What Was The Score Of The Lsu Football Game No Defending That Loss

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No Defending That Loss

It’s one thing for fans to give up on their team. Players are also completely different to surrender.

But after watching last night’s 45-21 humiliation at the hands of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, it became clear that the Birds themselves had joined Eagle Nation in opting out of the 2006 season.

What happened last night at the RCA Dome was a tragedy. From the get-go, the Eagle defenders were pushed all over the field by the Colts’ bigger and stronger offensive line.

Philadelphia was dropping the Eagles like sacks of potatoes, opening up holes for Indy stud running back Joseph Addai (24/171). After allowing just three touchdowns through the first 10 games of the regular season, the first-year man from LSU ran for four against an Eagle defense that had clearly quit.

Of course, even if they hadn’t quit, the Birds probably would have lost this game. They are no match for the Colts physically, and chances are the score would have been similar no matter how motivated the Eagles were.

But last night’s loss was embarrassing. They dominated from the get-go and trailed 21-0 early in the second quarter, allowing the Colts to do whatever they wanted.

And like a good team should, the Colts took advantage, rushing for 237 yards and amassing 420 yards of total offense. And that includes a fourth quarter where Indy mercifully ruled.

It’s been clear for weeks that Philadelphia’s biggest problem is defense. In fact, it was known last year as well. The Birds, with their philosophy of going with “small but fast” players, have been pushed around since the start of the 2005 season.

What is the problem here? Is it the staff? Is this philosophy? Has defensive coordinator Jim Johnson lost his touch? Has the rest of the NFL caught up with his plans?

The answer to all these questions is yes.

Perhaps the play that best crystallized this Eagles defense was Addai’s third touchdown run, six minutes into the second quarter. As Addai stretched to the left, OLB Matt McCoy was completely plowed by Indy TE Dallas Clark, opening a huge hole that allowed Addai to be virtually untouchable.

I repeat. The sheer size of the pass completely destroyed an outside linebacker in a supposedly competent defense.

Watching it made me want to vomit.

But McCoy isn’t the only one to blame, not by a long shot. When Darwin Walker and Mike Patterson are destroyed on offense, Trent Cole and Darren Howard disappear before our eyes, Sean Barber and McCoy are chased, and Brian Dawkins and Sean Considine shake hands after a touchdown, you want a shot. throw yourself paper weight on your TV screen.

And it’s not like the Eagles haven’t addressed those defensive concerns in past seasons. With the last two picks of the first round, the Birds drafted Mike Patterson (I’ll pay someone $200 if they could explain to me the contract extension the Eagles gave Patterson a few weeks ago) and Broderick Bunkley, who became inactive after from missing the team’s flight to Indianapolis on Sunday and was nearly invisible all year. This past offseason, they spent big on defensive end Darren Howard as a free agent and signed OLB Sean Barber to a one-year deal.

But one thing they haven’t done is invest heavily in the outside linebacker position. Even with a large amount of salary cap space, the Birds never valued the linebacker position, instead focusing on investing in a small, quick, quarterback defensive line.

However, the defenders didn’t put any pressure on the opponent’s defenders. Cole and Howard disappeared. Jerome McDougle was the franchise’s worst draft pick since Mike Mamula. Not only can Patterson and Walker not generate any pressure inside, but they are too small to block any running lanes. And since Andy Reid and Jim Johnson inexplicably and completely ignored the linebacker position, the Eagles are no match for teams with any hint of size.

The defensive philosophy of the team must change. Maybe it’s time for Jim Johnson to find another job and let a new defensive coordinator take over. A defensive coordinator capable of making in-game adjustments. A defensive coordinator who understands that size matters. A defensive coordinator who finds the concept that playing linebacker will eventually catch up to you.

And while Johnson no longer has some of the players who once made his defense great (Cory Simon, Hollis Thomas, Carlos Emmons), what has happened over the past year and a half is his own fault. Along with Big Red, this is the defense he built. These are the players he wanted for his system. It was he and Reed who drafted these teams and signed these free agents.

And it doesn’t work. This is an embarrassment.

A new philosophy can only happen with the firing of Jim Johnson as defensive coordinator. The Eagles need a new direction on defense, and they need it now.

Of course, there were other stories last night. Jeff Garcia, filling in for Donovan McNabb, played very well, moving the Eagles’ offense up and down when they had the ball.

Brian Westbrook and the offensive line were showing that they could be a dominant force if given the opportunity.

Andy Reid showed once again that he’s completely lost touch with reality by calling a freak Hank Baskett pass to start the Eagles’ second drive, a play call that sparked panic.

While still very much alive mathematically (thanks to yesterday’s losses by the Giants and Panthers), the Eagles have passed. Instead of rising to the challenge of playing without their starting quarterback and proving Delaware Valley wrong, the Birds did nothing but reinforce our cynicism and skepticism by stinking up the joint last night.

They quit their season.

And for this, there is no defense.

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