Eagles Lack Balance On Offense; Upset By Raiders.
The Raiders were a team that many thought the Eagles would beat handily. They had lost to the Giants by a score of 44-7 the week before. After that game, Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce said it felt like a scrimmage.
In the game, the Eagles converted just two of 16 third-down opportunities. They are the first team to fail to score a touchdown against the Raiders in three years.
The Eagles offense was inexplicably unbalanced. They attempted 46 passes while running just 14 times. This made the offense one dimensional and allowed the Raiders defense to focus on defending the pass.
Donovan McNabb completed 22 of 46 passes for 269 yards. He was under constant pressure and was sacked six times. Left tackle Jason Peters left in the first quarter due to injury, making things worse.
What made this imbalance even more frustrating for Eagles fans was the fact that the running game was effective when used. Brian Westbrook had 50 yards on six carries, including a 25 yard run.
The defense was also playing well, so it wasn’t as if the Eagles had to come back from a major deficit.
Michael Vick was on the field for just two plays, taking away yet another dimension of the offense.
This isn’t the first time that Andy Reid has been stubbornly over committed to the passing game. The head coach has been lamented by fans and the media for his lack of balance throughout his career.
It is possibly one of the major reasons that, in spite of his strengths, he has yet to win a Superbowl and establish himself as a great coach.
In spite of their offensive struggles, the defense kept the Eagles in it until the end. It wasn’t really over until McNabb underthrew Desean Jackson on fourth-and-4 from the Oakland 44 with 2:14 left in the game.
On a day where nothing seemed to go right for the Eagles, special teams were of little help as David Akers missed two field goals from 43 and 47 yards.
This was an embarrassing and inexcusable loss for the Eagles.
In a league where any team can win any game, this was the closest thing to a lock that the Eagles will get. They will need to rebound against the division rival Washington Redskins on Monday night.
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