What an ugly loss by the Philadelphia Eagles today. The struggling Detroit Lions came into Philadelphia and stunned the Eagles, winning 26-23 in overtime. This loss is catastrophic for the Eagles, who fall to 3-3 before the bye week. With the way this team is playing, an 8-8 season is looking more realistic every week. If the Eagles finish 8-8 without making the playoffs, I can almost guarantee that Andy Reid will be out of a job come January.
Michael Vick and the Eagles offense were hoping to exercise the turnover demon that has possessed them all season. That did not happen. The Eagles turned the ball over three times; two of which were interceptions thrown by Vick. This is a problem that we knew would come back and bite the Eagles if they did not correct this, and look what happened.
The offensive line was abysmal against the Detroit Lions. Michael Vick found himself on the ground after what seemed like every offensive play of the game. Left tackle Demetress Bell is so awful that the Eagles only choice is to run the ball to the right side. Speaking of the run, LeSean McCoy rushed for a lousy 22 yards on 14 carries, which means he averaged just 1.6 yards per carry. To me, these numbers indicate one thing: bad offensive line play.
The only reason the offense does not get an F is because the wide receivers, besides tight end Brent Celek, played decently today.
The defense played well to start the game, but once again could not hold the lead in the fourth quarter. The Eagles led 16-6 and 23-13 in the final quarter of regulation, but blew both leads.
The Lions struggling run game suddenly, but not surprisingly, found life against the Eagles. Mike Leshoure rushed for 70 yards on 15 carries while Joique Bell rushed for 38 yards on seven carries. To put things in perspective, Joique Bell spent a lot of time on the Eagles practice squad before becoming the third string running back for Detroit. Yes, the Eagles run defense is just that bad.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 22 passes for 311 yards with a touchdown. Like I predicted in the preview, Calvin Johnson was the x-factor. Johnson caught six passes for 135 yards. To keep myself honest, I did predict that Johnson would catch two touchdown passes, which he did not. However, he still throttled the Eagles secondary, which at this point should not surprise anyone.
If I were just grading the first half, the defense would get an A. If I were just grading the second half, or just the fourth quarter, the defense would get an F. I’ll put the grade in the middle.
Andy Reid said after the game that “everyone needs to look themselves in the mirror, including me.” If the Eagles keep playing like this, Reid will be packing his bags instead of looking in the mirror.
I’m really starting to doubt the wide-nine defensive scheme. The middle of the field is wide open for opposing running backs, and it has cost the Eagles dearly this season. Keep in mind that the wide-nine is Jim Washburn’s defense, not Juan Castillo’s. It almost seems as if there is a power struggle within the defensive coaching staff, which would explain why the Eagles have continuously blown fourth quarter leads over the past two seasons.
Overall, this was a terrible loss for the Eagles. This is probably the best possible time for a bye week because Andy Reid has a history of turning things around the week after.