22 December 2014

Sayonara, Playoffs

Eagles 24, Washington 27, Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sorry it took me this long to post a game recap - I was getting over the two-day drunk brought to you by the Eagles' epic collapse.

OK, OK, that's not strictly true. I've been in NOLA with Chef Spouse celebrating our anniversary, and I didn't want to harsh my buzz by dealing with this bullshit. But now we're in Louis Armstrong airport waiting for our flight back to DC and I haz a sad anyway, so I might as well write about the game.

Stud of the Week: Clearly, it was Zach Ertz. Catching a team record (for a tight end) 15 passes for 115 yards, DC knew the ball was going the sophomore tight end's way and they still couldn't stop it.

Unfortunately, the same thing happened with DeSean Jackson - the Eagles knew the ball was going his way, and they still couldn't stop it. I know, I know - "Bring me the head of Bradley Fletcher on a plate!" And he did eventually get benched for Nolan Carroll, but the thing is putting him one-on-one with DeSean all game and expecting him to be successful is not on him - that's a bad coaching decision (Bill Davis, I am looking at you).

Speaking of the D, let's talk penalties. Yes, two of them were relatively bogus roughing the passer calls on DC's final drive, and that did make a difference in the game, but the yardage there is only a small dent in the over 100 yards of penalties the Birds racked up all together. Particularly dispiriting in the last few weeks has been the defense's continuing inability to get off the field on third down, made worse by the penalty situation, in which the D too often hands the opposing team a first down.

Speaking of, the story at BGN for the last three weeks has been: "Worst game of Chip's coaching career." Has he been hitting a new low each week? I'm not sure, but all three losses have been pretty freakin' awful. This may have been the worst, though - at least, it's the first loss to a bad team of the 2014 season, so that's an indicator.

Who knew Thanksgiving would be the high point of the season? The best teams get better as the season goes along. Someone clearly should've mentioned to the Birds that they were STILL PLAYING in December.

And my secret kicker boyfriend (or is that cradle robbing?) Cody Parkey picked the WORST possible moment to have a case of rookie jitters. Or the law of averages catching up to him. Or his groin injury getting worse. Not sure which, but when you lose a game by 3 points and your kicker misses two field goals, that's pretty painful.

I've heard it said that football is a chess match that often comes down to who makes the most mistakes. On a day when the Eagles were healthy and had MUCH more on the line than DC, they were the ones who created weak pawns and didn't pay attention to king safety, so to speak.

And we're left where we've been for most of the season. The Eagles are good but not great. They need an actual professional football defensive secondary and an authentic starting quarterback. And those guys don't necessarily grow on trees.

As a final note, Chef Spouse and I watched the game at a really terrific little sports bar in The Quarters next to a Browns fan who was in his fantasy league playoffs, and a mixed marriage couple: he a Cowboys fan, she Packers. As the final drive was going down - when it was clear the Birds were going to lose - we got into a very funny conversation with him about which of our teams sucks worse. At the time, he was convinced the Cowboys would find a way to blow it and lose the NFC East to the Eagles (which, of course, we now know will not happen). But as we all pointed out to Ms. Packers fan, neither team can beat the Pack at Lambeau, so it's not going to matter much anyway.

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