Eagles Wake-Up Call: Delusion Of Grandeur
The first thing that needs to be altered is the Eagles’ self-perception.
This team is sinking like a stone. They have lost five straight and now sit at the bottom of the NFC East at 3-6. Over the past two seasons, the Eagles are a combined 11-14. They just suffered a 15-point home loss to the rival Cowboys in yet another desperation game played without desperation.
That has not stopped Andy Reid‘s club, though, from continuing to insist that they are stacked.
“I believe that once we get it all together, we should dominate,” said LeSean McCoy. “We have the players here and Coach [Reid] is a winning coach.”
It is hard to figure how such a sentence could be uttered. The Eagles have a minus-65 point differential, dead last in the NFC. Their decimated offensive line is arguably the league’s worst. Michael Vick, lost Sunday to a concussion, is ranked 27th in QB rating. Jeremy Maclin has yet to record a 1,000-yard season. DeSean Jackson disappears in the red zone. Brent Celek has far too many bad drops.
The corners have been overrated, there is no safety depth and the play from the defensive line and linebackers has been inconsistent. Not to mention the special teams, which has continued to weigh this team down.
Ironically, McCoy may be the only player on the roster capable of dominating on a regular basis.
“How can we have this type of talent and play like this?” asked Celek. “It’s not good.”
The Eagles have not won a playoff game since 2008. That team had Donovan McNabb, Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook, Jon Runyan, Tra Thomas, Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard and David Akers on it. Trent Cole was younger and more effective. (He had nine sacks in ’08). Ditto Todd Herremans.
Jason Avant was on that team. He is one of the few with a link to the truly successful years of the Reid era.
After the loss to the Lions before the bye, he took a firm stance against those who continue to tout the ability of this 2012 team.
“I just get so tired of the ‘talented’ talk. I don’t want what the outside world views as talent to infect our team,” said Avant. “Talent and potential is dangerous because you’ll get complacent. We have to go out and show it.
“If we take that mindset that anybody can beat you, you’ll focus and concentrate harder and you’ll play better.”
A month and three losses later, it still does not appear his teammates got the message.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Sheil gives his instant observations from the 38-23 loss to the Cowboys.
Vick sustained a concussion in the loss. Reid says that Vick is still his QB when healthy.
Nick Foles came in and had an up-and-down performance in his debut.
Special teams continues to weigh this team down.
And finally, the latest coaching buzz, including the chances of Reid landing in San Diego.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Dan Graziano zeroes in on the quarterback situation in his Rapid Reaction.
Eagles fans have been crying for rookie Nick Foles to replace starting quarterback Michael Vick for weeks. And when Vick left the game in the second quarter with a concussion, they got their wish. They need to be careful what they wish for. Foles looked very much like a shaky, jittery rookie. Yeah, he hit Jeremy Maclin for that 44-yard touchdown pass, but Maclin was literally standing on the goal line with no one within 10 yards of him. All Foles had to do was heave the ball in his general vicinity, which is all he did. Otherwise, if the hope was that a switch would result in improved pocket presence, decision-making and accuracy, I didn’t see it. There’s no way to know yet whether Vick can return for next week’s game in Washington, but regardless, the Eagles are going to be dealing with a major question mark at quarterback the rest of the season and, likely, into next season as well.
Phil Sheridan looks at the dizzying sequence that doomed the Eagles.
There was hope in the form of rookie quarterback Nick Foles, who led the team on two third-quarter scoring drives to take a 17-10 lead. There was hope in the sudden competence of a defense that had been AWOL for the previous three-and-a-half games.
And then, in a whiplash 2 minutes, 35 seconds, the Eagles allowed touchdowns in all three phases of the game. A touchdown pass, a punt return, an interception return – a three-punch combination that left the Reid Epoch sprawled on the canvas, waiting for someone to count to 10.
Reid addresses the media at noon. Birds 24/7 takes to the air from 6-7 p.m. on 97.5 The Fanatic.