Monday, October 16, 2006

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.

Eagles Need Short Memory After Saints Loss

NEW ORLEANS -- The Eagles insisted all week that they would forget about their big win over Dallas and concentrate only on New Orleans. Here's hoping now as they prepare to visit a resurgent Tampa Bay team on Sunday, that the memory of Sunday's 27-24 loss to New Orleans can be easily forgotten.
Good luck.
The Eagles allowed the Saints to hold the ball for the final 8:26. They will be continually haunted by a penalty for 12 men on the field that nullified what would have been the only sack of the afternoon. It also was the turning point in a game that saw many.
The Eagles simply made too many mistakes to beat a good team and as they had been telling everybody all week, the Saints certainly are in that category.
Since suffering their first loss of the season, a 30-24 defeat to the New York Giants when the Eagles squandered a 17-point fourth quarter lead, the players insisted they learned by their mistakes.
Apparently they didn't.
There were too many mental and physical errors against the Saints. Missed tackles, botched special teams plays, questionable play calling, the usual clock mismanagement. These are the same problems that have bitten the Eagles in the past.
And that begs to ask the question - are the Eagles a playoff caliber team? The players feel that they gave both losses away this season, but the NFL doesn't give style points. Wins and losses are all that matters.
It's tough to tell which loss hurt the Eagles more this season because they seemed devastated by both.
The Eagles want to forget what happened, but they better remember the reason they got themselves into this jam.
This is a team that should be 6-0, but is now 4-2 and nowhere near ready to begin thinking about the postseason. Wins are hard to come by in the NFL and a team can't just give two of them away.
That is what the Eagles have done and instead of having a nice cushion at this point, it appears all season as if they will be fighting for their playoff lives.