McNabb and Eagles: Missing the Intangibles To Win It All

Doug DonofrioCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2017

Let's see, the NFC East has won 11 world championships since 1966-67, the first year the NFL declared the championship game between the AFC and NFC winners the historic "Super Bowl."

Dallas has vaulted to five under three coaches, the Giants have captured three under two coaches, and the Redskins have managed to win three under Joe Gibbs.

Well, that leaves those green and white birds in the City of Brotherly Love with nary a one, and there are reasons for this ineptitude.

Dick Vermeil's Eagles, although successful from 1976-1982, got to the dance just once during that time and lost badly to the wild-card bound Raiders 27-10 in Super Bowl XV. A strong running game, balanced passing attack, and a ferocious defense could not overcome the speed of the Raiders.

Buddy Ryan's Eagles were somewhat successful from 1986-1990, going to three straight playoff games from 1988-1990, but lost all three with QB Randall Cunningham at the helm. No running game, other than Randall, a good vertical passing game, and one of the league's best defenses could not manage a single playoff victory.

Rich Kotite's Eagles from 1991-1994 managed to sneak into the playoffs in 1992-1993 but were averted both times. No consistent running game, an erratic passing game with Randall out in 1991, and one of the best defenses in the NFL were thwarted.

Ray Rhodes' Eagles from 1995-1998 reached the playoffs once in 1995 but were derailed by Dallas, who went on to win their third Super Bowl championship in four years. The first of the West Coast offenses in place showcased a good balanced offense and a good solid defense, although not dominating, but fell short to San Francisco in Candlestick Park.

Andy Reid's Eagles from 1999 to the present have reached the NFC Championship Game five times during this trek, winning just one but losing to New England in the Super Bowl. A balanced passing game, average running game, and an above average defense could not overcome the Genius of Belichick and the Patriot coaching staff.

Now that we have had our history lesson, what are the reasons why the Eagles have not been able to keep up with their division rivals over the years?

Inconsistent coaching, running quarterbacks, negativity, no big-time wide receivers, no big-time running backs who can get the tough yards in between the tackles, bad karma, and no big-play defenses—what could it possibly be?

It could have been any one of the aforementioned reasons why they have not won in any one year; but what about putting it all together for that one year or a few successive years—there is the rub.

The Eagles have always looked for next year and believed there would be next year. What was never planned was that given year. In 2004, they acquired Owens and Kearse and made that run but fell just three minutes short. 

Are they missing certain pieces in the draft year in and year out? Are they misidentifying free-agent talent on the open market? Are they lacking leadership from the top down? Have their quarterbacks been just ordinary over the years? Have their head coaches lacked the foresight to make necessary changes and adjustments when the time called for it?

This is for all of us to evaluate. I leave this in your hands, Philadelphia. Let me know what you think.