Philadelphia Eagles

Demolition In Dallas

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“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. – Albert Einstein

The Eagles capped an embarrassing seven day stretch by dropping an NFC Wild Card game to the Cowboys 34-14 on Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium. This was perhaps a fitting conclusion to the Eagles season. Playing the same team in consecutive weeks and losing by a combined score of 58-14 is a sign that something is amiss in Philadelphia. While they set a franchise record in points scored, they somehow continued to repeat the same mistakes in philosophy and game planning once more.

Philly dropped to 0-5 in games against playoff teams this season. That’s the standard though for the Eagles under Andy Reid; feasting on the meek and falling to the talent rich. It’s one of the many reasons why they don’t have a Super Bowl during their run. They struggle to make in-game adjustments seemingly. When things go badly for them in a game and they get behind, rarely does the game switch back to their favor.

Besides what we’ve seen versus Dallas over the past two games, a classic example is Super Bowl XXXIX. When the New England braintrust figured out the best way to deal with the Eagle blitz would be screens, the game changed in favor of New England and never swung back towards the Eagles. The fourth quarter “clock drive” aside, they were doomed in that game.

Every season under Reid seems to end in similar fashion. The linebackers can’t cover backs or tight ends on passing downs; the quarterback makes key mistakes; and the team does not run the football enough (just 13 attempts on Saturday night).

While I continue to ramble, allow me to list the quarterbacks the Eagles have defeated in the postseason under Andy Reid:

Shaun King

Brad Johnson

Jim Miller

Michael Vick

Brett Favre

Daunte Culpepper

Eli Manning

Tarvaris Jackson

Any Hall of Famers on that list? Favre and that’s it. The Eagles have built their resume during the 2000s in part by bullying the Dick Jaurons, Mike Tices and Jim Mora Jrs. of the NFL world. Is that a fair assessment of what the Eagles have done in the NFC over the decade? Perhaps not, but considering how poorly they played on Saturday night, they don’t deserve heaping praise.

Ultimately, the fatal flaw of the Reid/McNabb regime is its inability to adapt in games and before games. Pick an Eagles postseason game of the past. The NFC title games from ’01 to ’03, Super Bowl XXXIX, the Saints in the ’06 playoffs…doesn’t matter. The Eagles believe their way is the right way. Period. Maybe, just maybe, their way of doing things aren’t going to land a Lombardi Trophy in Philadelphia.

One of the biggest questions posed after Saturday night’s loss is whether Donovan McNabb should return in 2010. Most fans seem to think that the playoff loss is a clear sign that McNabb should go.

During a two game stretch versus Dallas in which the Eagles pass protection constantly broke down, their suddenly unreliable defense came up small, and their website director decided that it was a good idea to spit on the star at Cowboys Stadium twice, they clearly have other problems besides McNabb throwing balls into the turf.

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