Tuesday, January 16, 2007

More Evidence that I'm Not Alone

Most people tend to rush to the defense of Andy Reid, calling him a "great coach" because of our many trips to the playoffs (Buddy Ryan went to the playoffs a lot too). Anyway, as I've cited previously, Andy's play calling and on field leadership is suspect, at best; that's why he is always outcoached in big games (big games tend to feature the best coaches, so his deficiencies become more obvious). Saturday was no exception - a great example was his terrible play calling on that critical short yardage play down on the Saints' goal line early in the 4th Q.

This analysis is from Tuesday Morning Quarterback (written by Gregg Easterbrook) and is exactly what I've been saying:

"Lowlight of the game: Trailing 27-21, Philadelphia faced third-and-1 on the New Orleans 4 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Eagles rushed for 6.2 yards per carry in this game: just run the ball and the first down is likely. Instead, the Eagles pass, loss of yardage, field goal and the visitors never penetrated New Orleans territory again. Just run the ball! Especially since in this situation, any result except a loss of yardage and a fourth-down run is a high percentage play, too. TMQ has done numerous items on how the pass-wacky Andy Reid seems to think that only passing yardage counts. Down at the goal line in a game in which the Eagles rushed well, Reid didn't want a rushing touchdown, he wanted a passing touchdown -- the sports press treats passing success as evidence of coaching genius, while viewing rushing success as just bump-and-grind. Reid's tragic flaw, his desire for passing numbers, may have cost the Eagles a postseason win. This isn't important enough to call Greek tragedy. Maybe it rises to the level of Albanian tragedy."

Not only is this analysis hilarious, but it seems to be written with the same frustration as I feel, not only about that play but also about Reid's decisions in general. Reid has been completely obsessed with passing, and we've lost many games because of it. He always, always wants to pass on 3rd and short. He's so intent on being tricky and cute about short yardage situations rather than just jamming down the opponent's throat. True, the Saints' defense was stopping the run up the middle for most of the game, but not the run outside, and passing that close to the goal is always tough.

How long are we going to ignore this stupidity? I need to do some research on Andy's 3rd down success rate compared to the League average. More to come...


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