The Inside Slant for Week 16

The Eagles have been hurting themselves with penalties, but even though Andy Reid is frustrated, he understands why a lot of those penalties have been happening. Plus, Reid defends Mike McMahon and sticks with him for the season finale against Washington.

The Eagles' penchant for penalties continues to frustrate coach Andy Reid. The Eagles have racked up more than 100 yards in penalties in each of their last three games. They've been flagged for 90 or more penalty yards in five of their last seven games.

During last year's Super Bowl run, the Eagles had just one 100-yard penalty game and two 90-yard games.

"Some are a lack of concentration, like offsides and illegal procedure," Reid said. "Those are a lack of concentration. Some others have been the result of aggressive play. Sometimes too aggressive."

"The aggressive penalties I can live with, but the concentration ones have to stop. There's no excuse for them."

Four of the Eagles' 10 penalties in Saturday's 27-21 loss to the Cardinals were false-start penalties. Noise hardly was a contributing factor in quiet and near empty Sun Devil Stadium.

Reid's offensive line, which is missing its season-opening starting center and left tackle, has been guilty of many of the "concentration" penalties. Second-year right guard Shawn Andrews had two false-start penalties against the Cardinals.

In the last five games, the Eagles' offensive line has committed 22 penalties.

Meanwhile, Mike McMahon had another poor game Saturday, completing just 12 of 33 passes against the Cardinals and throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. It was his sixth interception in the last four games and the third interception returned for a TD. McMahon has completed 50 percent of his passes in just one of his six starts, yet Andy Reid is sticking with McMahon and won't make a quarterback change for Sunday's final regular-season game against Washington.

"He's made some mistakes," Reid said. "But everybody around him, myself included, needs to pick up their games. It gets pointed at him, but it's not all him."

Week 16 Report Card

PASSING OFFENSE: F The offensive line did a poor job of dealing with the Arizona blitz, but even when Mike McMahon did have time, he couldn't complete passes. He completed just 12 of 33 passes and had an interception returned for a touchdown by LB Karlos Dansby.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F The Eagles might've had a little more luck in the passing game if they had been able to get the Cardinals to respect the run. But that never happened. Rookie Ryan Moats, who was pretty impressive in the past two games, was held to 13 yards on nine carries.

PASS DEFENSE: F The Eagles' pass defense, which has struggled all season, couldn't stop the one-dimensional Cardinals, allowing Josh McCown to complete 71 percent of his passes. Pro Bowl FS Brian Dawkins blew a coverage to that left Anquan Boldin wide open for one of McCown's two touchdown passes.

RUSH DEFENSE: B At least the Eagles didn't become the first team to allow the Cardinals to rush for 100 yards this season, holding them to 75 yards on 32 carries.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus Rookie Bruce Perry made the most of his first opportunity to return kickoffs, taking one back 49 yards and averaging 31.7 per return. Dexter Wynn had a 27-yard punt return. The coverage units again were solid.

COACHING: F Getting a team that's out of the playoffs up for a Christmas Eve game against a bad team on the other side of the country is a difficult job. Andy Reid didn't come anywhere close to accomplishing it.


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