Just a Yard Short

Honestly, what can really be said after a loss like that that hasn’t already been said? We try to find the words. Although the Eagles only came up a yard short of tying the game at the end, there was a lot wrong with the way this game played out from the Eagles standpoint.

We should win if our running back plays well. We should win if our defense can shut down the opposing QB. We should win if our QB plays well. These are statements that are made from fans of all teams from all over every football Sunday. Unfortunately, with this Eagles team, we have to go into every game wondering if the play calling by Andy Reid will even allow us to win the game. We have an asterisk next to every statement like that above that we make. We should win….. if the play calling is good. Unfortunately for us, the play calling was not good, and has not been good all season.

The Eagles called 14 running plays, which doesn’t include the runs by McNabb. Two of those runs were on the final drive of the first half, in which they just ran twice, and let the time run out; so those don’t really count. 46 passes. It’s insulting to us die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fans to have the play calling not even give us a chance to win the game. As fans, we complain a lot about the Eagles’ shortcomings, as we should. But when you throw the ball 50 times a game, the receivers are going to drop a lot of balls, McNabb is going to throw some bad passes…. that’s what happens when you throw the ball so much. When you run, you get to control the game. You control the line of scrimmage, you control the clock, and thus control the pace of the game. Apparently, Andy Reid doesn’t realize that any of this is important to the game. He still feels as if throwing the ball every play will result in 50 points a game. This has not proven to be the case, in fact, it is quite the opposite. The Eagles have the most success when running the football. This Eagles team is 7-0 this season when they run the football more than their opponent. They are 1-6-1 when they have fewer carries than their opponent. Another frustrating thing is that in the game, the Eagles were never down by more than one possession, yet if you look at the play calling, you would have thought that the Eagles were down by 20 and trying desperately to get back into the game. The game at hand did not dictate so many passes to be called.

I’d like to continue the Andy Reid bashing by mentioning a post-game comment in which Andy Reid stated that the defense “started slowly.” That’s funny, since it was 0-0 after the 1st quarter, 3-0 at halftime. That is starting slowly? The only Redskins touchdown drive came on an 18-yard drive after a turnover in the 3rd quarter. The defense was the only reason we were even in that game until the end. In fact, the defense has been stellar all season long for the most part, especially as of late.

As for the game itself, it was not pretty. The Eagles were without their incredible wide receivers, Kevin Curtis and Hank Baskett. Two players who would barely be missed on any other team, were greatly missed for the Eagles on Sunday. Reggie Brown was forced into the lineup, and Greg Lewis had his role increased. The only problem with that is they both suck. L.J. Smith, the Samuel Dalembert of the Eagles, continues to dissappoint on the field, missing key blocks in big situations, and dropping a couple passes. DeSean Jackson, while still an impressive rookie, dropped a few passes including a long pass on the final drive which fell right through his hands.

Many negatives, mostly on offense and the coaching, and not a lot of positives coming out of the game resulted in a crushing loss for the Eagles, who may have ruined their playoff chances. The Eagles now need the Bucs to lose to the Raiders no matter what, also need the Bears to lose one of their last two games, or the Vikings to lose their final game. Ohh yeah, they also need to beat the Cowboys the final game of the season. I guess if the Eagles don’t get in, it would be nice to beat the Cowgirls the final day of the season.


Goose said...

Can I also gripe about the timeout situation?

First series of the second half, 3rd and whatever (long - around 8 maybe) and the play clock is winding down. Instead of rushing the play off, Reid calls a timeout, saving the five yard delay of game penalty.

Really? Five yards there is really more important than a timeout you might need at the end of a game? It's not like the game wasn't tight. Why waste it there?

Also wanted to point out that had the Eagles fans been throwing ice balls at a game like the Giants fans were last night, ESPN probably would have devoted an entire Outside the Lines to it. As it happened, Al Michaels, used the action simply to describe how cold it was.

Thanks sports media!

Dr. G said...

Yeah, just a yard short...Unfortunately for us, Reid's a whole lot of yards short of having a freakin' clue! Game conditions somewhat similar to the Giants game, but this time with two starting receivers out. One would think Reid's short term memory would kick in to that Meadowlands game plan: you know, the balanced offense that was actually given the chance to work. But, oh no, Andy's allergic reaction to the run crops up again, and there's no Benadryl on hand to relieve the hives. So the hell with the wind, the hell with the second-rate receivers, let's give Donovan and the O-line 12 freakin' pass plays in a row! And the shame is, you could see this coming since the Giants game: Andy steadily returning to form, slowly at first against the Cardinals, more so in the Browns game, and now back to full failure mode with the Skins. I said before that Reid was a slow learner, but this guy makes Forrest Gump look like Einstein...

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