Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cursing Wildly At The Television

In Patton, George C. Scott bemoans a predicament of his own making, opining on how terrible consequences can from so small an oversight- the loss of an entire command for yelling at and manhandling a coward.

Andy Reid ought to take a moment and internalize that. We sit here and kvetch about pro football players and innate talent- but you know, like seven games in ten come down to turnovers and who plays “better” (or even less stupid).

By any measure, the Eagles are a successful NFL franchise with a good on-field product. But all the weaknesses of their approach- their contemptuous attitude toward the pre-season, their refusal to admit the talent mistakes they do make, the amazing correlation between situational importance and the likelihood someone bad (Tomas Tapeh or Greg Lewis) or mis-cast (Mr. Reed) will be handling the ball- were all on display Sunday.

Speaking of organizational weaknesses, Greg Lewis has got to go. This guy has now parlayed three decent-to-good games like three years ago into an NFL career seemingly without end. Somehow he’s become the most irreplaceable fourth wide-out in history. Also, it appears Reno Mahe is back- turning me into a liar. Someone get garlic and a stake, I can’t watch that character anymore. It isn’t so much he’s bad- he has just worn out his welcome with me. And it gives Reid another guy to scheme odd 4th-and-2 calls for.

It is so disappointing because the Eagles rarely lose games like this- games where they fumble punts repeatedly, fumble punts with a minute to go, general idiocy. Other teams do that playing them. Philadelphia is usually smart, heady- particularly in the waning moments of close games. I doubt they had the most talent in NFC East last year- but there is no doubt which was the smartest team in the division.

I mean, we have seen this script in Philadelphia for like years now. They get outplayed (1st quarter), or some breaks go against them (fumble a punt featuring an iffy uncalled interference call)- but they don’t do anything egregious. They hang around- turn the game into a one score, fourth quarter, who makes a mistake first kind of thing. Anyone who has watched the Eagles knew that Green Bay, with that flailing offense, was simply not going to generate big first downs on the defense. They got their late stop(s)- and now the script kicks in: the Eagles were going to generate mistake free offense for two first downs, Akers makes the kick like he always does and we all go home.

There is solace. The worrisome defense was, well, pretty great all day. Four brutal turnovers, plus a bad day from the quarterback- and the Packers still needed a miracle to rally for the win at home. The Eagles can go a long way to getting this behind them by whomping on the two weak sisters coming to the Linc and, of course, catching some punts.

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