Monday, November 20, 2006

I hate football

I wish I understood exactly why I care about football, or sports in general. I have no control over the outcomes of the game, and to become emotionally involved with something that I cannot effect (affect? I never get those two right) seems like a losing proposition. The world is full of incompetent people, overflowing with losers who choke under pressure, and it appears that both types have infected my beloved Philadelphia Eagles.

The defense and special teams were unable to make tackles. The offense was unable to catch passes. The Eagles lost by 18 to one of the worst teams in the league. Donovan McNabb was injured and is gone for the year.

So another season that started with tremendous promise is lost to incompetence and injury.

There is a common thread...Andy Reid's playcalling. Since Jon Gruden left, the offensive playcalling has become nightmarish. Even when the Eagles were winning, they were horrible on 3rd-and-short, and horrible in goalline situations. Their offense was spectacular at times, but has always been inconsistent. They've played poorly in bad weather. With the largest offensive line in the league, and a 260 lb QB, the Eagles should not have these problems.

I give Andy Reid a lot of credit for turning the Eagles around, and building the foundation for a consistently competitive team. But his playcalling frankly sucks. I am not exaggerating with my contention that the Eagles would be 8-2 (and have a healthy McNabb) if I was calling the offensive plays instead of Andy.

The Titans came into the game as the worst team in the NFL against the run. The Eagles lead the league in dropped passes. But in spite of this, in the first half, the Eagles called twice as many pass plays as runs, managing to injure their star QB while falling behind on the scoreboard.

A few glaring examples of incompetence:

3rd and goal from the one, down by 7, early in the game...Eagles pass, INT. I would have called a QB sneak, twice if necessary.

2nd and four at the opponent's 20, down by 4...After driving 40 yards in 5 plays (4 were runs), with their backup QB in the game, the Eagles call two passes. Both incomplete.

1st and ten at the opponent's 40, down by 4...Again, after driving down the field with running plays, the Eagles get pass-happy in the opponent's territory. Incomplete, incomplete, incomplete, 10-yard punt. The Titans would score on the next play.

In the Giant game, the Eagles failed to convert a fourth-and-one that would have ended the game. They at least attempted a run, so I can't blame Reid too much, but I'd have tried a QB sneak. Donovan is their biggest and strongest back.

In the Tampa game, the Eagles could have played conservatively and never been threatened by the completely inept offense of the Bucs, but they passed constantly and had two picks returned for TDs.

In the Saint game, the Eagles again had a second-and-four from the Saints' 40-yard line with the score tied in the fourth quarter. Called pass leads to a sack, and the drive is over. Two running plays will almost surely gain a first down and the winning FG attempt.

In the Jacksonville game, despite wind, rain, and a close score, the Eagles continued to call passes instead of runs.

Note that all of this follows a season in which Andy called twice as many pass plays as runs, and got his star QB injured while compiling a .500 record. Sound familiar? Do you think he'll learn from his mistakes the second time?


At 8:01 PM, Anonymous skinny said...

Let's have Jesus call the plays.


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