Eagles Experience Rocky Mountain Low
DENVER -- Those first quarters are becoming pretty painful and the first halves haven't been a treat lately either for the Eagles. In the past, like all the way back to last year, the Eagles used to jump all over teams, smother them and not let them breath.
Now it's the Birds who are gasping for breath, especially when the game begins. It doesn't take a football genius to realize that the Eagles are digging themselves into mountain-sized holes with their play in the first quarter.
During yesterday's 49-21 loss to the Denver Broncos, the Eagles trailed 14-0 after the first period. They compounded the issue by giving up another 14 in the second quarter before finally deciding to score themseleves.
This season the 4-3 Eagles have now been outscored during the first qurater in six of their seven games, by a combined total of 62-14. The only team the Eagles have scored against in the opening period is San Francisco.
"We go into games thinking that we want to start fast on both sides of the football," Eagles coach Andy Reid said after the game. "We didn't do that tonight and we have to find a way to do it."
Easier said than done.
What the slow starts do is give the opponents confidence. The Eagles of last season were so intimidating because they would jump out to big leads that became bigger when the opponent would desperately attempt to come back.
Now it's the Eagles so often attempting the comeback routine.
In their loss to Dallas, the Birds were down 17-0 in the first quarter. During their opening night 14-10 loss to Atlanta, the Eagles trailed 14-0 after the first period.
Maybe last season's team would have been able to overcome that, but this isn't last year's Eagles. The Eagles aren't as talented and a number of other NFC teams have taken their games up a collective notch.
Which means the Eagles will be fighting and scrapping each week. There is too much parity to spot many of these opponents the first quarter week after week.
The Eagles to a man stood in the locker room and said they have to come out fighting. They obviously know the problem and the key to the rest of the season is whether they can cure what has become a serious ailment.