Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Andy Reid Lite? Say it ain't so, Doug

Here is something that rookie Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and his rookie phenom QB Carson Wentz have NOT done, that Cowboys rookie signal caller Dak Prescott HAS done.

They have yet to win a close game.

The Eagles have played seven games.

They handily beat the Browns and Bears, then dominated the Steelers before coming off the bye and coughing up a late lead in losing to the Lions, then being man-handled by the Redskins. They got back on track by mauling the Vikings, but then blew that 10-point lead against the Cowboys.

The Eagles - Pederson and Wentz included - had the ball and the opportunity to win against the Lions, Redskins and Cowboys, but each time they have come up empty.

That is part of the reason Pederson found himself being second-guessed at his Monday day-after press conference for his tactics late in the loss to the Cowboys.

Specifically, Pederson was grilled about a third-down call with about 7 minutes left in the game. A swing pass to Darren Sproles with the Eagles sitting in field goal range did the one thing you can't afford to do in that instance. It lost six yards.

Despite the fact that red-hot Caleb Sturgis had hit from 55 just before halftime (he actually had to kick it twice after being iced by a Cowboys timeout), Pederson instead decided to play it safe and put the game in the hands of his defense.

Prescott promptly marched the Cowboys 90 yards for the tying TD.

But Pederson also saw his defense stiffen and have the Cowboys in third and a bunch with about 40 seconds left in the game. But instead of using his timeouts and forcing a punt to the dangerous Sproles, he allowed the Cowboys to simply run out the clock and hed to overtime.

Wentz also has had the ball in his hands with the game on the line, and has yet to direct the kind of drive he watched Prescott orchestrate twice Monday night, once to tie the game, and after taking the kickoff in OT, when the Cowboys never gave Wentz and the Eagles a chance to get the ball back.

I like Pederson so far. And I love Wentz.

But even I can admit some of Pederson's tactics Monday night smacked of Andy Reid. That is one of the reasons so many fans were initially turned off when Pederson got the job. A lot of people believed we were getting Andy Reid Lite with the former Chiefs' assistant.

That's certainly how it looked Monday night.

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