Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/11/12

When 32 souls are running about, and there's only enough air for 12 to breathe, it's inevitable that we're going to see 20 of them drop like flies, landing with a thud only heard when a team has collapsed among broken hopes and unreached expectations.The best we can do here at the Football Nation Morgue is cut them open, probe around, and provide a sense of finality to the loved ones, those who may not fully understand why the ravages of time claimed their favorite team.They can rest a little easier in knowing that, by early March, their team will be exhumed from their tombs, electroshocked back into consciousness, and given another (possible futile) stab at championship spoils.But until that day comes, hand me that scalpel....Subject: Philadelphia EaglesDate of Death: December 9, 2012Record at Time of Death: 4-9Contributing Factors to Death:1. Offensive Line WoesMichael Vick took his share of licks through the nine games that he played, getting sacked 27 times along the way. That's not even including his patented head-first dives on scrambles, which were equal hell on his body, which isn't as nimble as it once was.Vick's taken heaps of punishment, as has new kid Nick Foles (14 sacks over 5 games), and much of that has to do with the patchwork offensive line.Left guard Evan Mathis is the only projected starter from a year ago that's healthy. Three of their quality starters are on IR: Multi-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters was hurt in a freak accident back in March, center Jason Kelce went down in Week 2, and veteran Todd Herremans was lost a month ago.Right guard Danny Watkins has been injured, but now finds himself a 'healthy scratch' behind veteran pickup Jake Scott.Veterans King Dunlap and Demetress Bell, as well as youngsters Dallas Reynolds and Dennis Kelly, have tried to fill the voids, with varying degrees of success, though most of it negative.While the line has shown a little more stability behind Scott, also due to Foles being less hesitant on his reads than Vick is, many of those early season losses can be partially attributed to Vick being stampeded with little to no consistent protection.2. Pass/Run DisparityHead coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Morninhweg would rather climb a tree and throw a pass on third and short, than stand on the ground and run the ball.This is evidenced by the fact that the Eagles have a Pro Bowl running back in LeSean McCoy (20 touchdowns a season ago) and a surprise star in seventh round pick Bryce Brown, and the disparity in play calls doesn't reflect what they have at their disposal.With 886 called offensive plays, the Eagles called for runs on 283 of them, which means they choose to run the ball 31.9 percent of the time.Bear in mind the first bullet point; the one that pointed out how Vick was under heavy attack behind a ravaged line, and that his decision-making skills weren't helping an already bad situation.But pass frequently they did, sometimes choosing to run the ball only when they were behind by a mile. Such examples include the shellacking in Arizona, and the debacle in Washington, where McCoy was injured with less than 2 minutes to go, down 31-6.Reid was asked why he called that run, and he infamously responded, "We were trying to catch up and win."3. Defensive Lack of Communication/SuccessAfter a pair of blown fourth quarter leads that turned into losses, the Eagles fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo in mid-October, and promoted veteran assistant Todd Bowles to his job.The results proved to be much worse.3-3 when Castillo was axed, the Eagles would lose their next 6, giving up 32.5 points per game. The lowest total allowed was 28 to New Orleans.Their vaunted corners Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have struggled to play up to their reputations. They've been getting burned by receivers, while losing communication with their safeties (Kurt Coleman, Nate Allen).Their pass rush has also declined, as Jim Washburn's "Wide Nine" became predictable. A year ago, Jason Babin had 18 sacks behind it, and Trent Cole posted his usual 11. This year, Babin led the team with 5.5 before getting waived. Rookie Fletcher Cox now leads the pack with a measly 4 QB takedowns, while Trent Cole has a career low of 2.For all previously-written autopsies, click here

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Report: Kirk Cousins does not want to be with Redskins

Hall of Famer Goose Gossage says it’s ‘insulting’ to be compared to Mariano Rivera

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

12-year MLB veteran Nick Swisher announces retirement

Report: Chiefs, Broncos among teams that interest Tony Romo

Report: Pistons, Magic have discussed Reggie Jackson trade

Andrew McCutchen Googled himself to keep up on trade talk

RB Trent Richardson arrested on domestic violence charge

Anthony Davis to be ‘very involved’ in efforts to re-sign Jrue Holiday

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker