Philadelphia Eagles At Mid-Season: Grade F
Philadelphia Eagles struggling once again at 3-5 in middle of NFL season.
It seems like a full season already. But the NFL season is only half over for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Are they dead yet? At 3-5, it's getting close. They're probably on life support and hanging by a thread.
One ray of hope: The New York Giants finished at 9-7 last year and won the Super Bowl.
Yeah, I know. Keep dreaming.
So far, it's best to say the first half was a nightmare for the Birds and their fans. The Birds start the second half Sunday at home against the rival Dallas Cowboys.
So let's hand out the grades to the players and coaches for their efforts -- or lack of effort -- in a season that everyone hoped would turn around after a disappointing 8-8 season last year.
MVP: It's really hard to pick a player. You'd probably have to go with running back LeSean McCoy. (More on him later.)
Head Coach Andy Reid: F
Reid just doesn't seem on top of his game this year. After 14 years, the greatest coach in team history may be spending his last year on the sidelines. He's losing his team and fan support.
Other Coaches: F
Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo was dismissed. But the defense has regressed under Todd Bowles the past two weeks. Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has been a disaster calling plays. Howard Mudd has watched his offensive line fall apart from injuries. Special Teams Coach Bobby April has had better years. And Defensive line coach Jim Washburn has his unit doing absolutely nothing with the Wide Nine looking like "Why 9?"
Give Michael Vick credit for hanging in there. He's made it through eight games bruised and battered. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking. But it's hard to make plays from your back, where Vick has stayed for most of the first half.
Running Back: B
Shady McCoy can still look like Barry Sanders when he sees daylight. Despite any offensive line protection, McCoy turns losses into gains. He got so angry last Monday against the New Orleans Saints that he wanted to carry the team on his back. Rookie backup Bryce Brown is impressive, especially with his 40-yard run against the Saints. He's ready to burst out.
Wide Receivers: C
DeSean Jackson is earning his contract extension. DeJax in the open field is still exciting. He can make it happen once the ball gets into his hands. He should be returning punts. Maybe that will happen in the second half. Jeremy Maclin has been a major disappointment. He looked like having Pro Bowl potential, but has mainly been a bust this year. Slot receiver Jason Avant is sturdy. He makes key catches on key third downs. It's nice to have Riley Cooper back from injury. He might have some impact in the second half.
Offensive Line: F
Where do you start? Losing All-World Tackle Jason Peters to injury during the off-season killed this unit. When center Jason Kelce went down, so did the leader of the O-Line. King Dunlap has been hurt at times filling in for Peters. Right tackle Todd Herremans is now out for season. Guard Evan Mathis is the only starter left right now. First-round pick Danny Watkins has been a stiff and tackle Demetrius Bell should be cut immediately.
Defensive Line: F
Ughh!!! Defensive ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole are useless. They can't get any penetration in this Wide Nine. Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins is getting the job done. End Brandon Graham has improved. Rookie Fletcher Cox has looked good at times too. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson is returning from injury. Would be nice to see rookie Vinny Curry hit the field.
Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans has had good games and some where you don't even know he's on the field. Rookie Michael Kendricks started strong but is slumping lately. At weakside, Aikeem Jordan is better suited for special teams.
High-priced cornerbacks Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha are just awful. They can't cover well and take too many penalties, if they aren't burned on plays. You see safeties Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen making so many tackles because no one else is. Give rookie David Sims some more time on the field. He seemed to make all of the tackles in Monday night's games against the Saints.
Special Teams: D-
At least Alex Henery can make kicks. The team changed punters early for Mat McBriar. The coverage on punts and kicks has been horrendous and the punt and kick returners have done nothing. Even a great play that scored a touchdown on a kickoff got called back because of a forward pass.
There's still another half season of football. Maybe the Birds can turn this ugly season around.