Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Big Red Incompetence

Andy, Andy, Andy.

This Eagles team is talented enough for a Super Bowl, and you're flushing it down the toilet. Again.

The last time the Eagles were a winning team, they had a 50/50 run/pass ratio and the beaten-out-by-Brian-Griese Jeff Garcia at QB. Now, with uber-talented McNabb back at the helm, we're favoring the pass 65/35 again, and losing.


I've given up hope that you'll ever run the ball, however, but could you at least stop making boneheaded decisions that cost your team close games? Look, it's easy (and mostly correct) to blame the defense for the loss against the can't give up 200 yards rushing and suck on third down, and still expect to win. But Andy made two horrible decisions that easily accounted for the 6-point difference.

First: Stop attempting 50 yard field goals when you have fourth-and-5 or less. Of his last 13 attempts over 40 yards, Akers has made three - count em: one, two, three. So the point expectation of attempting that FG is 3*3/13 or 0.7. Less than one point. On the other hand, when you miss, you give the Redskins the ball at the 40 yardline. NFL teams score about 40% of the time from that field position, and 1/3 scores are TDs. So the Redskins point potential when you attempt that FG is: (3+3+7)/3 * .40 or 1.7. Therefore, the average point expectation for trying that FG is -1.0! That decision is giving a point to the Redskins, on average. The way it worked out, we actually gave them 3 points this time (half the margin of victory.) If you instead go for it, you have ~50% chance of converting the first down, which could lead to a shorter FG or even a touchdown. And if you don't make it, the Skins get the ball at the 33 instead of the 40 (instead of the 47-yard FG they made, they would have been forced to punt or try a 54-yarder.) This isn't rocket science, it's simple math. Conventional wisdom says FG, but the math says going for it > punting > FG attempt. Still, you continue to ignore the math (once vs. Skins, twice vs. Bears.)

Second: Don't take a timeout at the end of the half when the other team has the ball 3rd and 3...especially when you're already ahead by 8! This decision gave the Redskins another FG and momentum going into halftime. If you're behind and you need to gamble to score again, I'm all for it. But this stupid/greedy decision again accounted for 3 points.

Two decisions, three points each, and the Eagles lose 23-17. After a horribly coached Bears game with equally bad decisions and worse playcalling, it's time for you to admit that you need help. This season's probably lost already, but it's not too late for next year.


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