View From the Other Side: Philadelphia Eagles
By Jeff Fuqua
Posted November 20th, 2006
It ended as it should have: with Jeff Garcia on all fours and fumbling, with Reno Mahe attempting a lateral on a meaningless kickoff return, with the football on the ground twice in the final seconds and the Eagles tripping all over each other.
On the day Donovan McNabb's 2006 season ended, there was only one sight more sickening than McNabb's body prone on the Tennessee Titans' sideline in the second quarter, his right anterior cruciate ligament torn: the Eagles themselves.
There is no masking it, no accounting for it, no excusing it on the shock of seeing their quarterback motored off the field on a golf cart. They lost 31-13 yesterday in the way bad teams lose football games, by committing mistake upon mistake, and this has to be the most terrifying aspect for coach Andy Reid, for the Eagles' future: They were sloppy with McNabb, and they were sloppy without him, and the carelessness the downright dumb football was nothing new this season.
We just didn't execute, center Jamaal Jackson said. We went out and lost to a better team, which was ourselves.
Mike Sielski, PhillyBurbs.com
The Eagles are 5-5 and they haven't looked like a playoff team for nearly two months even with a healthy franchise quarterback. They lost for the second time this season to a rookie quarterback and for the third time this season at Lincoln Financial Field.
"Very simply put... you have to catch the football, you have to tackle, and we didn't do any of those today," Reid said. "We gave up opportunities, we had too many penalties, and you cannot win in the NFL doing those things. We proved it today."
Reid did not think McNabb's absence was the problem, either.
"I just thought we didn't take advantage of opportunities even before Donovan went down," the coach said. "I've seen this team play without the mistakes, and they're a playoff-caliber team. I've seen them play with the mistakes and they are terrible."
Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer
Even after getting clotheslined by the Tennessee Titans in their worst loss of the season, the Eagles still don't really know what hit them, or rather, what came over them.
Staggered after their fourth loss in five games, they had no answers whatsoever for all the dropped passes, dropped interceptions, penalties and missed tackles that enabled the Titans to walk away from Lincoln Financial Field with a 31-13 win after coming in as 13-point underdogs.
"I really can't pinpoint one thing," wide receiver Reggie Brown said. "Just lack of focus. I know that's pretty much a vague answer, but that's the only thing I can come up with.
"The past two weeks, we've had great practices. It's weird when you get out here and ... it's just ... not what you expect. I mean, you're playing good, you're practicing good and everything is good and I don't know. It just crumbles."
Nick Fierro, The Express-Times
Before the spin doctors and excuse makers start to spin and make excuses over why the Eagles' season is once again over before Thanksgiving, you need to know the truth.
This Eagles team was not good enough even before quarterback Donovan McNabb tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee ending his season prematurely for the third time in five years, and fourth time in five years if you count the fact he got hurt in the 2003 NFC Championship Game loss to Carolina as well.
As they were a year ago when McNabb went down with his sports hernia injury, the Eagles are a .500 team, and .500 teams usually don't make the playoffs and surely do not go to the Super Bowl.
By the way, since the Eagles beat Atlanta in 2004 to go to the Super Bowl, they are 11-16 after losing to the Tennessee Titans, 31-13, yesterday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Mark Eckel, The Times