Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday Shame

We've certainly seen that before.

It was the Bengals game from last year, without stumbling into a lucky tie. 54 called passes and 13 called runs even though the Eagles never trailed by more than 7 points. No matter how inaccurate the QB was, or how many passes the receivers dropped, Reid kept throwing, and throwing, and throwing.

It was the Giants game from two years ago, where a RB averaging 8 yards/carry was ignored in favor of exposing an inexperienced OL to non-stop pass blocking.

It was the same problems on defense - inability to cover the TE - magnified by the mysterious personnel decision of bringing back Trotter after two years off, while one of the best cover LBs in the history of the NFL (Derrick Brooks) has no job.

It was every game McNabb has ever played, failing to recognize obvious blitzes pre-snap, holding the ball too long, and bouncing passes to open receivers.

For all of the brilliance of Reid and McNabb, and I must remind myself constantly this is the best coach and QB the Eagles have ever had, they stubbornly refuse to learn from their mistakes. As a fan, it is painful to watch.

I give credit to the Raiders, who badly outcoached and out-executed the Eagles. They played their best game offensively and defensively of the season, and JaAwful looked JaMediocre at times, which is pretty damned good for him. I also give credit to the officials, who mysteriously disappeared for most of the game, failing to call an offsides penalty when the Raiders actually made contact with the Nick Cole before the snap, missing the most obvious running-into-the-kicker penalty I've ever seen, and ignoring three pass intereference penalties which were not ticky-tack questionable, but involved receivers reaching up and trying to catch a ball with one hand while the other was held down by a DB.

But in spite of the Raiders' great day and the officials bad one, the Eagles have no excuse for losing. A few more catches instead of drops, a few more called runs, a little more recognition on defense, and the Eagles escape with an ugly win instead of crushing loss. If they simply beat the Raiders, who have set NFL records for futility over the past six seasons, they are tied for the lead in the NFC East and tied for the second-best record in the NFC. Instead, they're just another 3-2 team with a terrible loss on their resume and no more easy games left on their schedule.

One thing we can count on for sure, though: We'll see this game again.


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