Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rock bottom? The Eagles can only hope

LANDOVER, Md. -- And so, as they say at the moment the ripcord is being pulled, "Look out beloooooooow."

Rock bottom? The Eagles can only hope

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, right, walks off the the field after the Philadelphia Eagles lose 31-6 to the Washington Redskins at FedEx<br />Field in Landover, MD, on November 18, 2012. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, right, walks off the the field after the Philadelphia Eagles lose 31-6 to the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, MD, on November 18, 2012. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

LANDOVER, Md. -- And so, as they say at the moment the ripcord is being pulled, “Look out beloooooooow.”

You would like to think that the Eagles have hit bottom, but there is no reason to believe that is true. That is how bad things have gotten. They just got walloped by a bad Washington Redskins team, 31-6, and there still are six games left to play. There is no telling what depths they might still reach.

The Eagles are 3-7. They have lost six in a row. You have to go back to the mid-1990s, to the days of Rich Kotite before the fall, to recall such a stretch of uninterrupted ineptitude. Think about that for a second. On second thought, don’t.

You forget what it feels like, the pointlessness of it all when two bad teams enter the arena and two bad teams leave the arena, the only difference being that one leaves with a meaningless victory and the other with a loss that validates every terrible thing you have thought about them. Because that is where the Eagles are. Sunday was epic validation.

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They could not overcome a myriad of mistakes on offense, some the responsibility of rookie quarterback Nick Foles but many more that could be assigned to others. Foles threw two interceptions, one a bad throw and the other that clanged off of the hands of tight end Brent Celek, who is officially having an awful season. But the bigger problems came along the again-reconstituted offensive line, where every manner of drive-killing penalty was committed along the way.

I mean, who would have guessed that right guard Jake Scott, signed off the street only 6 days before starting the game, would have trouble with the snap count?

On defense, they made a couple of laughingly bad plays in pass coverage that led to two embarrassing touchdowns thrown by Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III. The first, a 49-yard touchdown to a wide open Adrick Robinson -- wide like the width of Tennessee -- came on a play where Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was expecting safety help that never materialized. The second, a 61-yarder to the venerable Santana Moss, came on a play where safety Kurt Coleman was in position to intercept the pass but monumentally bollixed up the attempt. Then, for good measure, Brandon Boykin failed to make the tackle short of the end zone.

But the piece of the play that might speak most to how bad things have become is this: a flag was down on the play in the backfield, and Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins was mocking Griffin’s touchdown celebration because he assumed the penalty was on the Redskins. Alas, it was illegal hands to the face on the Eagles instead.

Alas.

With 1:45 remaining in the game, running back LeSean McCoy was tackled helmet-to-helmet on a running play and did not get up. He took off his helmet and sat up, but they brought a cart out onto the field to bring him to the locker room. It was an awful bit of punctuation.

Finally, people will ask if Andy Reid should be fired immediately. After a game such as this one, there is only one way to look at it. If Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie fires Reid now, it will only be because he likes him so much that he wants to put him out of his misery.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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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