Happy Super Bowl Weekend Fire The Walrus Nation!
Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year – along with the NFL Draft, Kickoff Sunday, Christmas and Buddy Ryan’s Birthday – but, as usual, Eagles fans will be watching without a horse in the race(*) – unless, of course, they’re gamblers.
(*)Or dog in the fight, if you enjoy Vick-related puns.
So with that being said, let’s take a quick look back at why the Eagles – and us as fans – will be watching from home… or self-sponsored Super Bowl parties:
- No major Free Agent additions, particularly a veteran Defensive Back, and no Offensive Lineman taken in the draft, will eventually catch up with the 2010 Eagles.
- Reid named Kolb the starter before Training Camp, thus forgoing a Quarterback competition/controversy from the get-go. Although many people (yes, including myself) were eager to see what Kolb could do – and the fact that Vick didn’t look all that great in Training Camp – maybe a real shot at the starting spot would have lit a fire under Vick, sending the team into the season with the explosive Offense it took four weeks to find.
- For reasons unexplained – short of Andy Reid’s ego being the size of his gut – the Eagles first play from scrimmage included both Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick… and an illegal formation. How the first play of the season – something thought about, planned and choreographed – is illegal boggles my mind. The two were on the field together for almost half of the plays over the team’s first four drives, primarily in the Wildcat, and all in scripted plays that resulted in a total of three punts and three points.
- The team blew a 19-10 lead in Tennessee, primarily at the hands of Kenny Britt (7 receptions, 225 yards, 3 touchdowns) but mostly because Reid was satisfied going into the season with Ellis Hobbs and Dimitri (the new Izel Jenkins, aka Toast) Patterson at Cornerback.
- Following the Miracle at the Meadowlands (NUM-BER TWO!), and the most ridiculous decision in NFL history to NOT play a game in a blizzard (which we’ll get to eventually), Reid’s team came out flatter than than they ever have a gave away a chance at a playoff bye. In fact, that entire week – from Kurt Coleman and other players never really coming down from the high of the Giants game, to the two-day wait and Tuesday night game – deserves its own post.
- For all of the reasons that the Eagles lost to the Packers in the playoffs – Vick’s interception, James Starks tearing up the Defense, bad calls from the refs – none stand out more than Reid’s playcalling, particularly the fact that LeSean McCoy only touched the ball 16 times. It was widely discussed before the game, both locally and nationally, that the way for the Eagles to win was on the legs of Shady. The Eagles miraculously had the 5th ranked rushing attack in the NFL(**) and were able to attack a three-man front, plus they needed to open up the field with play action in order to score on a tough secondary. But that plan never came, as Andy tried to outsmart himself, per usual.(**)Miraculous because leadblocker Leonard Weaver went down for the year in Week One, because Reid stubbornly refuses to run on a consistent basis (another post all together), and because the only real effective running play the Offense ran was the inside handoff out of Shotgun.
There are a plethora of reasons why the Packers and Steelers made it to Super Bowl XLV and a million more for why the Eagles didn’t. Green Bay and Pittsburgh both tout top-five Defenses, the Eagles don’t. And they probably won’t in 2011 either, as this offseason has begun about as unspectacularly as last year’s.
Another Super Bowl Sunday that we’re forced to watch simply as football fans – or fans of commercials with monkeys and talking babies. Another Super Bowl Sunday without our wing-helmeted heroes. Another Super Bowl Sunday that won’t end with Philadelphia finally possessing the coveted Lombardi Trophy.
We’re a city starved for football glory, while our Coach craves prime rib.
Philadelphia Pittsburgh or Green Bay.
Watching the big game tomorrow? Join Fire The Walrus on Twitter (@FireTheWalrus) as we Live Tweet (also known as “make snarky, sarcastic comments on Twitter, ala Mystery Science Theatre 3000”) the Super Bowl… beginning with FOX’s pregame show.
See you tomorrow!