The Philadelphia Eagles have successfully eliminated themselves from any shot at the playoffs, following a miserable fourth quarter collapse at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Philadelphia, now (3-6), have only one home win in their last eight games, and the Cardinals (3-6) have just recorded their first road-win in two seasons. The biggest pre-game story coming into this match-up was Kevin Kolb playing back in Philly for the first time after being traded, but Kolb was sidelined with an ankle injury and John Skelton had the starting role.
Here are five things that lost the Eagles the game:
5. Third Down Success Rate
The Eagles have had a hard time on third down for the past decade under Andy Reid, but this game was especially pathetic. Philadelphia posted a miserable 3-15 on third downs, and failed to sustain any offensive rhythm. The Eagles offense punted the ball away eight times during the game, and stalled frequently when the defense made important stops. This is a problem that stems from lack of effort and poor play-calling when the team needs it most.
4. Michael Vick Was Non-Existent
Whether it be that Michael Vick was still rattled from last week against the Bears, or that he just was not prepared for this game, he played poorly. The Eagles $100 million man managed to throw for a weak 128 yards, with no touchdowns, and two interceptions. The Eagles offense looked flat the entire game, and Vick was not making the proper reads, or the right throws downfield to his receivers. Seeing that he averaged only 3.8 yards per pass, Philadelphia’s offense essentially consisted of a dink and dunk passing attack.
3. LeSean McCoy Was Not Given The Ball Enough
I’m going to come out and say it because no one else will — LeSean McCoy is the Eagles best offensive weapon. The elusive scat-back is always seemingly finding open space and making big plays when he’s needed. The problem is, Reid does not give him the ball as much as he should, and this was the case in this game. Late in the fourth when the Eagles held the lead, the team only handed the ball off to McCoy twice, and elected to pass and stop the clock. Philadelphia will continue to lose games if they don’t give Shady the ball with more frequency, especially late in games.
2. Nnamdi Asomugha Was Not Lined Up On Larry Fitzgerald
Why on earth would the Eagles not start their shut-down corner on the best wide receiver in the NFL? I have no idea. Because that’s what the Eagles did not do, and Larry Fitzgerald torched Philadelphia to the tune of 146 yards and two touchdowns on the day. Given how Asomugha is a more physical corner and can match-up with Fitz’s size well, this should have been a no-brainer. But evidently Juan Castillo dropped the ball, and let Asomugha flounder in zone coverage, instead of playing to his strength with the press defense.
1. Lack Of Overall Effort
The Eagles once again, for the fifth time this season, blew a fourth quarter lead. I am not sure how a team with as much talent can manage to blow up this badly in the final moments of games, but it’s a reoccurring trend. I’d love to blame it all on play-calling, but that would be far too easy, and some of the blame needs to fall onto the players. This team is not playing with any emotion or passion, and it shows late in games, and that’s why Philly keeps losing in the end. I don’t expect this to end anytime soon either, as the Eagles have all but eliminated themselves from a playoff spot.