Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta Falcons’

City of Atlanta Top 5 Sports Meltdowns

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

by Gus Griffin






HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05:  Devonta Freeman #24 of the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Bosher #5 react after losing to the New England Patriots 34-28 during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Devonta Freeman #24 of the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Bosher #5 react after losing to the New England Patriots 34-28 during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Honorable mention: 1981 Falcons had a 2-touchdown, 4th quarter lead on the Cowboys at home in the NFC playoffs, only to give up 20 4th quarter points and lose 30-27.


Honorable mention: 2012 Falcons blow a 17-point lead at home in the NFC championship game, losing to the San Francisco 49ers


5) Twins outlast Braves in 7 games of the 1991 World Series on Jack Morris’ 10-inning, 1-0 shutout

ATL #5
4) 1996 Braves bring a 2-0 World Series lead over the “Stankees” back to Atlanta and proceed to lose 4 straight, as the defending champs

ATL #4


3) 1998 Falcons lose Super Bowl XXXIII to the Denver Broncos after their safety and NFL Man of the Year gets busted in a prostitution sting on South Beach in Miami, the night before the game

ATL #3


2) After winning game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semis in Boston, the 1988 Hawks bring a 3-2 lead back to Atlanta, only to lose in game 6 and then game 7 in Boston, overshadowing one of the greatest basketball duels ever, between Dominique Wilkins and Larry Bird

ATL #2



And the top Atlanta Sports meltdown of all time is……you know. LOL


Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports

Why Tom Brady is NOT the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time)

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

by Gus Griffin







Tom Brady is a beast: a straight up mercenary of NFL defenses.


Don’t give me all the Spygate, Deflategate, or any other gate asterisks. As much as I would like to cite these factors as the reason he has tormented my Steelers so much, it just does not stand up to scrutiny.


Before the spying was revealed in 2007, the Patriots were 4-1 with him under center, including two playoff wins in Pittsburgh, against my Steelers. His touchdown to interception ratio was 7:3 and his QB rating was 97.9. Pretty damn good, right?


Since the spying was revealed, the Patriots are 5-1 with Brady under center, including scoring 55 points against my team in 2013, most ever against a Pittsburgh team. His TD/Interception ratio is 19:0 and his QB rating is 127.3.


No typos there, folks.


If they were spying before, I wish they would go back to spying today.


He is indeed on my Mount Rushmore of NFL quarterbacks.

The case here isn’t that he is not on the shortlist of greatest of all time. Only that he is not THE greatest of all time, and that isn’t as much due to him as it is us. The primary thing we use to put Brady over say Aaron Rogers is Super Bowl rings. Why is that flawed? Because the “how many rings you got?” is the most superficial and intellectually lazy argument in sports.


If it’s all about the rings, then Jim Plunkett and Doug Williams were both better than Dan Fouts, right? Mark Rypien and Trent Dilfer were better than Dan Marino, right? Of course not, GTFOHWTBS!!!!


Likewise, Tom Brady is not better than Aaron Rogers or Joe Montana, just as Bill Russell was not better than Wilt Chamberlain or Mickey Mantle was not better than Willie Mays.


Football is the ultimate team sport. So how silly is it that we assign credit for winning Super Bowls to one position in these debates? Brady has been instrumental in the Patriots great run. He has not won Super Bowls by himself.


And even if we were inclined to credit him based on individual performances, Brady has been a shadow of his regular season self in the Super Bowls. Consider them one by one: against the Rams he was still in the game manager mold. His MVP in that game was as much based on sports writers’ anti-kicker and defense bias as it was Brady’s performance. Everyone knows Vinatieri was as or more valuable in that game. Against the Panthers he threw 3 interceptions. In other words, he kept both teams in the game.


Against the Eagles, Deion Branch won MVP. Any time a receiver, not named Jerry Rice, wins Super Bowl MVP, it’s an indictment of the QB performance. And don’t let me start on who the real MVP was that game, playing on a barely-heeled broken leg. Hint: the writers are still dissing him in HOF voting and his initials are T.O.!


