Andy Reid Has to Go
It’s not all about wins. The Eagles have won the NFC East as many times during Andy Reid’s tenure than the rest of the teams in the division combined. They’ve played in five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl. In 2004, the Eagles swept the division by going 6-0 against Dallas, New York and Washington during the regular season. Reid sports the best winning percentage among active coaches who have been at the helm for at least 100 games. Since hiring him, the Eagles lead the league in divisional playoff appearances and have the best winning percentage in the NFC. The problem for Reid, though, is that it’s not all about wins.
It’s about being able to watch an Eagles game without feeling like someone just ran over your dog.
Few things are more frustrating than watching a Philadelphia Eagles game from start to finish. It’s truly agonizing—moments of ecstasy and honest disbelief bookended by curse-at-inanimate-objects and throw-the-remote tantrums. And—far too often—the afternoon is capped-off by a dose of dread laced with inevitability. It’s passing with a lead in the second half when every other team would be running the ball into the ground and late game turnovers that reek of carelessness and mental turpitude. It’s wasting a timeout or two to avoid delay of game penalties and gifting the rest back by challenging calls that every fan from Reading to Glassboro can see would be upheld. And it’s marching up the field on the back of eight consecutive passing plays—exposing holes in a zone defense—just to run three halfback dives inside the 10 to wind up with three instead of seven.
People are calling for Reid’s head now that the team is in the midst of a four-game skid and the only notch in their belt has come against the winless Rams. And, really, you can’t blame them. How many times are Eagles fans expected to watch time tick away on the clock as Andy Reid and the laughable Eagles find new and equally irritating ways to squander every second they can? Punting while down four at the end of a game and not getting the ball back, running too many plays with too few timeouts and forfeiting an opportunity to put points on the board. Reid should probably be footing the bill for some fans’ therapy sessions.
It’s not all about wins, but, if it were, it would only be about recent ones. The NFL is built on a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude. Teams jump from division basements to conference champions in the span of an offseason and one play can change a game that changes a season. The Eagles have dropped four straight games in which they looked leagues better than their opponents for large portions of the contests. They can’t stop the run, they can’t cover tight ends, when they do move the ball they can’t hold onto it and the offensive line is in shambles. Something has got to change.
Andy Reid’s career—his body of work—is more than commendable. Hell, it’s the best in franchise history. But, when you’re a part of a franchise that has never won a Super Bowl and is historically known for bloopers, blunders and busts, how long is “best in franchise history” going to carry enough wait to offset the total tonnage of disappointment?
This team is sloppy and undisciplined. This team is 1-4 with the worst turnover ratio in the National Football League. This team is in last place and this team still has to play five games against divisional opponents plus three with the Pats, Jets and Bears. I don’t care about his career record, I don’t care about his playoff appearances and I don’t care that there are very few available individuals who have proven that they could do a better job. At this point a different kind of bad would be a revelation and a welcome improvement. If the Eagles lose to Washington this week the team needs to move in a different direction. Like, toward a phone so they can call Bill Cowher.