I sincerely apologize to any Eagles fans that read this and got their hopes up. Similar to Andy Reid, I thought I too should get your hopes up only to dash them and leave you feeling like you got punched in the gut.
The idea of firing a head coach in the middle of the NFL season is terrible. It is even worse when you consider the coach being fired is in the midst of competing for a playoff berth and a division title.
Do you want to hear another terrible idea?
How about you do the following during an NFL game: Turn touchdowns into field goals, establish a predictable offense, run out of timeouts, not use your time wisely and not understand when a two-point conversion is warranted.
Sounds like someone had a bad game. Let’s be honest though, you can't get fired for such offenses.
In the case of Andy Reid not only can you get fired for this, you should be fired for this.
Reid finds a way to botch one of the aforementioned issues each week. The beauty of the game in San Diego is that it all happened in the same game and they all contributed to the Eagles loss.
So let's start at the beginning of this hot mess and slowly work our way through it. Consider this the first dot on the paper. As we connect the dots you will see a big fat "F" appear on the paper. It can stand for “Failure,” “Fired,” “Funny,” or another word of your choice.
Efficiency in the Redzone
Field goals are valuable when a drive stalls at the 35, you trot out the guy most players on your team don’t consider a football player and earns you three points from 52 yards out.
Field goals cost you games when they split the uprights from distances of 18, 25 and 25 yards.
The Eagles first trip the redzone saw the offense facing a first and goal from...gasp...the 1-yard line. I know it sounds scary and the end result was nothing short of a nightmare.
Run, Play action pass, run, field goal.
I know what happened the first time around: The Eagles were too close to the endzone and they ran the ball too many times.
The second trip to the redzone offered the perfect remedy. The Eagles had first and goal from the nine. Now they could ditch the run and really use those weapons they have on offense.
Pass, run, Pass, field goal.
No big deal. Andy has it all figured out now. The Eagles need to find themselves in a manageable third down situation without facing the daunting task of goal-to-go.
The third trip was offered such a scenario.
With third and one from the San Diego seven Andy decides to run Sprint Right Option or a variation that looks very similar to it. Do you know what this play is?
It is the same play where Joe Montana and Dwight Clark connected on the Catch.
The quarterback rolls right and has three options. He can run, throw to a receiver in the flat or throw to a receiver in the back of the endzone.
Well that's great. Too bad Donovan McNabb isn't Joe Cool and Reid isn't Bill Walsh.
McNabb tossed the ball away and we were lucky enough to see David Akers kick another field goal, genuflect, and then point his finger to the sky as he mutters something that I'm sure no one in Philadelphia cares about.
Thanks Andy. Your team looked like it was prepared to convert on golden opportunities.
I am sitting here in front of my laptop with the TV on and my dog Wes snoring. This isn't exactly what I would call a "film session."
It sounds weird, but somehow I figured out it might be wise to run the ball against the 25th ranked rushing defense, which gave up 130 yards per game entering today's contest against the Eagles.
I guess you don’t need to lock yourself in a room for hours on end and remove yourself from human contact to figure that idea out.
I wonder if Andy knows there are 32 teams in the leagues. Maybe he thought the Chargers were 25th against the run out of like 122 teams. Perhaps if someone told him the Chargers were 7th to last against the rush the point would get through to him.
Forget it. Everything makes sense now. When the opposition is expecting you to run you need to completely abandon the run. If I had 69 offensive plays I would probably throw it 69 times or until Donovan went Dave Dravecky on everyone.
Thank goodness Reid is at the helm because he scaled back the pass considerably more than I would have. He only let McNabb air out 55 times, Michael Vick once and a hefty 13 runs.
Random though: Do you think McNabb would object to Kevin Kolb coming into the game to throw one pass? Yeah. I doubt he would like it. So then why in the world doesn’t he throw a hissy fit when Vick comes to disrupt the offense?
Back to the topic.
I know you're thinking Reid passed a lot because the Eagles were trailing big in the second half. Thanks oh mighty football genius, but take a look at the first half and you will see the Eagles passed 26 times and ran it only seven times.
At that pace you are looking at 52 passes and 14 runs. It really is weird how the pattern held true.
To put things in further perspective Brian Westbrook's last run of the day came on the fourth play of the third quarter.
He still ended up leading the team in rushing attempts and nearly accounted for half of the rushes.
You get three in each half and they carry the magical ability to stop time. It is a powerful tool that many great people in history have longed for. Yet Reid uses them up like those little paper cones that accompany a water cooler.
I can see him standing next to the water cooler thinking, "No big deal if I use one here, there are more left." He sort of haphazardly goes about his business and thinks nothing of it.
And then all of sudden when he is really thirsty he runs out of paper cones and stands there in a state of shock wondering what to do next. Following a deep breath he collects his thoughts and realizes how foolish he was not save a couple for later use.
It's kind of like that with the timeout issue.
I'm not saying the Eagles win the game if they have all three timeouts, but it certainly changes the dynamics of the game and it gives the Eagles a better chance to win the game.
And the last time I checked a major job responsibility of a coach is to make sure the team has pinnies for practice, directions to the game, and oh yeah, the opportunity to win.
The Eagles trailed by 12 with 12 minutes to go and they're out their frolicking around like a kid trying to catch butterflies in an open field.
While the Eagles were out in the own little world every fan in Philadelphia said, "This looks like the Super Bowl against the Patriots, huh?"
I'm sure the conversation was much more colorful, but you get the point.
Where was the urgency?
Maybe urgency was hanging out with the abundance of timeouts. Oh. There was no abundance of timeouts? I guess urgency had nowhere to hang out..
The Eagles trailed 28-9, which is a 19 point deficit for those lacking strong mathematical skills.
When you trail by 19 points in the NFL it is possible to tie the game up in three possessions with one of those possessions yielding a field goal.
Andy decided it was best to put the Eagles behind the eight ball and asked them to score three touchdowns. Heck, one touchdown was tough to come by, so why not ask for three in the fourth quarter.
If anyone knows Andy maybe they could drop off the following scenario on his desk. Thanks in advance from me and every Eagles fan out there.
You can tie a 19-point game with with two touchdowns (12 total points), two two-point conversions (4 total points), and a field goal (three total points). Add up the numbers in the parentheses and you get 19 points in three possessions.
Is that asking a lot?
But why not go for it on your first touchdown?
If you miss the first two-point conversion you are still down 13 points and you need two touchdowns to take the lead. If you kick the extra point, which is what Andy did, you trail by 12 points. And guess what? You still need two touchdowns.
However, if you convert the first conversion you are looking at an 11-point deficit and we all know that means you don't need two touchdowns.
The time has finally come where Andy Reid must go and it must happen immediately.
When I rest my head down on my pillow Sunday night I will pray that I wake up to read a headline telling me Andy Reid is no longer the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.