BEFORE moving on to Thanksgiving’s meet-up with the Detroit Lions, I wanted to revisit the game against the Buccaneers again. We got fucked up. Let’s not sugarcoat it. Let’s man-up, admit it, and start fixing what’s broken. There are a number of issues which contributed to that loss, but most people either don’t notice or don’t want to face the real issues that led to that loss and that will lead to the next few. As always, I’m here to bring you fire from the gods, and have you dismiss me as a loon, only to be proven right in the next couple months or so.
While it was the Defense that missed the tackles and dropped a couple of easy interceptions, I still don’t lay most of the blame for this game at their feet. This loss is clearly the bastard child of the Head Coach and the Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis.
Davis’s share of the blame comes from failing to make adjustments to stop TB from running straight through the heart of the Defense. Right up the gut. Like our team was a collection of punk bitches for pimp trainees to practice their slapping skills. They did to us what we should have done to them, by just running the ball down the throat of our team, Yet how often did you see us switch to a 4-3 front? How often did we get some bigger bodies in the “A” gaps to force some of those runs outside? How often did our CB’s get in the faces of their receivers to re-route them and throw off the timing of the clock in their QB’s head? It was just like Dallas Two last year, when their one receiver beat us the same way THREE TIMES, because we refused to adjust.
After that game Davis gave his reasons for not adjusting, and he did the same thing after this debacle; saying that they couldn’t blitz or press much due to the size and athleticism of TB two WR’s. He said “If you’re going to blitz, your coverage had better be solid on the back-end.” I guess he doesn’t think our coverage is very good then. Dear Billy: I AGREE!
Kelly’s share of the blame has to do with Mark Sanchez. Sanchez’s most successful stint of his career came as a Jet, with him riding shotgun on a team driven by a strong run game and a strong defense. He was at no point asked to win games, just manage them. Early in this game Kelly dialed up a lot of passes, and we saw all too much of RB Darren Sproles. Particularly on runs up the gut and in pass protection when the game was still well in contention. Why have a 42 million dollar RB if you’re going to keep him on the sideline, instead of playing him like the workhorse that he should be and wants to be? Instead what Kelly did was put this game on the shoulders of a top-shelf back-up (but still a back-up) who hadn’t started a game since a garbage game to end last year. Sanchez may be the Eagles best option at QB, but that doesn’t mean you can treat him like he’s Phillip Rivers.
Where Kelly really shoulders the blame however, is in his unwillingness to adjust the Offense so that his defense can get more rest during games. For the third straight year, our Defense is wearing down noticeably as we enter the home stretch and it’s getting easier to push our players around as the fatigue grows deeper.
There are things he can do to help those guys out, but he does none of them. He could let the Offense use more of the clock between plays. He could run on first AND second down more frequently to set up more 3rd and manageables. He could call 2 to 4 designed QB runs per game to pick up a cheap 4 or so yards. That would help move the chains and make opponents honor the back door, which in turn opens up room for RB DeMarco Murray to run inside. There are solutions we could institute as soons NOW, without signing/benching/cutting a single player. All he has to do, is do it. It doesn’t have to be like this Eagles fans.
This isn’t the most talented team. Our GM has made sure of that. However, in a year with the division being this bad, we either need to make a sincere effort to win it, or send a clear signal that we’re tanking for better Draft position. If our coach is as all in as he like to SAY he is, then his ass needs to stop focusing on proving how good his football philosophy is, and start showing the NFL how good his football coaching is.