It is hard to put into words just how pathetic the Philadelphia Eagles were on Monday night in
His football team had an opportunity to pull within a game in the loss column of the lead in the NFC East. They were facing the worst defense in the NFL. And despite recording nine of the contest’s first 10 first downs, the Birds still dug themselves a 21-3 halftime deficit.
“When you’re 0-for-5 in the redzone, you give up seven sacks and your tackling is terrible, you’re going to struggle to win games in the National Football League,” Reid said after the game.
It was an honest assessment, but it rang hollow considering the fact that it was his team’s third consecutive pathetic performance.
When asked whether his team might be tuning out his message, the coach seemed to dismiss the notion.
“If I saw that they weren’t playing hard I’d question that,” Reid said. “But I’m not seeing that.”
Yet his defense played like it was allergic to physical contact in the second quarter. The Saints, which entered the night averaging just over 70 yards per game on the ground as a team and were playing without starting tailback Darren Sproles, eclipsed 100 yards rushing in the first half. Many of the big gains came after the Eagles either missed tackles or were steamrolled by Saints’ backs.
Reid sacrificed his longtime lieutenant Juan Castillo during the bye week. Since Castillo was replaced as defensive coordinator by Todd Bowles, the Eagles are allowing 143 rushing yards per game, 382 total yards per contest, 6.3 yards per play and 29 points per game.
In other words, Castillo was clearly not the problem.
On offense, the Eagles moved the ball effectively between the twenties, but shutdown inside the redzone. Vick turned the ball over once near the endzone, and Brent Celek did the same later in the game. In the three other trips deep into Saints territory the Eagles managed two field goals and turned the ball over on downs.
Michael Vick completed just over 50 percent of his passes. He was under constant duress thanks to a horrible showing from the offensive line, but at the same time he gave that unit no assistance by repeatedly failing to identify blitzing defenders in his pre-snap reads. He held the ball too long at critical points and missed open receivers at others.
There are many out there (I can think of a pair of Monday Night Football broadcasters and one former Pennsylvania Governor off the top of my head) who will make excuses for Vick. I just don’t see that rationale. Good quarterbacks can overcome adversity, elite ones thrive under it. Vick uses it as a crutch. He says the right things after the game, but he never fixes anything.
Is he under heavy pressure on a lot of plays? Absolutely. Does it make his job more difficult? Sure. Is it the root of all of his issues? No way.
There are so many problems with the Eagles right now it’s hard to touch on them all. They are 3-5 and spiraling out of control. The season seems lost and the Reid era seems to be approaching its finish.
There’s nothing positive to cling to right now. That’s why the head coach has to go. The only real drama that remains is whether the change can wait until after the season ends, or if it gets so bad Reid has to go before the campaign comes to a close.