Thursday, December 25, 2014

First-Half Fiasco: Eagles' Struggles Continue

Orchard Park, NY -- Update: Michael Vick's third interception, tying his career high, was a pick-six to linebacker Nick Barnett that put the Birds in a 21-7 hole. Vick, obviously frustrated after seeing the defense give back momentum he had just given the team, forced a pass as he took a hit and made the situation worse.

First-Half Fiasco: Eagles' Struggles Continue

Juqua Parker is back in the lineup for the Eagles. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Juqua Parker is back in the lineup for the Eagles. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Orchard Park, NY -- Update: Michael Vick's third interception, tying his career high, was a pick-six to linebacker Nick Barnett that put the Birds in a 21-7 hole. Vick, obviously frustrated after seeing the defense give back momentum he had just given the team, forced a pass as he took a hit and made the situation worse.

The Eagles had a chance to show some life just before halftime when their defense created an actual turnover, Jamar Chaney intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Birds got the ball on Buffalo's 48.

They quickly moved it to the 26, where Vick spiked the ball with 13 seconds left. But instead of kicking a field goal, with no timeouts left, they tried twice to throw for a touchdown, the final heave a throwaway that seemed to end with a second left/. But the clock went to zeroes, and the officials ran off the field. FOX opted to show players running down the tunnel instead of a replay with the clock shown on the screen.

Earlier: Two deflected Michael Vick interceptions and a familiar inability to tackle or stop the run at all led to an early 7-0 deficit for the Eagles. But a big defensive stop led to a 65-yard touchdown drive, kept alive when Bills linebacker Danny Batten hit Vick helmet--first in the facemask, got the Birds even, very briefly.

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Vick at least temporarily solved the Eagles' horrendous red zone problems, hitting Jeremy Maclin on play-action from 2 yards out.

The score was tied only as long as it took the Bills to drive 77 yards in 7 plays, most crucially a 49-yard screen to Fred Jackson on which Jamar Chaney pretty much was blocked onto the Eagles' bench. Asante Samuel seemed to make no effort to stop the ensuing 6-yrd touchdown pass to David Nelson. Bills lead 14-7 in the second quarter.

Earlier:

The inactives are up, and as seemed likely Friday, defensive end Juqua Parker will try to play.

Parker suffered a high ankle sprain in the Atlanta game and wasn't optimistic about playing this week until he suddenly felt better Friday. His presence takes on increasing importance with the absence of defensive end Trent Cole (calf).

Darryl Tapp, returning from a pectoral muscle strain suffered in the season opener, will start for Cole, but it isn't clear how many snaps Tapp can take. Cole plays more than any other Eagles defensive lineman.

Inactive today: G Kyle DeVan, QB Mike Kafka, safety Jaiquawn Jarrett, croner Curtis Marsh, offensive tackle Jason Peters and and guard Jualian Vandervelde.

That means defensive tackle Derek Landri is up. Landri, cut at the end of the preseason, rejoined the team this past week when Antonio Dixon needed season-ending triceps surgery.

It's a little surprising that the Eagles are going with just two quarterbacks, making Vince Young the backup to Mike Vick. Young has not played as an Eagle. 

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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