PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Fans are calling for Andy Reid’s dismissal more vehemently than ever. Assistant coaches are arguing on the sideline. A disgruntled star player isn’t giving his best effort.
There’s no saving the Philadelphia Eagles this season.
The best team money can buy turned out to be a whole lot of wasted dollars. All those big-name acquisitions the Eagles made in the offseason couldn’t even get them back to where they were last year.
The defending NFC East champions are 4-7 following a 38-20 loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots that wasn’t as close as the 18-point margin. The Eagles aren’t mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but it’s just a matter of time at this point.
“These last five games? I think they’ll show the character,” rookie center Jason Kelce said Monday. “Whenever you’re facing adversity, or whenever you’re put in a situation where it’s tough, you don’t know what the outcome is going to be for the year and everything else. I think true character. Everybody can play when you’re up and when things are going well, but when you’re backed into a corner, when you’re down, that’s when true character shows.”
The Eagles don’t have a lot of time to dwell on their latest loss. They have to get ready for a cross-country trip to play at Seattle (4-7) on Thursday night.
Road games will be more hospitable than playing at Lincoln Financial Field, where the Eagles have lost eight of their last nine games. Things were downright ugly on Sunday after the Eagles blew an early 10-0 lead.
Fans started chanting: “Fire Andy!” in the third quarter and the always sold-out stadium was nearly empty by the end. Defensive line coach Jim Washburn exchanged words with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg in the first half. DeSean Jackson dropped three passes, including two that should’ve been touchdowns, and the diminutive wideout clearly shied away from contact before getting benched.
“I just have to go out there and do my job. I have a job to do, which I get paid to do, I have to go out there and give my best effort,” said Jackson, who is unhappy he didn’t get a new contract. “Regardless of what happens, the dropped balls and all, it’s not like it’s happening on purpose. Everybody has things that they have to go through in life. Right now this is what I am going through to better myself. I will be all right.”
Jackson is costing himself money with every lackluster effort, missed meeting, deactivation and benching. He’s one of the most exciting players in the league when he has the ball in his hands. But, but Jackson isn’t among the elite receivers and won’t be getting top money from Philadelphia after his contract expires at the end of the season.
The Eagles are going to need a whole lot more than another receiver next year. Their biggest problems are on defense. Reid’s decision to switch Juan Castillo from his longtime position as offensive line coach to defensive coordinator was highly questioned at the time. It looks like an egregious mistake with each passing game.
Castillo had no answers for Brady, who had his way with Philadelphia’s defense. Brady picks opponents apart often, so that’s no surprise. But he did it with such ease and hardly broke a sweat against the Eagles. The defense was completely overmatched and seemed totally clueless. Several offsides penalties and having 12 men on the field are inexcusable. There appeared to be mass confusion at times and players didn’t know who was supposed to be on the field.
“We have a lot of great players on this team and it’s hard to see us lose,” defensive end Trent Cole said. “We know what kind of talent we have, so we have to pull together. It’s hard. We’re not going to bow our heads, we’re going to keep them up and keep moving forward, go make plays and go win ball games.”
It’s uncertain whether Vince Young or Michael Vick will start against the Seahawks. Young played the last two games because Vick has broken ribs. Young threw for a career-best 400 yards against the Patriots, though his numbers were inflated a bit because of the score.
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