And welcome back!
Much like the majority of Fire The Walrus Nation, it is tough to hate on our beloved Eagles after a near-perfect, Romo-embarrassing performance against the Cowboys. But then The Walrus goes and reminds us exactly why this site exists…
Let’s not be mistaken… all of the national football “experts” who immediately and predictably anointed the Eagles the class of the NEast after the Dallas shellacking, clearly haven’t been paying close attention to Andy Reid the last 13 years(*)(**). Reid-led Eagles teams ALWAYS give us one (1) complete game a year, and only one – last week against the Cowboys, the Redskins Monday Night Game last season, the Giants in 2009, the Steelers in 2008, the Lions in 2007. The team’s record following those five games where they we’re clicking on all cylinders: 1-4.
(*) Though, to be fair, their opinions on teams flip-flop worse than Reid does on the “honey baked” versus “smoked” ham debate.
(**) Congratulations Andy Reid, on your Bar Mitzvah of Ineptitude!
This was a textbook Walrus game. Didn’t we all see this coming?
And what a strange game it was. Could the Bears and Eagles be any more similar? It was like watching mirror images play each other… and both images look like Jekyll and Hyde. Have you ever seen a game where both teams put together really solid, well-planned and executed drives, while simultaneously making poor decisions, missing tackles, drawing ludicrous penalties and playing ridiculously sloppy? What a terribly coached game for both sides of the field.
For the life of us, we’ll never figure out Andy Reid’s decision – and it’s definitely his call, not Bobby April’s – to have rookie Punter Chaz Henry THROW a pass! On fourth-down! In the fourth quarter! In Chicago territory! Seriously, 4th and 6 from the 42, down three points with less than ten minutes remaining… Just keep the Offense on the field and go for it. Or punt and play actual Defense. Why is that so hard? Instead we get to see Henry’s girly noodle arm under-threw a WIDE open Owen Schmitt by, what felt like, 30 yards.
Speaking of going for it on fourth down… the play call on 4th and inches from the Bears’ 20 in the third quarter: Why hand the ball off three yards deep with no lead blocker, rather than have Vick simply fall forward? Maybe were picking nits – they did convert and go on to score a TD on the drive – but Andy Reid’s inability to call short yardage plays never ceases to amaze us.
The most egregious coaching job of the night has to go to
Paul Mooney Lovie Smith though (though Mike Martz likely made this specific call). Third-and-goal from the Eagles’ 4 yard-line, up three with four minutes to play and the clock ticking down, and the Bears drop back to pass?! The Eagles D stiffened up a little bit and slowed down the run, but mostly on first and second downs. Even if the Bears don’t punch the ball in there, they still take at least 30 more seconds off the clock. Just dumb clock management, any Eagles fan can tell you that!(***)
(***) We traveled to Chicago in 2009 for the Eagles-Bears Sunday Night game, and Bears fans may have hated Lovie Smith then more than Eagles fans have hated Andy Reid at any time. Naturally, he’s still there. Somewhere in Chicago, the URL “FirePaulMooney.com” is being purchased…
What a shitfest all around. The Eagles’ secondary played horribly – another bad game for Asomugha – even allowing Roy Williams to grab snag three catches, each for a first down. The Defensive Line didn’t necessarily play poorly – they were in the backfield on nearly every passing down and consistently flushed Cutler out of the pocket – yet somehow didn’t get one hand on Cutler the entire game. To their credit, the Bears’ O-Line, playing with two back-ups, played extraordinarily well protection. And no matter how far back the Defense pushed the Bears on first and second down, they seemed to convert every single third down (****).
(****) In reality, the Bears converted seven of their 14 third downs, but did rail off four in a row to start the game and two on their clinching drive. Coincidentally, the Eagles were 8-14 on third down.
The only saving-grace was that the Offense did look unstoppable at times. Shady continued his campaign to become the most beloved Eagles Running Back of all time. The O-Line and Brent Celek(!) made some jaw-dropping blocks. Vick was throwing some really nice balls and his receivers were making nice decisions… you know, until the fourth quarter. Really, Desean Jackson was the only goat on Offense last night. Is the contract situation, and the talk of Shady getting a new deal soon, responsible for him disappearing completely?
Even the refs got in on the act, making some insane calls – thought thankfully both ways. The Eagles got a freebie with a pass interference call in the first quarter that shouldn’t have been called (the ball was tipped first). The Bears got lucky with the roughing the passer penalty that was caused by a Bears’ Lineman pushing Jason Babin in the back. The one truly horrible mistake was the pass interference call on Nnamdi that kept the Bears’ clinching drive alive. If he looks at the ball, that call isn’t made. Again, terrible game for Asomugha.
Regardless of how they did it though, the Eagles have once again blown a fourth quarter lead – their fourth of the year. They are now three games behind the first-place Giants and two games behind seven NFC teams – Packers, 49ers, Giants, Lions, Saints, Bears, Falcons, Bucs and Cowboys. They need to go 7-1 to even think about the playoffs. It’s not likely. And even if it did happen, this team isn’t winning a championship. Hell, this team isn’t capable of getting past the five best teams in the conference.
Again, we don’t condone rooting against the Eagles, but at this point, it’s all about draft position and The Walrus’ fate.
Here’s to a high draft pick… and somebody new making the decision.