The Day After: The End Is Near… And It’s Painful To Watch

November 6, 2012

Is there really anything left to say? Honestly… We don’t even have it in us to be angry anymore.

Last night was such an embarrassment – a nationally-televised embarrassment, no less – we simply just don’t give a shit. The Eagles have gone from “the disappointing family member you can’t give up on” to “the disappointing family member you wish was never born.” This is a joke. A sick, twisted, insane joke.

And we actually laughed as Patrick Robinson walked 99-yards into the endzone, after picking off a Brent Celek-tipped pass from Vick at the one-yard line. We cracked up as Jimmy Graham swatted away Eagles defenders the way you or I would brush off gnats. Were we laughing because what we were watching was so humorous? No. It was more like the nervous laughter that comes during a traumatic event, where your body doesn’t know how to react and you lose control.

What a horrible experience. We’d use the word pathetic, but we’re afraid we’ve used up our lifetime quota of the word these past few weeks seasons. This team is flat-out bad. They are awful. They don’t deserve the love and support the fans show them.

We could yell and scream and rant about how terrible Mike Vick is, but he wasn’t even the biggest issue last night! Sure, he was as putrid as he’s been all season and, at this point, should just be removed from the field when the team gets into the redzone. But, it’s not his fault that the coaches CAN’T and/or WON’T make any protection adjustments. It’s not his fault that the Offensive Line is down to college back-ups and XFL-castoffs(*). It’s not his fault that he holds onto the ball long enough to get his chest caved in by unimpeded 300-pound Defensive Linemen… oh, wait…

(*)Remember when that was a thing?!

Yeah, alright, Vick is definitely the problem(**). But he’s definitely not the only one. He’s just the poster boy for this team’s miscalculated makeup. He’s just the face of mediocrity.

(**)As is Marcus Vick, but that’s a WHOLE other story.

Between the redzone clusterfuckery, the Offensive Line Sieve, the Defense that can’t defend – or tackle – and the bumbling coaching staff, this whole damn thing needs to be blown up and rebuilt from scratch. The longer we watched that game, the more we were reminded of how much we hate this team. Besides LeSean McCoy, Celek and maybe DeMeco Ryans and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie(***), there is no player we care to see remain in midnight green. None.

(***)Though, some of the idiotic mistakes that DRC has made the past few weeks are questionable, at best.

At this point, we’d much rather see Lurie move the team to Los Angeles – provided the city would retain the Eagles “franchise” and receive a new team within three years. Are we kidding? Only slightly(****).

(****)This is something we’ve actually been pining for for years. Basically, it’s the deal Art Modell made with the NFL when he moved the Browns to Baltimore in the 90’s, and would rid us of Jeffrey Lurie forever. Will it happen? Never. Would we kill ourselves without football in Philadelphia for even ONE season? Yes. Would Lurie’s team inevitably win a Super Bowl elsewhere? Without a doubt.

The only silver-lining is that, much like the Mayans, Andy Reid is almost out of time. The nightmare is almost over. The end is near, and the eulogies have begun to come in!

The 2012 Eagles season is seemingly over. But Walrus-hunting season is just beginning! More to come later today.

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The Day After (The Day After): .500 Sounds About Right

October 15, 2012

We said it before the season, we said it a few weeks ago and we’ll say it again now: the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles are an 8-8 team. Could they somehow sneak their way to 9-7? Sure. Could they drop 6 of their last 10 games to only reach 7-9? Of course. But they are what they are… a middling, .500 football team, with a penchant for inconsistency.

Their record may be 3-3, but the Birds are VERY lucky to not be 2-4 or worse. The Browns dropped a game-ending interception in the endzone on the Eagles’ winning drive in week one. A phantom offensive pass interference call handed the team a gift against the Ravens in week 2. A bad snap and hold saved Andy’s (literal) bacon in the week 4 Giants game. Sure, they were seemingly one third-down stop or missed field goal away from beating the Steelers and Lions, but that’s five of six games that came down to one decisive play.

