskins, who are caught completely off-guard by Chip’s college gimmicks. The Eagles never use the Flexbone again, and this goes down in lore next to the Pickle Juice game.

Week 2 vs. San Diego – Win, 41-23

Philip Rivers goes ballistic on King Dunlap on the sidelines during the fourth quarter after the Chargers’ left tackle allows Connor Barwin to beat him for four sacks on the afternoon. Later that week on The Howie Roseman Show, the diabolical Eagles’ GM reveals that was the plan all along when the team let Dunlap reach free agency.

Week 3 vs. Kansas City – Win, 38-30

Donovan McNabb dresses in full uniform for his halftime retirement ceremony a la John Riggins – pads, helmet, everything. Toward the end of the ceremony, Andy Reid emerges from the locker room to congratulate Donovan on stage, only when they go to shake hands, McNabb turns on his head coach of 11 seasons and delivers a Stone Cold Stunner. Nobody in Philadelphia ever boos or talks bad about Five again, both because that was awesome and for fear of retribution.

Week 4 at Denver – Loss, 45-24

The fun times are over for Chip as Peyton Manning absolutely wrecks the Eagles’ defense. Cary Williams gets burned deep for two long touchdowns, and both times Kurt Coleman gives the cornerback a quizzical look as if they had their assignments mixed up. Coleman isn’t even playing, it’s just force of habit.

Week 5 at New York Giants – Loss, 38-34

Eli Manning picks up where Peyton left off, torching the Birds’ secondary for over 450 yards for a second consecutive week. Vick has a chance to be a hero on the final drive, but fumbles the football away when he dives head first for extra yards at the end of a scramble. No one for the Giants even touches Vick, he just coughs it up because that’s a thing he would do.

Week 6 at Tampa Bay – Loss, 27-19

Darrelle Revis intercepts a pair of Vick passes, one of which the All-Pro corner takes to the house. After posting passer ratings of 95.0 and above the first three weeks of the season, the Eagles’ quarterback hasn’t cracked 70.0 in the past three. WIP is inundated by calls for Matt Barkley to start, while Nick Foles secretly wonders who he needs to stab to get some respect around here.

Week 7 vs. Dallas – Win, 30-23

Cary Williams misses the Cowboys game to be at the grand opening of his new restaurant. Unfortunately for Williams, the cream rises to the top in his absence. Brandon Boykin shuts down Dez Bryant, holding the NFL’s leading receiver to just two catches the entire afternoon. The next day Boykin is named starter. Cary hears of the news while he’s picking out drapes.

Week 8 vs. New York Giants – Win, 27-24

Jason Pierre-Paul folds up Vick like a pretzel, and in comes Foles. The backup quarterback has trouble finding his rhythm, but LeSean McCoy refuses to lose. Shady weaves all over the place on one 33-yard run in particular, seeking out Giants defenders and audibly shouting “McCoy” with each juke. He totals 200 yards of total offense by himself while carrying his team to victory, and the Eagles are surprisingly in first place in the NFC East.

Week 9 at Oakland – Win, 34-16

Foles isn’t particularly sharp in Vick’s stead, the Raiders are just that bad. Matt McGloin gets into the game at some point for Oakland and actually performs well, leading to a groundswell of WIP callers who believe the Eagles should trade their 2014 second-round pick for the Penn State grad and install him as franchise quarterback during the offseason.

Week 10 at Green Bay – Loss, 42-26

Vick returns, but looks as though he’s still dealing with the lingering effects of whatever injury he came down with this time. Aaron Rodgers on the other hand is in MVP form, completing over 80% of his passes against a defense that doesn’t have the horses to keep up with the Packers’ speed on offense. After the game, Cary Williams throws his teammates and coaching staff under the bus.

Week 11 vs. Washington – Loss, 31-28

Having been thoroughly embarrassed by Chip Kelly in Week 1, Mike Shanahan goes deep into his bag of tricks to jump on the Eagles early, and the Redskins hang on to gain their revenge. Robert Griffin catches a touchdown pass from Santana Moss, and Sav Rocca scampers in for six on a fake field goal in what are the beginnings of a rivalry where two head coaches try to out-troll the other every time they meet.

