Under head coach Andy Reid, the Philadelphia Eagles finished the 2011 season an 8-8 football team. In retrospect, the 2011 campaign was riddled with wasted opportunities. The Eagles started off 1-0, and it went all down hill from there.
There were many reasons the Eagles failed at crucial moments. Faulty coaching? Yes. Undisciplined football? Yes. The truth is, the Eagles lost several football games they should have won. Let us take a look back.
Against the Atlanta Falcons, the Eagles had a 31-21 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Falcons subsequently put up 14 points in the fourth quarter, while the offense sputtered, scoring zero points in the crucial last stanza. The Eagles lost the game 35-31.
The next game, against the New York Giants, the Eagles were ahead 16-14 entering the fourth quarter. That did not hold up, as the Giants scored 15 points in the quarter, beating the Eagles 29-16.
The following game the Eagles managed to blow another fourth quarter lead, this time to the San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles entered the fourth quarter with a 23-17 lead. Per usual, the Birds were shut out in the fourth, while San Francisco scored the only touchdown, beating the Eagles 24-23.
In week nine, the Eagles led the Chicago Bears 24-20 entering the fourth quarter. Whoops. Same result. The Eagles were blanked, while Chicago rallied with 10 fourth quarter points, beating Philadelphia 30-24.
The next fourth quarter failure was against the Arizona Cardinals. The Birds had a 14-7 lead going into the last quarter. The end result was another blown lead. Arizona went on to win 21-17.
That is a total of five fourth quarter collapses. In the NFL, that is simply inexcusable. I hope Andy Reid, the coaching staff and the players learned a valuable lesson…… inadequate coaching, poor execution and untimely turnovers are a recipe for fourth quarter disasters.