The Day After: Hurricane Andy

Yesterday, after the Eagles embarrassed the city of Philadelphia(*), we took (extremely warranted) shots at the Defense(**). Today, it’s the equally abysmal Offense’s turn.

(*)Though, thankfully not on national television. That’ll come next week, on Monday night in New Orleans…

(**)We failed to bring up one important thing during yesterday’s rant about the Defense… Third downs. The Falcons converted 7 of 13 third downs, with the majority of them coming in the first half, when the Eagles Defense thought they were still in pregame warmups.

The Birds’ Offense came out of the bye week the same way they went into it: sloppy, incohesive and poorly-coached, with absolutely zero urgency. They even started the game the same way they’ve begun the first six games of this season: with a three-and-out. Incompletion, run for no gain, sack, punt. Same as it was in weeks one through six. The Offense didn’t run its fifth play of the game until the second quarter. Hell… They were still running their first 15 scripted plays in the second half!

There’s only one word to describe yesterday’s performance: Pathetic.

Vick may not have turned the ball over, but he certainly tried hard… Passing balls directly to Falcons players, taking bad sacks, not protecting the ball, diving instead of sliding. The NFL season is about to enter week 9, yet Michael Vick seems stuck in week 3 of the preseason.

Meanwhile – and, of course, yet again – Andy totally forgot to utilize his best (if not only) Offensive threat, LeSean McCoy. It’s almost criminal at this point, the way he refuses to give Shady touches.

There was a particular three play stretch that started with the last play of the first quarter, where number 25 wasn’t even on the field… For three straight plays!!! He wasn’t injured. He wasn’t fatigued. Before each play, you could see him start running out onto the field before Mornhinweg would hold him back on the sideline. How the fuck does that make sense?!

Again – and we honestly can’t stress this enough – Shady is, by far, the best player on this team. A shitty team at that. He may be the most talented Eagles’ Running Back of our lifetime… Yet, we’ll never truly know what he’s capable of, because he’s only getting 15 touches a game. Elite Running Backs typically carry the ball 20-30 times per game. Shady consistently gets 12 carries or less! And the Offense OBVIOUSLY suffers because of it…

If the Offense was running through McCoy – like it should be – Michael Vick wouldn’t have so much pressure on him, both literally and figuratively. Vick would have more time to throw, because Defenses would be kept honest. Instead, they simply pin their ears back and run Vick all over the field. Giving Shady the ball, would force opposing pass rushers to stay home and protect against the run. But no, Andy would much rather see his overwhelmed QB run around, take nasty, unnecessary hits and throw balls into the dirt, into the bleachers or into the arms of opposing players.

And what do we say about an Offensive Line that can’t do the job they’re paid millions of dollars to perform? This unit might be the worst on the team(***). For all of Vick’s horrendous decision-making and the Offense’s ineptitude, it all starts with the O-Line… And they are flatout terrible.

(***)And that’s really saying a lot.

Sure, there are injuries – All-Pro Jason Peters was lost for the year in the offseason and losing Center Jason Kelce was a killer – but, for what it’s worth, Andy Reid has never had an issue with plugging in backup linemen and making it work. That’s actually always been one of his strengths.

So what’s the excuse now? Yeah, backups Dallas Reynolds and Dennis Kelly couldn’t start in a semi-pro league, but it’s Todd Herremans, the line’s elder statesman and only viable asset, who’s been particularly putrid. Yesterday may have been his worst game as a pro. Bad holding and false start penalties, sacks, missed assignments, poor footwork. The Falcons pass rushers had no problem getting past Herremans all day. He almost seemed aloof… Like he just didn’t care.

Todd’s the guy that Andy should be relying on to hold down the fort and keep that line together until everyone is healthy. He needs to be the leader, the one that steps up and gets that unit out of the doldrums. But he’s failing. Miserably.

Herremans has turned into a perfect microcosm for the Eagles’ Offense… He has a super high level of talent and skill, yet he’s way too sloppy, too careless and just simply doesn’t seem to give a shit if he saves Andy Reid’s job or not.

And that’s really what it comes down to this week… Andy Reid’s job.

His players don’t seem to care that he’s on the chopping block, which is very telling. Last year, they quit on him in Seattle and we claimed it was the end for him, yet he somehow won them back and kept plugging away. But after news that he gave them a pregame, closed-door talking-to yesterday, which they CLEARLY didn’t respond to… That’s a team that has quit on its coach. Plain and simple.

Is there any chance The Walrus can pull another miracle out of his considerably large ass and turn this around? Perhaps. Is it worth it? No.

This Eagles team sucks and they’re only getting worse. And we don’t just mean this season… The Andy Reid-era Eagles have not been legitimately good since the 2007 playoff run, and even that team overachieved. So why try to salvage what’s left? They’re not capable of winning a championship this year. They may not even be good enough to be 8-8!

But, for once, that’s fine. It doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing that we care about is that there are only nine more weeks left until this affront to football is over. Our favorite team will no longer be held hostage by a sea-dwelling mammal.

Nine more weeks to Fire The Walrus. We can make it!

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