The Philadelphia Eagles (1-4) entered Ralph Wilson Stadium with one goal in mind — To win a game. The Buffalo Bills (4-1) were going into the matchup fresh off a loss, and it was the Eagles perfect chance to get the season back on the right track. The entire first half was dominated by Buffalo, and at halftime Philadelphia was down by 14 points. However, in the fourth quarter the Eagles mounted an impressive comeback and brought the game within seven, but ultimately ended up falling short.
Here are some quick thoughts and reactions from the Eagles latest loss:
Juan Castillo Needs to be Fired — Now
Philadelphia’s defense can be summed up with one word — pathetic. The entire game, the Bills were able to move the ball with ease, run plays that should have been stopped in the backfield, and throw check-down passes on screens with no resistance. Juan Castillo has done a miserable job with the defense this season, and there is no logical reason that he still has a job. This game proves once again that he needs to be replaced, or the Eagles defense will continue to fail.
Michael Vick is Not The Problem
Most will take one look at Michael Vick’s stat-line and immediately claim that he was the reason the Eagles lost the game. Vick finished with 315 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. But let’s clear up any misconceptions right now — three of the four interceptions were not Vick’s fault, and they were either on his receivers or offensive line. The only interception that was on him was a poor throw up the middle, the rest were on his teammates.
There is No Blocking in Philadelphia
The entire first half, Vick was taking an alarming numbers of shots in the pocket. The offensive line was non-existent and they provided little support for an offense that is built around passing the ball. Once the second half started, things improved mildly, but not enough to be considered consistent. Vick continued to take shots in the pocket, and the only way for him to escape pressure was to scramble out of the pocket.
Penalties Killed The Eagles
Over the course of the entire game, the Eagles were flagged with 5 penalties for a total of 56 yards. Two of which were back-to-back holding calls in the redzone, that eliminated a touchdown and forced the Eagles into kicking a field goal. There was also a slew of costly penalties on the Eagles defense — the most notably being the offsides call that killed Philadelphia’s chances with under a minute to go.
LeSean McCoy Still Looked Good
It’s amazing that even when the Eagles are struggling and losing games, LeSean McCoy still manages to look good. Even though the Eagles offense was down late in the game, McCoy still managed to make an impact on the offense, getting involved in the passing game and also breaking off some nice runs. McCoy was able to rack-up 80 yards and a touchdown, even though the Eagles were in a passing-mode almost the entire game.
The Eagles Rushing Defense is Totally Miserable
Even though the coaching staff stressed that the Eagles run defense was a key focus in practice, it certainly didn’t make a difference. Fred Jackson was able to tear Philadelphia apart to the tune of 111 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. On every hand-off it seemed that the Eagles linebackers were playing out of position, and they couldn’t even make contact on Jackson until he was past the line of scrimmage. Not to mention how the defensive line was totally non-existent.
Philadelphia Still Can’t Tackle
Missed tackles, missed chances. The entire game Philadelphia missed the Bills ballcarrier’s and gave-up big plays. It wasn’t just the team’s weak linebacking corps either, it was the safeties, corners, and even defensive line. Missing easy tackles is a fast way to lose football games, and the Eagles have proved that for four straight weeks.
Alex Henery Made a Field Goal!
Considering how poorly rookie kicker Alex Henery has done this season, it is great to see him hit a field goal with ease. It was only around a 30-yarder, but it was still huge for him not to miss one, and gain some of his confidence back.
The Eagles Are Terrible in The Clutch
Unlike the previous games this season, the Eagles never had a lead in this game. They never had the opportunity to blow a lead, but even with the role turned around, Philadelphia couldn’t manage to complete a comeback. The team has failed horribly this season keeping consistent, whether that be in the first or second half, there is no cohesiveness and no desire to win. The offsides call on Juqua Parker to end the game essentially sums up the entire result so far this year.
As an Eagles fan, there is little to look forward to or be happy about. This team has totally collapsed and things only are going to get worse as Philadelphia travels to Washington to play the division leading Redskins next week. I would venture as far as to say that the Eagles making the playoffs is almost entirely unlikely, and the star-studded team that assembled this off-season will be watching the Super Bowl from their couch. There are issues that aren’t being resolved, and there is no desire to win, and there seems to be no clear end in sight.