Okay, to start out, I did not get to see this game. I only saw the highlights on all the different websites. I wish I could have watched it (but work had other plans, unfortunately) so that I'd be at least a little bit more justified in what I'm about to say. However, since I've got some reliable little birdies that tell me things (THANKS AGAIN, MOM) I should be alright.
Arizona. The Desert. The West. The Cardinals.
Any of this giving you headaches, yet?
The Eagles had already lost an embarrassing game at the Linc last year. The roster was virtually the same then as it is now. The stage was set to give the Cards some payback. Show us up at home, will ya? WE'LL SHOW YOU!
Buuuut we didn't. We got.....(wait for it).....burned. Yet again. This time, it was WORSE than last year, as if that was possible. Fitz gave us fits, our run defense wasn't as solid as it had been weeks prior, and Kolb managed to play the kind of football Andy and Marty must have seen when they wanted to go with him as our franchise QB before destiny stuck its big, fat, fugly face into our business yet again.
As much as it hurts, and believe me it...BURNS, there's a lot here to analyze and discuss that even us fans could probably fix (Disclaimer: We cannot for we are but mere mortal fans who have no say in anything the mighty coaches do). However, there are positives to be seen in this unfathomably ugly loss.
First off, the run-pass ratio is off yet again. How does McCoy only have 13 carries? He got 70 yards on those carries, which isn't awful at all, so why not give him the ball more? Dave Spadaro's article on the Philadelphia Eagles website states that when the offense was at the Arizona 1 yard line, they passed on each of their plays. Um. I don't wanna be too bold here, but didn't we run it right up the gut against an obnoxiously tough Ravens defense that was led by Ray-frickin'-Lewis?! WHYYYY wouldn't they run it against the Cardinals? Because I didn't see the game, I'm gonna assume it's because the running game was doing nothing except for making Andy and Marty nervous ABOUT running the football. Why does that automatically turn them away from the run? WHY? The turnovers reared their ugly mugs again too, but the Vick fumble at the 1 wouldn't have happened if they had just run the damn football! But, if's are only measured in horseshoes and hand grenades as we all know, and what happened happened.
When are Andy and Marty going to realize that Vick is NOT the kind of quarterback that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are? He has something that, in some ways, is so much more than those two quarterbacks will ever have! He has the dual-threat ability! He can run! He has a cannon! His accuracy has been much better in Philadelphia than it ever was in Atlanta! I know that lately he's been average at best, but you get my point. If you want Vick to be successful in games, you HAVE to utilize that! A run game is essential for Vick and this offense to get going. If you have the entire opposing defense worrying about one runningback, the rest will take care of itself. They won't be ready for a Vick scramble, or a deep pass to Jackson, or a middle route to Celek or Avant. And if you're going to throw the football, stop going for the deep throws! As was seen in the second half, the shorter the routes, the less likely Vick is to get knocked on his ass again! So the positive here is, obviously, RUN THE FFF--REAKING BALL MORE, ANDY! I get it, you're out 2 key offensive linemen, but if you would just have faith in the depth of your roster, you wouldn't need to worry! Especially when you have a back like McCoy! If Shady were out for the season, I would understand the desire to throw more, I really would, but that's not the case is it, Andy?!
Second, the loss itself. I could tell just by looking at my damn phone that it was another on a long list of poorly played Eagles games on the road where the team just left everything in Philly. Turnovers included, everyone was just...bad. The Cardinals gave the Eagles multiple chances to bounce back and stay in the game, but they never took advantage. Kolb did what most post-Eagle players did and played extremely well. Everyone said all week how he plays less than average when faced with pressure. Well wouldn't ya know it, the complete opposite happened when he played against Philadelphia. He was sacked three times, but still ended up having a better day than Vick. The positive to take from this, however, is that this was (hopefully/probably) the worst the Eagles will look all season. And the fact that it came in Week 3 instead of Week 13 is a very very good thing.
The final upside is the reality check these guys were just handed. The Eagles get to look themselves in the mirror and realize that they can't keep this up. They can't keep giving the other team the ball. They won't keep winning games with miraculous 4th quarter comebacks. They have to actually believe that no team is beneath them, instead of just recycling those words to the media. There also has to be a point in the season where they can get a big lead and hold it, something they couldn't do at all last year. They finally started to understand that in those 4 games from last season, and if they could just re-discover how to play that way, then maybe this game can become a distant, but still painful, memory.
The world champs come to town next week. I'm hoping to make the trip to Philadelphia to show my support, wear my B-Dawk jersey, and go crazy with my fellow fans. I'm begging the team to come home to give us a reason to believe these silver linings aren't just desperate pleas for hope. Brian Dawkins is retiring, guys. You'd better bring your A-game. We sure as hell will.