Reid's goof one for the ages

BY Jason Whitlock • October 4, 2010

Vince Lombardi wouldn’t know what to make of the current NFL season.

A quarter of the way through it, and the Matt Cassel-led Kansas City Chiefs own the league’s best record, Kyle Orton is the most prolific passer, LaDainian Tomlinson looks 25 again, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite being outscored by 40 points this season, have the same record as the Indianapolis Colts.

Well, at least we can take comfort in the fact that Andy Reid is who we thought he was.

It was just two weeks ago I swore undying love to the Philly coach. He made the gutsy (and obvious) decision to permanently bench Kevin Kolb and play superhero Underdog at quarterback. Reid was my new favorite coach.

He put my loyalty to the test Sunday.

In the most hyped game of the season, Reid’s inability to manage the clock overshadowed Michael Vick’s potentially season-changing rib injury, Donovan McNabb’s mixed-bag return to Lincoln Financial Field and Kolb’s return to the Philadelphia lineup.

After watching the Eagles bungle a touchdown opportunity just before halftime, Herm Edwards and Dick “Father Time” Curl were reportedly spotted cackling in joyous celebration.

When speaking of the NFL’s all-time worst clock managers, the former Jets and Chiefs coach and his trusty assistant will no longer be mentioned. It’s Andy Reid.

Given a five-minute replay review and a follow-up timeout, Reid couldn’t come up with a fourth-and-less-than-1 goal-line play, and the refs flagged the Birds for delay of game. The penalty forced Philly to settle for a field goal and a 17-6 halftime deficit.

“I goofed,” Reid told reporters after the game.

Yes, he did. The Eagles lost 17-12. Had they scored a touchdown before halftime and trailed 17-10, Philly’s lone second-half TD and an extra-point kick would’ve tied the score. Instead, when Kolb hit Brent Celek for a short touchdown, the Eagles tried a 2-point conversion that failed.

In short, Reid’s “goof” cost Philly a chance to win.

It just might cost Big Andy his job at the end of this season.

Stick with me. Let’s play out a worst-case scenario. Michael “Underdog” Vick is seriously injured and will miss at least one game -- this Sunday night’s contest at San Francisco. The winless 49ers stink, but I didn’t see anything from Kevin Kolb that gave me confidence the Eagles will win on the road.

Other than his game-ending Hail Mary, Kolb unloaded a blizzard of check-down and underneath passes. Kolb placed DeSean Jackson in witness protection. Kolb certainly didn’t provide Philly anything remotely resembling a spark.

So let’s say the Eagles lose next week to the 49ers. The rest of Philly’s schedule is murderous -- Atlanta, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Washington, the Giants, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, the Giants, Minnesota and Dallas.

Even with Underdog at QB, a 6-10 record is a real possibility. A six-win season with Kolb looking like Philly’s backup quarterback of the future and a clock-management gaffe that will never be forgotten would be enough to get Reid fired.

Is that a prediction? Not really. This NFL season has me totally baffled.

A week ago I was convinced the Colts were the second-best team after Pittsburgh. How in the hell did Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis let David Garrard and the Jaguars score 31 points? The Colts didn’t sack Garrard one time. Not once.

I began the season thinking the Jets were overhyped and that Mark Sanchez would get exposed. Now, with Tomlinson turning back the clock, the Jets look awesome. Santonio Holmes is about to be added to a passing attack that already features Dustin Keller and Braylon Edwards down the field and Tomlinson out of the backfield.

The Jets could have a passing game that equals Kyle Orton and the Broncos. Yeah, Orton has thrown for more yards than Peyton Manning. Orton threw for 341 yards against the Titans. Journeyman Brandon Lloyd just recorded his third 100-yard receiving game of the season. He’s the league’s second-leading receiver.

Have I mentioned the Chiefs are the NFL’s last unbeaten squad and the Saints are the worst/luckiest 3-1 team in football?

OK, I still like the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the Super Bowl. Which NFC team will they smack? All I know for sure is the team won’t be coached by Andy Reid.

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