By Joseph Santoliquito
SEATTLE (CBS)—Now it’s reached comical proportions. And the apathy meter has been pinned back to the limit. For the few diehards that believed the Eagles could pull off a miraculous comeback and reach the postseason, those hopes came crashing down Thursday night in an embarrassing 31-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The defeat dropped the Eagles to 4-8 putting them at the bottom of the NFC East and ending their season, for all intents and purposes, leaving them playing for draft position, while Seattle improved to 5-7.
Seattle wasn’t exactly a juggernaut. Though the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch was a one-man dynamo, running over and through the Eagles for 148 yards (the most yards the Eagles have given up to a back this season) and two touchdowns. At times, the Eagles appeared disinterested. Many of the same ills that have plagued this team the first 11 games kept resurfacing, like a myriad of missed tackles, dropped passes and squandered opportunities with turnovers.
If there was a bright spot for the Eagles, once again it was tailback LeSean McCoy. He juked and sidestepped his way for 84 yards rushing and two touchdowns, building to his NFL-leading 15 touchdowns. Vince Young looked as if he might place the Eagles in a position to come back midway through the fourth quarter, before linebacker David Hawthorne’s pick-six 77-yard interception return (adding to the Eagles’ NFL-high 29 turnovers) with 4:24 left in the game.
“It was just a bonehead play by me; I lost the linebacker on the route,” Young said. “We know there will be a lot of crap going on this week and we have to stay together as a team. I think we did all right. I just have to take care of the turnovers, that was pretty much it. I have to take over for the turnovers. We’re pros. Things happen. We’re a team first and we have to get it back together, and we still have a season going on and continue to get better and continue playing as a team. I really felt the effort was definitely there. Overall, we were driving the ball pretty good. We have to man-up and the season is still going on.”
Young threw four interceptions, tossing three picks or more for the second time in three starts—losing the final two. He finished completing 17-for-29 passes for 208 yards and a 52.7 rating.
Down 24-7 late in third quarter, the Eagles showed tepid signs of life. Philadelphia mounted a 14-play drive that carried over into the fourth quarter. The Eagles showed some moxie with a 17-play, 80-yard drive. They were inspired, driving for the extra yard and with a rare sense of urgency. On the series the Eagles converted their first third down of the game, with 3:28 left in the third quarter.
The series pulled the Eagles within 24-14. That was it. That drive seemed to account for all the effort the Eagles put into this game.
With 8:04 left in the third quarter, Golden Tate’s 11-yard touchdown reception, grabbing the ball over the Eagles’ flailing Joselio Hanson in the corner of the end zone, gave Seattle a 24-7 lead.
The Seahawks never trailed. They took a 17-7 lead into halftime, and it didn’t even seem that close. Lynch had two touchdowns and had gained 90 yards on 11 carries, averaging 8.1 yards a carry through the first two quarters. The most interesting carry came with 9:28 left in the first quarter.
On a first down at the Eagles’ 15, Lynch seemed to be trapped by a host of Eagles defenders. But there was no whistle, and Lynch never stopped churning his legs. He kept grinding and it appeared the Eagles thought the play was over and stopped. Lynch didn’t. He bounced the play out and weaved his way through a few more Eagles’ tacklers into the end zone for a 7-0 Seattle lead.
“Obviously, Seattle did a better job than we did tonight,” Eagles’ coach Andy Reid said. “All in all, we have to do a better job as a football team and it’s my responsibility to do a better job. I thought the guys played hard tonight. On the [Lynch touchdown], it looked like there were a lot of bodies around him and he squirted through. There were a lot of bodies around the player and obviously no one got a hold of him. I have good guys and I can’t complain about the effort.”
Missed tackles seemed to be theme of the night for the Eagles. They bounced off Seattle ball carriers, they ran into each other in pursuit, they took terribly bad angles and overall looked hilarious bouncing off Lynch.
The Seahawks had pounded through the Eagles, who didn’t help themselves with shoddy tackling, for 245 total yards of offense to Philadelphia’s 142. Seattle’s Tarvaris Jackson was an efficient 9-for-12 passing for 143 yards, while Young threw an interception and the Eagles didn’t convert a third down, going 0-for-4 on third-down conversions in the half.
Seattle was up 14-0 lead on a pair of Lynch touchdowns, which included the memorable 15-yard run and a 40-yard score in the second quarter.
DeSean Jackson cut reporters short after the game when he refused to answer questions about possible dissension between him and his teammates. Jackson, who caught four passes for 34 yards, supposedly wasn’t talking to his fellow offensive players and was standing with the defense prior to the game. When pressed about it, Jackson responded with a terse “next question,” then he grabbed his bag and left the media scrum surrounding his locker.
There’s also been rising sentiment that this season could be the last for Reid.
“Andy Reid isn’t going anywhere,” McCoy said assuredly after the game. “I know he takes a lot on to himself. It’s the players.”
RB LeSean McCoy compiled 133 yards (84 rushing, 39 receiving) and scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). It was McCoy’s sixth-career multi-touchdown game … He currently leads the NFL with a career-high 1,134 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns. His rushing total ranks 10th all time in Eagles history, and his touchdowns are second behind Steve Van Buren’s 18 in 1945. His 12 rushing touchdowns place him fourth. With 23 career rushing scores, McCoy moved past Duce Staley (22) and into eighth place in franchise annals … McCoy has scored a touchdown in 11 of 12 games this season and had 100 or more yards of total offense in nine. He has had a 20-plus yard rush in each of the last eight games, which is the longest streak by an Eagle since 1970 … DE Jason Babin notched his 11th and 12th sacks of the season. He has had at least 12 sacks in back-to-back years, joining DeMarcus Ware as the only two players to do so. It was Babin’s fourth multi-sack game of the season and the 10th of his career … DE Trent Cole picked up his sixth sack of the season … WR Riley Cooper tallied a career-high 94 receiving yards. In his three starts this season, Cooper has amassed 13 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown, including at least 70 yards in each game … The offense engineered a 17-play, season-long 10:13 touchdown drive … The Eagles have had at least 20 first downs in 10 of 12 games this season.