For all intents and purposes, the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles season ended with another frustrating loss to the Chicago Bears. They’re not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, but the Eagles have dug themselves into a hole that is just too deep.
All of the problems that were prevalent during the Eagles’ four-game losing streak reappeared Monday night. Let’s refresh the list:
Turnovers (one in the red zone as well)
Can’t stop the run
Poor defense in general
Blown 4th quarter lead
Did I miss anything? Last night, we can also tack on ineffective play from Michael Vick and two special teams gaffes (DeSean Jackson fumble and fake punt debacle).
These problems have plagued the Eagles just about all season and it’s about time we realize something: Good teams do not make these same mistakes over and over again. The Eagles are just not a good team right now.
They have a bunch of talent but they just can’t put it all together, and more importantly, keep it all together. What the actual cause(s) of the problems are will be debated for the rest of the season and into the offseason.
For now, though, we have this tasty little tidbit to chew on for a while thanks to linebacker Brian Rolle.
According to Tim McManus of Philadelphia Sports Daily, Rolle made perhaps the most telling statement after the game when he was asked about defending Matt Forte:
“We did well the last couple of weeks but we came in tonight and probably took the guy a little too lightly and didn’t play as hard as we could,” said Rolle.
“I just feel like coming into this game we felt like we did pretty good the last couple weeks where we could come out and play just the same and get a win,” said Rolle. “But we’ve got to know that each week we’ve got to play harder because teams are getting better each week.
“I think we went into the game and were playing to win, but it wasn’t as urgent as the last couple weeks.”
Say what? The Eagles defense took Matt Forte too lightly? The same running back who has more yards from scrimmage than LeSean McCoy?
I hope Brian Rolle realizes he just threw his defense and defensive coaches under the bus. A 3-4 team playing a 4-3 team in a game that had playoff implications took its best offensive player lightly?
That is utterly and completely unacceptable.
Furthermore, it is an indictment of the entire Andy Reid regime. Players playing flat and appearing unprepared have been a constant staple during Reid’s tenure with the team.
But alas, Rolle’s comments will be fuel for the “Fire Andy Reid” engine that will surely start up again at some point. Eagles fans will have a lot of time now to debate the future of the team.
As for the rest of this season, the Eagles would need an unbelievable amount of help to make the playoffs. They’ve already lost two key games (Atlanta and Chicago), and therefore the tiebreakers, that killed any shot at a wild card spot.
They are three games back in the division and even though the New York Giants have a tough schedule, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles catching them now.
For the Eagles to make the playoffs, they would need some combination of the following to happen:
Complete collapse by the Giants
Dallas to lose
Detroit to lose
Chicago to lose
Atlanta or New Orleans to lose
Tampa Bay to lose
When I say these teams need to lose, what I mean is that they would have to finish worse than 10-6. All of those teams have a better record than the Eagles right now.
Oh yeah, and the Eagles would also need to win seven of their remaining eight games, at the minimum.
It’s not impossible for them to make the postseason, but it is highly improbable. The best chance the Eagles can hope for would be for the Giants collapsing and allowing the Eagles to steal the NFC East division.
The reason being is that the wild card playoff slots will more than likely go to two of these teams: Atlanta/New Orleans (whomever doesn’t win the division), Detroit or Chicago.
With the way this season is going, the odds of the Eagles playing meaningful football come January are minuscule. At this point, I think it’s time to start constructing some rough mock drafts.
Suck for Luck?