Granted he torched Seattle, arguably the best defense that he has faced in any Super Bowl. But we all know that but for the worst call in football history (not just NFL but AFL, USFL, College, and High School), the Patriots don’t beat Seattle and Brady would be a .500 QB in Super Bowls going into tonight’s game. As a matter of fact, both he and Belichick are a few plays here and there from being 0-6 in SB’s.


By contrast, Joe Montana’s TD/Interception ratio in 4 Super Bowls is 11:0! That too, is not a typo.


So win or lose tonight, Tom Brady is not the greatest QB of all time.


Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports


Monday, January 23rd, 2017

by Nwaji Jibunoh

Nwaji Blog





Falcons head coach Dan Quinn gets the infamous Gatorade bath.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn gets the infamous Gatorade bath.

The date was January 17, 1999. I was in the West Towers Dormitory of Howard University. It was my sophomore year and The Atlanta Falcons had risen as the formidable force in the NFC. They had beaten the 49ers and were coming off a regular season 14-2 and were getting ready to go up against The No.1 seeded Vikings. The game went back and forth and The Vikings were keen on showing why they were pretty much unstoppable that season. When the game went into overtime, I felt as though this might be it. Two plays later and that man [Morten] Andersen kicked a FG that sent the Dirty Birds to the Super Bowl. “Elation” cannot explain the feeling I experienced until that elation quickly turned into despair only 2 weeks later, when the Falcons got a hiding at the hands of John Elway. Very painful…..let’s move on.

After that Super Bowl, the Dirty Birds became a regular NFL team that really didn’t accomplish much. We went from season to season just coasting along and remaining relevant in the NFL. It wasn’t until we drafted Michael Vick in 2001 that we began to see a resurgence of Atlanta magic at the Georgia Dome. Those years of having a deeply athletic elite QB made a big difference in some foundation work of where the Falcons would eventually end up. Then, the dog fight situation happened (grrrr), Vick gets suspended, and then we get a number 3 draft pick with Matt Ryan in 2008.

When Ryan joined the Falcons, I was optimistic given what he had done at Boston College. Since he joined, The Falcons have been to the playoffs 5 times where Matt was only able to record 1 win. Matt Ryan went from “Matty Ice” to “Matty can’t win in January”. 2012 was promising because we saw the Falcons go 13-3 in the regular season and then make it to the Conference Championship Game, only to be ousted by the San Francisco 49ers, even though the Falcons started off the game 17-0.

From that point up until now, we have barely broken .500 and not even gone to the playoffs. Last season, long time coach Mike Smith was replaced by Dan Quinn; a no nonsense thoroughbred Defensive coach that came up through the Seattle system. Immediately we saw a turnaround in the way the team played by starting out the 2015-2016 season 5-0, only to be hampered by injuries, bad situations on penalties costing us vital plays, and overall sloppiness. The season ended 8-8 and most fans were wondering what next and how do we build on these mistakes.

2016 started out promising.  Flashes of the previous season prevailed in certain games, but it wasn’t until the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in November that we began to see the Falcons firing on all cylinders, only losing one game from that point up until now, making it a 7-game winning streak going into the Super Bowl.

The last two games of the playoffs have been nothing short of a phenomenal display of the ability of this team. Beating teams with powerhouse quarterbacks such as [Russell] Wilson and [Aaron] Rogers shows just how far and how prepared this quad is. The offensive weaponry at the disposal of Matt Ryan justifies why he leads the league in touchdowns to several different receivers. Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu Jr are having epic seasons and the ground game controlled by [Tevin] Coleman and [Devonta] Freeman are just gems to watch. Then you have the mostly rookie defense who get stronger by the day.

All in all, it has been a fairytale story for the Falcons. From relative obscurity to playing in the Super Bowl for the second time in their history remains remarkable for fans like me that were introduced to this franchise via association, by living in the city.

Sunday, February 5th, the Dirty Birds will have the opportunity to take us back to the days of Jamal Anderson and the antics that defined the Dirty Bird, but this time flying away sky high in Texas.


Nwaji Jibunoh, International Correspondent for War Room Sports

Located in Lagos, Nigeria, Nwaji Jibunoh is War Room Sports’ International Soccer Contributor.  Nwaji also contributes commentary on U.S. sports from an international perspective.  He’s an Atlanta Falcons fan, Howard University alum, and former tight end for the North Atlanta High School Warriors.

Philadelphia Eagles MNF season opener in Atlanta headlines 2015 schedule

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog






There are still five long months to endure until football is back, but hope arrived in the form of the Philadelphia Eagles 2015 schedule release on Tuesday evening.

The season starts for the Birds with the Monday Night Football opener on September 14 at Atlanta. The thrill of a new season continues to soar when the Eagles meet the Cowboys in Week 2 for the home opener at the Linc.

Philadelphia’s next meeting with a divisional foe comes on the road in Washington on October 4. The first game against the Giants comes on October 19 at home in another Monday night matchup. Philadelphia’s season will end against the Giants on January 4 at the Meadowlands.

Anticipation is on high for Chip Kelly’s third season with the Eagles, as evidenced by the fact that the team will be featured on national broadcasts no less than six times: Week 1 (at Atlanta) and Week 6 (vs. Giants) on Monday Night Football; Week 7 (at Carolina) and Week 9 (at Dallas) on Sunday Night Football; a Thanksgiving Day feast at the Lions in Week 12; and Week 16 (vs. Redskins) on the NFL Network. 

The NFC East matchups will be filled with emotion, but a few other games also leap out as being heated battles. Namely, Week 13′s game against the Super Bowl winning (bleah) Patriots at New England. Immediately following is the Week 14 contest against the Bills at the Linc, or the return of Shady McCoy to his former home. It’s always good when it’s personal.

Fansided calls the Eagles 2015 schedule the 3rd toughest in the league. Philadelphia has their work cut out for them this year regardless of who they face, with a number of key pieces, especially at quarterback, that will need to step up and perform quickly. There remain many unknowns, but with the schedule release this week and the draft finally arrive next week, critical pieces of the puzzle have slowly started to fall in place.

What do you think of the Eagles 2015 schedule?

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

5 NFL Draft Prospects that can help the Atlanta Falcons back to the postseason

Friday, November 29th, 2013

by Christian Roberts

The Falcons have surprised everyone this year. Not by how good they are, but how awful they are so far this season. With a 2-9 record, the playoffs are a no-go this year for a team that is a year removed from playing in the NFC championship game.
With help needed on both sides of the ball, here’s a list of 5 NFL draft prospects that can help lead the Falcons back to playoff contention.

1. South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
The ultra talented defensive end isn’t having as explosive of a year as last season, but he is still going to be one of the prizes of the 2014 NFL Draft. Equally great against the pass and run, Clowney is sure to be a game-changer at the next level. If not for Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Clowney might be the consensus number 1 overall pick. The Falcons are in a great position to add an elite player to an already talented team. Clowney would start from day 1 for Atlanta, and immediately upgrade a putrid defensive line.

2. Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews
Like the defensive line of the Falcons, the offensive line desperately needs talent on it. Matthews is good at protecting the passer but his strong suit is run blocking; something he is terrific at. This would help Atlanta find some kind of running game and open up holes to run through. The Texas A&M tackle is the cream of the crop in this year’s offensive line class. Atlanta would welcome him with open arms.

3. UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
Barr is somewhat of a “raw” prospect. This is only his 2nd year playing on the defensive side of the ball, and simply put, he is a force to be reckoned with. With rare speed for a linebacker, Barr causes havoc for offensive linemen. He is also very strong, something you would not think because of his lean 6’4 frame. He would be to Atlanta’s 4-3 defense what Von Miller is to the Broncos 4-3 defense. If Clowney is off the board when the Falcons pick, Barr should be at the top of their big board. His only downfall is he relies too much on his ridiculous athletic ability to make plays. Once he works on his technique more, sky’s the limit for this kid. He would give the Falcons a pass rush they have been desperately searching for, for years now. This is a terrific fit.

