Until Thursday night the Eagles were winless in six games decided by a touchdown or fewer.
In the clutch the Birds were shakier than the lead singer in a rumba band.
When the game was on the line, they resembled quivering pats of butter.
Their knocking knees sounded like bongo drums.
Needless to say, it was driving their fans right to the brink of madness.
Call it the magic of Christmas or something celestial, but all that changed dramatically last night when the Eagles somehow managed to prevent the hated Giants from clinching an NFL playoff berth 24-19 at the Linc.
OK, I get it that Doug Pederson wanted a dramatic escape with a win Sunday in Baltimore.
Alas, Pederson is no Indiana Jones.
After Carson Wentz led the Eagles on a dramatic potential game-tying drive in the final two minutes by rushing for a 4-yard TD with four seconds left in their 27-26 loss to the Ravens, Pederson opted to gamble and go for the two-point conversion.
It worked as well as a Styrofoam hammer.
Wentz’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and the Eagles were saddled with their fifth straight loss. The Birds fell to 5-9, ensuring their second consecutive losing season unless the NFL suddenly adopts an 18-game schedule effective this season.
It’s obviously too late to apply a tourniquet to the hemorrhage this year.
But unless there is a dramatic roster overhaul and Pederson starts making more prudent decisions, next year also could bleed Eagles’ fans a whiter shade of pale.
Once again the Eagles won’t win the NFL title this season.
They haven’t since 1960. The world of football and the world at large have changed underwear about a zillion times since then.
So if you’re a long-suffering Eagles’ fan, you have been ripped off like an Amish tourist in the French Quarter. You likely would have gotten a better deal on Elvis’ wristwatch or an Okefenokee time-share.
The Birds lost 27-22 to the Redskins Sunday. At least this week their effort was honest and intense.
Indeed, contact-averse tight end Zach Ertz, his manhood skewered on sports talk radio all week, rose like a phoenix from the ashes. He caught 10 balls for 112 yards and threw more blocks than a 2-year-old.
Meanwhile, Carson Wentz remains a work in progress but is exhibiting some promising omens. He did go 32 for 46 for 314 yards and a touchdown but had a killer of an interception and lost a fumble that decided the game.
Of course, that fateful fumble was set up by a Pro Bowl defensive end beating a fourth-string right tackle off the snap.
In some ways it also was Wentz’s best performance yet considering the adverse circumstances. On that ill-fated final drive in which he marched the Eagles 61 yards in a minute and a half, they were playing without three of their four running backs, two of their top four pass-catchers, their No. 2 tight end, and three of their five Week 1 starters on the offensive line (along with their top backup).
With a supporting case like that, it’s tough for a rookie QB to turn vinegar into champagne, coal into diamonds and Cracker Jacks into caviar.
OK, the Eagles no longer have even the thinnest shadow of a life this season.
Their season is turning into something despicable.
Rookie QB Carson Wentz is dissolving before our eyes.
After Sunday’s coyote-ugly 32-14 loss to the Bengals, it now appears it’s going to be a stark winter.
The offense has a paucity of talent, excelling only in making false-start and motion penalties. You can’t find a tourniquet big enough to apply to the hemorrhage that is the offensive line. The receivers couldn’t get separation even if they were wielding jousting poles.
The defense is soft, pliant and plodding, obviously not capture-and-punish invaders. At this point they likely could be stabbed to death with a feather.
Wentz, with a supporting cast that sucks more than disco music, is regressing. He is not seeing the field. His accuracy is evaporating. He is confused in his pre-snap reads and overwhelmed by the speed of the game. He looks lost, like a hick from North Dakota State in the big city. He seems doomed to an endless string of Proustian analyses.
If they unravel like cheap rayon the remainder of the season, it may be back to the infamous and proverbial drawing board.