Two miracles aside, the Eagles’ passing game has been misfiring

Last night was a bad night for atheists.

Miracles do happen.

Of course, so far this young season they seem to happen every week to the Philadelphia Eagles.

They are specializing in making the biggest comebacks since Lazarus was playing in the Old Testament League.

The Birds’ legend is swelling like a blowfish.

They have the unique capacity to turn frowns upside down in the Greater Delaware Valley.

Granted, Chip Kelly is the premier offensive sorcerer in the world, an X’s and O’s wizard whose magical schemes move like a clarinet glissando.

But could he also be divine?

The Eagles became the first team in NFL history to start their season 2-0 despite trailing each of their games by 14 or more points.

For two straight weeks their opponents have folded like a carpenter’s ruler down the stretch.

Philly beat the Colts 30-27 in Indianapolis Monday night with a last-second field goal by rookie Cody
Parkey despite finding themselves down 20-6 halfway through the third quarter.

These corpuscle-popping dramatics came after a season opener in which the Birds spotted the Jacksonville Jaguars 17 points in the first half, only to storm back with 34 (count ‘em!) unanswered points.

Not to be a naysayer in the midst of all this miraculous euphoria, but the Eagles’ vaunted passing game is out of sync.

Perhaps DeSean Jackson was more than just a disposable rap artist.

Right now there is a definite disconnect between Nick Foles and wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley
Cooper, who seem more disoriented than folks back in the good ol’ LSD days.

Maclin and Cooper are struggling, which totally sucks when Kelly’s schemes routinely give at least one receiver on every play more space than a wandering dairy cow in Montana.

Thank God (the miracle thing, you know) that multi-purpose back Darren Sproles has been simply heavenly and that Zach Ertz is blossoming into one stud of a tight end.

Foles has been inaccurate when he has had no excuse or reason to be … throwing behind open receivers, rushing to get the ball out on bubble screens, and misplacing his deep ball of last season.

Compounding matters, the Birds dropped at least six passes last night.

If and when the Eagles get their aerial circus performing brilliantly under the big top, miracle comebacks won’t be a mandatory MO.

When you look at the Bush/Cheney Iraq war in the rearview mirror, you see the birth of ISIL

History sure is a funny old possum at times.

Over the centuries there have been some deadly dudes … Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Attila, Hitler, Napoleon.

Of course, times change and now history has served up a deadly threat that sounds like an acronym for an insurance company.

The Psychic Helpline couldn’t have predicted this.

ISIL is one scary terrorist organization, nastier than eating Brussels sprouts.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has a silly name, but there is nothing silly about this bloody thirsty bunch of crazed zealots.

They get their kicks from seeing their victims dissolve like a sugar lump in water before beheading or crucifying them.

Like a wet Post-in note, nothing seems to stick with them.

The only way to blunt these infidels to is behead them with unrelenting carpet bombing.

In a piece of irony thicker than a $3 steak, these violent creatures were spawned by the loins of war.

The totally unnecessary Bush/Cheney Iraq War and its ill-advised aftermath created the conditions that led directly to the rise of ISIL

The first Bush ousted Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 but refrained from taking out Baghdad to avoid kicking over the sectarian hornet’s nest unleashed by the second Bush in 2003.

And then George W. exponentially compounded matters by pouring gasoline on the raging fire fueled by the volatile sectarian strife between Sunnis and Shiites.

He eliminated all vestiges of Sunni power in Iraqi society, inadvertently lighting the fuse for the Sunni insurrection against American occupation and the new Shiite-led government.

The younger Bush disbanded the entire Sunni-dominated Iraqi Army and bureaucracy, unwittingly creating a massive vacuum where disenfranchised former commanders in the Saddam-era Iraqi military took root in ISIL.

Why couldn’t Bush and Dick Cheney have realized that they telegraphed this whole mess like a veritable Samuel Morse?

So Roger, just how long can you tread water?

Roger Goodell allegedly is brighter than the sun.

So how could he be so dim during this entire Ray Rice fiasco?

The answer would seem to be he couldn’t … unless it was part of a cover-up or whitewash.

If so, why? I understand protecting the shield.

But ever since Goodell become the commish, he’s been suspending so many players for malfeasance it’s a wonder teams could fill out their rosters at times.

Perhaps he doesn’t think domestic abuse is that big of a deal, which would be a terrible indictment.

Goodell could now be thrust into his own version of Watergate.

And just like Richard Nixon, it may prove to be Goodell’s Waterloo.

For Nick Foles, the past could be prologue. Or perhaps not

In the NFL, every snap is an invitation to brutality.

The rain of concussive blows transforms the strongest limbs and sinew into quivering, shredded protoplasm.

Once magnificent bodies hollowed by injury.

Gruesome physical trauma is not the only tribulation NFL players are subjected to.

The emotional trauma of trying to perform at the highest levels in a cauldron bubbling over with toxic pressure hollows once stout minds.

Survive and thrive in the midst of these trials and you can pocket riches and adulation, albeit relatively fleeting.

The effect is exponential if you are a golden-armed quarterback.

