Thoughts From Eagles-GiantsBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Sunday, December 30th, 2012
The Philadelphia Eagles treated their fans to one last disgraceful effort to close out the miserable 2012 season.
For about 30 seconds, it looked as though the team would come out and fight for Andy Reid in his final game of the season. The Eagles began the game with a successful onside kick, giving off the false idea that they were interested in spoiling the remaining playoff hopes of the New York Giants.
And it was all downhill from there.
The Eagles were out of this game before the first quarter ended. A pitiful throw by Michael Vick on the opening possession was the first in a series of events that put the Eagles in an instant 21-0 hole. Eager for an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong, Vick badly overthrew Brent Celek, creating an easy interception for Stevie Brown and effectively destroying the momentum that the team had gained from the onside kick.
The Giants returned the Vick interception deep into Eagle territory, and Todd Bowles’ defense offered no resistance as Eli Manning hooked up with Ruben Randle for a touchdown.
The defense was not at all interested in playing hard today. The Giants moved the ball at will throughout the game. They gave up 35 points in the first half alone.
It wouldn’t be a fitting end to the season unless we saw shutdown cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha get burned for one more touchdown. The highly paid corner allowed Randle (a reserve receiver) to beat him for a touchdown on the Giants’ second drive. You just can’t say enough about how badly the Asomugha signing has worked out for the Eagles. In the second quarter, Asomugha was flagged for pass interference on third and goal, which gave the Giants the ball on the the one-yard line setting up their fourth touchdown on the game.
Worst of all was the miserable two-play 54-yard drive to cap the second quarter. The Eagles gave up a pair of big passing plays with under 20 seconds remaining in the half, allowing the Giants to score their fifth touchdown of the game.
It was an absolute embarrassment.
Rejoice! The End Of The Vick Era
Not only did this game mark the end of Andy Reid, but (perhaps even more mercifully) it was the final nail in the coffin for the Michael Vick era as well.
Making the start for the injured Nick Foles, Vick made it clear today that the Eagles should make no effort to bring him back for the 2013 season.
In what could hardly be described as an inspired performance, Vick finished the game 19/35 for 197 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Vick showed more of the same mediocrity he had played with for the majority of the season. He overthrew receivers, turned the ball over, and was just underwhelming in general.
The quarterback position is going to be a serious question for the Eagles next year. We don’t know what Nick Foles is yet. Maybe he’s a serviceable starting quarterback, maybe he’s a stiff. But it’s clear that it’s the Vick has no business being on this roster in the future. He’s had his time, and it’s over. I don’t know how even the most loyal of Vick’s supporters could argue for him to return. The last two years, we’ve been treated to one of the most frustrating brands of quarterback play I’ve ever seen.
Vick is what he is. His athletic ability is through the roof, and his potential and occasional highlight reel plays are always going to be enough to fool people into believing in him, but at the end of the day he’s just not a quarterback that you can count on to sustain a high level of play and take a team to a Super Bowl.
If you know that a player or coach can only take you so far, why would you want them to be a part of your team? Anyone that argues for a Vick return is one who is shortsighted and content with mediocrity. During his time in Philadelphia, Vick provided the franchise with false hope after a mirage-run of greatness in 2010, and ended his run by sitting on the bench with a miserable disinterested look on his face, pondering where he’ll be playing football in 2013.
- In two years all we’ve seen from Nnamdi are a bunch of missed tackles, countless blown coverages, and a great deal of finger pointing and excuses. I’ll be just as excited to see Asomugha leave this team as I will be for the departures of Reid and Vick.
- Antonio Dixon made a nice play to stuff the run on the Giants first possession of the second quarter.
- Damaris Johnson missed a touchdown reception in the second quarter. Although the pass was thrown a little high by Vick, it was still a catchable ball that Johnson should have pulled in.
- Colt Anderson led the team in tackles, putting a cap on his solid run as one of the starting safeties over the last month.
- Things got so bad today that Reid pulled Vick in the second half in favor of third-string quarterback Trent Edwards.
- The run defense was just gashed play after play today. The Eagles had no answer for Ahmad Bradshaw and David Wilson. The two combined for nearly 200 yards on the ground.
- Phillip Hunt had a nice sack in the second half. Hunt is a guy who I’d like to see the Eagles give another shot next season. He fell out of the rotation pretty quickly, and I don’t think he got a fair opportunity to show what he could do. Instead, the Eagles and Jim Washburn seemed to think that Darryl Tapp was more worthy of reps in the rotation.
The 2012 season has finally been put to rest.
It’s hard to believe how badly this team collapsed this season.
Remember this was a team that started out the year 3-1, with a couple of solid victories over the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants. At the time, the Eagles were playing hard defensively, and even though the turnovers were still an issue, this looked like a team that was destined for a fate better than 4-12.
And yet, incredibly enough this team wasn’t that far away from 0-16. Not one of the Eagle victories came by more than two points. Imagine if the Browns hold on to the near-Michael Vick interception on the final drive in Week 1. What if the replacement refs hadn’t called the absurd offensive pass interference against the Ravens in Week 2? What if Lawrence Tynes makes his field goal at the end of the Week four match against Dallas? What if Nick Foles doesn’t help the Eagles on a fourth-quarter rally against Tampa Bay? This team very easily could have lost every game this season.
Hopefully Jeffrey Lurie will have learned valuable lessons from the last two seasons, and this franchise will receive a dramatic overhaul in the offseason.
A new coaching staff will need to be assembled, and the majority of the roster needs to be purged.
The good news is that NFL franchises can be turned around within a year. Just look at the Colts and Redskins, who went from holding top five picks in the draft, to emerging as playoff-caliber teams. Yes, these two teams were greatly energized by the incredible talents of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but a turnaround can be accomplished without the elite quarterback talent. Look at the 2008 Dolphins. Miami won just one game in 2007, but bounced back to win 10 games (and the division) in 2008. And who was their quarterback? Chad Pennington.
A team can turn around in one year, as long as there is a competent general manager pulling the strings…
Howie Roseman hasn’t given anyone any reason to believe that he’s capable of getting the job done, and yet all indications are that he’ll be the architect of this team’s future. He’ll be selecting the next head coach, and he’ll be in control of a top-five draft pick, the highest selection the Eagles have had since 1999.
The search for the next head coach is on, let’s hope Howie is up the challenge.
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