Welcome to The Takeaway, where we take away the three key points from the Eagles' previous game, in this case a 21-17 loss at home to the Cardinals.
1. Why on Earth did Andy Reid throw the baby out with the bathwater? I'm not here to defend DeSean Jackson. Lord knows DeSean took Randy Moss' "How To Ruin A Contract Year" handbook and studied it feverishly. But the usual punishment for a star wideout who misses a team meeting is to bench him for the first offensive series, or even the first quarter if need be. That way, if things go awry, you can become a complete hypocrite and throw him back out there and SAVE YOUR TEAM. Instead, Andy Reid took the draconian step of deactivating Jackson, which practically guaranteed that Jeremy Maclin would injure himself (he did) and the Eagles would find themselves shorthanded at what was once their deepest position. The result was ten offensive points. It was an Andy Reid move in a day filled with signature Andy Reid moves, including running Shady McCoy just 14 times (GRRRRR). This team looked deflated from the second it stepped out onto the field yesterday, as if they were resigned to the fact that everything was falling apart. DeSean is to blame for a lot of that, but Reid's punishment only served to exacerbate the situation.
2. Game over. It says a lot about things have gone this year that Eagles fans were at their happiest when the team was 3-4. Since then, the Eagles have looked very much like the team that lost four in a row after Week 1. Nothing has been fixed, and now you know nothing will be fixed, not with four of their last seven games coming against teams with winning records. The defense is fundamentally flawed, both in terms of coaching (Juan Castillo) and in terms of coverage, with Larry Fitzgerald single-handedly winning the game for Arizona. And then there's Vick, who has regressed to the point where you kinda wish the Eagles would run the Tim Tebow offense. Vick was horrid yesterday: overthrowing everyone, turning the ball over and, naturally, getting hurt. There's nothing left to say. These are the Eagles you're going to be forced to live with for the rest of the season. No playoffs. No Super Bowl. Just game after game of egregious stupidity. Not so fun.
3. Occupy Andy Reid. Again, one of the worst things about having Andy Reid as your coach is that you know Jeffrey Lurie will never get rid of him, as pointed out here by ESPN's Ashley Fox. Lurie is proud of Reid's consistency (don't laugh) and isn't all that wild about the idea of buying out his contract, which ends in 2013 (so very, very far away). So you're stuck with Reid FOREVER, as this team continues to blow it in key moments with ill-timed penalties and hilariously inept clock management. Seriously, when the clock hits 4:00, Andy Reid turns to mush. It's awful. I'd stage a protest if I were you. I really would. I'd create a makeshift tent city outside team headquarters and stay there until you knew Andy was purged from the Eagles for good.