Five Reasons Why The Eagles Lost

Anytime a team loses, it's possible to look back and find reasons for the loss. Saturday night's loss to the Saints had some glaring reasons that are hard to ignore.

1. Not going for it on fourth-and-15.
Andy Reid said it in his post-game press conference. "In hindsight, I guess maybe we should have [gone for it], because we didn't get the ball back. I thought we would be able to get the ball back."

It's one of the decisions that coaches have to make in tight spots. The problem with this decision is that there was no reason to think that the Defense would be able to make the Saints go three-and-out, since Deuce McAllister was tearing apart the Eagles' defense. Having the Saints repeat an earlier mistake and do something stupid like call a little toss to Reggie Bush wasn't very likely, either.

That was a call that Reid simply blew and it was a bad call even without using the benefit of hindsight.

2. The injury to Shane Andrews.
Nothing against Scott Young, but he's no Shane Andrews. While he played well, a serious mistake on the fourth-and-ten play put the Eagles in the situation where Reid made his bad call.

It was somewhat ironic that the Eagles had dealt well with the noise in the Superdome all game long until that moment. It was clearly the noise that led Young to jump on the play, negating a beautifully executed pass that had given the Eagles a first down. If there was any one play that turned things around, that was it.

3. The slow start.
Once again, the Eagles came out weak. They were unable to do anything through the first quarter, which was a trademark of this team. They were able to overcome it against the Giants a week earlier, but couldn't do the same against New Orleans.

On the plus side, the defense played well early and kept New Orleans at bay.

4. Spotty run defense.
While it wasn't their worst performance against the run this season, the Eagles just weren't able to provide answers to Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush. After going through a stretch during the regular season where they couldn't stop anybody who was running with a football, the defense had stepped up and improved against the run. Last week, they pretty well managed Tiki Barber, but the combination of McAllister and Bush was too much. The two combined for 195 yards against the Eagles defense or 105 yards more than the combo gained in the first meeting of these two teams.

5. An injured secondary.
The Eagles missed Lito Sheppard. Drew Brees was able to complete 20-of-32 passes and wasn't intercepted and that was without Joe Horn. It was up to the defensive line to get pressure on Brees and while they did sack him three times, it wasn't enough and the reason is because the secondary didn't have the type of coverage on the Saints receivers that they have been able to provide against other teams this season.

Granted, Brees had a slightly more impressive game the first time the two teams played, throwing for three touchdowns, but he was also picked off twice.


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