Eagles v. Falcons, Sunday, October 28, 2012
No, I don’t mean the game. I KNOW the game is over. Thank God, because it was truly painful to watch.
No, I don’t mean Hurricane Sandy. She’s just getting cranked up here in the mid-Atlantic. Stay home and stay safe, y’all.
I mean the Eagles season. Is it over?
OK, mathematically, I know it’s not over. The Eagles aren’t even at their halfway point, the division-leading Giants are only up 3 games, and the Birds are technically ranked second in the division thanks to beating the G-men a month ago. And no NFC division other than North looks unstoppable at this point, so a wildcard would not be not out of the question, either.
And that’s all great, for what it’s worth, which right now, the morning after the first post-bye week loss of the Andy Reid era (a 30-17 drubbing by the Falcons at home, in case you’ve been too busy watching The Weather Channel to keep up) doesn’t feel like much.
What is going on at the NovaCare Complex? As Tommy Lawlor points out in detail, this team has been through bad times before under Reid and prevailed. Tommy posits that the loss of veteran leadership on the team and in the coaching staff over the past few years has produced a team where no one is left to teach the new guys the “Eagles Way.”
The guys over at Bleeding Green Nation were about an inch away from pulling out the “rearranging deck chairs on the Hindenburg” metaphor on their way to calling out the playcalling and coaching in general, and Andy Reid specifically.
I think Big Red is flailing, and I suspect Mike Vick is about to be the next scapegoat to be sacrificed. And while he hasn’t played up to expectations this season, with a patched together offensive line that can’t keep him from ending up on his back starting at sky and trying to ascertain if all his limbs are still attached after 50% or more of his snaps, it’s hardly all his fault.
And while I do think that the problems start with Andy and, as a result, I think we’re seeing his last 9 games as head coach, I have to wonder if what’s really going on is that he’s still grieving the loss of his son. It hasn’t even been three months since Reid endured one of the most difficult losses any person will ever experience – the loss of a child.
I think it’s reasonable to think that Reid may be unable to focus on the team at this time. And while I don’t blame him personally – he lost his oldest son for chrissakes – if that is what’s going on, I do blame him for not figuring out a way to do what is best for the team and step down or hand over some of his responsibilities.
I realize the situation was unpredictable. Garrett Reid, to refresh your memory, died at training camp just over a month before the start of the 2012 season. At the time, Andy may have thought that he’d be able to pull himself and the team together, and making a head coaching change in early August is pretty much unheard of.
Thing is, whether it’s because of his grief at his loss or fear of losing his job or something else none of us can even speculate on, Reid is now hurting the team. Juan Castillo already got thrown under the bus twice – first when he was hired for a position he was totally unsuited for, then when he was fired from that same position. By all appearances, Mike Vick will be next. But I think it’s Reid who needs to go.
If this weren’t the final year of his contract, it’s conceivable he could take a leave of absence. Since he’s coaching for his job, that’s probably not a possibility. But since it seems likely to me – and many other observers – that that ship has already sailed. Reid needs to look at what’s best for the team, and that includes looking in the mirror.
(You’ll notice there’s no stud of the week. That would be intentional.)