Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Week five wrap up

In the season after Terrell Owens questioned Donovan McNabb's leadership capabilities the Eagle quarterback has led a new young receiving core to number one offense in the NFL and his team to first place in the NFC East. This is somewhat reminiscent of how early in the season after T.O. insinuated then-San Fransisco QB Jeff Garcia was gay two playboy playmates fought violently for Garcia's affection in a Cleveland bar.

So Drew Bledsoe can look forward to a dramatic redemption of whichever of his characteristics T.O. chooses to impugn when he throws the Dallas quarterback under bus. Assuming Bledsoe isn't killed by a defense tackle between now and the '07 season.

Although Bledsoe can't blame all his bad play
Sunday on the seven sacks and the countless thrashings he absorbed from an amped up Eagle defense. He threw some truly dreadful passes when he had the time to set his feet and look downfield. The worst of them came when he was trying to force the ball to T.O.

Bledsoe finished 3 for 12 with two interceptions when he looked in Owen's direction. He was 15 for 25 to the rest of the team.

The Cowboys led at halftime even though T.O. was such a small part of their offense the vengeful and prepared Philly fans had forgotten all about the target of their scorn. But, lead or no lead, Owens made sure a zero catch first half had noisy ramifications on his own sideline.

He stalked back and forth like a madman -- apparently screaming if the Cowboys didn't want to throw to him they shouldn't have signed him. On the telecast Troy Aikman speculated Coach Parcells was moving the play calling responsibilities around so Owens wouldn't know who to shout at. I couldn't tell if Aikman was kidding, but Owens appeared to be yelling at ball boys just in case.

His act worked because as the second half wore on Dallas seemed determined to get T.O. the ball. But Owens, who was often single covered by a defense back I'd never seen the Eagles play before, made no impact at all.

The funny thing about sports is how dramatically the entire post game story line can change with one play. This almost happened on Sunday when a 50 yard pass interference penalty on 4 and 20 with 40 seconds left gave the Cowboys a chance to tie the game. Bledsoe threw the opportunity away, and immediately the focus was on the vindication of McNabb and the troubled future of Bledsoe and Owens.

If Dallas had tied it up and gone on to win in overtime McNabb, despite his outstanding play, would have been denied the personal vindication so many wanted for him and it would be Philly's deficiencies that were discussed and dissected.

But, no matter what the final score, as long as Owens finished the game everyone had circled on their calenders with 3 catches for 45 yards, his future with Bledsoe -- and possibly the Cowboy coaching staff -- would have been poisoned and his growth as a locker room cancer would remain on track.

Picks: Donovan McNabb is on pace to break Dan Marino's single season record for most passing yards. He is in striking distance of the record for total touchdowns. I continue to be on pace for mediocrity with a 6-6-2 record for the week. 28-27-3 mark for the year.

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