Half A Yard Short: A Microcosm for the Whole Season

First, let’s face facts: the Eagles season ended in Washington. They’re not going to the playoffs. Tampa Bay is not going to miraculously lose at home to the hapless Raiders. And even if the unthinkable happens and Tampa loses, the Eagles still need either Minnesota or Chicago to lose. And even if the miracle of all Christmas miracles happens and both of those scenarios come to pass, the Eagles still must beat the Cowboys—and after watching that pathetic effort against a bad Washington team, does anyone believe that is going to happen?

The Eagles were already given the opportunity to control their own destiny when Tampa lost to San Diego—and they flat-out blew it. They came up smaller than small when everything was on the line. The game itself isn’t even worth writing about, so I won’t rehash what happened, other than to marvel at Reid’s undying stubbornness in throwing the ball 80% of the time on a blustery, windy day while giving Westbrook all of ten meaningful carries. This blurb from Phil Sheridan’s article says it all:

“Take away the two junk runs at the end of the first half and the Eagles called just 12 runs while attempting 48 passes (not counting two McNabb spikes). That’s an 80/20 split, if you’re interested in percentages. That’s just stupid, if you’re interested in adjective.”

I’ve outlined in several previous blog entries why Reid should be fired, so no need to go there again. This season has convinced me more than ever that Reid’s past success was due primarily to Jim Johnson’s defense and Donovan McNabb’s talent. Now that McNabb, several years and major injuries later, is no longer capable of winning games by himself, Reid’s shortcomings have been laid bare. I don’t know how many more times he has to miss the playoffs, how many more times his team has to fail to show up in big games, before Lurie will finally pull the trigger.

If I thought there was any chance Reid would be fired, I would strongly consider rooting for them to lose this week. But as it is, we should savor what could well be McNabb’s final game as an Eagle. The greatest quarterback in franchise history will no doubt be made the scapegoat this offseason—not the receivers who perpetually lead the league in drops, and certainly not the coach who thinks a running game is some movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. If nothing else, the Eagles have the opportunity to drag the stinkin’ Cowboys down with them into playoff oblivion, and that would at least be some small consolation.

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