A blowout loss to the Giants brought a fitting end to the season and to Andy Reid’s tenure as the Eagles head coach.
The gentle defense put an exclamation point on its season-long incompetence by allowing 5 TD passes, failing to force a turnover, and displaying what has become typically atrocious tackling in the 42-10 loss.
Michael Vick further damaged any chance he has of another team viewing him as a viable NFL starter. He seems to start every game by committing a turnover on the first possession, and did so again on Sunday, throwing an interception.
This always-deflating and momentum-killing routine is one of the cardinal sins of football, undermining the Eagles special-teams recovery of an onside kick on the opening kickoff.
Any Eagles fan who continued to pay attention to the train wreck the 2012 season became has seen Vick regress to his pre-prison status. He is unable to put points on the board. He turns the ball over at a staggering rate, and since he has lost his once-otherworldly speed and quickness, his weaknesses as a passer are even more evident. His future success in the NFL is doubtful.
Vick made comments after the game indicating he is still an elite QB and that if half his teammates had as much heart as he does, the Eagles would be going to the playoffs. This delusional self-evaluation furthermore betrays his lack of leadership—a weak effort to save himself by deflecting blame for a consecutive embarrassing season.
Vick is gone and, more importantly, so is Andy Reid. Reports are circulating confirming what everyone already knew: that Andy Reid would be fired as the Eagles head coach. Just short of a decade-and-a-half is a long time to remain an NFL head coach, much less with the same team.
Reid presided over what has to be considered the Golden Age of Eagles football. Playing your way to 5 NFC Championship Games in 12 seasons is an accomplishment; that they only yielded one Super Bowl appearance—a loss—is a glaring failure.
Now, with this Eagles team having fallen to depths fans have rarely experienced in the last 35 years, Reid had to go. His firing, however personally unfortunate, is a relief for all involved from a franchise perspective.
It will be interesting to see where Reid lands, but that is an aside. All the focus of the organization and the fans now turns to hiring the right guy to take over the reins from Coach Reid.
A number of candidates have been mentioned: John Gruden, Bill Cowher, Chip Kelly, Bill O’Brien and Mike McCoy. Cowher’s square-jawed toughness and emphasis on defense would work well with the Philadelphia fan base, but it seems like a longshot. Kelly and his gimmicky, college offense would be a terrible mistake.
The holiday season often brings with it a great deal of excitement for Eagles fans, watching their team jockey for playoff position and playing postseason games. When that excitement and the chase of elation is replaced with relief that your team’s season has mercifully come to an end, dramatic change is necessary.
As fans, we all need to hope the right change is made. If history is any indication, the analysis of the new Eagles head coach should start in less than two weeks.