The Eagles’ Nick Foles now stands on the threshold of such a plush opportunity.

But it isn’t exactly like plucking low-hanging fruit.

Concocting a sequel to his do-you-freakin’-believe-this? 2013 season is akin to walking across a tightrope with the soles of your shoes slathered in Crisco.

Not to mention a little itty bitty thing like keeping most of his body parts intact.

If Foles truly is the anointed St. Nick, then he too could reap the blockbuster contracts next offseason that the Bengals and 49ers lavished on Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, respectively.

Fortunately, Foles seems more laid back than Huck Finn on a Mississippi raft.

The pressure likely won’t fold, spindle or mutilate him.

Let us pray that neither will defensive ends and blitzing linebackers spewing fumes of destruction.

Brian Hoyer may defuse Manziel Mania all by his own self

Brian Hoyer is messing with the script more than a fussy director.

The Screenwriters Guild would not approve.

Johnny Football, aka Johnny Manziel and Johnny Selfie, was supposed to be the star of the Cleveland Browns this season.

Manziel, who oozes Hollywood star charisma and who performed all sorts of magical feats with his arm, feet, moxie and raucous partying while winning a Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M, eventually will be the Browns’ starting quarterback.

A top quarterback pick is handed that by divine right. He is, after all, the presumed heir and air to the throne.

Some become ascendant stars. Others fizzle spectacularly and burn down to mere ash.

Looks like Manziel may have to wait to get his star turn.

Brian Hoyer, — who never parties, who is duller than khakis, who spent three years in the Witness Protection Program backing up Tom Brady, who finally got his starting show with his hometown Browns and went a stuff-of-fairy-tales 3-0 last year before the damnable Fickle Finger of Fate shredded his ACL like so much linguini — is playing so well that unless Manziel puts on an astonishing aerial circus and stockpiles a supernatural string of death-defying and hearts-gulping-in-throats scrambles that belie rational belief during the preseason games, is going to be the starter.

If this shall come to pass, pardon the pun, Brian Hoyer will be Rocky and Rudy rolled into one.

An underdog as undercover as underwear will be basking in the neon white heat of the spotlight.

Bubonic plague climbs from the history textbooks and sprouts in China

Bubonic plague, it turns out, is not entombed in the past.

The same horror that killed tens of millions throughout Europe during the 14th century now has trapped 30,000 people in the Chinese city of Yumen.

Yumen has been sealed off from the rest of the country because a 38-year-old died from bubonic plague contracted from contact with a dead marmot.

Bubonic plague, not so affectionately nicknamed the Black Death, is a virulent bacterial infection.

Fortunately we now have antibiotics that can effectively treat the disease if administered in a timely fashion.

Which hopefully keeps The Grim Reaper from poaching the Yumen populace.

Under Sam Hinkie’s eternal reconstruction plan, the 76ers may be relevant by 2076

Compared to Sam Hinkie, a turtle is an Olympic sprinter.

Molasses, not blood, apparently flows through his veins.

If this guy built the Egyptian pyramids, they still would be under construction.

The Sixers GM specializes in acquiring long-term assets that can’t walk up steps, let alone play hoops.

George Allen’s motto was The Future Is Now.

Sam Hinkie’s motto is The Future.

That’s it.

There is no present in this guy’s world.

Only tomorrow.

He reportedly has never watched Today on NBC.

As a kid he must have spent way too much time in Disney World’s Tomorrowland.

He demands that Sixers fans be patient and wait and wait and wait to see winning basketball.

Some of those fans likely will be dead by the time the Sixers possibly reap the benefits of last night’s NBA draft.

The Sixers had a helluva draft. For 2017 that is.

Last year Hinkie took Nerlens Noel No. 1, a guy recovering from an ACL injury.

Apparently Noel is as slow as Hinkie. He took the entire season to recover.

Last night the Sixers took another incapacitated big man with the third pick in the draft, Joel Embiid — rumored to be the next Hakeen Olajuwon if you SuperGlue all his bones together.

The guy suffered a stress fracture in his back at the end of Kansas’ season and now he has a fracture of the navicular bone in his foot.

The latter injury for a big man sometimes can be almost as bad as a leg amputation.

It takes 6 months to recover from that type of injury and often the player never is the same. With Hinkie’s MO, look for Embiid to sit out the entire season.

Cross your fingers he doesn’t fracture his tailbone doing all that sitting.

With the 10th pick in the first round, the Sixers took Elfrid Payton, rumored to be more of a cab driver than a poor shooting point guard and then flipped him to Orlando for Croatian forward Dario Saric.

Apparently Saric has been eating up Europe with his excellent passing and ball-handling when he’s not fighting off the Russians.

But he recently signed a three-year deal with a Turkish team (did Putin put a guy to his head?) that many believe will keep him in Europe for at least two years.

So the Sixers likely will have absolutely no impact whatsoever this season from a draft in which they had two high picks.

And it could be 2017 until Noel, Embiid and Saric take the same court for the Sixers … if ever.

Until then, look for tumbleweeds to be blowing through the Wells Fargo Center Ghost Town.