Last week, during Halloween weekend, a 2-4 Philadelphia Eagles team pleasantly surprised the Delaware Valley with a 34-7 victory over the rival Dallas Cowboys.
After the game, I wondered if the Birds dressed up as a playoff team for the occasion or did the Eagles finally unmask their true identity. Last night’s game against the Chicago Bears has fans thinking about the former.
Mathematically, the Eagles can still make the playoffs. The problem is their intangibles. They have yet to show they have the mental toughness to overcome the uphill battle ahead of them.
While he’s certainly responsible for ‘Putting players in position to make plays’, this isn’t entirely head coach Andy Reid’s fault. Plays have to be executed by players.
So far there has been one lesson learned about the 2011 Eagles. The price to acquire talent is very high, but the value of leadership is priceless.
It could take quite some time to list the names of former Birds who would’ve addressed the internal problems this team has a while ago. The reality is none of those players are here anymore. It’s well past time for someone new to step up.
Who is that leader? Naturally, it should be QB Michael Vick. The problem is he’s epitomized inconsistency. His interception in the red zone was one of the most ill advised throws I’ve seen in recent memory.
Could it be Cullen Jenkins? He’s a veteran from a Super Bowl winning organization, but still kind of ‘the new guy’.
Nnamdi Asoumugha? Jason Avant? Jeremy Maclin? They are three talented, team-oriented players. But none of them seem to have the mentality to get in a teammates face when needed.
Asante Samuel?? DeSean Jackson?? Two very vocal guys who get louder the more productive they are. The less they produce, the more likely they are to get frustrated. Not a definition of a leader.
By the way DeSean, your team ties the game after being down 10-0. They force the Bears to punt late in the first half AND you get the ball first to start the third quarter. Your squad had all of the momentum. The last you could afford to do was fumble inside the ten yard line. Sorry, I had to vent….
So…..Who is the guy who can lead the Eagles out of this hole? Unfortunately, they are not currently part of the organization. They’re not on the coaching staff or the active roster.
If they were, the primary issues that have this team sitting at 3-5 would have been addressed by now. Turnovers, penalties, third down conversions and blowing fourth quarter leads. Winning teams don’t allow these problems to occur on a consistent basis the way this Eagles team has.
Looking at the remainder of the schedule, the Birds look like a 6-10 (maybe 5-11) team. If that happens, you can look at Maclin’s fourth down catch to end the game as an example. They just kept coming up short.