What Would Buddy Do?
It’s not the end of the world, just what you expect from mediocre NFL teams
Posted on November 5th, 2007 at 9:36 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

keep walkin big fella

Yikes, the bluster in the papers this morning was borderline apocalyptic:

A team in decline, a coach in denial: Recipe for disaster.

Only thing McNabb is passing is his prime.

These Birds are roadkill.

Isn’t this all a little bit much?

This is not to say that the Eagles were very good last night and deserved better from the local media. This is more to say that the 2007 Eagles are mediocre at best, and shouldn’t expect to win more than 8 games in aggregate. They’re not awful, but they’re also not an elite team, so if they’re playing a division rival with one loss the week that the coach is publicly humiliated for personal problems, well, you have to imagine that it’s not going to be easy, right? Even if their personnel matched up well against the Cowboys — which is not the case — this still would’ve been a tough game.

The Birds came out predictably distracted, were outschemed throughout, and looked completely uninterested in playing football last night. Some observations:

1. This is the first time the defense has come up small. I was terrified about the defense coming into the season, but they’d played well so far. Not last night. People looked confused, were standing in the wrong spots (the T.O. touchdown was especially offensive), and nobody tackled. Also, someone finally figured out that you can beat up on the Birds’ linebackers in coverage — how many short balls to Barber and T.O. turned into big gains? Yuck.

2. After nine years, folks have figured out the screen pass. The most compelling reason for regime change at the Novacare Complex is that it’s completely obvious that the rest of the league (and certainly the division) has figured out the Eagles’ playbook. The bread-and-butter screen passes that have worked so well over the years are completely obvious at this point.

3. Dunavin wasn’t good, but this wasn’t all on him. McNabb doesn’t turn the ball over very often. When he does turn it over, things aren’t going to go well for this team. The Eagles aren’t used to reacting to turnovers. Romo threw five picks against Buffalo and Dallas still won — because the Cowboys didn’t give up. Sure, McNabb was lame last night. So was the rest of the team. Let’s call it a 45-way tie for crappiest effort. I guess Westbrook wasn’t bad.

4. Was this even fun to watch? No. This wasn’t fun to watch. At all. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that the rest of the games are at least competitive (and they should be — there are plenty of wimpy teams on the schedule).

5. We feel for ya, Andy Reid, but it’s not happening here. This is on you. The team has a built-in excuse — your freakin problems — and they took advantage of it last night. No one was up for the game last night. The coaches didn’t look prepared, the players didn’t look prepared. Andy Reid will be a happier person when he isn’t coaching the Eagles in Philadelphia. He should treat himself and take a year off after this year. We need a new story.

All that said, there’s no reason they can’t hang with the Skins this weekend. They’re crappy too. Go Birds.

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