Eagles give fans plenty to talk about during bye week

Dismal three-and-out in overtime will be the source of consternation in the days ahead.

Curtis Conway on Michael Vick's future with the Eagles

PHILADELPHIA — Disappointing. Bad. Disgusting. Sickening. Horrible.

Take your pick. All of those words, and some not fit for a family newspaper, were used in the Eagles' locker room to describe what happened Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field.

Don't worry about the upcoming bye week creating a void of Eagles conversation around this city that has its emotional heartstrings wrapped firmly around this often exasperating franchise.

Every year, there is one loss that resonates with the "Fire Andy!" crowd long after the game is played and torments the team into the holiday season when it is time to sort out playoff berths, byes and home-field advantage.

The 26-23 overtime loss to the Lions is 2012's signature defeat; an appalling setback that only radio talk-show hosts in need of callers could love.

Strangely, a significant portion of the 69,144 fans who were there were gone by the time this one slogged its way into OT.

Those fans missed out.

No, not on a riveting finish, but on the chance to boo Michael Vick as he ducked into the tunnel leading from the field to the Eagles locker room.

Talk about adding sore feelings to a sore body.

It wasn't Vick's two interceptions or fumble off a snap "miscommunication" that had the fans foaming at the mouth.

It was the Eagles' miserable three-and-out in overtime that caused the wrath; three plays that may be dissected more than any three plays all season, especially if this loss keeps the team out of the postseason.

On first down at the Eagles 25, Vick was sacked for a 7-yard loss. On second down, he was thrown down again for a 14-yard loss that nearly resulted in a game-ending safety. On third down, he basically threw the ball away toward the Detroit sideline; averting another pounding but abandoning any hope at a first down.

It was easy to figure out what was going to happen next.

The suddenly unstoppable Lions offense took advantage of getting the ball at midfield, getting the 33 yards to set up Jason Hanson for his game-winning 45-yard field goal.

"We got pressure … we didn't get it done there," said Reid in a vintage tough-loss press conference that lasted all of three minutes — 2:45 if you took away the standard throat-clearing time.

Other Eagles were a bit more of expansive in their answers, although they really couldn't pinpoint what's wrong with an offense that has underachieved every week.

"I'm disgusted; it's not a good feeling," tight end Brent Celek said. "We've just got to finish. We've got to finish plays, finish drives, finish games. That's got to be the theme around here. If we do that, things will get better."

And while they're worried about finishing, they should also concern themselves with how they start as well.

The Eagles' first five possessions on Sunday produced three punts, a fumble and an interception.

They have scored just seven points in the first quarter all season, and only Detroit's own sloppiness (10 penalties in the first half for 92 yards and 16 for 132 overall) kept the Eagles in the game before intermission.

A warm and sunny day and the quality of play made it seem like an early August exhibition opener rather than Week 6.

Then the enigmatic Eagles offense found its rhythm long enough to get a touchdown just before halftime and tack on three Alex Henery field goals on three consecutive possessions in the second half.

When Vick took advantage of a blown coverage to find a wide-open Jeremy Maclin for a 70-yard touchdown pass — the Eagles biggest play of the season — it looked like it would be smooth sailing into the bye week.

But nothing is smooth about this team.

"Sick and disappointing … that's how I feel," LeSean McCoy said. "A type of game like that, you definitely expect to win. I felt like we had the game in control. It sucks because we put so much pressure on the defense. Today doesn't say a whole lot about our offense."

Actually, the performance spoke volumes about an offense that has any many weapons as any team in the league, but can't block well enough or protect the ball long enough to sustain drives and put TDs instead of field goals on the board.

Considering this was their second loss by three points or less after they won three games by a total of four points, a 3-3 record seems about right for this team and that's not nearly good enough for an owner and a fan base that expected a whole lot more.

And oh, by the way, the toughest part of the schedule is coming up right after the bye —unbeaten Atlanta, at New Orleans, Dallas, and at Washington.

If the Eagles don't get to Thanksgiving with at least a 6-4 record, Andy Reid may be in more jeopardy than the turkey you'd like to stuff for your holiday meal.

Connect
Advertisement

VIDEO