OK. You guys asked for an interview with 'Bye, Dawk:(:', and now you've got it. Our favorite Philadelphia Eagles fan (now, there is maybe the strangest phrase I have ever typed) graciously agreed to answer five questions from me. So, here is our interview.
Big Blue View: Obviously, you're an Eagles fan. Yet, you spend a lot of time at BBV, and you have actually become a valued member of the community. Why are you spending so much time sleeping with the enemy, so to speak?
Bye, Dawk:(:"There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."
- Michael Corleone
Big Blue View: The Eagles have beaten our Giants three times in a row. Giants fans will never say, oh, the Eagles are just better. Never. Not buying it. But, is there something you see as a reason why the recent matchups have gone Philly's way.
Bye, Dawk:(: Before I answer that question, I'll point out that the 3 games prior to our latest 3-game run were won by the Giants, but I digress.
This might be oversimplifying it, but in each of the past 3 games, the Eagles won the 1st Quarter. Let's throw out this year's game, which wasn't really a contest and focus on last year's games. Last year the Giants played extraordinarily well with the lead all season. They simply bullied teams once they got ahead, as evidenced by their 5.0 yards per carry and 157 yards per game in 2008. In the 2 games the Eagles beat the Giants last year, they won the 1st Quarter, kept their defense off the field, and the Giants only put up 88 and 138 rushing yards, both below their average. In the game the Giants won last year, they grabbed an early lead and bullied the Eagles for 219 yards on the ground, as well as a difference of 39:10 to 20:50 in time of possession. The Giants' run game this year is a far cry from their dominance of a year ago, but I think some of that is offset by the emergence of Steve Smith and the rest of the Giants' young receivers' ability to move the chains. I know I'm really going out on a limb here, but I think whoever wins the 1st Quarter, wins the game.
Big Blue View: OK, the question I love to ask. Which Giants player would you love to see in Philly's lineup, and why?
Bye, Dawk:(: "The Nobody," Justin Tuck. His biggest strength is his versatility to excel at every position along the D Line, which is a trait highly valued by the Eagles. He stops the run, he can rush the passer outside, he can rush the passer inside from the DT spot, and he's one of the most disruptive forces in the NFL - he's almost like a poor man's Reggie White (and I mean that as a compliment). I'll take it this far... If the Eagles had the option to steal any defensive player from the entire NFC East, it wouldn't be a no-brainer to take Demarcus Ware - I'd give really strong consideration to Tuck. Obviously, this has been a bit of a down year for Tuck due to injuries, but I'll give him a pass.
Tuck, Patterson, Bunkley, Cole - That would be scary.
Big Blue View: The way it is shaping up, out of Dallas, Philly and the Giants one of those teams is not making the playoffs. Which one, and why?
Bye, Dawk:(: Agreed, it looks like it'll be 2 of the 3, and Green Bay. Ugh, tough call. The team that loses our matchup is in trouble, but even still, I think it's Dallas. Their schedule is downright dirty:
- San Diego - 6-game win streak, extremely talented offense.
- @ New Orleans - Best team in the NFL right now (apologies to Indy) playing in maybe the loudest stadium, and the Saints won't have home field advantage throughout the playoffs wrapped up yet by gametime, so this one will still mean something to them.
- @ Washington - For the rest of the season, Washington is my 2nd favorite team. In their past 3 games, they dominated the Cowboys for 58 minutes and only lost because of their kicker, they outplayed the Eagles for a good portion of that game and lost in the final minutes, and they had New Orleans all but finished, but again, the kicker. I'd want no part of this team. Wait, who do the Giants play next week?
- Philly - Gotta love the football gods' sense of humor.
Big Blue View: Your feelings on Andy Reid? I think Philly fans fall in and out of love with Reid all the time, and it looks like you are going to have him around for a while. You OK with that?
Bye, Dawk:(: Count me in as one of those love/hate guys, but yes, I'm absolutely OK with Big Red sticking around for a while. He's the Eagles' all time franchise leader in wins, winning percentage, & playoff victories. He gameplans for opponents extremely well, and he along with Tom Heckert have done an outstanding job assembling a really talented, young team. The Anti-Andyites (myself included on occasion) will point to his playcalling and time management as his major weaknesses, and while I disagree to an extent on the playcalling, there's absolutely no defending some of his time management gaffes.
But Andy Reid's merits/detriments aside, I'm a firm believer in continuity, and despite the lack of that elusive Lombardi trophy it's been a great decade of Eagles football under Reid.
Big Blue View: Bonus question: Your prediction for Sunday?
Bye, Dawk:(: I actually typed 19-17 Giants, with Barry Cofield blocking a late long FG attempt and the Giants bleeding out the final 3 minutes because the Eagles have no timeouts left. However, I tried to hit the send button on my e-mail, but my computer threatened to explode and take me out with it if I did, sooooo...
20-19 Eagles. Akers drills the late FG, and Quintin Mikell seals it with a pick.
Many thanks to 'Bye, Dawk:(:' for playing along and being willing to do this. Eagles fan or not, 'Dawk,' you're welcome here any time. Of course, when you show up on Monday we sure hope it's to congratulate the Giants instead of crow about the Eagles.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org)