|Another loss, another game closer to the end of Andy Reid's tenure as head coach of the Eagles? (US Presswire)|
Just when you think things couldn't get any worse with the Philadelphia Eagles, they go out and fall flat on their facemasks against another bad team, losing to the Washington Redskins 31-6 on Sunday at FedEx Field. It's become a familiar refrain this season – the offense makes too many mistakes, the defense gives up too many big plays and the special teams don't do anything special.
And this wasn't the 1979 Steelers the Eagles faced on Sunday. The Redskins were also 3-6 coming into the game and had what was generally considered to be the worst defense in the league. How bad was it? It was the Eagles' worst loss to the Redskins since 1986, when they lost 41-14. The Eagles have now lost six straight games for the first time since 1994, when they dropped their last seven games in Rich Kotite's final season as coach.
So, now it's just a matter of counting the days until this nightmare of a season finally ends and Andy Reid's tenure as coach also ends. At least they should get a pretty good draft pick for the new coach to build around.
Granted, quarterback Nick Foles was a rookie making his first NFL start. Granted, the offensive line has been ravaged by injuries and only one of the starters from the season opener played on Sunday. But that can't explain or excuse how badly the Eagles offense played against a Redskins defense that was ranked 28th in the NFL in total defense and 30th against the pass. Not all of the problems were Foles' fault, but he was terrible in his starting debut, completing just 46 percent of his passes with two interceptions, one which wasn't his fault. And Foles couldn't get the ball to his wide receivers -- Jeremy Maclin didn't catch a single pass and DeSean Jackson caught just two for 5 yards. The Eagles made some early mistakes and never got into any kind of rhythm on offense. Previous game's grade: D
Once again, the defense played pretty well for much of the game, but had major breakdowns that a good defense doesn't have. On one, safety Nate Allen bit on a play-action fake and allowed fullback Darryl Young to get behind him for an easy 6-yard TD, the Redskins' first score of the game. Then Allen did it again and this time he got burned by Aldrick Robinson for a 49-yard TD, a play on which Robinson was wide open. Then it was the other safety, Kurt Coleman, who got burned when Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III basically threw a long bomb up for grabs and, even though Coleman was in position to make a play, he didn't -- WR Santana Moss took the ball away from him and fell into the end zone for a 69-yard TD. Plus the Eagles allowed Griffin to complete all but one of his passes and even though the pass rush got decent pressure at times, the Eagles also allowed Griffin to get outside the pocket too many times. And, once again, the Eagles failed to come up with a turnover – the Eagles have now gone four straight games without an interception and in that time they've allowed 11 TD passes. Considering all the Pro Bowl players on this side of the ball (five), this has to be the most disappointing part of a disappointing team. Previous game's grade: C
Special teams: C
This unit didn't allow any game-breaking plays like it did last week against Dallas, but once again it also failed to generate any. The Eagles constantly lose the battle for field position because of their weak return game, and when a team is falling apart like the Eagles have done this season, it needs any edge it can get. Just like the rest of the team, there seems to be a real lack of discipline here, as evidenced by the fact that the Eagles were penalized for having 12 men on the field to defend against a Redskins' field goal attempt, even though they were coming out of a timeout on the play. On the other hand, kicker Alex Henery continues to be a lone bright spot -- he scored all six of the Eagles' points and has now made 15 of 16 FG attempts this season, including 11 in a row. Previous game's grade: F
Andy Reid constantly preaches discipline and his team goes out week after week and shows almost none of it. Like so many things, that falls on the shoulders of the head coach. It was also Reid's decision to go with rookie Nick Foles as his backup QB instead of veteran Trent Edwards, who had started 33 NFL games to Foles' zero starts. Who knows – if Edwards had come in for Michael Vick in the second half last week against Dallas and started Sunday's game against the Redskins, the Eagles might be 5-5 and still have a shot at a playoff berth. It was also Reid's decision to fire defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and replace him with Todd Bowles. Well, in four games under Bowles the defense has allowed QBs to complete 78 percent of their passes (11 TDs and no INTs) and have a QB rating of 144. And then there was Reid's decision to keep running back LeSean McCoy in the game with less than two minutes to play on Sunday and the Eagles trailing 31-6. McCoy suffered a concussion and now his status for next Monday night's game vs. Carolina is questionable. Making it even worse, when Reid was asked why McCoy was still in the game he actually said, “We were trying to catch up and win the game.” Previous game's grade: D
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow @CBSEagles.