If you take away the Cardinals game – where the Eagles had their lunch handed to them – the team’s point differential is -1, giving up 98 points while scoring 97 in those five games. That’s 8-8 football. Factor in the Cardinals game, which the Eagles lost by 21, and their point differential for the season is -22.

For you math/stat nerds, let’s break that down using Bill Barnwell’s favorite metric for determining expected performance: Football’s Pythagorean Theorem(*). Based on point differential, the Pythagorean Theorem is the best tool to accurately predict a football team’s record, and as they head into the bye, the Eagles boast a winning percentage of 0.396, or 6.3 wins. So, good news… They’re currently outperforming their projected Pythagorean Theorem! Yay!

(*)Click here for Barnwell’s excellent explanation of the Pythagorean Theorem and why it’s so important to football.

Taking the 8-8 theme even further, the Eagles are equally average statistically speaking. The team ranks 11th in total offense (yet 31st in points per game) and 11th in total defense. And if you’re REALLY into stats and advanced metrics, the Eagles rank 24th in Offensive DVOA(**) and 6th in Defensive DVOA… But those numbers don’t take into account week 6, so expect the defensive rank to drop. So, bad news… The Eagles stink. Especially on Offense.

(**)DVOA is the Football Outsiders metric that measures a team’s performance against league average after adjusting for the down, distance, game situation, and quality of opposition. Read more about DVOA here. It’s super interesting nerdy!

Between the turnovers – 13 total… 12 by Vick alone! – and the lack of pressure on opposing Quarterbacks – particularly in the fourth quarter – the chances of them turning this thing around are slim. The Eagles are sackless in the last three games, with only seven QB hits… And they didn’t even lay one hand on Eli in week 4!

On top of being mediocre-to-bad, now the team is starting to deal with the inevitable finger-pointing in the lockerroom. Overpaid, overrated Nnamdi Toastugha openly complained about Juan’s change in Defensive philosophy during Sunday’s game against the Lions, particularly questioning why he was taken off of Calvin Johnson (who he had held to one catch over three quarters) in favor of Dominique Rogers-Cromartie. Maybe it’s because DRC has established himself as the team’s best Cornerback… Maybe it’s because Juan’s an Offensive Line Coach masquerading as a Defensive Coordinator… Who knows?

All we know is that this is only the beginning of the dissent, and it’s only going to get worse. The players are undisciplined and their going to express their concerns. It may have been the Lions who recorded 16 penalties on Sunday, but it’s this Eagles team that is horribly undisciplined – hell, rookie Fletcher Cox openly admitted to throwing punches. Even Jason Avant thinks so (via Philadelphia Daily News’ Marcus Hayes):

“It’s just undisciplined. That’s the bottom line,” Avant said. “It’s undisciplined football. An undisciplined team at this point. Six games in, it’s embarrassing. That’s the word. Embarrassing. For coaches. And veteran players. With the mind-set of, ‘Me before the team,’ in certain instances. And we need to address that before we play another ballgame.”

You’re right, Jason, it IS embarrassing. The whole team is embarrassing.

And guess what? That responsibility falls on the coaching staff… Especially Andy Reid. But much like everything else, Andy will stubbornly ignore this glaring issue… You know, aside from telling us that he needs to do a better job(***).

(***)There are seriously only so many more times we can hear those words escape through The Walrus’ crumb-covered whiskers.

Meanwhile, in the 2012 Eagles Fantasy Blame League, Andy took the opportunity during his day after press conference to give both Vickhead and Juan Cantcoachagainstillo a vote a confidence. It’s looking like a tight race to see who gets thrown under the bus at the end of the 8-8 season.

