Any Eagles fan who watched last week's game against the New York Giants was frustrated and disheartened to say the least. The Eagles did not play well, and there were more problems with the team that one could count with both hands. The Eagles were deemed the team to beat in the offseason, but now were 1-2 and did not look like a good football team last week.
Andy Reid has been here before, and has taken 1-2 teams to the postseason, as well as as many as 11 or 12 wins. But what was most worrying about the loss to the Giants was not the mediocre play of Michael Vick, the missed assignments on defense, or the lack of explosiveness on the offense overall (other than LeSean McCoy). What was perhaps most worrying was the incredible coaching errors made by the head coach.
Many were to blame for the loss, but Reid's flawed coaching is currently holding back an Eagles team that is arguably the most talented in the NFL, and in franchise history.
Here are four reasons why.
When a team has three chances to gain one yard for a touchdown, and fails each time, then something is wrong. In this case, it is clearly the play-calling.
Why use Owen Schmitt? Especially when LeSean McCoy could not be stopped by the Giants defense and was on fire? Or when you have a mobile quarterback who can pass as well as scramble in the shotgun?
Andy Reid has always been stubborn as a coach, and never changes his game plan regardless of the situation or the assets at his disposal.
You can have all the talent in the world, but it is the coach's responsibility to put players in a position to succeed.
With poor play-calling, this Eagles offense will continue to be held back and Reid is holding the Eagles back as a result.
With LeSean McCoy playing like Adrian Peterson, why wouldn't the Eagles give the ball to McCoy at the one-yard line? With defensive players playing so poorly, such as Kurt Coleman and Casey Matthews, why not bench them?
And why call a deep passing play for a backup quarterback with a weak arm in Mike Kafka?
The Eagles were hyped up as the most talented team in the NFL and teams are going to put extra effort into game-planning against them. Until Reid can adjust on game day, he is wasting the talent on this roster.
One of Andy Reid's biggest flaws is an inability to handle the pressure to make a good call, and to coach well in close games.
When the game gets close, Reid cannot be counted on to make the right decisions.
This was true in the Super Bowl, with the shockingly slow playcalling that likely lost the Eagles the game. It was true when Reid decided to punt the ball on fourth down in 2007 against the New Orleans Saints with less than two minutes to play. And it was true last Sunday when Reid went for it on fourth down at midfield, to give the Giants excellent field position and eventually a strong lead.
Close games have been consistently blown by the incompetency of Reid's decision-making at the end of close games. And they will continue to prevent this Eagles team from winning a Super Bowl if they continue.
When your offense has consistently failed in the red-zone for several years now, especially after the departure of a scapegoat for the red zone inefficiency, Donovan McNabb, then there are few to blame but the head coach.
With three chances to gain one yard, and failure each time, despite having one of the most talented offenses in the NFL, and the issue is with the coaching.
It lies within both a failure to properly prepare a team in training camp, as well as a failure to call the correct plays on gameday.
The Eagles have a lot of talent and many strengths, but their weaknesses are very clear and are too often exploited. If Reid is unable to fix these problems, then the organization should find someone who can.