Let’s get this out of the way first: Hopefully you didn’t watch the Eagles’ glorious 3-1 preseason and book tickets for the Super Bowl in San Francisco. Because now the Eagles are 0-2. That’s not good. The Cleveland Browns are 1-1. The Oakland Raiders — the Oakland freaking Raiders — are 1-1. A few teams have gone from 0-2 to Super Bowl winners, namely the 2001 Patriots and the 2007 Giants, but the success rate of even making the playoffs when starting the season 0-2 was somewhere around 14 percent, according to a study from a few years ago. Sunday’s 20-10 loss to Dallas was ugly, too. The Eagles lost to a rival playing at a subpar level with a backup quarterback for about one-third of the game. Also, Kiko Alonso, a top get this offseason, left the game in the first half and will have an MRI on his knee Monday. Not good indeed. Here’s a recap of everything that went wrong, featuring replays of plenty Sam Bradford gaffes.
The turning point
Though the Eagles fell into another hole while not doing anything on offense in the first half, things looked to be moving in a better direction when Dallas quarterback Tony Romo left the game with what would later be diagnosed as a broken collarbone after getting sacked and fumbled the ball. The Eagles would later make a field goal, trailing 13-3 early in the fourth quarter. Then Dallas fumbled again, with Malcolm Jenkins recovering it and returning it into Dallas territory. The stage was set. The Eagles had the ball on the Dallas 30 and plenty of momentum. A field goal would have made it a seven-point game and a touchdown a three-point game. On the first play of the drive that could have brought the Eagles back, this happened… https://twitter.com/WillReeveJr/status/645736336066908160 Dallas recovered. And that was pretty much that. Though Bradford did still have enough time to throw another interception — on the next Eagles possession.
What to be happy about
It’s only two games, and no team appears poised to run away with the NFC East division. The Giants are also 0-2, the Washington Ethnic Slurs are the Washington Ethnic Slurs and Dallas, despite being 2-0, has major injury problems. Star wide receiver Dez Bryant missed Sunday’s game and will probably be out for several weeks. Romo will likely join him on the bench for an extended period. Broken collarbones don’t exactly heal quickly. In the interim, Brandon Weeden, who seems like he’s 47 years old and threw what is considered the worst pick in NFL history, will be Dallas’ starting quarterback. Of course, Weeden did enough to hold on and beat the Eagles. Also: Among those 0-2 teams that have made the playoffs are the 2003 Eagles. They went on to make the NFC Championship game.
Is it really Demarco Murray that the Eagles have on their roster, or did Dallas send a body double to troll Philadelphia? For the second week, Murray was essentially useless. He gained two yards on 13 carries. The Eagles as a team had seven yards on 17 carries. Coach Chip Kelly said afterwards, “if we can’t run the football we’re not going to win many football games.” Yep, no kidding.
Best Chip Kelly-ism
“Nothing worked.” Kelly was uncharacteristically a little boring after Sunday’s loss and even for him, often a man of few words, a little short-winded. https://twitter.com/MikeSielski/status/645761938622939136
The d’oh moment
A lot went wrong for the Eagles today in what was a truly ugly game. The running attack, for instance, was nonexistent yet again. Kelly’s offensive strategies deserve to be dissected and criticized. At half, Philadelphia had 21 total yards and one first down. Still, the Eagles had multiple opportunities to get into the game that were nullified by Bradford mistakes, be they that fumble from above, a red zone interception in the third quarter or the interception that followed the fumble and essentially ended the game. This laughable throw summed up Bradford’s day.
Weird Thing That Happened
We’re not saying Bradford has lost command of this team or won’t be able to assume the ideal role of a quarterback leader after a rough performance on Sunday. But he couldn’t even get this woman on the sidelines who might or might not be an Eagles employee to listen. https://twitter.com/laceynoonan/status/645739830920540160
Tweet of the game
Quote of the day
Sometimes you just have to give credit to the king. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may be a questionable football decision-maker and a hated rival, but he’s a grizzled old Texan and as such sure as hell knows how to craft a good quote. https://twitter.com/DMN_George/status/645756957798694912
Sure, Temple is off to a nice start buuuuuuut still. https://twitter.com/_CharlesDuncan/status/645762365028302848 And some Tebowing, too. https://twitter.com/NFLonCBS/status/645746788058566656
Insane Eagles Fan Commentary
What’s happening next week
The Eagles face the Jets Sunday at 1 in New York. The parking lots at the Linc will be full of pilgrim buses visiting the pope. More than ever, that man needs to bless Sam Bradford.