Week 12 Bye

DeSean Jackson releases his second hip-hop single Shiny Objects Distract Me featuring Kanye West. WIP and internet message boards are filled with irate fans who say the wide receiver should focus on football. DJacc is enjoying a career year and is en route to his third Pro Bowl.

Week 13 vs. Arizona – Win, 24-6

The Eagles’ front seven swarms Ryan Lindley all afternoon long – the Cardinals are already on to their third quarterback – with Fletcher Cox landing the hit of the year on the helpless signal caller. It’s the type of devastating collision the marketing department uses in their highlight reels for years to come.

Week 14 vs. Detroit – Win, 45-41

Defensive coordinator Bill Davis makes a halftime adjustment, having Cary Williams shadow Calvin Johnson wherever he goes. The plan works, as Cary hauls in a pair of interceptions including one in the final two minutes to help seal a huge comeback victory. After the game, Williams tells reporters in the locker room that the Eagles’ defense is once again feared around the National Football League. Note the final score.

Week 15 at Minnesota – Loss, 27-13

Vick suffers from flashbacks of his dreadful performance against the Vikings in 2010. He keeps hallucinating Antoine Winfield is blitzing off the edge, repeatedly attempting to flee the pocket even when the protection is fine. In the meantime, Adrian Peterson rushes for over 200 yards and scores three touchdowns – Vick is eventually sent to the trainer’s room where he rocks himself to sleep.

Week 16 vs. Chicago – Loss, 24-19

Amid baseless rumors that Chip Kelly will return to college football at season’s end, the Eagles come out flat. DeSean has just been named to the Pro Bowl as well, and wants to be healthy for an imaginary impending contract renegotiation, so he’s back to gator-arming passes. Chris Tillman terrorizes Vick, forcing three turnovers. Afterwards, Chip berates Les Bowen for asking about the reports at the post-game press conference.

Week 17 at Dallas – Win, 31-23

Jason La Canfora’s report about Chip is (not surprisingly) unfounded, and the Birds have new life. Of course, it helps that this game somehow winds up being for the NFC East Championship. Vick puts in his best outing of the year, rewarding coach for sticking by him through the ups and downs of a 16-game season. With their sweep of Dallas, Philadelphia owns the tiebreaker over the Cowboys, which means the Eagles earn a home game in the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

Wild-Card Round vs. San Francisco – Loss, 38-14

The Eagles have already exceeded expectations at this point, so it’s not surprising when a powerhouse like the 49ers steamrolls right through Philly to advance. Vick is so ineffective that Foles gets a shot, but it’s clear the Birds will be in the market for the quarterback at the draft in May. Still, the season was more fun than a lot of people expected, and there’s real enthusiasm heading into the offseason.

NHL Notes: Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano

NHL Notes: Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano

The struggling New York Islanders fired coach Jack Capuano on Tuesday, ending his tenure in the middle of its seventh season.

General manager Garth Snow named assistant GM/coach Doug Weight as Capuano's interim replacement. Snow told reporters Tuesday that the Islanders weren't where they wanted to be in the standings and that everyone's disappointed in their performance his season.

"At the end of the day organizationally I don't think Jack was probably going to be a coach that we were going to bring back," Snow said, adding that the team will begin a full-time coaching search now.

Snow said the halfway point of the season played a role in the timing of firing Capuano a day after beating the Boston Bruins 4-0. The Islanders were 17-17-8 and are in last place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points.

Capuano had been behind the Islanders bench since 2010 and was the fourth-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins, Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks and Dave Tippett of the Arizona Coyotes. Capuano's 482 games and 227 wins rank second in franchise history behind four-time Stanley Cup-winning Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour.

"I don't know that Jack fell short of expectations," Snow said. "When you're a coach in this league sometimes you're a victim of different circumstances."

Snow signed Andrew Ladd to a $38.5 million, seven-year contract in July and the winger has been a disappointment with 12 points in 41 games. The Islanders have also dealt with some injuries and waived veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak to send him to the minors.

The Islanders under Capuano went 227-194-64 and made three playoff appearances. They have not lived up to playoff expectations this season and new majority owner Jon Ledecky is expected to consider major organizational changes this offseason.

Snow said he takes "100 percent" responsibility for the underachievement but that he doesn't worry about his own job security. He said he has full confidence in Weight, the coaching staff and players to "turn this ship around."

