The horrific nightmare continues. Woe is me. I thought Reid said they’d be ready. Oh well.
The Eagles 2009 season came to a crashing end at the hands of those gosh darn Cowboys. It was kinda sorta a repeat from last week, only much, much worse. If not for some stupid penalties by the ‘Boys early, this one would’ve been over in the first quarter. Unfortunately, we had to endure four quarters of thorough destruction by the guys with stars on their helmets. Yes, they do OWN the Eagles.
Final score: Cowboys 34, Eagles 14
Raise your hand if this sounds familiar. The Birds defense gets completely manhandled all night, and the offense stalls repeatedly.
It’s both vexing and frustrating that a team can get beat by essentially the same plays three games in a row, but low and behold, that’s what happened. Bubble screens, slips screens, delayed draws. The Eagles had no clue how to stop them. It’s not as if Dallas was running some sophisticated attack. They just ran their offense to perfection using very basic plays.
Here are some painful observations from what was a mess of a game for the Birds:
- Probably the worst game I’ve seen from the secondary in years. Everyone played like shit. Sheldon and Samuel were abused. Joselio Hanson was torched. Mikell got pushed around. Macho, before he got hurt, looked lost. Again, I fail to comprehend why you play ten yards off receivers when you keep getting burned by screens. Blame McDermott, blame the defenders. It was uglier than ugly.
- Talk all you want about the reversed interception by Sean Jones, but it wouldn’t have made a difference. The Birds didn’t have the horses to win this one. By the way, I agreed with call. Jones never had full control of the ball.
- All that tweeting and Ustreaming did DeSean a lot of good. He did squat, save for a garbage touchdown. Of course when your quarterback drops back to pass and sees nothing but large gentleman dressed in white jerseys getting ready to drive him into the ground, it’s hard to throw completions.
- I love Trent Cole, but man did he get dominated by an aging Flozell Adams this season. Without his pressure off the edge, the defense really struggles.
- Man, I sure hope Stewart Bradley is ready come training camp, because this linebacking corps is a conundrum. They have no middle linebacker or strongside backer. Maybe Fokou will improve, but if not, they are in trouble. In addition, Spoon sure did look old the last few games.
- Hey, Chris Gocong had a good game. So did Joe Mays on special teams. Sadly, they might have been the only two.
- Vick fumbles. Weaver fumbles. Game over.
- Boy, Brent Celek sure did disappear after getting his bell rung. Amazing how much the offense relies on his production.
- Losing the field position battle for a second consecutive game really killed any chances to establish an early rhythm. Of course when all you do is call 5 and 7 step drops against a ferocious pass rush, you get what you deserve, which was McNabb running for his life.
- How many false start penalties was that on Jason Peters? Three, four… I lost count.
- Speaking of McNabb. I’m sure the local media and a host of fans will crank up the “Don Must Go” chants even louder than normal, but he had little to do with losing this debacle. Was he sharp? No. Was his offensive line sharp? HELL no. Don’t start thinking he won’t be under center in September, because he will. Whether you agree or not matters little to Reid and Co. Maybe, just maybe, the Cowboys defense is really, really good. I know, blasphemy.
- Safe to say, Brian Westbrook‘s future with the team is in jeopardy. He played sparingly and when he did he was a non factor.
- Reid and McDermott were exposed by Dallas. It will be interesting to see how they adjust in the offseason, because they have to know that every opponent they face in 2010 will use the same schemes to attack them.
Let’s be real. The Eagles were physically dominated and severely outcoached in all three meetings with Dallas. The fact that each game got progressively worse means changes must be made.
The offense skill positions are pretty much set. If Westy doesn’t return, and even if he does, they need another running back. The center position will have to be addressed with Jamaal‘s availability a question mark for ’10. Obviously, the contract situations with Weaver and Avant will need to be resolved, but that’s another topic for another day. What about the Andrews brothers? Who knows, but continuity on the O-line has to be a priority.
On defense is where the most retooling is needed. A pass rushing defensive tackle and defensive end are badly needed. Trent Cole can’t do it all by himself. I’ve already covered the linebackers. In the secondary, how about a suitable nickel corner and a legit free safety? And Sheldon’s last few games have me a bit worried. I know he’s been dinged all year, but he was exposed by Brandon Marshall, Miles Austin and Roy Williams big time. Perhaps a taller corner added to the mix would help.
So, another Eagles season ends in customary crushing disappointment. We’re used to it by now. However, that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I’m tired. I’ll be back Monday with more observations on what was a wild and wacky 2009 season. Goodnight, and good luck.