Just What Exactly is Going On with the Philadelphia Eagles?
This is a guest post and an outside view of the Eagles, written before the news about the firing of Juan Castillo, by Lucas McMillan of FootballSchedule.me
The Philadelphia Eagles are a tough nut to crack. They undoubtedly have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, but they can’t seem to score points when it matters most. They’ve won a couple ugly games they should have lost, and lost a few games they should have won.
The problem, of course, is turnovers. Michael Vick has turned the ball over 13 times by himself so far this season. He threw two picks against the Lions on Sunday, as the Eagles blew a ten point lead and lost to Detroit 26-23 in overtime.
“I don’t know what to tell you other than we have to do better,” coach Andy Reid said after the game. “We’ve got to learn how to win football games. You have a 10-point lead with 10 minutes left, you have to learn how to finish.”
Under coach Andy Reid, the Eagles have always played fast and loose with the ball. Before passing was en vogue in the NFL, Reid’s prolific offenses with Donovan McNabb at quarterback threw the ball on 60 percent of their offensive possessions.
The problem, however, is that you need the right personnel to execute that game plan.
The Eagles had the right pieces in Vick’s breakout campaign in 2010; their line was healthy and kept Vick on his feet, and he felt more comfortable staying in the pocket than he ever had in Atlanta. He looked like a different quarterback, a more responsible one.
However, over the past two seasons, he has reverted to the same Vick that so frustrated fans in Atlanta. For every ten plays he makes, six will make you shake your head in amazement and wonder how he isn’t one of the all-time best QBs in NFL history.
Unfortunately, the other four plays remind you of why this isn’t the case. What makes Vick great is also what makes him awful at times: not only is he a gunslinger through the air, but he puts himself (and the ball) at great risk on the ground, too.
But all of the Eagles’ offensive woes can’t be blamed on Vick, though they often are by fans outside of the Philly pressure cooker. The fact of the matter is that the Eagles’ offensive line has been decimated with injury.
No team could be expected to withstand all of that turnover on the o-line, but expectations are sky-high for the Eagles and don’t factor in these key injuries. People look at the names on the Birds’ offensive and defensive unit and assume that they should be better than they are.
To the Eagles credit, they aren’t making excuses for their play, but their “dream team” talk is partially responsible for the unfairly high expectations in the first place. They’re a frustrating conundrum of a team, seemingly playing well below their station but still somehow winning tough games.
Most people outside of Philly look at the numbers and ask, what the heck is wrong with the Eagles? Why is Vick turning it over so much? For some reason, public perception is that Vick’s spectacular 2010 season was the norm for his career and not the exception.
The fact is that the turnover-prone Vick we’re seeing now is much closer to the Vick of Atlanta than the seemingly Hall of Fame-bound Vick of 2010. Of course, all of this doom and gloom may be a bit premature: the Eagles are 3-3, and playing in a division that’s virtually up for grabs.
They have plenty of time to turn things around, though they may want to get started sooner rather than later.
Lucas McMillan writes for FootballSchedule.me. For the latest Philadelphia Eagles news, commentary and schedule information, visit Football Schedule. Follow FootballSchedule.me on Facebook and Twitter @FBSchedule.