The Eagles blew a chance to get a franchise-best 14 wins on the season by looking and playing like the winless Cleveland Browns.
Remember last week when the Philadelphia Eagles got what could only be called an ugly win against the Oakland Raiders? How we all figured we had seen the once proud Birds offense sink about as low as it could go?
As they say, hold my beer.
The Eagles lost their season finale against the Dallas Cowboys at a frigid Lincoln Financial Field by a final of 6-0. It was the first time the Birds have been shut out 2005 and the team now goes into the postseason with a lot of questions and two weeks to find some answers.
Now, it should be noted that thanks to the Eagles clinching a bye and home field, the game against Dallas was meaningless. As a result head coach Doug Pederson opted to rest many of his starters or have them play just the first quarter. Add in temperatures that struggled to get above 20 degrees and you had all the makings of a game that was going to be tough to watch.
But this. This was something else.
For three quarters the only players getting any real action on the field were the punters as neither team could get their offense going. In the case of Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, this was more because the Eagles defense actually decided to show some life and play. On the other hand, for the Birds it was just one sloppy, sad, ineffective down after another.
Quarterback Nick Foles lasted one quarter, going an unremarkable 4 for 11 for 39 yards and an interception. It was not the kind of performance fans wanted to see going into the playoffs and will give Eagles Nation plenty to talk about in the two weeks leading up to the next game ay the Linc.
One bright spot (and that’s a stretch) was the debut of Nate Sudfeld. He took over under center in the second quarter and showed that yes, he can play. Sudfeld finished the day completing 19 of 23 passes for 128 yards and also showed he can run with a 22-yard run.
Not numbers that will impress anyone right now, but it demonstrates that the Eagles were smart to hold onto him.
The Cowboys finally put some points on the board when Prescott connected with wide receiver Brice Butler for a 20-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth. They missed the extra point which made winning the game a possibility if Sudfeld could get in the end zone and kicker Jake Elliott could make the extra point.
Alas, it was too much to ask on a day where the Eagles had nothing to play for but pride and obviously decided that it just wasn’t worth it.
In addition to Sudfeld, cornerback Sidney Jones also made his highly anticipated pro debut. Jones was the Birds’ second-round pick this year but hasn’t played due to a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered before the draft.
While Jones didn’t exactly set the place on fire with his play, he did show some athleticism. Lining up against Dez Bryant in your very first NFL game is never easy, but Jones played tough and showed a lot of confidence. He should be just fine come next season.
On a sad note, Sunday may very well have been the last time we will see tight end Brent Celek in Eagles green. Celek has been playing in Philly for 11 years and has been nothing but a consummate professional, helping provide leadership in the locker room during the tumultuous Chip Kelly years. Unfortunately he may become a victim of the salary cap and if Celek doesn’t retire, he could be playing for another team next season.
The Eagles now have two weeks to try to right the ship thanks to a first-round bye in the playoffs. Then they begin their quest to head to Minneapolis and Super Bowl LII on either Jan. 13 or 14.