The first 11 games of the 2009 season have brought extreme highs but also frustrating lows. The Eagles opened up the season down in Carolina with a 38-10 thumping of the Panthers. Things looked great until the 4th quarter when Donavon went down with broken ribs after scoring a touchdown. We didn’t know at the time, but this would be the first of many questions to come for Andy. The first being, with the Eagles having such a large lead in the 4th, why was McNabb still in the game?
Andy Reid has always faced his fair share of criticism but could always silence his critics with his success during his 10 year plus tenure. That is until now. This season Andy has given the Eagles’ fans nightmares during game days. His questionable play calling and useless time management skills are absolutely killing this team.
Let’s flash back to some key situations in the season thus far…
Week 2 – New Orleans Saints – Result 44-22 Loss
Kevin Kolb is getting the start due to the McNabb rib injury. Andy Pass-to-Run Ratio: 51-21. Yes, this is a bit skewed because the Birds were down for a majority of the game. However, the game plan was pass, pass, pass when it should have been run, run, run. With the Saints having such a potent offense, the objective should have been to control the game clock because this keeps the Saints offense off the field. This was not the case.
Week 6 – Oakland Raiders – Result 13-9 Loss
This had all the makings for an easy victory. The Eagles were going to roll all over the Raiders and headed to a 4-1 record. THEY LOST?!? Andy Reid failed to make any type in game adjustments throughout the afternoon. The Eagles passed 46 times and ran just 14 times. All afternoon Donavon was pressured by the blitz and the line was not holding up. So you continue to run deep routes? Where was the draw play? Where was the screen? Where was the run all afternoon? While the players are responsible what happens on the field, Andy always says, “I gotta put my players in better position to succeed”. This never happened and it cost the Eagles the game.
Week 9 – Dallas Cowboys – Result 20-16 Loss
This game was just as frustrating as the Oakland game. Andy had absolutely terrible time management in this game. Reid lost two challenges in the second half which left the Eagles with zero timeouts. Andy decided to kick a field goal and leave the game on the hands of the defense to not allow a Cowboys first down, because they were out of timeouts. We all know how that ended.
This was also the game where the Eagles failed miserably on short yardage situations. Most fans left the stadium wondering why the ball was not given to Weaver when we were on the goal line. Andy still to this day refuses to give the ball to Weaver at the goal line which should be your number one guy in key short yardage situations. Yes, the officials missed an important spot on the McNabb sneak 4th and 1, but it was not called a first down. As a result, a long pass to Austin Miles and that was your ball game.
Week 10 – San Diego Chargers – Result 31-23 Loss
Following the Dallas game, you expected the time management issues and the play calling to be fixed. Not the case. In fact it got worse. The Chargers were struggling against the run against the run all season and what is the offensive game plan? To throw it 82% of the time and have McNabb throw the ball 55 times! Westbrook went down pretty early after he had suffered his second concussion, but you still have a legitimate back up in McCoy and a veteran in Weaver to run the ball more. The Eagles had a first and goal at the one and settled for a field goal. Andy, please stop thinking the defense is going to bite on the play action on 2nd and goal. If you give the ball to Weaver every down, he is going to give you 6 points.
Week 12 – Washington Redskins – Result 27-24 Win
With the very first play of the game, Andy Reid once again failed. An onsides kick? For what reason? The Redskins had scored just 2 touchdowns in 39 drives of 80 yards on more this season. They are playing without their top two running backs and without their tight end. This stupid, risky call put the Eagles in a quick 7-0 hole and gave the Redskins a reason to think they could win. Once again the red zone! RUN WEAVER! Since when is Eldra Buckley our go-to guy in the red zone? Put King Dunlap at the FB position and run Weaver every single time. This also sets up a play action roll right for McNabb. Not sure why Andy thinks he can outsmart every coach because he is only outsmarting himself.
Along with the time management and play calling, Andy is responsible for the increase in penalties. Penalties are the responsibility of both the players and the coaches, but after all these are Andy’s players and coordinators. You are costing your team games Andy. Let’s hope the coaching mistakes subside over the next five games, but something tells me Andy will stick to his guns. It will be interesting to see what the “game plan” is if Desean can not play on Sunday.
Who do you put the blame on if the Eagles fall short this season?