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The Eagles beat the Browns (barely) this weekend and since halftime all the chatter has been about how bad and under prepared the Eagles offense looked in Cleveland, how error-prone Michael Vick is and how Andy Reid must go.
Sounds like the same old story.
But two numbers stick out glaringly from the 17-16 win in Cleveland -- 12 and 110. No, those don’t make up Jeremy Maclin’s stat line from Sunday, instead they are the total amount of penalties and penalty yardage assessed against the Birds.
I will stop you before you say it. Replacement refs had little to do with exuberant number of flags. The Browns had the same zebras judging them and had a reasonable three penalties for 35 yards instead.
Simply put the Eagles were sloppy Sunday -- extremely sloppy -- and it almost cost them against a far inferior Browns team.
There were plenty of holds to go around but the most costly were when center Jason Kelce’s erased a 17-yard dash by LeSean McCoy in the third and wideout Maclin cost Shady 10 yards later in the quarter.
Brian Rolle added an illegal block early in the fourth quarter that moved the Birds first possession of the quarter from their own 31 to their 11 and rookie Fletcher Cox topped off the afternoon of blunders with a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty that helped the Browns to a field goal.
Really the only time the Eagles looked mistake free was on the 16-play, 82-yard, five-plus minute game-winning drive and the five-play, 74-yard touchdown drive right before the half – coincidence? I think not.
It’s simple, the Eagles minimize mistakes and they are better suited to win. There will be zero chance to beat Baltimore this weekend if they continue to make mental mistakes.