Eagles Gameday: Moving On


Today we play the 1-8 Cincinnati Bengals.  It's been difficult getting excited for this match-up coming off the heels of the loss to the Giants.  Plus, the Eagles are better at every position on the field, so there really isn't much to break down here.  If they lose, they will have worked extremely hard to blow it.

Final Score: Eagles 27, Bengals 6

Instead of discussing today's game, I'd like to share my final thoughts on the Giants game and attempt to put the whole thing behind us.  For all the talk about firing Andy Reid this past week, those foolish challenges, the strange play-calling, one point was almost entirely lost in the madness.

The Giants rushed for over 200 yards and dominated the time of possession two-to-one.

That was the story of the game, not the head coach.  The fact that the Eagles even had a chance to win at the end is amazing because they were pushed around all night.

We knew what the keys to the game were.  Donovan needed to stay upright and produce a high scoring game, the defense needed to contain, not stop, the Giants running game, and Eli Manning needed to be forced into third and long.  The offense delivered.  Yes, Donovan was shaky at the start as usual, and Brian Westbrook was unable to find an opening, but neither of those was truly a surprise.

The defense failed to do its job.  The Giants ran 22 times on first down for a total of 138 yards, over six yards per carry.  It's nearly impossible to beat a team that is constantly playing from short yardage situations.  They converted 7 of 15 third downs, not a staggering number, but clearly enough to control the game.  The better team came into our house and beat the Eagles silly.  That's it.

None of this is intended to defend Reid, who has shown plenty of stupidity to warrant the criticism and also hand-picks the players on the field.  It was just strange the story this week was all about our head coach, and Jim Johnson's defense gets off the hook.  The fact that the Eagles could have won under those circumstances is actually a testament to coaching, even if you disagree with his methods.

It's tough moving on knowing the playoffs are now a longshot, but we have a game today.  The players and coaching decisions should be watched with intense scrutiny, but we all know everybody looks good against the Bengals.

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