There are certain omens that occur during a football game, mostly involving the placekicker, that provide an accurate reading of whether it is going to be your team’s day or not.
When the kicker “doinks” a field goal off the uprights, but it still manages to go through, it’s a safe bet that it’s your team’s day to win. Conversely, when that “doink” results in preventing that kick from going through, it’s likely a bad omen of things to come.
Another bad omen is when your kicker, who has been reliable for the whole season, not only misses two field goals in the game but misses one from a very makable 36 yards out, which is precisely what happened last week to Cody Parkey.
Even after the Eagles managed to claw their way back to tie the game, had the ball with 2:36 remaining, and managed to drive from their own 15 to the Redskins 48-yard line, I couldn’t help but think back to those two missed field goals and the gnawing thought that this was not to be the Eagles day. And then it happened…
Mark Sanchez, who hasn’t done much to prove to any future employer that he’s worthy of being a starting quarterback in this league, dropped back and, under a blitz, threw an ill-advised, off the mark pass that was intercepted by Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland.
The interception didn’t guarantee the Redskins anything, as they were only at the 50, but any hope of stopping Washington ended for the Birds on the next play, when Pierre Garcon caught a pass and faked out Cary “toast” Williams, going 23 yards to the Eagles 35. Add 15 yards for a Vinny Curry roughing-the-passer penalty and that was the game. The Redskins at the Eagles 20 and, much like last year’s playoff game against the Saints, only needing to run down the clock and hit a chip shot field goal to win it, thereby putting a dagger in Chip Kelly’s sophomore season and leading to more questions than answers about which direction this team is going.
What’s remaining after all the carcass has been removed from what was a 9-3 record and a division lead is the Eagles first meaningless game in two seasons. And while I’m okay with playing the starters, one would have hoped that Matt Barkley would have gotten the chance to start at quarterback, if only to see what he could do in a regular season game that won’t make a difference…win or lose.
Chip Kelly, in his weekly news conference, scoffed at that idea, stating that all of his starters, including Mark Sanchez, will start the final game. Perhaps Chip thinks that he’s still coaching in college and that ten wins instead of nine will help the team receive an invite to a better named, but still meaningless, bowl game. Perhaps Chip thinks he’s going on a recruiting trip where he can boast that his team had double-digit wins two years in a row, making it more likely that he can snag a blue-“chip” recruit (no pun intended).
Unfortunately, Chip now has all the constraints of the NFL draft when it comes to acquiring “prospects”, and nine wins instead of ten would help that cause. However, four straight losses would leave a bad taste in the mouth of the players and extend their losing streak into next year, something the current players would probably like to extinguish before catching the next plane out of town and exiting what will surely be the “City of Sports Discontent” for possibly the next eight months and even longer.
No, the Eagles need a win if for nothing else than their psyche, but facing a Giants team that has won three straight, there is no guarantee they will get it. I’m actually neutral either way…a win would look better, but so would a better draft pick.
Unfortunately, I think Sanchez continues his mediocre play, the Eagles continue to turn the ball over, and the secondary continues to give up big plays. Eagles lose 30-17 and end one of the most disappointing seasons in recent history.
Amit’s Top 5 Power Rankings:
1. Patriots (2)
2. Seahawks (3)
3. Broncos (1)
4. Cardinals (4)
5. Cowboys (new)
Amit’s Marquee Matchups of the Week (all times in EST and on Sunday):
Chargers at Chiefs 1:00 PM CBS
Lions at Packers 4:25 PM FOX
Bengals at Steelers 8:30 PM NBC – Game of the Week