Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Mystery of Andy Reid

Did you know the Eagles didn't commit a single penalty against the Cowboys? One turnover (a borderline fumble/incompletion that might have been overturned if it was challenged), one sack allowed, and zero penalties...for a team that has the pressure of a playoff berth on the line, against a hated rival with a better record...that is an amazing accomplishment. And quite frankly, it's the sign of good coaching.

The Eagles came out and played nearly flawless football, their best performance in years, when they needed it the most. You certainly couldn't say as much for the Bucs, Bears, Jets, and Cowboys. Again, that's the sign of a good coach.

Yet this historic victory comes just one week after the Eagles played miserably against an inferior team, seemingly with the playoffs on the line. The team that set the single-season team record for points scored puts up only three against a mediocre opponent. The play-calling was awful, mental mistakes were rampant, and big plays slipped through their fingertips time and time again. This is the hallmark of bad coaching.

So which is it? Why does every season have these moments where Andy Reid looks like an idiot, followed by moments where he looks like a genius? Is he learning from his mistakes? Or are we simply witnessing the vagaries of sports, the normal performance fluctuations of 53 individuals, and unfairly projecting the results on the coach?

I don't know. I don't understand. But the Eagles need to find some consistency next season. Even if they go on a magical playoff run this year, which is certainly possible given the competition, there's no reason to go through another season scoring three points one week and 44 the next. I may not be able to figure it out, but somebody in that organization needs to.


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