REID IN THE WEEDS: It’s looking more and more like the Eagles will have a new coach next season. Photo courtesy Rob Carr/Getty Images

A fumble. A blown call. A clutch touchdown. Every week the action in the NFL forces the headlines around the league to change. To evolve. A cold team becomes a hot team. A hot team slips up. Someone one is one game closer to the playoffs and someone is one game closer to their season being over. These are the weekly notes on the trends and other happenings from around the league after every weekend.

Reid-ing the Final Chapter

Let me preface what I’m about to say by saying I don’t usually do this. In fact, I almost never do this. But here we go. Are you ready?

I’m agreeing with Philly fans.

Watching that 31-6 dismantling of the Eagles by an equally-poor Redskins squad, something dawned on me: Andy Reid does not have control of this team. Maybe control’s the wrong word. No, he has nothing left to MOTIVATE this team with.

It’s easy to sit here and point fingers at excuses. Michael Vick hasn’t been himself. The O-line is in shambles. Quite frankly, those are nitpicky problems.

The failure in Philadelphia is the sum of its parts: EVERY aspect of this team is underperforming. I usually roll my eyes when pundits suggest “blowing a team up”, but in this case I think it’s due. You have a roster of highly-paid, underachieving, has-been all-stars. Whatever the Eagles THOUGHT they were building isn’t going to get built this way. It’s time to take the wrecking ball to the roster and start from square one.

The worst part is I don’t even think Andy Reid is the problem. I guarantee you whatever coach is calling the shots in the city of brotherly love next year, they will only be, at best, a marginal improvement over Reid. And again, that’s the BEST-CASE scenario. The worst case scenario is something much, much worse than Reid.

But any overhaul of the franchise has to begin with the axing of the head coach. It’s just the way it is. You cannot rebuild an army and leave the same general in charge. And if Reid is gone, Vick is too. Right or wrong, it’s just the way it is. The owner Jeffrey Lurie flat-out said 8-8 would not be acceptable and he expects this team to be in the playoffs. At 3-7, you can do the math: the Eagles have to win-out from here to improve on last year and even then a playoff berth isn’t guaranteed. Does anyone realistically think that’s going to happen?

When you saw LeSean McCoy go back on the field after suffering a concussion on Sunday — a move that, by all accounts, was the wrong one — you saw what was ultimately the final stand of a desperate man. Where Andy Reid goes from here nobody knows. But one thing’s for sure: it won’t be Philly.


LEFT TWITCHING: To say Byron Leftwich was left sorely beaten Sunday night would be the biggest understatement of the weekend. Photo courtesy Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Feeling the Pain

There was a time, shortly after the whole alleged sexual assault fiasco, that Ben Roethlisberger appeared to be expendable to the Steelers.

But after watching Byron Leftwich on Sunday night? Big Ben is now the one guy that’s indispensable.

His rare, bizarre dislocated rib injury is potentially life-threatening and his absence could quite possible be equally fatal to Pittsburgh’s season. The decline of the once stolid defense has been well-documented on here and other places, but what’s kept the Steelers so competitive is quiet development of a very potent offense.

That offense, as we’ve learned, had an Achilles, and that was competent quarterback play. But it’s clear now that competent quarterback play is something Leftwich couldn’t provide.

Granted, a large part of that was the pounding he was taking all game. At times, Leftwich looked like a rag doll out there, a toy thrown into a predator’s den at the Baltimore Zoo. Eventually, he was left so mangled balls were falling short more often than they were hitting guys in the numbers.

So now the signal caller will be Charlie Batch, a 37-year-old quarterback that has becomeĀ  so affixed to the Pittsburgh bench the last decade his butt cheeks are probably in a coma.

The real problem won’t be Batch, but keeping Batch upright. Pittsburgh has now lost two quarterbacks in two weeks and there are only so many guys out there that can conceivably win you games. If Batch goes down, who’s next? Does anyone know what Kordell Stewart or Tommy Maddox are doing these days?

Pittsburgh has the Browns next week and, in theory, it would be a good opportunity for Batch to get into a groove with the offense since — let’s face it — we don’t know how long he’ll have to be out there. But Cleveland just took Dallas into overtime IN Dallas. They might have two wins, but they could easily grab a third is Pittsburgh struggles to move the ball down the field.

‘Skins Safeties Aren’t Any Kind of Safety Net

Free agent signings haven’t exactly always worked out in the nation’s capital and no position has suffered more from the problem then safety. There was Archuleta. Then Atogwe. And this year the hopes were Tanard Jackson and Brandon Meriweather.

Well, Jackson’s season ended before it began. A positive drug test landed him a season-long suspension.

And as for Meriweather, his legs have had the durability of fine china. He was injured before the season opener with a strained ligament. Then he was given the go-ahead to play against Tampa Bay, but a pregame collision with a teammate put him out several more weeks.

On Sunday, he finally made his season debut. He had seven tackles, two pass deflections, and an interception. Oh, and he tore his ACL.

Yes, Meriweather is finally out for the season and the injury couldn’t be more ironic. Considering the safety position has been the ACL of sorts for the Redskins defense, it’s all too morbidly fitting that this is how Meriweather’s 2012 campaign ends.

The Redskins looked great against the Eagles this past weekend, but Meriweather’s saga this year is the only reminder anyone needs that serious issues still exist with this team. Don’t expect some sort of turnaround to their season because of one good game.

NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read articles and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to give him a follow @bclienesch for NFL updates and other shenanigans.