Before the season, the Philadelphia Eagles were expected to be a Super Bowl contending team. The Eagles had acquired six former Pro Bowl players in the offseason, providing what was expected to be the necessary components to finally get Andy Reid a championship ring.
What was unforeseen though were the upcoming problems that would plague the Eagles in 2011. The team struggled to a 1-4 start to the season and is all but eliminated from the postseason heading into Week 14.
The problems began back in training camp and have continued throughout the season.
The following are the top reasons to blame for the Eagles collapse.
What an absolutely idiotic decision by Andy Reid to promote longtime offensive line coach to be the team’s new defensive coordinator.
This decision predictably backfired. A unit that ranked dead last in the NFL in red-zone defense in 2010 still ranks dead last in the NFL in red-zone defense. The Philadelphia Eagles are the worst fourth-quarter team in the league and rank 22nd in the league in scoring defense.
Bringing back Sean McDermott probably wouldn’t have been a good move, but there were plenty of better options.
Darren Perry, the stellar defensive backs coach of the Green Bay Packers or Dick Jauron or Jim Mora, Jr. would have been far superior selections than a guy who hadn’t coached defense in 25 years.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ fourth-year wide receiver entered 2011 in a contract year.
The Eagles decided to test him by not offering him a new deal initially; DeSean Jackson responded with an absolutely miserable campaign, dropping a slew of passes, missing a mandatory meeting that resulted in a benching and all but checking himself out of multiple games.
Without Jackson’s deep play ability, the Eagles just haven’t been as much of an offensive force.
Vince Young put a target on the backs of every single member of the Philadelphia Eagles when he self-proclaimed the Eagles as the “Dream Team” back in training camp.
Not even one game into the season, the Eagles had a bullseye, and the pressure only increased as the Eagles blew fourth-quarter leads against the Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers in succession.
When given a chance to play, Young went 1-2 in his three starts, throwing four interceptions in an embarrassing loss to the Seattle Seahawks that epitomized the Eagles’ season.
There's no leader on this defense, absolutely none. When the Philadelphia Eagles let Brian Dawkins go, they let their emotional heart and soul leave.
The Eagles have no one like Dawkins, Jeremiah Trotter or Hugh Douglas who can rally the team. As a direct result, the Eagles have blown an unfathomable five fourth-quarter leads.
In a 24-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, running back Frank Gore was quoted as saying the Eagles “looked like they didn’t want to play anymore.
The blame for any poor season almost always goes to the head coach.
The Philadelphia Eagles were expected to be a 12 or 13-win team after bringing in six former Pro Bowlers during the offseason, but the Eagles have vastly underachieved.
The Eagles are undisciplined, unfocused and a clubhouse mess.
It's looking more and more like this will be Reid’s final season with the team.