4. Michigan OT Taylor Lewan
In the case Jake Matthews from Texas A&M is gone, Lewan is their guy. With great size at 6’7″, 315 pounds, he was built to play Left Tackle. Long arms and quick feet also make him an elite offensive line prospect. He has to learn to play with his head in the game more, to negate all the penalties he gets called for. Once he does that, no doubt in my mind he will be a great Left Tackle at the next level. Matt Ryan would love to drop back knowing this big guy is protecting his blindside.

5. Alabama FS Hasean Clinton-Dix
Clearly the best safety in this class, this guy has all the makings of a ball-hawk at the next level. With great hands and closing speed, Clinton-Dix would be an immediate upgrade to the safety position for the “dirty birds”. Like alot of young safeties, he tends to get stuck on blockers, and he needs to work on his tackling ability. He does need to get stronger. Neither is too big of a concern and can be worked on with good coaching. Ed Reed wasn’t the greatest tackler coming out of “The U” either.

Christian Roberts of Sportz Overtime, for War Room Sports


Monday, January 14th, 2013

by Nwaji Jibunoh







It is approximately 2:15am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and the pre game show is about to begin.  An alarm blares as a certain fan is forced to wake up from that early morning slumber, run to the refrigerator to get an ice cold beverage, a light snack, and then turn on the TV; but not too loud for fear of awakening others in that household who may be fast asleep.  For the next almost 3 hours, with only friends stateside to talk thrash with via Facebook, an NFL fan is engrossed from half way across the world in the 2013 playoffs.

This is the typical situation that anyone living on this side of the pond (Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East), must go through in order to enjoy the playoffs live and not a broadcast delay the following day when you will pretty much have got the full synopsis of the game by the time the replay comes on.

Football, or better classified as “American Football”, has never been as popular as the other American export Basketball for numerous reasons.  The main reason is that a lot of schools in this part of the world don’t have Football programs due to lack of interest and facilities, whereas basketball is quite popular because it is a lot easier to erect a few baskets than it is to buy football equipment.  And with basketball being played as a global sport during the Olympics, the rest of the world pretty much understands, appreciates, and loves that particular “American” sport.

However, over the last 10 years with the globalization of ESPN and FOX Sports, there has been a huge introduction of American Football to the rest of the world.  With such coverage, you will always find keen sports fans willing to learn something new and have a new team to support.  For most people in the States, they support teams based on a particular affinity to either the city the franchise belongs to or certain players.  The rest of the world has several different approaches to selecting favorite NFL teams.  You ask the majority of Europeans, Africans, or Asians who have never lived or schooled in the United States who their favorite team is, they will either say the New England Patriots or the New York Giants.  The reason being is that in the last 10 years, these are the two teams that have featured prominently in the Superbowl finals.  And of course, with Tom Brady being married to one of the hottest women in the world, people kind of flock towards the Pats.  In addition to that, a lot of new NFL watchers are starting to enjoy the sheer athleticism of the game and also the depth of technical coaching involved.  The world’s most popular sport; Soccer, does not have as many playbooks or as many coaches as football does.  This peaks a lot of curiosity into how the game is played and how every yard/inch/route/block counts for a victory or a loss.

This year, I have seen a heightened interest amongst sports watchers over the playoffs.  Since leaving the United States in 2004, I have not witnessed as much interest in the playoffs from die-hard soccer fans as I am witnessing this year.  ESPN International has spent a lot of marketing dollars hyping up certain players/rivalries/legacies/Cinderella stories to the point that folks over here just want to see how everything pans out.  There are the traditional Patriots fans, and then amazingly there are Ravens fans all over the place.  This is primarily due to people falling in love with Ray Lewis after seeing him do his intro dance, and of course the whole story with this being his curtain call.  It is all getting very exciting and I sincerely hope to see more people hosting those early morning Superbowl parties like I have been doing for a long time now.

