Roob vs. Spadaro: Birds' problems with big leads

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Roob vs. Spadaro: Birds' problems with big leads

Frank vs. Spadaro: What's to blame for 4th-quarter woes?

December 5, 2013, 11:15 am
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Three times this season the Eagles have dominated teams through three quarters only to watch their huge leads turn into one-possession advantages.

In the opener against the Redskins, the Eagles led 33-7 in the closing seconds of the third quarter. They eked out a 33-27 win.

In Week 11 vs. Washington, the Birds led 24-0 with 13 minutes remaining, but didn't seal the 24-16 victory until Brandon Boykin intercepted Robert Griffin III in the end zone.

This past Sunday against the Cardinals, the Eagles led 24-7 with just over 20 minutes of game time remaining, but had to make several key stops in the fourth quarter to preserve a 24-21 win.

What gives?

"You can sense that they're taking their foot off the pedal late in certain games," CSNPhilly.com columnist Reuben Frank said Wednesday on Philly Sports Talk. "You can't sit on a lead, you can't wait for the clock to run down to zero."

Dave Spadaro, the insider for the Eagles' official site, disagreed.

"They're not [taking their foot off the pedal], Roob, they're not," he said. "I looked at every play ..."

But even if the offensive play log tells a different story, the players themselves realize they haven't been delivering the knockout blow.

"Dave, I've got half a locker room of guys saying, 'We've got to develop a killer instinct,' Frank said.

"I think you do what you do, and you don't start doing what you don't do. But I think there's an aggressiveness you have to maintain when you have a lead that in the two Redskins games and the Cards, we hadn't seen.

"That's one thing Andy Reid did really well -- when he built up leads he stayed aggressive, he stayed vertical."