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Monday, December 12, 2011

Eagles Lose by Winning


          Let the detailing of miracle playoff scenarios begin. The Eagles won a game.

          Sadly, the win likely does little to salvage this season, and in my opinion merely hurts the team next season by enhancing the chances that Andy Reid returns.

          It’s December 12th, the Eagles have won 5 games this season, and people in Philadelphia can talk about the playoffs. Congratulations to the NFL. This is exactly what they want – parity. Every city gets to believe in their team to the bitter end.

          The Eagles beat a hot but still mediocre Miami team on Sunday, 26-10. Mike Vick and Jeremy Maclin returned from injury, but that didn’t seem to do much for the offense. Maclin caught exactly one more pass than he did while he was out. Vick threw for a pedestrian 15 of 30 for 208 yards.

          The Eagles took advantage of a short field three consecutive times – a long missed field goal and two turnovers – to score 17 points in the second quarter. They scored after another turnover in the same quarter, and tacked on a safety in the fourth quarter to round out their scoring.

          LeSean McCoy rushed for a head scratching 38 yards on 27 carries.

          Watching very little of the post-game coverage (and the game), I was embarrassed as a Philadelphian to see Eagles fans in Miami with a sign reading, “You’re still my Dream Team.” It was more embarrassing to see Juan Castillo talk about this victory as if it was validation of his role as defensive coordinator. He looked like a man pardoned by the governor on camera (not to give Ed Rendell any ideas), and according to CSNPhilly.com said, “It’s been a challenge. . . . It really tests you. We’ve always said when you work hard, good things happen, but they really haven’t happened like we’d like. Sometimes it tests you, you know? Your faith. It tests everything you believe in. Your foundation.”

          To be fair, the Eagles defense carried the team on Sunday. But they dominated a team that started 0-7 and has a rookie quarterback.

          PhillySportsDaily.com quoted Jason Babin as saying, “[G]uys in this locker room decided that we’re going to play, we’re going to have fun and we’re going to show you guys that we love the game, and I think that really rang true the whole day.”

          If only the guys wanted to play all season.

          Thanks to another choke by the Dallas Cowboys and the most overrated quarterback in the league, Tony Romo, who couldn’t hit a wide open Austin Miles late in their game against the Giants to seal a win, the Eagles are still mathematically alive to win the division.

          The dream is 5-8.

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