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What ails Eagles not hard to figure

Ah, what the heck was Andy Reid supposed to say?

Michael Vick throws the ball away as the 49ers' Justin Smith comes in for the tackle in the second quarter. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)
Michael Vick throws the ball away as the 49ers' Justin Smith comes in for the tackle in the second quarter. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)Read more

Ah, what the heck was Andy Reid supposed to say?

It's not like everybody doesn't already know what's wrong with the Eagles.

It wouldn't have mattered if Reid talked 15 minutes or 3 1/2 after his team blew a 20-point lead in the second half and lost, 24-23, to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Everything comes back to the same simple conclusion: The Eagles are not a good football team right now.

See, that took less than 3 seconds.

Coach, how does your team blow a fourth-quarter lead for the third straight week and lose again?

I don't have a good football team right now.

Andy, how does Michael Vick pass for a career-high 416 yards with a passer rating of 99.5 and yet you manage just three points in the final 30 minutes?

I don't have a good football team right now.

Coach, how does a defense with so much added free-agent talent continue to get gashed for big plays that end up biting you in the behind?

I don't have a good football team right now.

Andy, can you possibly still salvage this season?

"We'll continue to improve. That's what we're going to do," he did say.

But he could have added:

Did I mention that right now, I don't have a good football team?

It hasn't been this bad before.

The Eagles have had bad stretches during Reid's 13-year tenure. They've even started 1-3 before. But those times almost have had an identifiable reason, such as an injury to significant players.

What's happening now is unadulterated helter-skelter.

This is a team with some talented individual players that has displayed no concept about how to come together as an effective unit. That is the definition of a bad team.

"Absolutely terrible job by myself and my football team today," Reid said. "We're all going to take a look at each other and look in the mirror a little bit and figure it out."

In the last 3 weeks, the Eagles have taken leads into the fourth quarter. They have been outscored by a combined 36-0 in those final 45 minutes.

Coming into this season, the Eagles were 91-14 under Reid when taking a lead into the fourth quarter. This season they are 1-3.

When asked if he's seen a common theme in the collapses, Reid said, "We didn't score enough points offensively, and we didn't shut them down enough defensively. That's the common denominator."

In the losses to the Falcons, the Giants and 49ers they have given up a combined 50 unanswered points to close out the games.

That's an unimaginably comprehensive futility.

"If I had the answer, I'd be telling someone," said Eagles defensive end Jason Babin. "Obviously, we have to fix some things. We can't use the same excuse every week."

The Birds let a San Francisco team that was ranked last in the NFL in total offense roll up 442 yards and score 23 points in the second half.

Whatever rookie defensive coordinator Juan Castillo is scheming, it's just not having the desired effect. Castillo looks like an obvious target until you consider that the Eagles' offense again stumbled around like the Keystone Kops as soon as it got a sniff of the red zone. They were 2-for-7 inside the 20, and are 3-for-12 in the last 2 weeks.

One trip to the red zone Sunday ended in a fumble at the goal line by running back Ronnie Brown, who tried to throw the ball while being pulled down into the pile.

And while rookie placekicker Alex Henery made three field goals, he missed from 39 and 33 yards in the fourth quarter.

Reid didn't talk about adding up the math, but he did say he was sure the irony of longtime Eagles kicker David Akers being on the opposite sideline when Henery missed the critical field goals would "probably make a good story," even though he was "not into irony."

This team has been bad in every phase. It hasn't done anything particularly well. Now it is reeling and has to do an immediate turnaround against a schedule that gets progressively more difficult.

"My feeling? Do I really have to explain that?" Vick said when asked about being 1-3. "It's frustrating. It's tough.

"There's really nothing else to be said. It's self-explanatory. It's right there for everybody to see, what is taking place, what hasn't been done and what needs to be done."

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