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The Morning After - Eagles Season Ends With Loss To Packers

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Good morning campers,

Last time I'll be saying that for nine months, give or take a day or two. Here's to hoping next year's Eagles team looks decidedly different than this year's, which may sound odd to an outsider and the so-called experts but to those of us who saw every snap, know the truth. And that is that this team is nowhere near as good as its record said it was. 

With apologies to Bill Parcells, who famously said "you are what your record says you are." tma

Let's get to getting... one last time.

EENIE, MEANIE MINEY MOE...
Have to start out the TMA will well-wishes and much love for my Eenie Meanie Miney Mo Lover... No names. Those who know I am referring to know precisely what I'm talking about.

You're in our prayers... ALWAYS.

FOR STARTERS...
The VERY first offensive play run by the Eagles resulted in a sack. Nothing else to say here, move along.

HAVING A HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING...
Let me get this straight.

The Packers have the ball 1st & Goal from the Eagles' 7 yard line when the Eagles burn a timeout... on defense. On the very next play, the Packers score their first TD as the immortal Tom Crabtree finds himself wide open for an easy, uncontested score.

What exactly did Sean McDermott and Co. discuss during said timeout?

And wasn't Tom Crabtree one of Huck Finn's friends? Oh wait, that was Tom Sawyer.

But while we're on the subject of head-scratching, what-were-you-thinking wasted timeouts... this is PRECISELY the kind of thing that does NOT show up in the stats sheet. This is the kind of thing that only Eagles fans who see every single snap see and endure year in, year out with Andy Reid.

And all the national experts never see this side of Big Red so they continue to heap praise upon him.

I do not want to make this an Andy Reid bash-fest, well maybe a little.

But think about it... his clock management skills are hardly ever called into question from a national perspective.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...
An Eagles season ends with a late ill-advised pass from the star quarterback. How many years can we sit back and allow Donovan McNabb to... oh damn, wait.

Sounded familiar though, didn't it?

THE LAP OF LUXURY...
If you've read the TMA at all this year you know that I am no fan of Eagles Safety Quintin Mikell. Clearly he lived quite comfortably for years living in Brian Dawkins' shadow.

But hell I figured he at least could tell when a football is lying in his lap, right? I mean, a football lying in one's lap is surely somehting most people would realize. yes?

Apparently not Q-Mike who had a loose ball, AKA a turnover, AKA a turnover lying right in his lap yet for some reason he apparently never felt it. How else to explain his not recovering that fumble?

THREE FOR TWO...
Those of you old enough to remember will recognize that phrase from basketball. Time was a player would get three, yes three free throws to make two. And Sixers fans will fondly recall the immortal Dave Zinkoff's rolling of the word "three" as he emphatically ammounced it over the Spectrum PA. zink

But even the Zink would've a hard time believing the Three For Two the fast-becoming-immortal-for-all-the-wrong-reasons Winston Justice committed during a very crucial part of yesterday's game.

The Eagles had just held the Packers deep in their own end and forced them to punt. Down 11, field position was all the more important. 1st and 10 from their own 46 quickly became 1st and 25 from their own 31 after Winnie was flagged 3 times over just two plays. One penalty was declined of course but committing 3 penalties in 2 plays... now that is truly hard to do.

Of course Justice wasn't completely served until he blew a block on a critical 3rd and 1 on the same series, forcing David Akers' second miss of the game. Ok, he didn't cause the missed FG but I was on a roll... so I went with it.

But... are you kidding me? This is the starting RT you're going to run out there week in, week out?

THIRD DOWN'S THE CHARM...
The Packers finished the game 8/13 on 3rd Downs which in it of itself is insane until you consider the fact that one point they were 7/9, which is downright inhuman.

Factor in the Packers perfect 3/3 efficiency in the Red Zone and Jim Johnson is doing anything but resting in peace.

WHO'S CALLING THE SHOTS?...
Not sure who is making the decisions re: who stays and who goes on the defensive side of the ball for the Eagles but in case you didn't know...

Jason Babin, former Eagle now Titan had 12.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl
Chris Clemons, former Eagle now Seahawk had 11 sacks and played a huge role in the Seahawks upset over the Saints

Now throwing salt in the wound would require me bringing up the fact that the Eagles traded UP to draft DE Brandon Graham, who barely saw the field this year before getting hurt and passed on taking the now-Seahawk Safety Earl Thomas who was pretty much all over the field in the aforementioned Seahawks' upset.

And I would never do that... would I?

OUT OF FOCUS...
This game was, at least to me, a microcosm of the season.

Time and again all season long, the Eagles committed careless penalties. False Start, anyone?

Time and again all season long, the Eagles dropped crucial passes at crucial points of the game. Jason Avant comes to mind.

Time and again all season long, the Eagles lost their focus, doing what can best be described as stupid. Brent Celek not keeping his feet in bounds on the 2-point convsersion. Again, are you kidding me? This is not high school, son. You cannot do that. Ever. Period. Let alone in a playoff game.

THE BOTTOM LINE...
If anyone thinks for one second Akers cost the Eagles the game... he didn't. And if you think he did, you're an idiot. Sorry, call em as I see em.

Sure his missed field goals were huge but the Eagles lost the game because...

*They went 1/3 in the Red Zone
*The Packers went for 3/3
*The Packers ran the ball effectively, running the ball 29 times, not counting runs by the QB
*The Eagles ran the ball for a grand total of 13 times, not including the QB; I told people before the game LeSean McCoy needed to run ball at least 20 times for the Eagles to win. I realized this had very little chance of happening but...

The better team won the game, kids.

Michael Vick masked a whole host of mistakes and well... very average players on both sides of the ball. We all got caught up in the Vick hysteria and rightly so... the man is a human highlight film on many occasions.

BUT... the brutal truth is this team had no business being 10-6. Again, with all apologies to Coach Parcels, they were not what their record said they were.

Their list of off-season needs is lengthy. You can take your pick from DL, OL, LB, Safety, Cornerback and throw Punter in there, too.

Of course the latter is not exactly a pressing need but the others? You're damn right they are.

And the powers that be better get to getting themselves else we're going to have a team of 3-4 very good players playing with a whole lot of average to below-average players... again.

Thank you again, for another season of The Morning After!

'Til next season and as always...

Time's yours. Food's mine.


You can contact Steve Olenski at solenski@philly2philly.com  or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/steveolenski