Every week we look at the best and worst of the Eagles in our awards we call the Inky's. Here they are from the Eagles 38-20 loss.
Player of the game: Tom Brady was 24 of 34 passing for 361 yards and three touchdowns. He was roughed up early, but using smarts and experience bought time for his receivers and put his passes on point to finish with a 134.6 quarterback rating. He even ran for 28 yards. Brady showed exactly why he, and the Patriots, are elite.
Most misleading statistic: Vince Young threw for exactly 400 yards. But his team lost by more than two touchdowns, and it would have been worse if not for a late score when the Patriots were practically packing their bags for a trip home. It wasn’t his fault that the Eagles lost, but the big stat didn’t have much meaning in the end.
Biggest turning point: Down 21-10, the Eagles had a chance to regain some momentum and go into the half feeling good. But With a first and goal and the New England five, Young was sacked, scrambled for a yard and then threw a pass that DeSean Jackson dropped in the end zone. The Eagles settled for a field goal, which the Patriots quickly answered, and it was 24-13 at halftime.
Most aggravating line: After every loss, someone, and usually multiple someones in the Eagles locker room, says they can’t believe how bad their record is, that they are a much better team than this, that their talent says they should be better. Enough. After 11 games, that doesn’t fly, even with the false hope provided by impressive wins over the Cowboys and Giants. When there are only five games left in the season and you’re 4-7, you’re just another lousy team. In the other locker room, Brady said his performance “was OK … our execution was a little better.”
Most underused star: LeSean McCoy got six carries in the first half. This after the Eagles initially led by 10 and were within two scores the first two quarters. In a game in which Brady loomed on the other sideline, itching to get at the Eagles’ secondary. And the Eagles gave the leading rusher in the NFL six carries while the game was within reach. Yes, New England is came in last in the NFL in pass defense, but at some point, play to your own strengths. McCoy got four second half carries, though the game was out of reach by then and demanded passing.
Most explosive story to watch: The “Fire Andy” chant was actually not that stunning, considering the way the Eagles have played this year compared to expectations, and especially considering how they have played at home. The chant got lots of attention but quickly died out. What might be more worrying to Eagles brass was the way the stadium emptied out early in the fourth quarter. The Eagles have just two more home games: against the Jets and against the Redskins on New Year’s Day, in what threatens to be one of the dullest, most meaningless finales in memory. How ugly could things get that day?