The Eagles out-gained the Cardinals in total offensive yards, 308 - 292, but that's about the only number that came out in their favor.
The biggest number that ultimately decided the game was 3...as in, the Eagles turned the ball over 3 times which led to 17 points for Arizona. In case you're counting, that's 12 total turnovers through 3 games this year by Philly, including 8 from Michael Vick alone.
The Eagles were out-hit, out-played and ultimately out-scored by an Arizona team that is decent on defense but dreadful on offense. If I didn't know better, with the way the Eagles played yesterday I would have thought Arizona was a sure-fire championship-caliber team.
They were simply just not ready to play in this game. In fact, I'm not sure the team ever left the Philadelphia airport.
We might also need to put LeSean McCoy on a milk carton for a missing-persons report.
Anyway, in case you're wondering, here are the stats from the game before I go into the good, bad and brutal aspects...
McCoy: 13 carries for 70 yards and 3 receptions for 8 yards.
Jackson: 3 receptions for 43 yards.
Damaris Johnson: 5 receptions for 84 yards.
Celek: 2 receptions for 36 yards and took a couple of bone-jarring hits.
The offense averaged 4.9 yards per pass and 6 yards per rush.
Vick was sacked 5 times and hit at least 20 times.
The Eagles lost the time of possession battle 34:33 to 25:27.
Turnovers: Eagles 3, Cardinals 0
Now, on to the good, bad and brutal. First up, the good:
Alrighty then, that sums up the good portion here. Now, let's just skip over the bad because the rest was downright brutal...
Michael Vick. Blame the 2 new starters on the offensive line or the absence of Jeremy Maclin if you wish to justify his performance, but I don't.
The key reason? Vick holds the ball wayyy too long. He took hit after hit after hit and while some of it was due to the OL, much of it was because he just does not make quick enough reads and get rid of the football.
The perfect example was the sack, fumble and defensive touchdown for the Cardinals to close out the first half.
The Eagles were down 17-0 and took over at their own 20 with 2:26 left in the first half. Vick led them on their best drive of the game and got down to a first-and-goal at the Arizona 1-yard line with about 16 seconds left.
While I was screaming "run the ball" on the first play there, they ended up passing it twice with throw-aways out of the end zone. Then, on 3rd down with 6 seconds left, I was thinking "just kick the field goal here" because Vick tends to prolong plays and 6 seconds is borderline as to whether they would have had enough time for a FG if the play failed.
Unfortunately, Reid and Mornhinweg never seem to agree with me.
They decided to run one more play, and probably could have if they had a different QB out there. Vick always...ALWAYS...holds the ball too long and it cost them a 14-point swing.
Since they decided to run the play, it should have been a quick 3-step drop and fire the ball. Instead, Vick held onto to it while Daryl Washington was allowed to rush free and drill Vick that caused the fumble that James Sanders picked up and returned 93 yards for the killer score.
It was a bad decision on Reid's part because he should know his QB, but it was also a bad play by Vick because he's just not a quick read-and-deliver type of player.
Andy Reid accepting a holding penalty instead of a sack. Allow me to further explain this one...
It was in the 2nd quarter, the Cards had the ball and faced a 2nd and 16 at their own 48-yard line. Darryl Tapp sacks Kolb for a loss of 8 yards. However, there is a holding penalty on Arizona's offensive line.
This situation was apparently too confusing for everyone on the field to understand and led to a lengthy delay while it was sorted out. First, the penalty was accepted, then declined, then accepted again.
In the end, Arizona ended up with a 2nd and 26. In the real world of coaching and refereeing, the penalty would have been declined and the Cards would have faced 3rd and 24.
That was complete botchery and I cannot fathom why Reid accepted that penalty. It made absolutely zero sense.
DeSean Jackson looking for a flag instead of finishing the play. At this point, all I could do was laugh...kind of like when you reach a punch-drunk stage from witnessing a comedy of errors.
Vick launched a pass down the sideline intended for Jackson. While the ball was in the air, Jackson slowed-up his route and started waving to the ref like he was looking for a pass interference flag.
Had he just kept on his route and not slowed down, he very well may have been able to come up with the catch and possibly even a touchdown. It was a ridiculous play and epitomized the entire offense in that nobody's head was in the game.
At the least, you have to finish a play first, and then complain to the ref.
Larry Fitzgerald wide open on his TD catch. Apparently a miscommunication between the defensive backs led to this happening, but whatever the reason, you know somebody has to be covering that guy at all times.
Cards get a first down on 3rd and 17 by running a simple draw play. How does a defense allow this to happen? It was a textbook "just get some positive yards and then we'll punt" decision by Arizona.
But yet, Ryan Williams was able to pick up 25 yards and first down. That led to another field goal to pad the Cards' lead.
Wasted timeout followed by false start penalty. How on earth do you need to burn a timeout after you just had one due to a change of quarters? Well, they did. On the very first play of the second quarter, after a commercial timeout, they had to use another timeout.
And when they did finally lineup for that first play of the 2nd period, after 2 timeouts, the Eagles were flagged for a false start. That's just awesome, huh?
Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg. Again, their game-plan was a failure. They start the game with 3 straight passes that amounted to 3 yards from a Vick scramble and then punted.
They only ran McCoy 13 times, 9 of which came in the 2nd half when the Cardinals were playing defense to prevent the big pass play. The fact that these guys fail to use a gifted player such as McCoy so seldom early in games is baffling to me.
They also failed to involve Celek more. After utilizing him very effectively last week against Baltimore, the 2 geniuses decided to barely use him this week by only targeting him 6 times, completing just two.
When you're short on wide receivers and have a good tight end like Celek, you need to get him more involved in the game.
At this point, Reid and Mornhinweg can't game-plan their way out of a paper bag.
I'm particularly disgusted with Reid after his decision to let Vick pass with 6 seconds left in the first half and his acceptance of that holding penalty.
You can't make coaching errors like this and expect to win football games.
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