Weight, 45, has been with the Islanders in an executive and coaching capacity since retiring in 2011. Snow said his relationship with all players, including Ladd, was positive and that he called captain John Tavares and others to inform them of the "organizational decision" to fire Capuano.

Snow said assistant coach Bob Corkum would move down from the press box to the bench as part of the restructuring.

Mike Tomlin: Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for locker room live stream

Mike Tomlin: Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for locker room live stream

PITTSBURGH — The father in Mike Tomlin regrets the language he used to describe the New England Patriots during the postgame speech Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown's opted to livestream on social media after a taut playoff victory over Kansas City.

The coach in Tomlin has just as big an issue with one of his team's biggest stars forcing the Steelers to talk about something other than trying to find a way to finally beat Tom Brady when it counts.

A characteristically blunt Tomlin called Brown's decision to broadcast more than 17 minutes of Pittsburgh's giddy locker room to the world -- a move that caught Tomlin using a handful of profanities -- over Kansas City "foolish," "selfish" and "inconsiderate."

"Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows," Tomlin said Tuesday.

"So there are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective. We will punish him. We won't punish us."

Tomlin took responsibility for his choice of words, though he was unaware of being filmed as he spoke.

During Tomlin's brief remarks he attached an expletive to the Patriots, who earned a full day's head start on the Steelers by virtue of beating Houston on Saturday night, 24 hours before Pittsburgh outlasted Kansas City 18-16.

"The responsibility associated with being in this thing, just from a role model standpoint, it's something that I personally embrace," Tomlin said.

"It's something that we as a team and organization embrace. So that's why the language, specifically, in terms of the content, is regrettable."

So too is the action of the talented if sporadically diva-like Brown. The former sixth-round pick has evolved from raw project into one of the NFL's best wide receivers.

This season he became only the second player in league history to post four consecutive 100-catch seasons.

His work ethic is universally lauded even as his Q-rating has skyrocketed. Brown can be found on TV pitching everything from soda to credit cards to video games.

The player who -- for reasons he hasn't yet disclosed -- occasionally refers to himself as "Ronald " also has a devoted social media presence, with more than 1.5 million following on Instagram and another 650,000 on Facebook, many of whom got an eyeful and an earful as the Steelers celebrated their first trip to the AFC title game in six years.

While Tomlin has "very little concern" about the content of the video, he has plenty of concern over Brown's lack of judgment.

"You wear on your teammates when they routinely have to answer questions about things that aren't preparation or football-related," Tomlin said.

"It's our desire for him and for everyone to be great teammates, as well as great players. He is a great player. He is a hardworking player. He is respected, largely, in the locker room for those things. But incidences such as this, don't help him in that regard."

The Steelers have grown accustomed to Brown's flights of fancy, whether it's posing for the Mannequin challenge while meeting with reporters, wearing eye-opening (and fine threatening) cleats or his over-the-top touchdown celebrations.

The fallout this time around has been mixed. Long snapper Greg Warren said Monday "AB is AB, he can do what he wants to do."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expressed disappointment in Brown during Roethlisberger's weekly appearance on 93.7 The Fan.

Either way, the fact they were forced to respond to questions about Brown before the biggest game of the season only reinforces Tomlin's point, though Tomlin stressed Brown is hardly the only athlete capable of becoming a distraction.

"Those things don't apply exclusively to Antonio," Tomlin said. "It's a global thing in regards to professional sports. I think that's why oftentimes you see great players move around from team to team.

"And I definitely don't want that to be his story. I am sure he doesn't want that to be his story. So, he has to address these things that put him and us in positions from time to time, in settings such as this, where it needs to be addressed."

Tomlin didn't outline the internal discipline Brown faces other than to say it will not affect his availability this weekend.

New England (15-2) pulled away from the Steelers (13-5) in the second half of a 27-16 victory in Pittsburgh on Oct. 23, a game Roethlisberger missed while recovering from surgery on his left knee.

Roethlisberger will be around this time. And so will Brown, who will almost certainly have his phone turned off late Sunday evening regardless of the outcome.

"He has to grow from this," Tomlin said. "He has to."

Notes
LB James Harrison is dealing with shoulder and triceps injuries and could be limited early in the week. ... TE Ladarius Green remains in the concussion protocol more than three weeks after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit against Cincinnati.