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," 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."