So, as we enter the bye week, the Eagles’ 2012 season has reached a crossroads… 10 games to prove they deserve the preseason hype and a spot in the postseason. 10 games for Michael Vick to prove he deserves $16.5 million in 2013. 10 games for Andy Reid to prove that he deserves to remain the coach of this team.

In reality… That’s 10 more games to 8-8.

And 10 more games to Fire The Walrus.


The Day After: Icing The Walrus

October 1, 2012

First of all, we must come clean and admit that we were wrong…

With :15 left in last night’s Eagles-Giants war, as Tom Coughlin was rushing out his kicking team to attempt a third-down, potential game-winning field goal, we were screaming for Andy Reid to take a timeout.

Not in a “wait until the last second and try to ice the kicker” kind of way, but more so to make sure the Defense was properly prepared. Both teams were scrambling to get the correct personnel onto the field, and the chances of an offsides penalty were high. Giving the Giants even a yard more, could have been detrimental to the Eagles victory.

Of course, Reid called a timeout(*), and of course, Lawrence Tynes missed the unnecessary attempt. This is where we, and Andy, were wrong.

(*)From our vantage point in the Linc, we saw Andy signal for the timeout well before the play ever started, and weren’t freaking out along with the rest of the crowd… Though who can blame anyone for thinking otherwise?

Icing the kicker is total bullshit. According to the Elias Sports Bureau(**), the move has officially worked one time. Ever. You may remember when Mike Shanahan successfully pulled it off roughly 28 years ago, and every coach has idiotically followed suit ever since. It’s meaningless… And only causes problems.

(**)And of course, we are totally making this stat up!

Letting Tynes tee up that first field goal try, gave him a perfect understanding of what he needed to do to successfully hit the second try. His first attempt had the distance, but was just to the left of the uprights. His second kick was perfect… Except that it wasn’t! The snap was low and mishandled by the holder, forcing Tynes to get too much lift on the ball, sending it straight up in the air. You could see the ball’s trajectory the second it left his foot.

But there should have been no second kick, nor should there have been an Eagles timeout. Even with the clock stopped, the Giants rushed the field goal attempt and missed, and the Eagles should have let it happen.

So, a poor snap on a Mulligan field goal saved Andy Reid’s ass. He said it himself… The fans wouldn’t have let him leave the stadium alive. On the bright side, his poor icing attempt didn’t come back to haunt him, and we’d bet any amount of money that Reid doesn’t ever try to ice a kicker again!

Speaking of things that Reid rarely tries… The running game made a timely and surprising return to the Eagles’ offensive gameplan! Andy Reid – yes, Eagles’ Head Coach, Andy Reid – called 30 passing plays to 36 rushing plays. 36!!! Can you believe it?! Did you see Merril Hoge’s head explode when he mentioned this on Sportscenter this morning?! Amazing!

The question is… Why? Why does The Walrus wait until his back is against the wall and all hell is breaking loose, before he pulls out a gameplan like this?! We see this happen at least once a year. The Offense is stagnant and lethargic, so Reid shakes it up. Well, according to CSNPhilly’s Reuben Frank, the Eagles are 10-1 when LeSean McCoy has 20 or more carries, and 20-21 when he doesn’t. So maybe Andy should pretend his back’s to the wall a little more often.

Regardless, last night was phenomenal! What a fantastic win and a fun, intense game to watch/be at/enjoy! The Defense did a brilliant job honoring Brian Dawkins, on the legend’s special night(***). And the Eagles are 3-1 and in first place of the NFC East!

(***)More on Dawk later on…

Whether they win their games by a combined 4 points or 40, we’ll take these gritty, hard-fought, nail-biting wins anytime!


The Day After: We’ve Been Here Before, We’ll Be Here Again

September 24, 2012

Here’s the thing about yesterday’s abysmal 27-6 loss to the Kevin Kolb-led Arizona Cardinals… We’ve seen this game numerous times before, throughout The Walrus’ reign of terror.

