October 8, 2012 |
PITTSBURGH - One play. The Eagles defense needed to make one play here Sunday. An interception, a sack, a fumble recovery, a third-down pass swatted away - anything to disrupt Ben Roethlisberger's methodical game-winning drive. That one play never came. "We should have won that game," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "We didn't take advantage of the opportunity. " You can't fairly blame a defense for a 16-14 loss to the Steelers. The Eagles are 3-2 despite an offense that has broken the 20-point barrier just once and a quarterback who just can't stop giving the ball away.
October 25, 2012
IT TOOK 22 games. It took a .500 season from last year's Dream Team. It took five close games and a blowout upset in the desert. And, last week, it cost them the head of their most devoted soldier. It appears as if the Eagles finally have grown up. The tenor among the Birds of Promise finally has shifted from entitled to entrenched. The tone was set at the beginning of the shortened 2011 season, enbodied by Asante Samuel, of all people. "Pick-Six," as he calls himself, constantly crowed during practices without admonition.
October 2, 2012 |
THEY NEED a name. Fans of the New York Giants brag about their defensive-end-laden "NASCAR" package. And many NFL anchors, analysts and media members have appropriately defined the personality of the Super Bowl champs through their defensive front. But in a head-to-head comparison Sunday, with a national-television audience watching, it was the Eagles' defensive front that proved more disruptive, the Eagles' defensive front that is quickly defining the personality of this 3-1 team.
November 12, 2012
To be an Eagles fan is to be an expert in disappointment, a connoisseur of dashed hopes. The team has suffered almost every flavor of defeat in Andy Reid's final season. There was the shocking blowout in Arizona, the near-miss in Pittsburgh, the collapse against Detroit, the whipping administered by Atlanta, the failed gut-check in New Orleans. But this one? This cruel beatdown at the hands of the hated Dallas Cowboys was a rare blend, indeed. In an absolute must-win situation, the Eagles reached out for the faint sweet glimmer of hope, only to have it cruelly snatched away and replaced by the most bitter of defeats.
August 3, 2012 |
BETHLEHEM — In a week, the Eagles will host a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Chances you'll see any of the Birds' projected front four starting defensive linemen that night? Not good. Of course, starters don't play much in preseason openers anyway, but the Eagles finished practice Wednesday with all four of those guys injured — defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins pulled a hamstring and was to get an MRI Wednesday night, a few snaps into filling in at defensive end for Trent Cole, who has developed an AC joint problem and did not take the field.
October 29, 2012 |
Here are some observations and ruminations about the Eagles-Falcons game: Despite being ejected the last time the Eagles played, an overtime loss to Detroit on Oct. 14, Fletcher Cox was given his first career start at defensive tackle on Sunday. The rookie certainly has earned more playing time, and he already had been playing as much as any defensive tackle on the team. But the start was a nod from the coaches for his improving play, and he ended with five tackles. A cynic may say Cox got the start by default.
September 10, 2012 |
CLEVELAND - Standing under a scoreboard that showed the Eagles trailing the Cleveland Browns late in the fourth quarter, running back LeSean McCoy admitted to a worry that was likely widespread among Eagles fans. "Not this again," McCoy said. Michael Vick noticed his teammates wondering what was wrong with their quarterback, that Vick hung his head because of the overbearing guilt of "letting my team down. " It appeared an offseason spent trying to solve 2011's problems was a failure.
December 14, 2012 |
THE EAGLES are only a laugh track short of a situation comedy right now. At one point on Thursday night, they lost fumbles on three consecutive plays and four plays out of five - and I, for one, can never forgive myself for having typed the words "Bryce Brown" and "Steve Van Buren" in the same sentence a couple of weeks ago. Besides the fumbles, they also managed to draw a penalty for something no one had ever heard of - calling disconcerting signals...
November 7, 2012 |
Andy Reid said he spoke to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie after Monday's loss to New Orleans, but declined to elaborate on the conversation aside from noting that Lurie knows how to read the NFL standings. "Jeffrey's a competitive guy. He feels like the rest of us. He likes to win football games," Reid said on Tuesday. "That's why he's in this business. That's why he owns this business. That's his expectation. " Whatever the real expectation for this season - and Reid and Lurie were supposed to be tuned into that a lot more than the rest of us - what has taken place certainly doesn't clear Lurie's low bar of "acceptable.
November 8, 2012
EXCEPT FOR the losing, the contention that the Eagles have quit on their season and head coach Andy Reid lacks real evidence. Furthermore, besides the killer turnovers, the red-zone inefficiencies and the defense's sporadic tackling, this is a gifted team fully capable of beating any given team on any given day. Except the team it is currently playing. Yes, four consecutive defeats lend credence to the supposition that any team with an acceptable depth of talent that loses like that must not care.