Assuming Jeffrey Lurie wasn’t lying when he said 8-8 wasn’t an acceptable record, Andy Reid can start updating his resume — if he hadn’t already started doing that.
The Eagles stretched their losing streak to six games following yesterday’s 31-6 loss to the Redskins and ran their record to 3-7. That puts Reid just one agonizing defeat away from his walking papers. Again, asssuming the Eagles owner didn’t lie to everyone.
“I take full responsibility, that’s my fault, on why it’s going this way,” Reid said yesterday. “Well, we didn’t look better today. We didn’t do a good job today. We’re going to keep battling.”
Reid addressed his under-achieving squad in the bowels of FedEx Field just as he has done after every game for the past six weeks. The coach told the quiet locker room that it was his fault. His players are getting sick of hearing it.
“At what point are you going to put it on us?,” Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. “He [Reid] can’t take the blame if it’s not his fault, that’s crazy. It all fall downs onto the players.”
Perhaps Santana Moss’ 61-yard touchdown grab served as a microcasm for this lost season. Moss cleanly beat Brandon Boykin off the line, but Kurt Coleman rotated over to provide safety help. Coleman was in front of Moss, in perfect position to make the interception, yet he failed to make the play. That score came late in the third quarter and staked the Redskins to a 24-6 advantage.
“I was in the right position. I fell backwards on it,” Coleman said. “These routes were very basic, they weren’t anything that we never saw. We just had two people see them differently, and a miscommunication led to a big play.”
Before Sunday, there were still a few fans — a very scant few — that were holding out hope for a magical, midseason playoff run. The schedule doesn’t set up that terribly for the Birds, with winnable games looming against Carolina, Dallas and Tampa Bay. But those are winnable games for a good football team, something these Eagles aren’t.
“Talent for talent I don’t think anybody can match us,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “That’s talent for talent … but at the end of the day, you just have to make more plays than them.”
They didn’t. Despite a quarterback switch, the results were predictable in Washington. Costly turnovers, poor tackling, blown coverages, inexcusable penalties and inept special teams. Nick Foles finished 21-of-46 for 204 yards while running for his life behind a porous offensive line. He also handed out two interceptions.
“I think that me as a player, I didn’t play well at all, I know that,” Foles said. “I know me as a person I’m going to work hard, I’m going to learn from it, and I’m going to get better for it.”
At the two-minute warning, Redskins fans began to head for the exits with heads held high. Meanwhile, Eagles players continue to be at a loss for words for what is happening.
“I’m not going to lie, for the first time I seen more heads down than I’ve ever seen before,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “That just comes form frustration because we’re mad and we know what we can do as a team, and we’re a way better team than 3-7, a way better team than what we’re putting on the field.”
SIDEBAR: McCoy concussed in garbage time
LeSean McCoy took a crushing blow to the head with 1:58 showing on the clock. The franchise running back was forced to leave the field on a cart and follow concussion protocol in the locker room. He’ll be re-evaluated Monday and later this week.
Concussions happen all too frequently in the NFL, which led many to openly ponder why McCoy was in the game at that point. The Eagles were trailing by 25 points with no realistic chance at mounting a comeback.
“Trying to catch up and win the game,” coach Andy Reid said, adding that he had no regrets about the move.
What? Twenty-five points in less than two minutes would be a tall order even in the high-scoring Arena Football League.
What went wrong
1. Chemistry class. The Eagles couldn’t
get out of their own way. They racked up six penalties (nine for the
game), including four on that patchwork offensive line, in the first
half alone. Former Howard Mudd pupil Jake Scott (three penalties) got
the start at right guard over Danny Watkins and rookie Dennis Kelly
moved to right tackle. The Eagles have now gone through 19 different
starting offensive linemen since 2010. King Dunlap denied there were any
chemistry issues along the line, but it sure looked that way.
2. Try the turnovers. Losing
the turnover battle has been a hallmark for Andy Reid’s team dating
back to last season. The Birds entered yesterday’s game ranked dead-last
in the NFC – and second-worst in entire NFL — in takeaways/giveaways
at a whopping minus-11. They did little to improve their reputation,
with Nick Foles chucking up two more interceptions and LeSean McCoy
fumbling deep in his own territory. That’s 12 interceptions and 12
fumbles (2.4 turnovers per game) for the Eagles.
3. Defensive breakdowns.
The secondary, led by Nnamdi Asomugha, continued its streaky play under
Todd Bowles. Aldrick Robinson was left wide open to haul in a 49-yard
TD strike thanks to a busted coverage. Kurt Coleman fell down on a
61-yarder to Santana Moss and Logan Paulsen simply out-muscled two
defensive backs on a 17-yard hustle play that turned into a touchdown.
The players say it isn’t the effort, it’s the way they respond after
giving up big plays. “It seems like it has been sloppy play for like the
last three or four weeks,” Asomugha said.