We saw it last year in Seattle. We saw it two years ago in Tennessee. We saw it the year before that in Dallas – twice in two weeks! – and the year before that in Baltimore. There was that Monday night game a few years ago, when Seattle came to the Linc and dismantled the Eagles, and the last season at the Vet, when Peyton Manning and the Colts ruined the Eagles’ perfect season at home.

Andy Reid’s career is littered with these games. Every single year, the Eagles show up extraordinarily unprepared for a game – usually looking ahead to a bigger game or a bye week – and get completely demoralized. Every single year it happens.

This week made total sense too. Going across country, following an emotional comeback win against the Ravens, with a Sunday Night matchup against the Giants looming… Of course this was the week they’d get waxed!

But the issues go so much deeper than that… There were other problems yesterday that should have been fixed a long time ago, yet they continue to persist.

Again, the playcalling, which was absolutely hideous. You know how Andy likes to choreograph the Offense’s first fifteen plays? Well, you or I could have done a better job than he did! Here’s how the Eagles started yesterday’s game:

  • 1st and 10: Broken play, Vick scrambles for 3 yards.
  • 2nd and 7: Incomplete pass.
  • 3rd and 7: Incomplete pass.
  • 4th and 7: Punt.

At least they were moving the ball against the Browns and Ravens before Shady coughed up the ball and Vick threw his first pick, respectively. This was just a hideous three-and-out start. After 14 seasons, you would think that Andy Reid has learned to establish the run in the first series of plays… Nope! He didn’t feel the need to utilize the backfield until, oh, about midway through the third quarter… You know, when they were down 24-3.

By the end of the first half, the run-pass ratio was 1:23, or something egregious like that. Andy called four – FOUR – handoffs to LeSean McCoy in the first half. Four. And of course, once he entered the second half down 24 points, he didn’t need an excuse to keep passing… And inexplicably decided to start running the ball.

Which leads us to another long-running Andy Reid coaching red-flag… Where was the sense of urgency in the second half?! Did The Walrus go into the locker room at halftime and tell his team to save their energy for next week?

In the third quarter, down 24-0, the team showed zero need to rush to the line, hurry up after plays or try for touchdowns instead of field goals(*). The team basically gave up. Maybe not as badly as last year’s debacle in Seattle, but still enough to warrant serious change in the coaching staff. Change that will never come.

(*)Hmmmm… where have we seen this before? Oh right! Super Bowl XXXIX. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Where’s the fight? Where’s the desire? Where’s the killer instinct and absolute NEED to win football games? Do you think Andy Reid would ever play tough football until the final whistle, like Greg Schiano’s Buccaneers(**)? No they wouldn’t!

(**)We mention this solely because we absolutely LOVED what Schiano called when the Giants went to kneel on the ball. THAT’S football! You play until the final whistle blows, and you try to win at all costs. Tom Coughlin is a whiny bitch. The other team was trying to get the ball, not hurt your pussy of a QB. Get over it, Coughlin… it’s football.

Hell, this team has so little fight in them, that they throw open palm slaps:

Look, we’re not trying to constantly repeat ourselves, but this is beyond insanity at this point. Nothing has changed. This is the same team it’s always been, with the same identity Andy Reid-coached teams have always had. Every season Bill Belichick tweaks his team to change their identity. In the early 2000s, the team was built around the Defense. By 2007, the team was an Offensive juggernaut with the ultimate deep threat in Randy Moss. Last year, he changed course and moved to a two-TE base set, that saw the Offense morph into an unstoppable beast (when its two premiere Tight Ends are healthy).

What has Andy Reid ever changed? Besides that ill-advised experiment with the Wildcat, he’s been running the exact same Offensive scheme since 1999. And the only thing that’s changed about the Defense is its demise in the wake of Jim Johnson’s death and the addition of the Wide-9. The rest of the NFL figured out how to beat Andy Reid years ago, yet he still trots out the same old tired bullshit year after year after year after year after year after year.

Much like we mentioned yesterday – in complete and utter disgust – this is Jeffrey Lurie’s fault. He has allowed Reid to continue this fraudulent, sham of a regime, simply because it hasn’t inversely effected his bottomline. Much like Roger Goodell’s stubbornness with the actual refs(***), why change something that’s broken and pisses fans off, when the money is still coming in?

(***)Who, let’s remember, aren’t that much better than their replacements.

That’s the only green that matters to The Half-Billionaire: the green color of money. Not the midnight green of the team he owns.

And so here we are… enduring yet another lost Eagles season. 8-8 won’t be good enough, so Andy will make sure to get to nine wins, and will be back to torment us for yet another year. Can’t wait to get blown out on the road next year in Green Bay, Minnesota, Denver or Kansas City!

If only the Lurie’s divorce could have ended like the McCourt’s…

Fire The Walrus.


The Day After: The Walrus Talks Turnovers, Inevitably Mentions Pie

September 10, 2012

Oh Andy… We love when you lob us a softball, but this is up there with the time you mentioned sandwiches! Or the one where you talked about ham! Oh and don’t forget about the time Les Bowen asked you about the team’s gameplan for Dallas and you gave an eighteen-and-a-half minute dissertation on how Krispy Kreme should give the Philadelphia market another try(*)? Man, you really love to use food analogies…

(*)This may or may not have happened.

If you haven’t seen/heard The Walrus’ morning after patronizing coach-speak press conference, Andy defended Vick and his quartet of colossal fuck-ups and put the blame on his own shoulders and blah blah blah blah blah. You know how it went, they’re all the same. The only thing of note was this gem from Reid, via CSNPhilly.com:

“Offensively, turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. You just can’t have those and I would say that we didn’t play as disciplined offensively as we needed to all the way around. I know Michael took the blame yesterday, [but] it’s not a one-man show. That’s not what it is. Everybody had a piece of this pie starting with me and the coaches.”

Sorry Andy, but “turnover” isn’t like “Beetlejuice”… When you say it three times, a pastry doesn’t show up.

No mention of why his gameplan consisted of twice as many passing plays than runs, when the Browns’ front seven couldn’t stop Billy Ray Valentine from getting to the secondary?! Sure, Vick throwing four interceptions is Andy’s fault… when you consider that the Browns’ gave up 147 yards per carry in 2011 and Reid called for Vick to drop back to pass 56 times yesterday.

Was this post just an excuse to make fun of The Walrus for innocuously mentioning food? You betcha!

Meanwhile, the Eagles are now 7-7 in opening games under Andy Reid… yet undefeated following a bye week. Why is it that The Walrus can’t prepare his team over the course of an entire offseason – the team looks rusty and out of sync and penalty-inclined the first week of every season, without fail – yet is perfect with one week to prepare? Does this make sense to anyone?

And if you’re watching/watched this Monday Night Game between Baltimore and Cincinnati, how worried are you for next week’s game? The Ravens look really good. And there’s something about their tenacious, ageless Defense that just SCREAMS Vick injury. Just sayin’…

Now somebody get The Walrus some pie!


The Day After: The Nightmare May Be Over But The Insanity Continues

January 2, 2012

Another season gone, another empty trophy case.

Sure the Eagles “looked like a football team” these last four weeks, but at what cost? To save face? To save Juan’s job? To save The Walrus from extinction?

They may have been playing for pride, but the Eagles just rubbed the 2011 season in our faces. They showed us what could have been, and that’s a kick in the teeth. There’s no consolation prize for finishing the season on four game win streak, when the first twelve games were a mitigated failure.

Thanks for finally showing guys! Maybe you should have done that in September…

Meanwhile, The Devil and The Billionaire have been in uncharacteristically silent, sparking “intrigue” into what might be going on behind the scenes. But don’t get your hopes up, because Andy Reid will be back once again. Maybe they do replace Juan with Stevie Spags – who we would love to see return home, as he was the rightful heir to Jim Johnson’s DC throne… But apparently can’t co-exist with Jim Washburn and the Wide-9 – but major, headline-making changes are not on the horizon.

