Week Four seems like such a long time ago. In the fourth week of the NFL season, the Eagles beat the defending Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants, and were 3-1 and on top of the NFC East. Fast forward five weeks later and the Eagles are 3-5 and everyone is deserving of criticism outside of the kicker.
The Andy Reid era doesn’t appear to be over, it is over. It’s just a matter of time. Coach Reid looked defeated in the second half of last night’s game against the Saints, he looked defeated after the game and he really looked defeated during his press conference. He made adjustments after each of the Eagles last four losses and nothing has been able to turn them around. Sometimes a man is just beat and there is nothing he can do. Today Andy Reid is that man.
The Eagles have speed on both sides of the football, but not much else. There is no size and no physicality. Nobody tackles well outside of DeMeco Ryans and nobody is a threat in the red zone offense anymore. It’s hard to beat NFL teams when you have no pass protection, no run defense and no red zone offense. The Eagles have become the easiest team to game plan against and there is little they can do to solve that at this point in the season.
So where do the Eagles go from here? Andy Reid is going to keep plugging away like he always has. He isn’t going to bench Michael Vick until he has a reason to. Can you really bench a quarterback who takes a hit on every single pass? There is enough blame to go around that replacing one player makes very little sense.
Eagles fans will undoubtedly be focusing on the upcoming offseason where the team will be most likely receiving a high draft pick, replacing the entire coaching staff, releasing several big names and where the extra cap space will go to. The team will be focusing on proving themselves to the new coaching staff and their pride.
The Eagles have nine games left this season. It’s really tough to say how they will finish. They were 3-1, but have lost four straight and are getting worse with each loss. They are only two losses back in the division, but they have to win games to get back in the race. Their 3-5 mark may not look bad to an outsider, but a four game losing streak and complete dysfunction is going to keep this team from winning at any consistency.
This Eagles team is starting to remind me of the 2011 Tampa Bay team. They started out 4-2 in 2011 before finishing with 10 straight losses, including their last five all by at least 10 points. They had flaws early in the season that never got fixed. Eventually the rest of the league figures you out and exposes you for the fraud that you are. They did rebound nicely with a stellar draft and free agency class.
Monday night was clearly the end of the Andy Reid era. There is no doubt in my mind. The team is soft, the offense is stale and the rest of the league is licking their chops. That doesn’t mean their is no hope for the future, it just means it is going to be a long eight weeks coming up.