Eagles Hurt By Impatience
NEW ORLEANS -- The Eagles went for the home run too many times in their 27-24 loss to New Orleans and ended up striking out instead. Coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb became enamored with the deep ball.
Maybe it was the vision of the 87-yard touchdown pass to Hank Baskett against Dallas the inspired the Eagles to keep trying the deep pass.
Baskett continually wasn't open on the deep ball against New Orleans. In fact he didn't catch a single ball all day.
The Eagles three longest pass plays came on shorter passes that turned to big gains after the catch. Reggie Brown caught a ball 20 yards from the line of scrimmage and then turned it into a 60-yard TD.
L.J. Smith caught a low pass near the line and turned it into a 29-yard gain. And tight end Matt Schobel had another catch-and-run for a 40 yard gain.
The Saints showed how effective a short passing game could be. Drew Brees would take three step drops, hit his receivers and watch them make the plays. Brees wasn't sacked.
McNabb on the other hand was sacked three times and pressured countless other occasions, many times while looking for the deep ball.
There is nothing wrong with trying to go for the big play, but it wasn't working for the Eagles on Sunday and they kept going for it.
This impatience is only of many reasons why they lost, but a factor nevertheless. And with their main home run threat Donte' Stallworth missing his third game of the season with a hamstring injury, the Eagles weren't equipped to connect on the deep ball, but it didn't stop them from continually trying and failing.