December. Dallas. Big lead. What could go wrong?
In a word…everything.
The Eagles made us all miserable for 3 hours on Sunday afternoon. Then the Packers made that worse for 90 minutes as they fell behind Dallas 26-3. That’s when the Dallas defense remembered that it can’t stop anyone and fell apart.
Tony Romo threw a pair of late INTs, although one wasn’t his fault. But why let facts ruin a good narrative, right? Romo and Dallas had the chokiest of chokes. They were at home. They knew the Eagles lost and that it was critical for them to win. They led by 23 points. And they were facing Matt Flynn.
And still Dallas found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. If Tony Romo is Charlie Brown, the month of December is Lucy, always moving the ball at the last second.
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The Eagles now retain a 1-game lead in the NFC East. The Boys loss doesn’t wipe away the loss to the Vikings, but it sure makes that game a lot easier to swallow.
Sunday’s loss was incredibly frustrating. It is mind-boggling that the Eagles gave up 48 points to Matt Cassel. I literally didn’t think that was possible. The Eagles got blocked up front and then did a poor job in coverage.
And you really do have to give Cassel credit. He played great. This wasn’t like the dreadful 13-9 loss to Oakland back in 2009. That was a letdown game where the Eagles played awful football. Cassel and the Vikings made a ton of big plays today. There were too many wide open receivers, but there were a few plays where a receiver caught the ball inches away from a DB’s hand.
Give Leslie Frazier a ton of credit for having his team playing so well in recent weeks. If not for a miracle last week, the Vikings would be 3-0-1 in the last month. That’s impressive.
I’ll get into a more detailed post in the morning with some postgame analysis. There will be plenty to discuss in the next few days.
I think the most important thing is not to look for a goat or a smoking gun. This was a team loss. And it had nothing to do with heart or effort. It was all about execution. The Eagles just made a ton of mistakes.
Chip Kelly and the staff need to identify the problems. They will then make corrections in practice this week.
Obviously the defense has some issues that are due to lack of talent. There isn’t much to do about that right now. That’s why execution is so critical. Units with lesser talent can’t afford to make mistakes.
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While I’m frustrated with the loss, I’m not down on the Eagles. They’re still 8-6 and having a good year. There are highs and lows to every season.
I don’t see this as a case of the Eagles getting exposed. The Vikings played a great game on offense. We already knew the Eagles had weak spots on defense. Today was just a case of the problems all flaring up at the same time. Bradley Fletcher played his worst game of the season. Patrick Chung got burned for a long TD. Tackling was sloppy. Cole, Barwin and Graham were too invisible today.
The Eagles had been very stingy in the Red Zone. Not today. Minnesota was 5 for 6. Today the yards were backed up by points.
I do hope the Eagles got their clunker out of the way today. They can’t afford to play like this anymore.