Home losing streak as bad as it looks
If you abhor the smell of formaldehyde and detested dissecting frogs in high school biology, you probably won't enjoy this much, either.
Now that you've read the warning label, welcome to the anatomy of the longest home losing streak in Philadelphia Eagles history.
Trust me, it reeks.
It's a streak that reached double digits Sunday with a 15-7 loss to the New York Giants, the last visiting team to lose a game at Lincoln Financial Field. More than 131/2 months will have passed when the Eagles get another chance to win at home Nov. 17 against the Washington Redskins.
According to NFL.com, the Eagles became just the 15th team in league history to lose 10 in a row at home. They are four shy of the NFL record shared by the 1988-89 Dallas Cowboys and the 2008-10 St. Louis Rams.
It started with a collapse against Detroit last October. The Eagles blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead and lost on a field goal by Jason Hanson as time expired. Since then, the losses have piled one on top of the other. One week they were torn apart by Penn Charter's Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons and two weeks later they were torched by Tony Romo and the Cowboys.
Carolina arrived at the Linc with a 2-8 record and left with a victory. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton completed just 13 passes for 127 yards and the Bengals still won, 34-13. RG3 won his first game at the Linc the same day Andy Reid lost his last one.
The Eagles said San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers knew what was coming at him when he threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in this year's home opener, a 33-30 Chargers victory. Big Red had a happy homecoming four days later and Romo and the Cowboys beat the Eagles in a laughable first-place showdown last week.
Some lowlights from the Eagles' 10 straight losses at the Linc:
They have been outscored by 102 points (276-174).
They've gone 0-6 with Reid and 0-1 against him.
They've been beaten by nine teams. Only the Cowboys have beaten them twice.
They've lost to teams that were a combined 33-38 entering the games.
They've played three different quarterbacks - Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Matt Barkley - who have combined to complete 222 of 375 passes for 2,462 yards, 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. That computes to a 74.3 passer rating, proof that the quarterback issues didn't start this week or this season.
Opposing quarterbacks have completed 221 passes in 347 attempts for 2,668 yards, 15 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions. That computes to a 96.8 passer rating, proof that the Eagles have had their share of defensive issues, too.
The Eagles have allowed 32 sacks in the 10 home losses and registered 23.
LeSean McCoy has had one 100-yard rushing game and two rushing touchdowns during the 10-game streak.
DeSean Jackson has caught 39 passes for 543 yards and one touchdown.
"It's disappointing," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said after his team slipped to 3-5 but remained in contention by default in the despicable NFC East.
Embarrassing would have been the better word choice. Lurie really didn't want to say anything after conferring with Barkley inside the losing locker room, but he was cornered into a couple of sound bites about his floundering football team.
"Our fans are the best in the NFL and it's so frustrating that we haven't played well at home," Lurie said. "Everyone knows we have great fans and you just want to perform for them. Whether that puts more pressure on them I really don't know, but we have to be better."
The good news for the owner is that it would be hard for his team to get any worse than it has been the last two weeks at the Linc.
"It was just bad," receiver Jason Avant said Sunday.
It was actually much worse than that. Vick started a game he shouldn't have because his tender hamstring wasn't healed. His replacement (Barkley) made rookie mistakes, but they were not nearly as glaring or egregious as Chip Kelly's rookie coaching misadventures.
Bad is what we've come to expect from the Eagles at home. Every game - night or day, Thursday, Sunday or Monday - starts the same. Sweet aromas and saucy sounds percolate for hours in the pregame parking lot. Then the games begin and a slow hissing sound begins. It is the Eagles letting all the air out of the fun balloon.
"We're definitely disappointed and ashamed," Avant said.
Do the players talk about it?
"Once it gets to a year, even if you don't want to talk about it, it's there and you hear it," Avant said.
Cornerback Cary Williams hasn't even been here for half the home losses, but he can feel the growing dissatisfaction among the paying customers.
"I've been a part of enough now," he said. "It's to the point where you get tired of losing at home. Not only have we lost the game, we lost some of our fans, too. They're not getting up on third downs as much. We would love to have that defensively, especially where we're playing the way we're playing. It would be great. I don't know if we've given them anything to cheer about."
They most certainly have not.