At last, the nightmare is over for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Well, the team’s hellish season is still very much a reality, but a losing streak that seemed like it would never end has finally been halted at a total of 8 games.
The phrase “too little, too late” is certainly in order here, as the Eagles’ Week 14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brings their season record to a laughable 4-9. There is never a reason to celebrate when the outside chance of a .500 season went out the window with four games remaining in the season.
The sad thing is, the Eagles barely squeaked out of the ‘New Sombrero’ with a win, as rookie QB Nick Foles connected with WR Jeremy Maclin on the game’s final play for a 1-yard touchdown, lifting the Eagles to a 23-21 victory. But if it wasn’t for a horrendous Buccaneers’ passing defense, the birds would have had no chance.
Foles played absolutely out of his mind on Sunday afternoon, racking up a massive 381 passing yards and 2 touchdowns while completing 32 of 51 attempts. Foles also scored a 10-yard rushing touchdown in the first half to give the Eagles a 10-0 halftime lead.
Impressively, Foles did not commit a single turnover for the third consecutive game.
While Foles put together a brilliant day in the passing attack, rookie RB Bryce Brown truly could not have played any worse for the Eagles. Brown totaled 6 rushing yards on 12 carries against the Bucs’ NFL-best run defense for a pathetic 0.5 yards per carry.
Brown was bound to come back to reality after putting together consecutive monster performances in his first two professional starts, in which he ran for a combined 347 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The Eagles effectively squashed the Buccaneers’ realistic hopes of reaching the post-season, as the Bucs fell to 6-7 after the loss. While they are still not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, it is clear that the two NFC wildcard spots are all but out of reach even if the Bucs win-out.
It seemed like the Bucs were cruising to victory in the fourth quarter after QB Josh Freeman slung a touchdown pass to WR Vincent Jackson, and RB Doug Martin ran one in for a score. The Bucs were up 21-10 with less than 8 minutes remaining before Foles and the Eagles came storming back.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, their injury report became even more involved after this Week 14 match-up, as CB Nnamdi Asomugha and TE Brent Celek exited with a neck injury and a concussion, respectively.
While this one impressive victory still does not give Andy Reid a chance at keeping his job next season, the Eagles’ head coach certainly breathed a sigh of relief at the end of this one.
In a season overloaded with disappointment, the Eagles managed to pry a slight smile out of their beloved fans with this last-second victory.
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