The Day After: That’s All Folks

It’s time to petition the NFL and ask that they formally change the name of the Lombardi trophy to something more accurate, like: the Silver-Thing-That-Philadelphia-Will-Never-Possess trophy.

Yesterday’s Eagles game(*) was one of the most pathetic showings for our football team in a long time. And they’ve played some really bad games recently…

(*)If it can even be called that…

Michael Vick looked like the Michael Vick who once took snaps for the Atlanta Falcons. You know, the same Michael Vick who didn’t care enough to practice hard, stay awake in team meetings or follow socially-acceptable moral guidelines. Maybe it was the absence of his sole deep threat or the fact that the Eagles should have beaten the Cardinals handily, but for some reason, Vick decided that yesterday would be a good time to pull out his Donovan McNabb impersonation. Poor decisions, poorer throws, bad demeanor and body language… It was like number five never left!

And speaking of Desean’s healthy scratch… we cannot/will not, kill Reid for benching Jackson for missing a meeting. No matter what the reason was for his absence from a team meeting – whether for Special Teams or not – Desean deserved to be punished. If there’s one thing that we can respect The Walrus for, it’s not giving preferential treatment and not being afraid to discipline his star players. That’s part of the reason why his players don’t quit on him (though that may now be debatable).

John Miller, of Philadelphia Sports Daily, pontificates that we are entering the end of the Desean Jackson-era in Eagles history, but we see it differently. Would Desean have been the difference yesterday? Probably not. The Offense was putrid, Vick was the worst he’s been as an Eagle and Andy’s play-calling (which we’ll get to shortly) was planned as poorly as Penn State’s crisis management. But removing Jackson from the field totally warps the complexion of the Eagles’ Offense.

He may not be the best receiver, but the threat of Jackson getting behind the Defense is enough to keep the secondary on its heels. Without that dimension on the field, the Cardinals D was able to frustrate the receivers with bump and run coverage, while their Defense Line was able to pin their ears back and attack the backfield all day(**). If yesterday proved anything, it’s that the Eagles Offense desperately needs Desean Jackson in the lineup. He is a difference maker, even if he’s just playing decoy. Yesterday was understandable, but also proved how integral he is to this team. Pay the man!

(**)Have you ever heard of Daryl Washington before? He was certainly anonymous to us up until yesterday. Now, Eagles fans and Michael Vick will not soon forget his name.

Even worse than the Offense’s lack of execution/preparedness/caring, was the game plan that Andy devised for this game. How does Lesean McCoy – possibly the best Running Back in all of football – only get fourteen carries?! Not in a half… the WHOLE game! On top of that, in the last two games – both losses with leads blown in the fourth quarter – Shady has FOUR fourth quarter carries. Out of 33 Offensive plays! Did we mention that he LEADS THE NFL in yards per carry, yards per game AND touchdowns?! Is Andy TRYING to get himself fired?

UGH!

And we haven’t even mentioned the Defense yet…(***)

(***)Actually, besides the secondary allowing Red John Skelton to make a mockery of them, the front seven played pretty well. Even Castillo had an alright game… Somebody must have finally told him that Defenses are allowed to blitz!

Of course, the most disturbing trend to come out of yesterday’s loss is the Eagles’ unprecedented, history-altering ability to lose games they’re leading in the fourth quarter. Courtesy of CSN Philly’s Reuben Frank(****): The Eagles were outscored 14-3 in the fourth quarter, and they’ve been outscored 74-27 in the final quarter this year. Also, the Eagles are the only team in NFL history to blow FIVE fourth quarter leads in first nine games. The 1954 Packers, 1984 Browns, 1999 Saints each did it four times.

(****)And we urge you to read his take on “Michael Pick.” We sure hope The Devil put a “Psych, just kidding” clause in Vick’s $100 million contract?

Even worse… the Eagles are now 1-7 in their last eight home games. One win, seven losses. At home. Where we cheer for them. Where we blow out our voice box every week for them. Where we spend ungodly amounts of money to support them. Where we live and die on every play for them.

So much for home field advantage. So much for the “Dream Team.” So much for the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles season! We’re not even halfway through November.

As hard as it is for us to want the Eagles to lose, that’s the only hope we have for the rest of the year. The more they lose, the better the draft pick, the better the chance of someone other than The Walrus making it. Failure is our only hope.

Welcome to rock bottom.

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