The Eagles have found a solution to their abysmal performance. It landed in my email inbox this morning at 9:46, in the form of this news release from the Eagles:
The defense was unimaginative, and it allowed two 80-yard touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to Detroit Sunday to aid and abet a Lions overtime win; a pass rush that was supposed to the envy of the league had an abysmal seven sacks in six games. I get it.
But unless Reid does something to address the offense in the next few days -- the Eagles have a bye this week -- Castillo's firing will be the biggest diversionary tactic I've seen in the league in some time. Philadelphia's offense ranks 31st in points per game (17.2), with explosive players all over the place. It's a disgrace.
Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have failed to harness Michael Vick's ability and train him to be a very good all-around quarterback. Instead, he's a turnover machine: 13 in six games. Vick's 30 fumbles in his last 30 games shows clearly he hasn't taken the coaching about ball security seriously and continually reverts back to his frenetic days of making plays happen by himself. I blame Vick for that, but I blame the coaches equally; if you're going to put a player like Vick on the field, and hand him the keys to your offense, the one thing he can't do is turn the ball over, and the three of them seem powerless to stop the flood of turnovers. Turnovers, I might add, that have hurt the Eagles' chances to win far more than Castillo's game plans have.
So let's see what else Reid has up his sleeve. Maybe it's taking the playcalling from Mornhinweg. Maybe it's starting backup quarterback Nick Foles, which I wouldn't do quite yet. Maybe it's reading Vick the final riot act -- one more turnover-plagued game and he's out. But it had better be something, or else Reid's 14th season as coach of the Eagles may be his last.
Now onto your email:
HE DOESN'T THINK MIKE VICK SHOULD OWN A DOG.
If you've read my column for a while, you understand where I fall on things like redemption. Namely, I'm for it. If Michael Vick has shown himself to have legitimately (in the eyes of the court, and in the eyes of his community) changed his dog-fighting ways, I believe he should have a chance to own a dog.
HE DOESN'T THINK CHAN GAILEY SHOULD BE COACH OF THE WEEK.
You raise good points. My point was this: This was a Falling Over The Edge Of A Cliff Game for Buffalo. The season was on the precipice after the Bills were outscored 90-17 over the previous game and a half -- which has to be unheard of in NFL annals, allowing 90 points in six quarters. The Bills were playing for their lives, and they played well. The only play call that was dumb was the Brad Smith pass; you're right. No defending that. But a head coach's job goes beyond individual playcalling, and in the grand scheme of season-saving, I thought Gailey's approach with the players about "you've got to get your respect back,'' and having them ready to play a 4-1 team on the road merited credit.
HE DOESN'T LIKE MY ABOLISH-THE-EXTRA-POINT POINT.
First of all, that blocked punt number seems low, but I have no way of checking on it in time to file this column, so I'll take your word for it. Secondly, fourth down is a play, not a conversion attempt. You can throw a pass downfield out of it, you can run wide, run up the middle -- you can do anything that you did on first, second or third down. You can also punt and pin a team back, you can have players on the punt team diving to keep the ball out of the end zone. In other words, a lot of things can happen on a punt. Not many things can happen on an extra point. Not many interesting things, anyway.
HE DOESN'T LIKE HOW TOM BRADY PLAYED SUNDAY.
Good points, all. I could have made a case for Brady. But was he the one who let the fastest receiver on the Seahawks get behind the entire New England defense, so Russell Wilson could have dropped a bomb into Rice to win the game?
HE DOESN'T THINK THE GIANTS' WIN WAS BIGGER THAN GREEN BAY'S. I AM SO SURPRISED HE IS FROM GREEN BAY.
San Francisco won the previous two games by a combined 79-3. Houston, in its previous game, scraped by on the road against a struggling Jets team. The Niners looked invincible, and they'd lost to the Giants in the title game on two muffed punts by the backup punt returner. The Green Bay win was a great win, surprising in its decisiveness. The Giants' win was total domination over a steamroller, holding an explosive offense to three points at home. I thought it was the best win any team in the league has had this year.
BUT HE LIKES WHAT HOTELS DO WITH SHAMPOO BOTTLES.
Fantastic news, Dennis. Thanks a lot for sharing.