The idea to give out posters to those fans who attended yesterday’s Eagles loss to the Falcons was very similar to the Eagles game plan on the field.
Good intentions, but poor execution.
As Matt Ryan continued to shred Todd Bowles defense, the posters that were supposed to excite fans slowly became an outlet for them to vent their frustrations.
“Fire Andy!” one fan wrote on the back of his poster. Another wrote “Can We Fire Castillo Again?”
Needless to say, things are getting ugly down in South Philadelphia.
This Eagles ship is sinking fast. It’s not completely under water yet, however. As bad as things were yesterday, the fact is the Eagles are still only 3-4 with 9 games to go. Can they turn this thing around? Anything is possible, but watching this team yesterday, even the most loyal fan has to admit there will have to be drastic change in order to save the season.
Here is What I Liked and What I Didn’t Like from yesterday’s game against the Falcons.
What I Liked:
Brandon Graham: The impending change at quarterback is the talk of the town, but a major change is already happening on the defensive line. Brandon Graham played only 2 lass snaps (31) than Jason Babin did yesterday (33). Graham had a strong game, especially against the run. In the 1st quarter when the game was still a contrast, Graham had 2 nice tackles in a row against the run. On the day Graham finished with 4 tackles, which was 3 more than Babin. Graham’s strong play against the run could be the reason he has started to see playing time over Babin. If Babin isn’t producing sacks, and won’t play the run, he will see his playing time continue to decrease.
Offense Answering Down 14-0: When a team is sinking the way the Eagles are, any sign of fight is a good thing. After falling behind 14-0, Michael Vick led the offense on a 13 play, 66 yard drive that took over 7 minutes. Vick went 5 for 6 on the drive and the 2 yard touchdown run by McCoy pulled the Eagles to within a touchdown. It was the last time the offense would do anything until the 4th quarter, but it was an impressive drive none the less.
Eagles Fans: If you were one of the fans at the game yesterday, not only should your fan-hood never been questioned, you deserve a metal. It was cold, windy, raining, and a hurricane was on the way. If you were there with a girl that isn’t your wife, marry her. To make matters worse, the game was horrible to watch for any Eagles fan as the season was crashing and burning in front of them. Did some fans leave early? Yea. But they left a lot later than some of the Eagles players did.
Michael Vick: Vick’s future is very much up in the air right now, but if yesterday was his last game as the Eagles starter, he went down fighting. Vick finished the game a respectable 21 of 35 for 191 yards, 1 touchdown and no turnovers. Like every other game this year, Vick took hits that would have sent the majority of other quarterbacks to the bench. Vick might end up there in an attempt by Reid to save his job, but give Vick credit for continuing to put his body on the line for this team. He is toughest athlete to play in Philadelphia since Allen Iverson.
What I Didn’t Like:
3rd Down Defense: One thing Juan Castillo’s unit excelled at was 3rd down defense Going into the Falcons game yesterday, they were 3rd best in the NFL at getting teams off the field. It was a big reason that they kept the Eagles in so many games this year- the long drives just didn’t happen against Castillo’s unit (at leas this year). But yesterday, the Eagles defense on 3rd down was pathetic. The Falcons converted their first 5 1st downs, and 86% of them in the first half. If you also include the 2 3rd downs the Falcons got because of penalties, the Eagles allowed the Falcons to get a fresh set of downs of 8 of their first 9 attempts.
Mychal Kendricks: I’m not going to kill Kendricks for being late to a meeting- he is a rookie and these things happen. But it still isn’t something you would like to see from a player that should be a major part of this team for years to come. Especially the week after a Bye and with such a big game coming up.
Play Calling: In the 1st quarter, with the Eagles behind 14-0 and the game slipping away, DeSean Jackson lined up at tight end- in a 3 point stance- with Bryce Brown at running back…..and the defense is this teams problem? The scape goat this week for the Eagles offense will likely be Michael Vick, but the play calling from Marty Mornhinweg has been horrible all season. The offensive line has had a hand in it, but with all of the speed this team has, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to get the ball down the field. After scoring just 17 points against the Falcons, the Eagles are now tied for 29th in the NFL in scoring.
Nnamdi Asomugha: Do I even need to say it?
Andy Reid: During these next few days, Reid is going to do another set of evaluations, much like he did after the loss to Detroit. Decisions will be made that will drastically affect the future of this franchise- such as what will happen at the quarterback position. Changes will be made, big or small, as Reid tries to fix his team. But for the first time since he arrived as head coach, you have to wonder if Reid should be allowed to make these decisions.
The writing is on the wall- unless a miracle happens, Reid is going to be gone. Jeffery Lurie is too smart of a business man to think there is any other option as he sat in the stadium yesterday and watched the game unfold. As I sat and looked at what was in front of me, I thought- “who would pay to come to watch the Eagles right now?” It’s an angry atmosphere and the team is bad. Fans hate the uniforms and can’t relate to the majority of the players on the team. That is a major problem for Lurie. When Reid was one of the best coaches in the NFL, Eagles tickets were impossible to get. Now? You could get into yesterday’s game for less than 20 dollars. Forget the defense, the run-pass ratio- the atmosphere at the games tells Lurie everything he needs to know about whether or not it is time to move on from Reid.
Reid has led this team through some of it’s best days. He will go down as a great coach, but the time is up. He is not the man to lead this franchise into it’s next phase.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks