Eagles Vs. Cardinals: Gold Stars (Few) And Demerits (Many)
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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you’re looking for a positive way to look at yesterday’s 27-6 disaster, you could remember that one of these games happens every single year. Sometimes more than one of these games. A game where the Eagles look absolutely hopelessly bad. So bad that we think there is no way to salvage the season. Sometimes it ends in benching the the quarterback, sometimes it ends in a tie, sometimes it ends in a win (like two weeks ago) and sometimes it ends 27-6.
If you’re looking for one particularly negative way to look at yesterday’s game, it would be that none of those previous seasons where games like this happened resulted in a Super Bowl.
Normally it’s three gold stars and three demerits. Can you think of three Eagles to give gold stars for yesterday’s game? I didn’t think so.
Gold Star #1 – The Game Clock
Fortunately for the Eagles, no matter what they did wrong yesterday, the game clock continued to tick. Even when they called timeouts after long television timeouts. Eventually, no matter what they screwed up, the game finally, mercifully ended.
Demerit #1 – Andy Reid
I am an admitted Andy Reid defender, but that was insane. I’m absolutely at a loss trying to understand why a patchwork offensive line, against a team leading the league in sacks, was asked to pass block on all but five plays in the first half. I imagine once he gets over the pain his body is in today, Michael Vick will also be wondering the same thing. Run the ball! Just a little bit! In the first half where there’s lots of time and not the second half, down by 21 points, when there isn’t!
Do a better job already, buddy.
Demerit #2 – Michael Vick
We’ll get to the offensive line in a minute here, but let’s deal with Vick first. There’s a reason that Vick is one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league every single season, and it isn’t simply an ineffective offensive line. Vick holds the ball too long, and doesn’t give up on plays quick enough. It’s certainly possible that the loss of Maclin made it more difficult for receivers to get open, but he’d have been safer and the team would have been better off if he threw the ball away or run it. As an aside, I’m not sure whether it’s because he’s 32 or getting the sense knocked out of him, but Vick doesn’t look so fast anymore does he?
Demerit #3 – The Offensive Line
It’s difficult to fault backups for playing like backups. When a star player performs below expectations, that’s one thing. But when an average or below average player performs like, well, an average or below average player, there’s not much you can do about it. Reid didn’t do the patchwork line any favors, but man oh man, they were not good.
Demerit #4 – DeSean Jackson
Just four days after writing a column called “I Was Wrong About DeSean Jackson,” praising the wide receiver for his play this season, he looks like he did yesterday. Jackson gave up on plays before they were over, gave up on the game before it was over, and managed to ask a referee for a pass interference call before the play was even finished instead of trying to catch the ball. Hopefully it’s just a blip on the radar, just like we’re hoping for the team overall.
Demerit #5 – The Entire Secondary
Hey look! Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is getting stupid personal fouls, and Kurt Coleman and Nnamdi Asomugha are arguing with each other on the sideline. Meanwhile, nobody is covering anyone.
Demerit #6 – Damaris Johnson And Bobby April
Johnson did a nice job as a receiver, but an absolutely dreadful job as a punt returner. Bobby April well, he put him there. If DeSean Jackson is going to give up as a receiver during the game, can we at least ask him to return a punt or two. It’s amazing that the Eagles have perhaps the best punt returner in the league and he never returns punts.