Most of the second half Sunday, you would have thought the Eagles were trailing by four touchdowns. Over and over again, Donovan McNabb dropped back, patted the ball, didn’t like what he saw, and hurried a dumpoff that was as likely to be dropped as to be caught.
Brian Westbrook, ostensibly as healthy as he was the previous three games, carried just 12 times, for 45 yards. Take away two McNabb scrambles and the Eagles ran 14 times, tried to pass it 50 times, including the scrambles and the two sacks.
Reid and/or offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg did not call a running play between 7:26 remaining in the third and 3:48 remaining in the game. That meant 15 successive pass plays, if you were keeping score at home, then a designed pass on which McNabb took off because everyone was covered on third-and-9 from his 21. He went out of bounds at the 26, well short of the first down. The next possession began with a 3-yard Brian Westbrook run.
As you might imagine among the first questions that Andy Reid was asked about Monday in his day-after news conference was the run-pass imbalance.
“I would probably have run it a couple more times,” Reid said.
Yes, and the captain of the Titanic could have steered around that iceberg.
“We were backed up, trying to make some things happen. We took some shots in there. At the time, we weren’t running it quite as effectively as we would have liked to. I could have stuck to it a little more.”
Asked what made him think the run game was not working when Westbrook averaged 4.1 yards in the first half, Reid said: “We started off throwing the football. We were backed up trying to make some things happen that way. We would have liked to have run it a few more times.”
Reid said the Redskins had an eight-man front for the majority of the time on first and second down.
Good thing the Cowboys didn't have an eight-man front Saturday night against Baltimore -- the Ravens would never have run for those two late touchdowns. What's that? They did put eight in the box? Didn't John Harbaugh know he wasn't allowed to run in that situation? Where did he learn the game, anyway?
“I think they were willing to put that extra guy up in there and keep him very close to the line of scrimmage,” Reid said. “Whether it was missing wide receivers or not, I don’t know that. Heck, we had opportunities to make plays and we didn’t.”
Asked if he felt like he was answering the same questions after every loss about the same shortcomings, Reid attempted some humor:
“Yeah, you guys aren’t very creative.”
Among those issues other than the run-pass imbalance were:
* Field position: “A good football team takes care of that,” Reid said.
* Third downs: Offensively we were just a poor team. We just can’t do that.”
* Dropped passes: “We had chances down the stretch to put points on the board and we didn’t take advantage of it. Too many drops, too many errors in particular.”
“With all that said, I have the players coming in here today. There is still light at the end of the tunnel,” Reid said. “Obviously ,everybody wants to get to the playoffs. We still have that opportunity. It’s important that we knock this film out today, be very critical of ourselves, study it and analyze it and come back Wednesday and be ready to go.”
Overall, the news conference could have been summed up by the following graphic: