The nature of the NFL is that the discussion of this Sunday’s game will center on the Eagles. It will be all about their losing and their mistakes and Andy Reid’s job security.
Philly suffered their prototypical loss against the Bills, as they rolled up up 489 yards of offense but made enough mistakes on both sides of the ball to lose. Peter King of Sports Illustrated just tweeted that “the Eagles are sloppy and dumb.”
The question is, can they fix sloppy and dumb in a week? Can Reid get his wide receivers to secure the ball when they are running down the field? Can he break Michael Vick of his propensity to pass with pressure in his face, leading to some of his interceptions?
Vick, by the way, threw six interceptions in 12 games last year. So far in 2011 he has thrown seven. His apologists will note that some of them are not his fault and clearly Vick could do nothing about some of his picks like the one near the end of the game, the one that Jason Avant had in his hands. But when you are on a pace to throw over 20 interceptions in a season as Vick is, at some point the blame has to fall on the guy pulling the trigger.
There are issues with the Eagles that are not related to playing dumb football. They are getting gashed for 140 yards per game rushing and that is not something that is going to be fixed immediately. Antonio Dixon, the team’s best run stopping defensive lineman, is out for the season. The Eagles are not going to get NFL-caliber linebackers between now and Sunday. You have to think that Kyle Shanahan is planning a heavy workload for Ryan Torain, Tim Hightower, and Roy Helu on Sunday.
All that said, this is a dangerous game for the Redskins. The Eagles still have many of the same players that hung 59 points on Washington at FedEx Field last November. But talent alone doesn’t get it done in the NFL and Reid and the rest of the coaches will be burning the midnight oil trying to find answers.