Let me start out by saying I am an Eagles fan, I grew up in the Philadelphia area, and despite living in five different states (I now reside back in the Philly area), I have always been an Eagles fan. My family has had season tickets since Franklin Field and I have been going to games since I was a little kid.
I am also not an Andy Reid hater by any means. On the contrary, I think Andy Reid has been great for the Eagles organization and has done a great job throughout most of his tenure. However, the constant complaint I have always had about Andy Reid is clock management and sometimes illogical playcalling.
We have already seen his poor clock management skills at work this season in both losses to Green Bay and Washington. It has been a problem throughout Reid's tenure in Philadelphia to the point I have often thought they should hire someone whose sole job is to manage timeouts and the clock.
With that being said, I was sitting on my couch, watching the second half of the Eagles-49ers game, and two things infuriated me so badly, I almost broke my television. The Eagles were trying their best to lose that game, and they almost pulled it off.
First, on 3rd and short, they ran the wildcat, and did a direct snap to their third string running back, Eldra Buckley. While I was not thrilled with the play call, if you are going to run that play, why not do it to DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin, guys who are fast and can hit a hole? To run that play to Buckley was simply stupid.
Second, they got the ball back with less than two minutes left, and only the Eagles would run two pass plays and one run on that series. One of the passes was completed so it made them use a timeout. On 3rd and 2, rather than run with LeSean McCoy, Kevin Kolb forced a pass that went incomplete to Celek, and thus, they gave San Fran the ball back with over a minute left and one time out, rather than no timeouts.
That decision could have come back to haunt them, and rightfully should have. Kolb has to be smart enough to realize you don't force a throw into coverage in that situation. The ball popped up in the air and could have been intercepted off the deflection.
Kolb should have looked and, if there were no receivers, tried to run or just went to the ground and forced their last timeout. However, since he's a young QB, I can't really blame Kolb. The blame goes on Reid, who should have been smart enough to not put the ball in his young QB's hands in that spot.
The bottom line is Reid's clock management continues to haunt this team, and until the Eagles figure out what to do about that, they are going to keep letting teams back into games. So next time you have a lead with less than two minutes left, RUN THE BALL ANDY! RUN THE BALL!