We know that it was turnovers that were by far the reason the Eagles lost yesterday. We know that the mind boggling pass short of the end zone by McNabb at the end of the half cost us points...
Due to those major mistakes there were several smaller bad plays that were forgotten. However, there was one particular moment in the game that it seems like no one has forgotten. The Jerome McDougle sack/30 yard penalty...
It was 2nd and 12 on the Tampa 36. The Bucs were out of FG range and McDougle sacked Gradkowski for what should have forced a 3rd and 20 or more. Unfortunately he was flagged for a 15 yard face mask penalty(which should have been no more than a 5 yarder IMO), and then proceeded to compound the problem by kicking the penalty flag... thereby drwaing another personal foul. In all, he giftwrapped them 30 yards and a FG. I find it odd that fans today are bashing McNabb for his mistake at the half that cost 3 points, but they are curiously quiet on McDougle. This play was eerily similar to Trent Cole kicking Manning in the Giants game and gift wrapping the Giants the game tying FG.
Does this signal a serious discipline problem on this team? That's 2 boneheaded, undisciplined plays at the end of games that cost this team a loss. If you then add last week's screw up with Gaither not getting off the field and drawing the too many men on the field penalty... that makes them 3 for 3. So as we search for reasons this team has lost 3 games on the final play this year, lack of discipline and common football intelligence may very well be one... Maybe it's time for the even tempered Andy Reid to show some fire. Someone needs to make it clear that it's unacceptable to make these kind of stupid mistakes.
Andy weighed in on the play...
and McDougle himself
Media reaction to the play and some more quotes after the jump
First sitting, then standing up facing his locker in the bowels of Raymond James Stadium long after Matt Bryant's 62-yard field goal as time expired gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 23-21 vic tory, McDougle could not bring himself to face the horde of reporters lurking behind him.
Then they wanted to know why.
Finally, the question of the day: Why, after being called for a 15-yard penalty did McDougle, a bust since being drafted 15th overall by the Eagles in 2003, did he kick the referee's flag in disgust?
That lapse in judgment drew another 15-yarder to help set the table for a 44-yard, fourth-quarter field goal by Bryant to give Tampa Bay three key points and a 20-14 advantage.
Initially, McDougle was in no mood to come clean.
Then, after slowly toweling off and putting on his designer suit, he finally turned to face the music with an intro of, "Let's get this over with."
"I just let my emotions get the best of me," said the oft-injured McDougle, who missed all of last season after being shot during an attempted robbery in Miami prior to training camp. "Football is an emotional game and for me it has been a long time since I had a sack. I was more frustrated at myself for getting an opportunity like that and then having it taken away by a penalty."
McDougle has no one to blame but himself, as he acknowledged tugging on Gradkowski's grill.