It is interesting to see the sport grow to the level it is now.  It is also interesting to see little minor leagues pop up here and there with flag football tournaments.

With enough time, interest, and understanding of the game, I do believe that the NFL will gain as much popularity as basketball, showcasing how every sport has the potential to truly be a global game.


Nwaji Jibunoh, International Correspondent for War Room Sports

Located in Lagos, Nigeria, Nwaji Jibunoh is War Room Sports’ International Soccer Contributor.  Nwaji also contributes commentary on U.S. sports from an international perspective.  He’s an Atlanta Falcons fan, Howard University alum, and former tight end for the North Atlanta High School Warriors.

Tough Questions Face the Philadelphia Eagles After MNF Loss to New Orleans Saints

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





LeSean McCoy ran for 119 yards in Monday night’s game but his efforts weren’t enough to help his team overcome defeat.
(Photo via the Philadelphia Eagles)

Nothing like a Monday Night Football embarrassment.  The Philadelphia Eagles could only assemble 13 points against the worst defense in the league.  The Birds notched 447 yards of offense and yet only came out of the game with 13 points.

Where do you go from here?

The Philadelphia Eagles have now fallen to 3-5  in the 28-13 loss  to the New Orleans Saints with absolutely no signs of improvement in sight.  The fourth straight lost for the Birds.

Mike Tirico called it, “The night of the red zone nightmare.”  And that about sums it up.  The turnover issues returned, and in the red zone, no less.

The offense was 0-5 in the red zone.  Mike Vick was sacked 7 times.  The offensive line got even worse when Todd Herremans left the game early with an ankle injury and Demetress Bell put in an absolutely atrocious performance at right tackle.

On defense, Eagles fans may be wondering if Juan Castillo is available to return as coordinator as things on that side of the ball were a mess once again.  Getting pressure on Brees was absolutely essential this game, so of course the D did as little of that as possible, though Jason Babin and Brandon Graham had a sack a piece.  The secondary, the unit that now-defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was brought in to the team to coach, was as it has been for much of the season – a problem.

Andy Reid said that Mike Vick would be the quarterback next week against Dallas, and why not?  Nick Foles would get killed behind that line.  Heck, it’s a miracle that Vick has lasted this long.

So what now?

The last game the Eagles won was on September 30 against the New York Giants.  More than a month without a win.  It’s astounding.

Andy Reid’s postgame presser showed a man who no longer believes his words but is desperately trying to put on a brave face.  Mike Vick seemed shell-shocked.  Brandon Graham expressed utter frustration at wanting to save his coach’s job and play a good season to honor Garrett Reid but having no idea what’s going wrong.

The Eagles’ loss rounds out a complete week of suckitude around the NFC East, with each and every team in the division suffering defeat.  That at least means that the Giants haven’t been able to increase their lead over the Eagles.  Up next for Philadelphia are the Cowboys at home, an always-intense battle.  If the Birds suffer an embarrassing loss to Dallas at the Linc, the boos heard against Atlanta in Week 8 will seem soft as lullabies.

It’s clear that no one knows how to fix the problems with the Eagles because if they did, the issues wouldn’t keep reappearing.  They would be fixed by now.  Maybe there won’t be the dramatic wave of changes this week as many have predicted if the Eagles lost in New Orleans.  Perhaps the team is resigned to the reality of their woeful and habitual under-performance.  And maybe we all have to face the fact there are no more excuses – this is just not a good football team.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Inside the Players-Only Meeting: Will it Save the Philadelphia Eagles?

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





On three!
(Image via

With each loss, the issues grew more pressing for the Philadelphia Eagles: where was the leadership?

In the first loss following a bye week in the Andy Reid era, the team accomplished the appalling feat of getting worse instead of better.

Where was the leadership?  Players hung their heads in shame and vacated the locker room quickly.  But there was a strange detachment to the third consecutive loss on the part of Eagles players, it seemed.

LeSean McCoy came out and said what every fan and casual observer alike was thinking.

