97 Friggin Yards:
The Eagles defense has been excellent this year. So when Sav Rocca pinned the Bears deep with a minute 52 seconds left, you would think they could be able to hold the Bears inept offense one last time.
Well if you saw this dreadful game, then you already know they didn't hold.
The Bears had no timeouts, and started off the drive by throwing short underneath passes. 11 yards to Clark, 9 to Peterson, 9 to Hester, and 9 more to Clark.
Then with the game on the line the Bears attack changed.
On a 3rd and 3 with only 49 ticks to go, Brian Griese Throws a strike to Bernard Berrian in stride. Berrian gets all the way to the Eagles 39 for a gain of 25 yards. The Bears quickly ran down the field, and spiked the ball. The next play was another big one for the Bears. Greise passed to Devin Hester for 21 more yards. Bears ran up to the 15 yard line, and spiked the ball again.
Then comes the dagger. Greise floated one up in the back of the end zone, and Muhsin Muhammad out jumped Sean Considine for the game winning touch down catch.
What a disaster. The Eagles were on their way to victory, and then in a blink of an eye they get sliced apart by Brian Griese.
I am still in shock. It is just unbelievable how this team finds ways to lose. One game it's the special teams, next it's the receivers, then the o-line breaks down, and now the defense breaks at the wrong time.
You would think you can get used to losing games like this being a Philadelphia sports fan, but you can't. It hurts just as bad every time. Another punch to the gut.
The offense is not off the hook either in this game. They moved the ball well, but was again very poor in the redzone.
On the first drive of the game, the Eagles offense was methodically moving down the field. On a crucial 3rd and goal McNabb fired a bullet to Reggie Brown. Reggie dropped what would have been a touchdown. It was not the easiest catch, but that is a play Brown has to make.
There were two other possessions were McNabb just misfired on key plays. Both times missing tight end Matt Schobel badly. One would have been a touch down.
When they finally were able to get a red zone TD, McNabb celebrated like it was the first TD pass of his career. I guess it is big when you get your team has failed to score a touchdown in your last ten red zone trips.
These missed opportunities kept the Bears in the game. If you let a team hang around too long, they might get you. This Eagles were got. I have heard talk all week on how they are going to fix these mistakes, but they are still making them.
After the game Reid had this to say on the red zone inefficiency.
"We have to do better. When we have opportunities to catch the football and make throws and those types of things, we have to do them. We have to keep working as coaches on putting guys in better positions so that they can have success down there."
I'm tired of hearing we have to do better. Do better already!
Andy Reid should make the team come to work tomorrow. There should not be the usual two days off after this lousy performance. The mistakes need to be corrected now. Everybody is tired of hearing excuses.
At Least They Didn't Kick To Hester:
This was probably the most surprising thing to me. I know that Andy Reid tends to be very arrogant, and I was shocked that he would not kick it to Hester. It did give the Bears good field position, but it was the right decision. Hester did not have any returns in the game. Give a lot of credit to David Akers, Sav Rocca, and special teams coach Rory Segrest.
Every punt was a directional punt out of bounds, and every kickoff was a high short kick. They did what it took to not let the very dangerous Devin Hester get the ball.
Run the Ball Andy?:
When McNabb got hurt last year, Andy Reid changed the offense to feature Brian Westbrook. They ran the ball a lot, and it seemed to really be an efficient offense. Now that McNabb is back, Andy is up to his old pass happy ways.
With Donovan coming back from this injury, why does he insist on not running the ball more? It seems that as soon as Westbrook gets tackled for a loss, Reid abandons the run completely. Reporters constantly hammer him with these questions, but he always gives the standard "we have to do a better job there".
If he wants this team to win games, he has to revert back to a more run oriented scheme. It worked back in 2003 when the team struggled early, and it worked last season. Time to put plan B into effect, because this one is not working.
Lito Back. Still No BDawk:
It was great to see Lito back. He made some nice plays, and maybe misplayed a few, but it was still great to have him back. I am all for anything that gives Will James less playing time.
This stinger injury to Brian Dawkins must be an extremely. The Eagles are definitely treating it as such. Dawkins has now been out for over a month. Quintin Mikell has filled in admirably, but you would still like to see Dawk out there. He is a play maker, and this defense needs to make some more plays. Especially on the last drive of the game.
Big Hole Gets Bigger:
In case you haven't checked the standings, the Eagles are in last place in the NFC East. This loss drops the Birds to 2-4 on the year. To make matters worse, the Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys all won this week. This drops the Eagles three back of the Cowboys, and two back of the Redskins and Giants.
After last years miracle turn around, I hate to say a season is ever over, but things look very bleak for the Eagles. They have a lot of tough games left, and they have to really fix a lot of problems.
Is anybody looking forward to playing Dallas this year?