The dying light this Sunday eve takes time and memory for a ride.
Just recall when the Eagles were the Dream Team entering this season with Super Bowl or Bust scrawled across the franchise.
Now that signature after three mere games seems like so much graffiti. The Eagles have been trying to sell us for years that they are the gold standard of franchises. Now it seems they couldn’t sell bread in a famine.
The Birds are a shocking 1-2 and Michael Vick has a broken right hand after getting bushwhacked today in their home opener by the battered Giants 29-16.
So much for Michelangelo painting the Eagles’ 2011 team portrait and hanging it on the Vatican ceiling.
Today’s game for the Eagles was like a bout with pneumonia. It took your breath away. It was a more disgusting public spectacle than watching a hanging.
Put this terrible defeat in context: Compared to the Giants, Custer was even money. Of course, perhaps the boys in Vegas underestimated New York. It’s sort of like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.
Eli Manning uncorked four touchdown passes, two of them to somebody named Victor Cruz who only got to play because the Giants have lost more receivers than Obama has popularity.
Linebacker Casey Matthews, safety Kurt Coleman and All-Universe cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha all had coverage issues.
Vick started despite suffering a concussion in last week’s 35-31 loss at Atlanta. He left with a broken right hand in the fourth quarter today after helping the Eagles overcome a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to take a 16-14 lead.
There was no immediate word on how much time Vick will miss with his latest injury. He played one series after getting X-rayed. Vick has a non-displaced fracture and will have a CT scan Monday.
He does throw with his left hand, but a quarterback has to take snaps and hand off the ball, too. So whatever type of cast the medics craft, it could give Vick the touch of a butcher and not a surgeon.
Once again, he took a lot of punishment as the Giants certainly didn’t throw a no-hitter. No wonder Vick’s best friend these days is the Red Cross. As long as he plays this game, it likely ever will be thus. Hitting in the NFL is like sin. It’s too popular to abolish completely.
Vick never looked comfortable even before he got hurt. He absorbed a number of big hits, never got into a rhythm and couldn’t get the ball down the field.
He has yet to display the magic of last year. In fact, that magic vanished about midseason a year ago. The rabbit is back in the hat.
After the game, Vick apparently was still groggy from his concussion when he called out the zebras.
He complained that NFL officials allow him to be hit more, and hit later, than other quarterbacks.
Dumb move, Michael.
First, his playing style and penchant for sticking his noise into the thunder likely make him more vulnerable than any perceived bias by the men in stripes. Second, the officials won’t take kindly to being accused of playing favorites.
Vick when he returns now may be even more of a human piñata. Not a smart move by him to put an even bigger target on his back. The bull’s-eye will replace his No. 7, hurting the merchandise sales of his uniform.
What was memorable about this game from the Eagles’ perspective, and I say that fearing I may tear a labrum in reaching for something that should not be burned along with the game films, is that Andy Reid mounted a ground-oriented attack for the first time in his rotund life. Perhaps because Vick still was foggy from his concussion and because Shady McCoy, who rushed for 128 yards, is too good to be grounded.
Speaking of strategy, Reid sure as hell went down gambling in the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth down and 1 on the Giants’ 43, up two points with less than 12 minutes left, and knowing his defense had bottled up New York for nearly two quarters, he went for it.
And it blew up in his face like a Roman candle.
The Eagles were dropped for a 3-yard loss. The Giants used that great field position to score a touchdown and take a 22-16 lead with 8:07 left.
Then again, on game days, nobody has ever confused Reid with Napoleon. Granted, with his team and season unraveling faster than rayon, Reid’s scheme henceforth just may be to shell a team for three days with the howitzers and then send in the infantry.