With the Bills on a bye week — salvation from the heartache, thank you — I thought I’d stick to what feels natural. In this case natural means watching a horrible football team fail to meet expectations.
If a single play could define the fortunes of a football team Philadelphia’s last ditch, down by 13 in an empty stadium, lateral frenzy was it. As Andy Reid stared into the abyss it was hard not acknowledge the truth. This is the end. Joe Banner, Andy Reid’s long term backer, is now in Cleveland. Reid’s sparkling post bye week record now has a blemish.
It felt like the end. Hurricane Sandy — cue terrible jokes from sports writers who should know better, you know who I’m talking about — left Lincoln Financial Stadium half empty. The fans that did show up were treated to a display of utter incompetence from their new and improved defense.
That’s being facetious, but coaching changes — Juan Castillo for Todd Broyles — tend to create hyperbole. The Bills defense won’t magically get better when (WHEN) Dave Wannstedt is shown the door, but we want to believe that. We want to believe underachievers like Nnamdi Asomugha and Mario Williams will start playing well with a new voice in their ear.
It doesn’t work that way.
That dose of reality will not spare Andy Reid. Matt Ryan did whatever he wanted. Cedric Thornton notched the Eagles first sack in October. Seriously. LeSean McCoy — the $20.765 million dollar guaranteed man — rushed for 45 yards on 16 carries. It’s hard to run the ball when you’re down 24-7 at half, but this could’ve been avoided. On their first possession Philly passed twice, one attempt dying in Michael Vick’s hands. On their third possession Vick started in the shotgun for six out of the seven plays. Reid and sidekick Marty Mornhinweg aren’t even trying to disguise their schemes.
After their collapse against the Lions Cullen Jenkins stated the defense was being out-schemed by their opponents. The offense is as well. For all Andy Reid has done for a franchise that still prays to the alter of Vince Papale and Buddy Ryan, Reid actually won stuff. Unfortunately his legacy will be defined by Donovan McNabb puking in the huddle.
The bye week to cure their ailments has come and gone. Unless Nick Foles channels Tom Brady circa 2002, Andy Reid is done in Philadelphia. The man with the mustache I’ve grown to love shouldn’t be out of work for long — I hear Buffalo’s a wonderful place.
If he stays on it will be a significant gesture from Jeffrey Lurie, a thank you for all the work Reid has done. Remember Ray Rhodes, the head coach prior to Reid. Ray Rhodes of the 161 total points in one season fame. Never forget.
It’s weird. As fans it often feels like we have zero say in the day to day operations of the teams we support. But once a “fire ____________” chant gets going heads ultimately roll. Ron Wilson didn’t last long, neither will Reid.
It could always be worse. Chan Gailey, folks. Chan Gailey.