As I sat down Monday night, with visions of players only meetings, statements of un-wavering support between QB and Coach, and the league’s worst defense on the horizon, I was filled with hope. I mean c’mon man, the Birds aren’t this bad, right? We’ve got a roster full of Pro Bowlers and play makers. All we need is one game to get things sorted out. One game to lay a beating on someone and regain that swagger. Right?
Man was I wrong. The next three hours were more torturous than a “Traveling Pants” marathon. On the very first play we saw some vintage Reid. Air it out. Good protection, good route, poor execution. After that, the O-line was about as useful as paddling upstream with a John McEnroe pro model, the Defense was about as tough as a wet napkin and everything was rolling and bouncing the Saint’s way.
There are more than a few major problems that have been talked to death in the press. It boils down to this, the Eagles are a big play team. Shady is doing his part (119 yards), Vick, when he has a few milliseconds to survey the field and let routes develop, is playing well. But the O-line is dropping the ball. Big time. Our playmakers can’t make plays when the QB is on his back half a second after the ball is snapped.
On the other side of the ball, the defense is not doing much better. No pressure on the QB, poor secondary play and missed tackles is not a recipe for success. The few times the “wide 9” got through, great things happened.
But despite all this, all these gaping holes, we still had a chance to win. Four 1st and Goal’s, two field goals, one pick and one fumble. Horrendous red zone play. The problem? The Birds are a stretch the field kind of team. With a six foot QB and two similar sized WR’s, the area for success is lowered significantly.
Which leads me to my original point. Plaxico Burress is the kind of red zone presence that this team needs. At 6’-5” 232, Plax is a big, imposing target that will demand extra attention from the opposing D. He is also able to “go up and get” balls thrown by Vick in pressure situations. His presence alone, will offer Vick an end zone weapon and open up space for all other players.
This would have been the difference in last night’s game. Despite the poor play from the O-line and defense in general, the Eagles had more than enough opportunities in the red zone to take control and win that game. I know even speaking the name “Plaxico” puts a sour taste in your mouths. But we’ve had plenty of players that have come to town and were “less than liked”. Funny thing is, winning changes everything.