Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Eagles Laid an Egg

sad - Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Chipmobile lost a wheel, and Birds fans had to pay.

Well, that sucked. And this one is all on Chip.

It's his job to get his team mentally ready. Despite warnings by every Eagles writer and fan, the Birds suffered a letdown//trap game in the Horny Dome. The team sputtered through the entire first quarter, and that's a failure of the coach to get them mentally in the game. By the time they snapped to, they were down and played from behind for the rest of the game. Clearly players are saying "yeah yeah yeah" when Chip gives his speeches about one week at a time and every game being the Super Bowl. If we're lucky, this will be a lesson that sticks with the players, but it's a costly one.

Play-calling is Chip's job, too. And his stubborn refusal to run made the team one-dimensional. Minnesota was smart enough to respond. The Eagles were the best balanced team in the league going into this game, running 48.4% of the time, and that's a big part of their success. It's inexplicable why Chip thought the Vikings wouldn't notice that the Eagles were only passing, or sell out the run to stop them.

The same is true on kickoff strategy. Yes, Cordarrelle Patterson is dangerous, but the Eagles gave up at least 7 points on short field position by always kicking short, and he wasn't going to take 2 kicks to the house. (The problems against Detroit had a lot to do with the snow.) If nothing else, the Birds could have mixed it up. Hell, go for a full onside kick the first time, if that's your decision. Mix up a boomer away from Patterson with a line drive kick to the 20, etc., and if they start cheating up for shorties, kick a little fungo over their heads. The Eagles have speed -- make it confusing and try to steal a kick at least.

Finally, it's also Chip's job to manage his team's emotions when things are going bad. And clearly he did a poor job of this. All those penalties for taunting and roughness killed a pretty decent comeback.

To be fair, the Vikings were ripe for a big game, playing well recently and losing narrowly to the Ravens despite those dramatic last-second touchdowns. And I have no problem with Chip going for it on fourth-and-1, even at his own 24. Like he said, if they can't get a yard, they're probably not going to win in any case, and that call was both a vote of confidence in, and a challenge to, his offensive line. It's a shame they couldn't deliver.

That said, sending out the kick team after Avant's late touchdown and then having to burn a time out to change and go for two is purely on the coaches. And getting a delay of game penalty inside the red zone is mostly on them. It wasn't just one or two players having a bad game -- Patrick Chung has been playing terribly for a while now, and the staff needs to coach around that. The person who had a bad game was Chip.

By the way, as great a song as "Batman Smells" is for every 8-year old boy, it always made me mad that Alfred had to pay for the Batmobile's lost wheel. Are you kidding me? Bruce Wayne is a billionaire industrialist living in a stately manor, and he makes his butler pungle up for car repairs? Those custom Batmobile wheels have to be really expensive, too, and with order times Alfred probably has to have a spare on hand.

In this metaphor, the fans are Alfred. And it's a shame they had to pay for this disaster by watching it.

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