Sunday, October 22, 2006


OK everybody, good teams find a way to win, and what do bad teams find a way to do? Simply put, our Eagles are just a bad TEAM right now - the roster doesn't say it, the stats don't really say it, but the subpar coaching and the creative ways in which the players are allowing the opposition to win is speaking volumes right now. The Birds are poorly prepared and organized as a team that has playoff aspirations. With the talent they have, the Birds should not be 4-3 given the opponents they've faced.

When the offense tallies over 500 total yards and the defense holds the opposition to less than 200 yards of total offense, the win is in the bag, right? No, not if you turn over the ball 4 times and fail to manage the clock properly.

Although I've been harping on this for a while, the lack of organization stems from Reid and his coaching staff and the horrible decisions they've been making. Again today, I blame the coaches for this loss - they just don't care about fixing the many little things that make up a big loss...

CONDITIONING: So, it was apparently really hot down in Tampa. So what? These players are supposed to be conditioned to play in all temperatures, for 60 minutes. McNabb supposedly spends part of the offseason training in Arizona...what exactly is he doing out there? I don't mean to rip too hard on D-Mac because I love him and all, but this has been a major problem for us at the end of tight games (ahem, the Super Bowl!). The coaches need to fix this problem immediately because some of these guys, particularly McNabb, are consistently worn out by the 4Q. Funny, I haven't seen Tom Brady throw up from exhaustion.

CLOCK MANAGEMENT YET AGAIN: What is there to say about a nice 8-play, 78-yard drive at the end of the first half which culminated on the Bucs 2-yard line but yielded zero points? Turns out we could have used that easy 3 points at the end of the game - instead we left the points on the field, again. If there is 9 seconds left on the opponents' 6-yard line, you have time for ONE quick pass play...a brief look into the endzone if you will. If you can't handle that, then just kick the FG and end the half. First, why wasn't McNabb in shotgun for this play so that he could survey the D (and avoid a sack more easily) and second, why isn't he coached that under no circumstances should he throw the ball short of the goal line? That's high school football 101. This is how our 2 minute drills have gone all year (and since Big Red took over in fact). All of our plays during the "2 minute drills" are passes or runs up into the middle of the field, killing time-outs or running the clock down. That final "drive" was a great example of this; the only reason it resulted in a TD is because Westy had to be Superman and avoid 5 tackles. Otherwise, the clock would have been killed again. Reid needs to spend some time on the 2 minute drill. Invite Montana and even Peyton over for dinner.

TURNOVERS: The 3 INTS appeared to be mostly on McNabb. Falling out of character this game, he made some very poor decisions for those throws. He was obviously trying to get something going and force the ball - bad results happen when you do that as McNabb should have learned from that hard lesson that Roy Williams taught him last season on Monday night. In any case, the WRs may have run poor routes and may not have been getting the separation they needed to get; but in those cases, I don't understand why McNabb doesn't just RUN?? Run like hell. Andy, give him a designed run in about that?! I've always said that they need at least one designed run for McNabb every game - it causes the LBs to freeze for a precious half second on many passing plays which can make all of the difference in the success over the course of a game. Wasn't it interesting that McNabb finally did run after the 3rd INT?...with outstanding results too. He racked up over 50 rushing yards in the second half, leading us on scoring drives.

The fumbles are inexcusable too, except I blame the coaches and not the players. As my boys and I discussed watching the game today, Tiki Barber doesn't fumble anymore ever since his new coaching staff took an interest in correcting that major problem of his. It's the little things that Andy Reid and his staff don't do. LJ CARRIES THE BALL LIKE A SIX-PACK.

SLOW STARTS: We just cannot get going until the second half. Are the guys not motivated Andy? What's the problem when you have to rely on halftime to rejuvenate? Consistently playing from behind gets old after a while. Today, we scored TDs on each of our final 3 possessions - that's all the scoring we had.

Other key problems, mostly coaching issues again:

*Stupid penalties - like McDougle's which cost us 30 yards and led to a Tampa field goal. Like Trent Cole's kick in the groin a few weeks ago, this type of behavior is inexcusable and can cost us games, maybe even a playoff spot. Coaching.

*Dropped passes - yet again, even some of our sure-handed guys like the Brook dropped have caught the disease. Does McNabb put vaseline on the ball? None of these guys can catch his passes. I don't understand this, but we're basically leading the league in dropped passes. Imagine D-Mac's numbers if even half of them would have been caught.

The Final Insult: A 62-yard field goal (the 3rd longest in NFL history) by a below-average kicker to win the game. Wha? I don't even know how to describe the reasons why this FG was a predetermined sure-thing, but my buddy Scoot called it before Matt Bryant even lined up for the kick. "I can't believe he made that kick!" Scoot said, as we all gave him a hard time for being negative, but he needed to get prepared for the disappointment...he knew as well as all of us, it's what we can count on from this broken-down, trophy-less franchise: Disappointment.


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