Several weeks ago, Eagles president Joe Banner said that talks on a contract extension for coach Andy Reid would be coming soon.
If the phone has yet to ring, Reid might end up waiting at least a few more weeks.
The Eagles are in the middle of another November swoon. Last year, they limped home from Baltimore with a 36-7 loss that dropped Philly to 5-5-1, and the presumption in Philly was that, absent a stunning turnaround, Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb would be gone.
This year, a loss at Chicago on Sunday night would drop the Eagles to 5-5. And the calls for Reid and McNabb to go would return.
It’s a great example of how quickly things can change. Eight days ago, the Eagles were 5-2 and thinking big. Now, they’re 5-4 and poised to face a desperate 4-5 team in their own backyard.
The most recent loss will have Reid critics carping again about his failure to commit to the run. Though deficits like 14-0 and 21-6 and 28-9 left the Eagles with little choice, there was a lack of balance early in the game, long before the hole was sufficiently deep to require Philly to try to pass its way out of it.
It nearly worked. McNabb generated more than 400 yards passing for the second time in his career, and he matched a career high with 35 completions. But in the one statistical area that matters most, the Eagles didn’t get it done — and now they’re forced to yet again to fumble for the gas pedal with a numb foot as the season is very close to being in the balance.
The Chargers, on the other hand, are one of the hottest teams in the league. Four straight wins after a 2-3 start have put them in a tie with the Broncos, who supposedly had left San Diego for dead after their Monday night game from four weeks ago. They meet again this weekend in Denver, and the stakes are even higher.
Apart from the denizens of Denver, no one is watching these developments more closely than the folks in Indianapolis. The Chargers have beaten the Colts in the postseason during each of Norv Turner’s first two years in San Diego, and if there’s only one team that the Colts hope not to see in January, it’s the Chargers.
To get past the Colts again in January, San Diego will need another vintage performance from running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who churned out 96 yards and two touchdowns on the same day he learned his wife will eventually churn out a little L.T.
The key will be to manage Tomlinson’s touches over the next seven weeks so that he’ll have enough left in the tank to try to put together a postseason run that ends with a certain silver trophy that has long eluded a team that annually is regarded as one of the few with a shot at capturing it.