“How we played, how the game ended, I didn’t see any pride.  I didn’t see any heart.  This is the whole team, myself included.  We didn’t get it done today.”

Three straight losses and no fire.  A new defensive coordinator and no improvement.  An embattled head coach and yet they continued to show little fight.  What could save this Eagles team?

For the first time this season, a players-only meeting was held on Wednesday.  According to Yahoo! Sports,

“meeting was productive even though it was not always pleasant.  Players implored each other to talk amongst themselves, man-to-man, rather than go straight to the media.”

Which, of course, meant that an unknown player on the defensive ran to the media to give his perspective on the meeting and the team’s situation.

“Mike ain’t the problem.  Look, we all know he’s struggling.  That ain’t some secret.  But we’re not helping him and that’s the problem.  The defense isn’t helping him, the offensive line isn’t helping him.  None of us.  We all gotta help each other and that’s what we talked about.”

The unnamed player continued,

“This ain’t time to be throwing people to the street.  We already had that with [Castillo’s firing] and that didn’t work,” the defensive player said, referring to a 30-17 home loss to Atlanta in the first game after Castillo’s dismissal.  “We gotta hang together.”

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie didn’t hide behind anonymity.  Typically a quiet presence in the locker room, he felt that the meeting was an important opportunity to speak up.

“Yeah, because I don’t really say much.  I’m not into the talking game.  I just believe in going out and playing ball, regardless of what goes on.  Not a lot to be said.”

DRC knows that times are serious and that his teammates needed to hear his voice.

“It was a team thing.  I’m part of a team.  So I felt like if I speak, guys would listen.  I didn’t speak on much; I just said, ‘Let’s just play ball and see where that gets us.’”

Other players who reportedly spoke up in the meeting were Vick, Trent Cole, Jeremy Maclin, Cullen Jenkins, DeMeco Ryans and Jason Avant.

Will the meeting and the man-to-man discussions make a difference on Monday Night Football in New Orleans?  For a Philadelphia team all out of answers, it must.  With the level of dysfunction on this team, if the record falls to 3-5 things will be torn apart at the NovaCare – including a change at the quarterback position – and the chances for victory will diminish even further.  Half the season will remain, but the outlook is bleak if the Birds don’t even up their record at the Superdome.

Perhaps now isn’t the time to throw people on the street, to paraphrase the unknown player, but with a loss in New Orleans it will happen again.  The Philadelphia Eagles are playing to save their season, their quarterback and their coach.  Is the burden too much to bear?  We’ll find out on Monday night.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports


Report: Mike Vick, Philadelphia Eagles Assistant Coaches at Odds

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





Pointing to the increasing levels of drama and dysfunction on the Philadelphia Eagles team, there have been more meetings than usual at the NovaCare these days.  This week saw the first players-only meeting of the season as well as an unusually long meeting between Andy Reid and Mike Vick a few days following the quarterback’s comments acknowledging the possibility of being benched.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that

“Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and coach Andy Reid had a particularly long one-on-one meeting this week to help clear the air about a number of issues, two team sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The sources indicated that the meeting, which occurred a few days after Vick publicly suggested he might be benched, was extremely productive.  Ultimately, Reid came to the conclusion that he might have lost his players psychologically had he benched Vick.”

Cole also revealed a nugget that provides some insight into what led to Vick’s surprising comments on Sunday.

“One of the internal issues was tension between Vick and the coaching staff, with the quarterback believing some of the assistant coaches were pushing to have him benched, according to a source familiar with the situation.  After the loss to Atlanta, Vick said he thought he could be benched in favor of rookie Nick Foles.”

A team divided cannot succeed.  This, in so many ways, is the battle the Eagles are desperately fighting.  Beating opponents on the field each week is essential, but so too is understanding and overcoming the obstacles that are leading this team to defeating itself week after week.

A lack of discipline.  No leadership.  In-fighting and back-biting.  It certainly isn’t a recipe for success.

