I am an Eagles phan who needs to vent about Andy Reid, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. This is not just about today's game. This is about every situation in which Andy Reid has cost the Eagles a chance to win a game.
Today was one of the worst days of Andy Reid's coaching career. I don't think it would be too much of an exaggeration to say that he cost us the game today. Reid went 0-for-2 on challenges on back-to-back plays. That has to be the first time that an NFL head coach has lost consecutive challenges on consecutive plays.
The second challenge was legit, although I disagreed with it at the time, but it was more of a desperation move. Brandon Jacobs fumbled the football moments after crossing the goal-line for the eventual game-winning score. The Eagles recovered the football, and this was a play that was significant enough for a desperation challenge.
The play before, Eagles fans saw Andy Reid challenge a play in which Brandon Jacobs' elbow was clearly down before he fumbled the football. Along with 30 other fans, I was screaming at the TV, “DON'T CHALLENGE!!” But Andy Reid did challenge, and lost, dropping his career challenge percentage to 32.5 percent (NFL average: 39 percent).
The two timeouts that the Eagles lost could have gotten the ball back in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, giving Donovan McNabb one more chance to try to win the game and save the Eagles' season.
Reid also elected to go for the end zone with 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter, on a play that had me screaming at the TV for the field goal. The pass was incomplete and the field goal was successful. The play was also pointless, stupid, and way too risky.
In 2006, tight end L.J. Smith caught an eight-yard pass down to the two-yard line before time ran out, ending the half. The Eagles lost the game, 23-21, on a 62-yard field goal by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A field goal in that situation would have ended up giving the Eagles a likely win and an 11-5 regular-season record.
Instead, the Eagles finished 10-6 and ended up traveling to New Orleans (also 10-6) for the divisional playoff game. The Birds lost by three. Maybe home-field would have made the difference in this game.
This is a little dramatic, but it's possible. Bottom line: Andy Reid has cost the Eagles multiple games over the years.
Back to tonight's loss: Facing 3rd-and-3 in our own territory with under two minutes remaining, the Eagles pitched the ball to Westbrook, who gained two yards. Wrong idea: You do not run the ball in your own territory against the Giants' defensive line on third down.
This was a classic two-minute-drill situation, and the Eagles couldn't afford an extra 20 seconds to tick off the clock after a failed run. We don't exactly thrive on the two-minute drill.
4th-and-1—the Eagles handed off to Brian Westbrook, who failed to gain one yard and ultimately ended the game.
The Eagles are 5-for-14 (now 5-for-15) when running the ball on third and fourth down situations this season. They are 3-for-3 passing. WHY, in a million years, would you RUN the ball on this play? The Giants had stopped Brian Westbrook all game. This was the worst game of Westbrook's career. They hadn't stopped McNabb (three touchdowns). THROW THE BALL!
We failed in a goal-line situation running against Chicago. We failed against Washington. Those are two other games that Reid could have won for us with good playcalling. He probably just cost us a third game by choosing to run the ball.
It's not a coincidence that the Eagles either win by a lot or lose by a little. Last five wins were by the following number of points: 17 , 13, 14, 9, 35, 8, 15. Last five losses: 5, 6, 4, 4, 4, 3. That's ridiculous.
Every game, I feel that there is a situation in which Andy Reid costs us a touchdown, and we get a field goal, or he costs us a field goal, and we get nothing. These points add up! The Eagles don't lose games by a lot. There have been so many opportunities for the Eagles to win one or two or even three more games every season. I think that the responsibility for these losses can be directly put on Andy Reid.
This team has talent. We have as much talent as any team in the NFL. Every year, we think we're the cream of the crop in the NFC or even the entire NFL and we've never won a Super Bowl. Could better playcalling have won us the Super Bowl against the Patriots? Yeah, maybe it could have. Could it possibly have us at an 8-1 record this year? Maybe. Could it have gotten us a first-round bye in 2006? Maybe.
We underachieve every single year. Andy Reid is dragging us down. We win games despite his playcalling. But in the close games, his playcalling is often enough to change the outcome of the entire game. The two-minute drill is an absolute nightmare, whether on offense or defense. Every single game, repeat, every single game, I feel that one coaching decision by Reid changes the outcome of the game in the other team's favor.
Before you Eagles phans out there rip me to shreds, understand me. I am a legit, diehard, hardcore Eagles phan that would cut off his arm for the Eagles to win a Super Bowl. Andy Reid is the winningest coach in Eagles history and has done an unbelievable job of drafting some of the best players in franchise history. But his time, just like David Akers, has passed.
Ask yourself this: Do you really feel comfortable with Andy Reid coaching the team? Or is it time for Reid to move on?