With each successive loss, hope for this Philadelphia Eagles team was harder and harder to come by.
Five straight losses, the most in Andy Reid’s tenure in Philadelphia. The last time the Birds saw a win was on September 30—the non-playoff Phillies saw a win more recently than Philly’s football team.
Perhaps more disturbing, there were no signs of improvement anywhere on the squad. You know the talent is there, but the hope of putting it together in a meaningful way?
Then came just the slightest glimmer of hope on Sunday in the form of the implosion of the New York Giants against the Cincinnati Bengals, which resulted in a 31-13 loss for the current NFC East leader.
Suddenly, if the Eagles could somehow pull out a win they would still have a shot in the division.
There was hope in the first Philadelphia drive of the season that resulted in a touchdown, with a one-handed, 2-yard beauty caught by Riley Cooper to take a 7-0 lead. Vick was off to a strong start—6/9, 70 yards and a 127.1 QB rating.
But then came former Eagle Ernie Sims to make a play, a tremendous irony as he neglected to do that his entire time in Philadelphia. With 11:29 left in the half Vick was down for the count, out of the game with a concussion and an eye injury.
And finally, it was time. Time to see what Nick Foles could do to help this team.
He made some good plays, he made some ugly plays. For a rookie quarterback who’s gotten no snaps in practice he made a good shot, finishing 22/32 for 219 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Those numbers just so happen to make Foles the highest total by any Eagles rookie QB in his NFL debut. He connected with teammates Jeremy Maclin for a 44-yard TD and Stanley Havili went up the middle for a yard with 1:57 left in the game. And that would be all she wrote for the Eagles in their 38-23 defeat.
The defense was able to put some pressure on Romo and notched a 3 sacks, tying a season high. But tackles were missed, and the Eagles again performed their specialty of allowing a team with little running game before the meeting to find a successful one against the Birds.
If any segment of the game captures this five-game losing streak and this defeat in particular, it’s that 2:35 stretch in the 4th quarter where the Cowboys scored 21 points in all phases of their team—offense, defense, and a 78-yard punt return by Dwayne Harris? Which showed a total meltdown on all aspects of the Eagles squad. A streak of total humiliation to put a cap on an unbelievably awful outing against a hated Dallas team that just isn’t good.
Sunday demonstrated that for as bad as the Cowboys are, the Eagles are worse. That’s a hard pill to swallow. But it’s reality.
For those who wanted to see what Foles could do in the regular season, there will be plenty of opportunity to do that now. Despite Reid’s assertion that he’ll have to see how Vick’s health is before deciding who will be the Eagles’ quarterback against the Redskins next week, you and I know that there is no longer any reason to play Vick. While Vick gave Philadelphia the best chance to win when there was some chance of contending, that time has passed. And sadly, there is just nothing to play for at this point.
It certainly can’t be for heart and pride. We haven’t seen that out of this team in weeks. So might as well make it about seeing what you have in your rookie quarterback.