We’re calling Banner’s bluff. As “all in” as they may have been in August, the excuses are coming in January… no minicamps, no real offseason, limited training camp, no time for cohesion, too many new faces. The front office will give Andy another chance with this team.

What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same over and over again and excepting different results.

Welcome to 2012… Year 14 of insanity.


The Day After (The Day After): Eagles Get The Wrong Coach Fired

December 13, 2011

By convincingly beating the Dolphins 26-10(*), the Eagles simultaneously changed the fates of two franchises. Embattled, but respected, Head Coach Tony Sparano was fired by the Dolphins, while embattled, but loathed, Head Coach Andy Reid all but assured that he would return for yet another season. Oy.

(*)In one of the most boring games we’ve witnessed in quite some time.

Again, we cannot find it in our hearts to root against the Eagles, the team we live, breath and bleed for… But we knew it would take a 4-12 record to finally remove The Walrus from our lives. Or at least the continuation of the trend from the week 13 game against the Seahawks that saw the players more or less quit on the season. Neither of those things happened.

Maybe it was the return of Mike Vick to the starting line-up that lit a fire under the rest of the team. Maybe it was the fact that they had a quarter of the season left to save face. Either way, the Eagles showed up on Sunday, and not only saved their coach’s job, but are still inexplicably IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT!

Like Chucky or Mike Myers or Freddy Kruger, this team just won’t die(**).

(**)Though the putrid play of the rest of the NFC East surely plays a part in keeping the Eagles alive.

We made a joke on Twitter and Facebook on Sunday, when FOX displayed a graphic explaining what it would take for the Eagles to make the second season, claiming that we would change FireTheWalrus.com to AndyIsGod.com, because the thought of this team making the playoffs was so laughable. It still is, especially when they could only go 8-8 at best… but it actually doesn’t seem entirely far-fetched.

The Eagles simply need to win their remaining three games – at home for the Jets, in Dallas on Christmas Eve, and Washington at the Linc on New Year’s Day. It’s not out of the question. The Eagles have a history of beating the Cowgirls in Dallas around Christmas time – going 4-1 in December games in Dallas over the past five seasons – and if they play well, can definitely beat the Jets and Redskins(***).

(***)Though the Eagles do have a tendency of struggling against bad Redskins teams in meaningless games.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys and Giants can’t post a record better than 1-2 over the last three weeks… certainly not out of the question for two teams known to implode in December. Dallas has games against Tampa Bay (likely a win), the Birds (a game we’d have to win) and the Giants (very meaningful for both teams). New York’s remaining schedule, much like the Eagles, includes the Redskins, the Jets and Dallas, all at their home stadium – though they’re technically the “away” team against the Jets.

So, though it’s still highly unlikely – and pains us to admit it – the Eagles seem to have a legitimate shot at winning the East at 8-8. Which would be a joke. This Eagles team doesn’t deserve to make the playoffs. No 8-8 team deserves to make the playoffs.

Does anyone really want to see the Eagles host a playoff game this season? Not really, considering this would likely be the third straight season to see the Eagles bow out of the playoffs in the first round – though, the NFC Wild Card teams may be made up of the awful Falcons, childish Lions, banged up Bears and/or the streaky Seahawks. Could the Eagles get past one of those teams? Of course… even though they’ve already lost to three of the four. But anything can happen in the playoffs. Until, of course, the Packers play.

So while we can’t root for the Eagles to lose out, we also can’t say we’d be super excited to see them in the playoffs. But at this point it really doesn’t matter…

Short of three straight embarrassing losses where players quit on the coach, The Walrus will be back. No matter how much we cry and scream and pine for his removal.

Welcome to purgatory!