Monday, August 31, 2015

Eagles hit rock bottom

Seahawks 31, Eagles 14

Eagles hit rock bottom

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Golden Tate caught a 11-yard touchdown in the Eagles´ 31-14 loss to the Seahawks. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Golden Tate caught a 11-yard touchdown in the Eagles' 31-14 loss to the Seahawks. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

SEATTLE --The Eagles have crawled up into a ball now, their position both fetal and futile. They can only hope that this was the worst.

To watch them blow lead after lead in the fourth quarter of games this season was maddening. To watch too many of them fail to complete against the Seattle Seahawks last night in a 31-14 loss was much different, and much worse.

It is such a jarring sight -- not only to see an Andy Reid team so ridiculously underperforming, but to see them spanked by a team such as this. But as a wise man once said, you are what your record says you are. And at 4-8, after this mess, the Eagles’ record says they stink.

In the absence of starting quarterback Michael Vick and his broken ribs, the Eagles stole a game against the Giants and then completely rolled over in the next two. To get pounded by the New England Patriots is one thing. To get dismantled by the Seahawks is something completely different.

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Yes, Vince Young was terrible at quarterback as Vick’s replacement. (Working definition of terrible: four interceptions.) But the real story of this game was a defense that rolled over early and forced Young into a position of having to play from behind.

The most unforgettable video from this entirely forgettable season might just be that of the Seahawks’ first touchdown, the one in which running back Marshawn Lynch appeared to be buried in a crowd of Eagles and Seahawks, only to emerge on his feet and untackled and prance into the end zone with a 15-yard touchdown. That, right there, is the story of 2011.

They are just so soft on defense. Safety Nate Allen had a really rough night again, and was in and out of the lineup. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is a worse tackler than Asante Samuel, which is saying something -- and, to make his inaugural season even worse, he left the game with a neck injury.

Watching them this season, watching them blow all of those late leads, it led most people to conclude that they had talent but lacked something, and that maybe time would provide the answers. After the blowout win over the Cowboys, and again after they beat the Giants, it was easy enough to wonder if maybe, just maybe, they had discovered what had been missing.

Instead, they have collapsed. Last night was an embarrassment. It is true that they are without starting quarterback Vick and his broken ribs, and that Young is limited, and that he does not appear to have the arm strength on the long ones, or the accuracy on the short ones, or the ability to get the ball out quickly on any of them. This will never be a high-scoring offense when he is running it -- at least, not this year.

Young threw four interceptions against the Seahawks, two of them particularly brutal. The first was a horribly underthrown pass. The third, with 4:24 remaining, was a ridiculous throw to LeSean McCoy in the late that linebacker David Hawthorne plucked with embarrassing ease and returned 77 yards for a touchdown.

They were never going to win the game with that kind of quarterback play. But they never had a chance when the defense rolled over early.

Daily News Sports Columnist
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About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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