|Philly fans are fed up with Andy Reid and the underachieving Eagles. (US Presswire)|
PHILADELPHIA -- The injury to quarterback Mike Vick didn't look as bad as the others. After all, he has experienced a Groundhog Day of bashings, beatings and head trauma all season. When the back of Vick's head hit the ground after a tackle by Dallas linebacker Ernie Sims, Vick got up slowly, but there didn't appear to be much wrong.
That's because Vick always gets up slowly these days. He moves like a man who has the frame of someone in his 50s. Sometimes, it's a surprise when he moves at all. But this hit was different from the others: Vick had suffered a concussion.
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The hit happened in the first half and Vick never returned. One Eagles player said he'd be surprised if Vick didn't sit out at least a week. Coach Andy Reid said after the game he was unsure of the severity of Vick's concussion and that Vick would be the starting quarterback if and when he's medically cleared. Vick was unavailable for comment.
The truth is, it doesn't really matter who is the quarterback, because after the 38-23 loss to Dallas, the Eagles, at 3-6, are done. If Vick returns, they're still done. If Nick Foles, who replaced Vick, gets the starting job, they're definitely done. Reid is likely done as well. Many key components of this franchise are making a slow march to the unemployment line as Philadelphia is now tied with Washington for last place in the NFC East.
When asked if the Eagles could still make the playoffs, running back LeSean McCoy said: "Yeah, I believe that once we get it all together, we should dominate. We have the players here and coach [Reid] is a winning coach."
Not even sure what to say to that.
The story will be Vick leaving the game with a head injury, or the crazy inaccuracy of Foles, but the real story is how far this once-great franchise has fallen, and how we are all witnessing the end. The Eagles have lost five straight games for the first time in Reid's 14-year tenure.
There have been many symbols of ineptitude during this horrid Eagles season. Vick on his back. Vick tossing a pick. Vick concussed. Reid's blank stare into a post-game press conference camera. The boos. The excuses. The firings. The boos.
Perhaps none more symbolic than the embarrassing scene in the first quarter against the Cowboys. When the Reid era ends, and the tape is studied on this miserable year, this play will be among the top indicators of a sunken franchise, once great, that lost its way.
The embarrassing play came on first and 10 at the Philadelphia 11 early in the game. Tony Romo threw a short pass to running back Felix Jones. Jones broke one tackle. Then two. Then one more. Then one more. At about the two yard line, he broke another for good measure, and scored.
Jones broke six tackles in all.
Now, this is Felix Freaking Jones. Not Emmitt Smith. Not Tony Dorsett. Felix Jones. Just a dude. And the Philadelphia defenders bounced off him like he was Jim Brown.
Again, there were other candidates, even from this game. When Eagles receiver Jason Avant slipped coming out of a break, the football hit him smack in the head, he dropped it, and in the process pulled a hamstring. There was idiot Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, his team down 31-17, taunting Dallas defensive back Morris Claiborne.
Oh, and there was the missed extra point by Eagles kicker Alex Henery. A missed. Extra. Point.
You can't make this stuff up. Some of Philadelphia's play is like scenes from an Adam Sandler movie.
When Foles entered the game, it looked promising. He threw a 44-yard score to Maclin that gave Philadelphia a 14-10 lead. The last rookie quarterback for the Eagles to throw a touchdown pass was A.J. Feeley in 2002.
Then Foles fell apart. He's a rookie so he deserves a break but some of the passes he attempted were just foolish, especially once late in the game, when he rolled right and threw deep back across his body towards the middle of the field. You could hear the entire stadium -- at least the people who stayed -- take a deep breath.
Then Foles threw a series of interceptions, horrible passes, a few good ones, and crazy ones in what was a wild performance. If Foles starts the rest of the season or a significant chunk of it, the Eagles might not win another game. If you think Vick has been bad, Nick Foles will make you wish for Nick Nolte.
Unless your heart is made of silicon, you have to feel for Reid, while also digesting the hard fact he has completely screwed up the franchise he made into one of football's best powers.
Then there's Vick who was once one of the most feared players, barely able to survive a series of plays without being concussed. His speed gone, his decision-making a mess due to looking over his shoulder, fearing the next hit.
At the end of the game, Foles was sacked, the ball spilling loose, recovered by the Cowboys. There were no boos because the stadium was practically empty. That's when you know things are bad in Philadelphia. The fans aren't even sticking around to express their vitriol.
Prominent in the stadium was this sign: "Andy quit. Your team has!"
It's hard to argue and it's impossible to argue the end is near.