At the halfway point of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles have a lot to prove.  Once again the Birds have not delivered on lofty expectations for the team.  Monday Night in New Orleans the Eagles must prove that they can put together a win.  This team has many doubters, and at this point they need to prove to themselves more than anyone else that they have the fire to reclaim their season.  Because if this team stops believing in itself, there’s no coming back.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Why Benching Mike Vick Won’t Fix the Philadelphia Eagles

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





Everyone must stand alone.

For anyone who watched the Philadelphia Eagles’ third straight loss on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons,  it was clear that the game was lost overwhelmingly because of the pitiful showing by the team’s defense.

However, on Monday, the headlines surrounding the game were dominated by talk of benching quarterback Mike Vick.

The Eagles’ offense was certainly not stellar in the game, as has been the case all season.  They played it safe, and that paid off in terms of having no turnovers.  Vick’s numbers for the day, in the wind and rain that signaled the start of Hurricane Sandy, were 21 out of 35 passes for 191 passing and 42 rushing yards.

Nothing tremendous, but — pardon the pun — passable.

What was abhorrent was the play of the defense.  The first game for defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is one he wishes could be re-done.  In the 30-17 loss, the defense simply could not stop the Falcons offense.  It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that the D finally stopped Atlanta from scoring on a drive.  Prior to that, the Falcons had gotten points on the board from every single possession in the game.

The Eagles D finally broke its drought on quarterback sacks (one each by Cullen Jenkins and Cedric Thornton) but still could not bring pressure to Matt Ryan.  The secondary was woeful, with more questions about Nnamdi Asomugha’s value to the team versus that of his contract swirling more than ever before.  Prior to the game, the Falcons had little rushing game to speak of.  However, running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Michael Turner were able to combine for 118 yards on the ground.

It was a failure in every way possible for the Philadelphia Eagles defense.  But somehow, the focus is on Mike Vick.

Andy Reid has once again helped to spark the questions and controversy, saying that he would evaluate everything closely to decide if a change is needed at QB.  That seems to be a constant state of affairs in Philadelphia these days.  But what is more disturbing are Vick’s comments on the situation.

“Obviously he’s thinking about making a change at the quarterback position. The thing I do know, and I’ll go and watch the film and I’ll evaluate myself, is that I’m giving us every opportunity to win.  I’m trying my hardest.  Some things don’t go right when I want them to.  Some things do.  So if that’s a decision that coach wants to make, then I support it.”

When your quarterback’s confidence begins to publicly waiver, you’re in trouble.  Vick’s unquestioning belief in himself at times this season has been maddening, but it’s a swagger that you need in the star athlete you’re expecting to lead your team day in and day out.  For the first time, cracks in Vick’s armor revealed themselves on Sunday and more than a lack of confidence, Vick revealed what seems to be a problem for this Eagles team as a whole.

They are at an utter and complete loss as to what to do to get better and how to do it.  That goes from head coach Andy Reid on down to the players.

That’s a problem.

The Eagles clearly have no idea how to fix the issues the plague them and the most damning sign of all is the fact that the team now seems to be getting worse.  When players were asked following the game what the problem was, no one had an answer.  They hung their heads and mumbled.  And neither firing Juan Castillo nor having their behinds handed to them at that Linc seems to have motivated this team.  So we’re  now left with a collection of lost men.

Time to panic after one bad game?  No, but we’re not talking about a single contest.  The team has played poorly all season, and after three straight losses they look worse than ever.

Ironically, the defense wasn’t the problem this season and yet Castillo was fired.  Following that pattern, I suppose benching Vick is the solution that would follow for this team.  Because it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

The Philadelphia Eagles are a team imploding before our eyes.  They’ve lost faith in themselves and they appear to be a team without answers.  At some point you’d hope that the Birds would stand up and fight to prove that they are as good as so many, including myself, believe they are and can be.  But it appears that they can’t.  Or, even worse, that they just don’t want to.

This team wants an easy fix.  Pointing the finger at Vick is simple.  Turning the finger at themselves collectively?  It seems to be something that Philadelphia is incapable of doing.

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports