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Eagles 17, Cardinals 21: Another Week, Another Blown Fourth Quarter Lead

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Are you seeing this Andy!? (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Are you seeing this Andy!? (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
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At this point, the Eagles ineptitude in the fourth quarter has become so predictable that it's not even surprising anymore. In previous weeks we've been left scratching our heads asking "they can't possibly blow another 4th quarter lead right?" But not anymore. We're no longer shocked. This is what we've come to expect. Five fourth quarter leads blown.

Of course, this particular fourth quarter meltdown isn't quite like the others. In previous weeks we've seen them at least play well for part of the game and then go bad in the fourth quarter. This time, they really were no worse in the 4th than any other part of the game. This was just an awful game from start to finish.

I won't even get into the defense because at this point we know they're garbage. You would have to been a truly deluded Eagles fan to not assume they'd fold on that last drive. They've done it all year and it's no shock to see it again. The only thing I will say is that if Juan Castillo doesn't deserve to be fired for somehow allowing a rookie safety to be matched up in single coverage downfield with Larry FItzgerald when you have both Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel in the game... I don't know what else he can do. Aside from just pulling the defense off the field and allowing the opposition to score freely, he could not have handled this defense worse.

But let's get to the offense, which was as bad as we've seen all season. We've pointed out a few times this season the incredible bad luck that has led to so many of Michael Vick's picks this season. Tipped passes, WRs getting the ball stripped away etc... but there was none of that today. He threw four picks today, all of which were 100% his fault. Now, only two counted, but that doesn't erase the decisions from the ones that were called back. It was easily the worst we've seen Vick play as an Eagle. He simply wasn't seeing the field. His accuracy, which has been so good all year, was non-existent. He was just awful.

But even given that, we can't excuse the rest of the team. When Vick would make a decent throw, it would be dropped. I counted five drops today, two from Steve Smith and one each from Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek & Riley Cooper. You also saw Vick really struggle to find open targets for large parts of the game and obviously DeSean Jackson's benching and Jeremy Maclin's injury played a big part in that. But really it reveals another theme we've seen all year from this group. When one guy or one unit is struggling, no one is there to pick them up. Michael Vick has a bad game and his WRs drop any decent pass he does throw. The offense puts up 24 points in a half and the defense gives up 30 the next half. It's like the only chance this team has to win a game is if everything goes right, which to me is the mark of a bad team.

However... Like we've said for years in the Reid era, when the passing game is struggling, he doesn't fall back on his running game. He "keeps firing." The Eagles had over 40 called passes today and handed off to LeSean McCoy, who is arguably been the best RB in the NFL this year, 14 times. With those 14 carries he produced 81 yards and a TD. The Eagles passing game today generated 128 yards and two turnovers.

Keep firing? That should be Jeff Lurie's new philosophy.