PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles played their best football too late.
But the Eagles (8-8) are going home despite the strong finish after failing to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and just the fourth time in coach Andy Reid's 13 seasons. They can't be satisfied after entering the year with Super Bowl aspirations
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"That's the unfortunate part," Vick said. "Everybody's jelling together, our team is getting closer as a unit, everybody's understanding their coaches and what they're trying to do and their philosophy. We know what needs to be done. We'll fly under the radar and try to shock people next year. Next year will be totally different. I promise you."
Reid refused to discuss anything about the future, including whether he wants to return or if defensive coordinator Juan Castillo will be back. Reid took plenty of criticism this season, and heard "Fire Andy!" chants during a loss to New England in November. Castillo was intensely scrutinized in his first season after serving as an offensive line coach for 13 years.
"We've got to get better all the way around, starting with me," Reid said. "This wasn't good enough."
The Redskins (5-11) finished last in the NFC East for a franchise-worst fourth straight year. It was Mike Shanahan's worst full season in 18 years as a coach.
"I think the last five, six games we've done some good things, run the football against some good teams, not as good as we need, though," Shanahan said. "We talked about adding a few pieces on offense, we need a few pieces on defense, a good draft, but we made some strides. Our football team is a lot different than a year ago, and that's a positive."
One of four NFL games on the final day that had no playoff ramifications, this had the feel of a preseason game. There were thousands of empty seats at the always sold-out Linc, and there was far more interest in the Mummer's Parade on Broad Street.
|It was an all-around debacle for Washington Sunday as each unit played a role in the Redskins worst loss of the season. The special teams had a kick blocked. The offense could only manage 10 points despite moving the ball well and the defense allowed 34 points, marking the fourth time in the last five games that they had surrendered at least 30 points. They were in the game, yet couldn't capitalize and blew it in the fourth.|
|They did what they were supposed to do, playing at home vs. a bad Redskins team, but they didnít look real good while doing it. QB Michael Vick wasnít sharp for most of the game and the running game, without RB LeSean McCoy (ankle), was awful. The defense didnít give up a lot of points, but that was due more to the Redskinsí poor play than the Eaglesí good play. A mediocre game to end a mediocre season.|
|By Kevin Noonan |
The Winter Classic alumni game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers across the street at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday generated more excitement.
Playing without NFC leading rusher LeSean McCoy, the Eagles relied mainly on their passing attack. Vick delivered, becoming the second player to have consecutive seasons with 3,000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing.
"I really enjoy it here," said Grossman, who will be a free agent. "I really enjoy this offensive system and what they're building here. I'd love for this to be the place where I end up."
The Redskins were 3-1 and leading the NFC East when the teams met on Oct. 16. A 20-13 loss to Philadelphia started their six-game losing streak and knocked them out of the playoff picture.
The Eagles weren't eliminated from playoff contention until last week, and finished with the best record in the division at 5-1. But they're starting an early vacation while the winner of the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday night advances.
"You have to analyze everything that happened and figure out how not to let it happen again," Vick said. "We've got a lot of soul-searching to do, a lot of thinking to do. I think our opportunities will arise."
Vick connected with Jackson to make it 20-10 in the fourth quarter. It could've been Jackson's last game with the Eagles. The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver played the final year of his rookie contract and never got the extension he wanted after holding out in training camp.
A 4-yard TD toss from Vick to Brent Celek made it 27-10.
Roy Helu turned a screen pass into a 47-yard TD to get Washington within 10-7 on the opening drive of the second half.
The Redskins turned the ball over on downs at the Eagles 35 in the final minute of the second quarter. They got the ball back when Brian Orakpo sacked Vick and forced a fumble. Perry Riley recovered at the 17, but the Redskins wasted the field position.
An unsportsmanlike penalty on Santana Moss for taking off his helmet and arguing a non-call for pass interference pushed the ball back, and the clock expired before Gano could attempt a field goal after Jabar Gaffney was tackled at the Eagles 7. Long snapper Nick Sundberg wasn't on the field as players scurried to the line of scrimmage.
"A little mix-up there relative to communication, coupled with not getting the play," Shanahan said, explaining that the headsets weren't working at the time.
|Dion Lewis, playing in place of LeSean McCoy, scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter for the Eagles. (US Presswire)|
|Sun. Jan. 1||Final|
|FG||Alex Henery, 35 Yd, 10:29. Drive: 5 plays, 31 yards in 1:41.|
|TD||Chad Hall, 7 Yd pass from Michael Vick (Alex Henery kick is good), 1:44. Drive: 8 plays, 65 yards in 4:09.|
|TD||Roy Helu, 47 Yd pass from Rex Grossman (Graham Gano kick is good), 10:29. Drive: 8 plays, 80 yards in 4:31.|
|FG||Alex Henery, 20 Yd, 4:05. Drive: 13 plays, 72 yards in 6:24.|
|FG||Graham Gano, 27 Yd, 13:24. Drive: 11 plays, 71 yards in 5:41.|
|TD||DeSean Jackson, 62 Yd pass from Michael Vick (Alex Henery kick is good), 12:01. Drive: 3 plays, 80 yards in 1:23.|
|TD||Brent Celek, 4 Yd pass from Michael Vick (Alex Henery kick is good), 5:56. Drive: 6 plays, 65 yards in 3:04.|
|TD||Dion Lewis, 9 Yd run (Alex Henery kick is good), 1:56. Drive: 6 plays, 40 yards in 3:10.|
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