Against a team they should have rolled over as easily as a steam roller flattens an ant, the Philadelphia Eagles choked once again. True, they have been to the NFC Championship five times in the last eight years, but they have only managed to win it once. And the one time they actually went to the Superbowl, their franchise quarterback, Donovan McNabb, ended up puking into his helmet on the thirty yard line, with 3 yards to go for a first down, 3 points behind the New England Patriots, with 3:30 left to go in the game. We all know how that turned out.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Philadelphia Eagles are the better team. But, just like poker, the best hand doesn't always win. The Eagles were flat as last night's beer. Their vaunted "D", led by maniac, Brian Dawkins took the entire first half off, allowing the underweight Cardinals to score 21 points. The Eagles offense was just as flat, scoring only 2 field goals while missing one critical kick in the first half. David Akers, who has been on a par with a guy named "Automatica Gamatica", missed a 43 yard field goal at 13:34 of the second quarter and a simple point after touchdown in the third quarter that could have changed the momentum of the game. And when the wheels fell off the Eagles "D", the Eagles' offensive collapse was fatal.
Granted, the officiating was horrible, with more than a few pass interference calls which would have benefited the Eagles going unnoticed by the obviously partisan officials. None-the-less, it should never have gotten that close. The Eagles should have run over this Arizona team like an Abrams tank, but the Philadelphia Eagles who dominated both the Vikings and the Giants, never showed up.
McNabb was horrible. His passes were inaccurate, at best. Too low, too high, behind the receiver or over his head. Adding to this, the Eagles' defense played like they were on tranquilizers. Kurt Warner can't scramble, but if you give him time, he will pick you apart - and the Eagles "D" gave him all the time he needed, all game long.
While I give the Eagles credit for a spirited and determined second half comeback, it is also true that it never should have gotten that far. The Eagles should have buried Arizona long before that. Had the same Eagles team shown up today that beat the defending Superbowl Champion, New York Giants, a week ago, it would have been over by half-time.
So whose fault is this most recent collapse of a Franchise bound for Destiny? The fault must lie with Coach Andy Reid for failing to get his team prepared for one of the biggest games of their lives. And the fault must also lie with their franchise quarterback, the inaccurate Donovan McNabb, for throwing away so many chances to win. You can point to McNabb's winning record all you want, but the fact is the guy can't win the Big One. He just can't handle the pressure and until he wins a Superbowl, no argument can convince me otherwise. Once in a while the offense has to step up and do it, especially if the defense is struggling. After all, you can't win if you don't score. Hopefully, next year, both McNabb and Reid will be gone from the City of Brotherly Love. For there is no love for losers here, and we have definitely had enough of the Dysfunctional Duo.