The Eagles had another game where they out-played the opponent for parts of the game, but ended up losing due to big time mistakes and a 4th quarter meltdown.
Let’s keep things in perspective. The Eagles won the opener. The Eagles had 4th quarter leads in the last 2 weeks. They blew the leads, but the point is that the team was good enough to be in position to win. Any talk about the Eagles being awful or a team that needs to be rebuilt are crazy.
The Eagles need to learn that they are going to get everybody’s best shot this year. Matt Ryan and the Falcons wanted revenge last week. The Giants wanted revenge this week. We were able to get leads on both teams, but the opponents didn’t quit. They played with an edge. They executed really well in clutch situations and made critical plays.
Really good teams know how to stay focused when leading. They are greedy. They want a 3 point lead to be 10. If they’re shutting a team down, they want to keep that going. And so on. They know how to play at a high level all game. They know how to impose their will on an opponent.
This current Eagles team is loaded with talent, but they are still learning how to play together. Will that happen in a week or a month? Will it happen at all? We don’t know. I trust Andy Reid and the coaching staff, but there are no guarantees. This is a unique team and was put together in unique circumstances.
Reid and his coaches had a bad game against the Giants. Andy made some poor decisions. He’s still figuring out this team. They have all the talent in the world, but right now they lack the mental toughness of the classic Eagles teams (2001-2004). Andy needs this group of players to hurry up and become a team.
It isn’t a case of egos or anything like that. I’m talking about esprit de corps. Back in 2002 Donovan got hurt. The next week we went to SF for a MNF game. Koy Detmer played really well in his place. The OL had a great game. The defense was outstanding. The team knew they had to play better without #5 on the field. The 2006 team came together after Donovan’s injury. The team responded to the challenge and played as a whole.
Right now we are missing that. Vick goes out and the team lets down. Can’t have that. That is when the defense needs to step up and make plays. The problem is that we’ve got a lot of new players and young players. It can take time for that kind of chemistry to develop. Andy Reid needs to come up with whatever tricks he can.
Last year Reid really got on the team after the loss to the Skins at The Linc. Players talked about how he challenged their manhood and they saw a side of Andy they weren’t familiar with. The team responded with very good run defense in the games vs SF, ATL, and then TEN. I’m sure Big Red will get into the Eagles pretty hard after this loss. They deserve it.
Missed tackles are inexcusable. There’s no lack of effort. Guys just aren’t getting the job done. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Eagles do some tackling in practice. Reid will work the guys hard until they get better. He’s not going to settle for this kind of sloppy play. He’ll try different things until the results improve.
The biggest lesson of the day…TDs beat FGs. We were 1 of 5 in the Red Zone and had to settle for FGs. The Giants scored TDs. All the yards and dominance of TOP mean nothing if you don’t get in the end zone. Part of the blame is on the players, part on the coaches. This is a group problem and will take a group solution.
Everybody should be frustrated after a game like this, but let’s not go all gloom and doom. The season is young. Every media member said over the summer to expect the team to get off to a slow start. Well, we’re 1-2. The losses are to talented teams with veteran QBs. There are issues to fix, but we’re not getting blown away. Our problems can be solved.
One quick comment on the game itself…Reid’s decision to go for it on 4th/1 was terrible. We had the lead. We needed to punt and force them deep. The Giants had already stonewalled us in short yardage situations near the GL and elsewhere. Dumb risk. And we paid the price for that decision.