Well, it only took 12 weeks, but Andy Reid and the Eagles finally figured out what a running game can do for a football team.
The Eagles effectively mixed the run and pass in a 48-20 stomping of the Arizona Cardinals Thursday night.
It was really enjoyable to watch good football again. But, at 6-5-1, it’s still a long shot to make the playoffs for the Birds. In some ways, this game was even more frustrating than a loss because it showed what the Eagles could have been doing all season long if they were running the ball.
I mean, how/why did Reid watch his pitiful offense week after week and not figure out sooner that running the ball would help? I just don’t get it.
Anyway, this victory was set up with the opening drive that was a thing of beauty.
12 plays, 70 yards. 7 runs, 5 passes. One of the runs was a Donovan McNabb scramble (nice to see that again, huh?). So, the drive consisted of 6 called runs and 6 called passes. A balanced offense. Imagine that?
Again, why, oh why, did it take 12 weeks to figure this out? (Just shaking my head).
And how great was it to see to see fullback Kyle Eckel rumble for two yards and a first down on 3rd-and-1 on that opening drive?
The Eagles continued to run the ball and McNabb, given time without a defense teeing off on the pass, looked sharp all night.
McNabb finished 27-for-39 for 260 yards and 4 TDs. There were 33 called running plays. Westbrook got the bulk of the runs, rushing for 110 yards and 2 TDs on 22 carries. He also caught 2 TDs.
Mike Quick said on the radio during Sunday’s brutal loss to Baltimore that football isn’t rocket science; it’s about blocking and tackling. You saw that Thursday night.
And you saw a running game. It’s no coincidence that you saw a win, as well.
Just wish it didn’t take so long for Reid to figure it out.
Thoughts on broadcast:
–It’s too bad we don’t get NFL Network on Comcast in the Philly market, because Cris Collinsworth makes a broadcast enjoyable. He gives point-on analysis and isn’t bashful with his opinions. On Reid not personally telling McNabb he wouldn’t play in the second half Sunday, Collinsworth said, “It was a mistake, there’s no way around it.”
–Also enjoyed Bob Papa’s play-by-play. Having not watched an NFL Network broadcast all season, I’m not sure what happened to Bryant Gumbel.
–You wouldn’t expect otherwise from an ex-coach, but NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci embarrassed himself in the pregame by using the injuries excuse when explaining the failures of the Eagles’ offense this season. Then, he really put his foot in his mouth by saying they’re really playing well. Huh? What games has Mariucci been watching. And, more to the point, why bother being an analyst if you’re going to say something so stupid.
–By the way, was that Reid’s son on the sideline as a ball boy early in the game?
Kendrick on a short leash? Not that it comes as a surprise to anyone, but Phillies Nation is reporting that Kyle Kendrick will be on a short leash next season, saying he’ll have until June to prove himself or be traded.
(update 8:45 a.m. Friday)
We’re talkin’ ’bout practice: The more things change, the more they stay the same…A.I. skips practice in Detroit.
Carolina at Flyers, 1
Sixers at Boston, 7:30
Akron at Temple, 1
Towson vs. Villanova at Palestra, 9
Flyers at Toronto, 7
Penn at Albany, 7
Temple at Buffalo, 4
Penn State/Rhode Island vs. Villanova at Palestra, TBA
Chicago at Sixers, 5
That’s all for now.