In 2008, the Philadelphia Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship Game, falling just short to the Arizona Cardinals. In 2009 and 2010, the Eagles lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs. And in 2011, the Eagles stumbled through arguably the most frustrating season in franchise history, finishing 8-8 while missing the playoffs.
And the Eagles stumbled through an absolutely embarrassing 60 minutes of football against a team coming off a 4-12 season, barely coming away with a one-point win. Andy Reid’s play-calling was typically unbalanced, even more skewed than normal. The team appeared undisciplined and unfocused, committing a whopping 12 penalties for 110 yards throughout the contest.
Ultimately, it took a few lucky breaks—Michael Vick falling on his own fumble and then getting a gift of a dropped interception by Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker L.J. Fort that would have ended the game.
As a coach, Reid deserves the blame for the $100 million contract the Eagles are paying Vick; obviously, Vick won’t play that six-year deal out but he is on the books for $13.9 million against the salary cap in 2012, and that’s an absolutely ridiculous amount to pay a league-average quarterback who is injury-prone, inaccurate, erratic and lacks good decision-making skills.
The Eagles are fortunate to be 1-0 and they’re about to play a tough stretch of games, as they take on the Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Giants in three of their next four matchups. Then again, that one should have been easy last year and the Cardinals came away with a 21-17 win, cementing the Eagles’ miserable season.
Reid’s ways with the Eagles have worn off; he’s predictable and he’s stubborn. He handed the ball to LeSean McCoy seven times in the first half, and this is with McCoy coming off a career season that earned him All-Pro status, while Vick was hit a ridiculous amount of times as an underwhelming offensive line failed to protect him.
Calling 56 passes for Vick—which doesn't include the seven times Vick took off to run or the two times he was sacked—against just 23 rushes is outrageous, especially with the way Vick threw the ball yesterday afternoon. The blame for that goes on Reid, as he’s in charge of all major decisions within the organization, specifically in-game play-calling.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie has already declared Reid to be on the hot seat in 2012, saying if the Eagles don’t finish at least 8-8, Reid will be gone.
Then again, if the Eagles finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs, I don’t think that’s enough to save Reid’s job. A 10-6 finish with an early exit in the playoffs probably isn’t enough, either. I don’t even know if a sixth conference championship game appearance is enough. It might take at least a berth in the Super Bowl for Reid to be coming back next season, especially considering he’s a lame duck for 2013 if the Eagles don’t extend his contract.
Reid has missed the playoffs three of the last seven seasons, winning just a total of three playoff games during that span after winning seven from 2000 to 2004. Reid’s winning percentage since ’05: .558. That comes out to slightly less than a 9-7 season. That’s nothing to brag about.
And it’s not just this one game against the Browns that in any way has me thinking Reid will get fired: He’s had it coming. The Eagles need a change of pace leader, a Jon Gruden-esque type that will get in a player’s face and yell.
With the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys expected to be serious playoff contenders in 2012—and the Washington Redskins all of a sudden looking like they might be a tough team with Robert Griffin III—it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Reid battling it out with Norv Turner to be the league’s first coach that gets canned.