At the end of Sunday’s game two players were firmly seated on their respective benches. One was Tom Brady, leader of an elite but far from perfect team, who took a rest after amassing a three touchdown lead. The other was DeSean Jackson, talented underachiever on a league-basement team, who was benched for poor play while the Eagles were trying desperately to come back.
There may be a more apt and fair comparison, but to me that distinction illustrates exactly how far the Eagles have fallen. They used to be an elite squad. Not anymore.
Let’s check the numbers:
7 = Times the Patriots entered Eagles territory. They scored 5 touchdowns and went 1 for 2 on field goal attempts on those 7 possessions. That touchdown percentage would be worst in the league for opponent trips to the red zone, let alone crossing the 50 yard line.
2 = Official tackles by Jamar Chaney. There is no doubt that on Sunday Chaney missed more tackles than he made. See the entries under “No need for linebackers” and “fundamentally sound” in the Eagles coaching handbook.
400 = Largely worthless passing yards by Vince Young. That is, however, a single game career high.
40% = Completion percentage on passes targeted at DeSean Jackson. Young’s total would have been even higher if not for Jackson letting two touchdowns and another 75 to 100 yards slip through his fingers. DeSean’s stock has never been lower. It is increasingly likely not only that he’s playing for another team next season but that the Eagles won’t be able to get back much for his services.
10 = Eagles penalties, for 60 yards.
6 = First half carries by LeSean McCoy. The Patriots secondary is bad and the Eagles were able to take advantage of that matchup frequently, so I won’t belabor the “Why won’t you run the ball?” point. But the Patriots were also deficient against the run, no matter what Reid said in his post game press conference. Especially in a game when the goal needed to be keeping Tom Brady off the field, McCoy should have been more of a factor. You can bet that’s what Jim Washburn was heckling Marty Mornhinweg about on the sideline.
.125 = Eagles win percentage at Lincoln Financial Field since Week 16 of last season. Seeing so many fans stream out of the stadium with a quarter left to play can’t have made Jeff Lurie happy.
Photo from Getty.