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Eagles-Giants Postgame: It's Tough Being an Eagles Fan
It's tough being a Philadelphia Eagles fan. It really is.
The team has never won a Super Bowl and I'm convinced they never will. Certainly not while the current owner is still around.
The team was eliminated from the playoffs in spectacularly embarrassing fashion last week and had no incentive to win their game against the New York Giants this week. So of course, they went out and beat the Giants to screw themselves and the fans in numerous ways.
The Eagles 35-30 win over the Giants will cost them anywhere from 8-10 spots in the 2016 NFL draft. Instead of drafting around 8th, they'll be somewhere around 16th or so instead. The draft position of any teams with matching records all depends on the tiebreakers, which the NFL determines not by head-to-head, but by strength of schedule. That means that the NFL draft order for the non-playoff teams will be determined after all the Week 17 games have been played. The only good news for the Eagles there is that the NFC East was terrible, so that will help them get a higher pick.
A draft pick in the teens instead of in the top 10 is even worse because that idiot Chip Kelly gave away the Eagles' 2nd round draft pick next year for a one-year rental of Sam Bradford.
There is also the fact that by finishing second in the NFC East, they will have to play the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle next season. If they had lost, they would have gotten to play the St. Louis Rams in London instead. The Rams aren't very good and Seattle is 28-4 at home over the last 4 years.
In short, winning this meaningless Week 17 game over the Giants (for the second season in a row, actually) is the absolute worst thing that the Eagles could have done. Sure, the players should always give their best and try to win every game, but this type of thing is typical for an Eagles fan.
Hell, if the Eagles had somehow beaten the Washington Redskins last week, they absolutely would have lost this game to the Giants and missed out on the playoffs. It's what the Eagles do and it's why being an Eagles fan is so damn hard.
I could go through what happened in the game, but honestly I'm too bitter. Let's just hit the highlights (lowlights), shall we.
The Eagles took an early lead when free agent bust RB DeMarco Murray scored on a 54-yard TD run where he wasn't even touched. I would like to point out that QB Sam Bradford was under center for this play, which is something he almost never did under Kelly. Kudos for interim head coach/offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
Of course, Murray being Murray, he rushed for 49 yards on 4 carries in the first half, which means his other 3 carries netted negative 5 yards. He also coughed up a fumble in Eagles territory early in the second half and the Giants scored a TD on the very next play to take the lead. All in all, a typical game for Murray.
Sam Bradford actually had a good game, completing 30 of 38 passes for 320 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. That will only drive up his price on the free agent market, ensuring that he won't resign with the Eagles. Again, this is what the Eagles do. The INT was on a deflection, so it wasn't all his fault. Of course, the Giants have the worst pass defense I have ever seen in my entire life, so I'm guessing that even crappy Mark Sanchez could have lit up this Giants team that ranked as the worst in the entire NFL on merit. OK, maybe not Sanchez.
Because the Giants can't cover anybody, especially in the middle of the field, Zach Ertz caught 9 passes for a career-high 152 yards and Jordan Matthews hauled in 7 balls for 54 yards and 2 TDs. I'm not really sure why the Giants bothered to cover any other Eagles receivers, since they all stink. Ertz seemed to be open on every single play. I think Bradford was just trying to get other players involved so they wouldn't feel left out against the hapless Giants defense.
The Giants offense also helped give the game to the Eagles, so I'm suspicious that the Giants front office instructed their team to lose since they are firing head coach Tom Coughlin on Monday anyway.
Eli Manning looked as lost as he always does against the Eagles. Any time there was any pressure on him, he got flustered and threw the football away or directly into the ground. He was missing open receivers all day and finished a pathetic 24 for 43 passing for 302 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INT. But for some reason, Manning wasn't charged with an INT when he should have been. When he went back to pass in the 3rd quarter, Connor Barwin hit the ball while he was throwing it and Walter Thurmond grabbed the ball out of the air and returned it 83 yards for a TD. It was curiously ruled a "fumble". It should have been the 200th INT of Manning's completely overrated career. As it was, it was the turning point of the game.
The Giants led 27-21 at that point and were driving for another score that certainly would have caused this Eagles team to quit like the dogs with fleas that they are. Instead, the Eagles went up 28-27 and managed to win a game they should have lost.
The Eagles tried to give the game back, though. Inside the 2-minute warning, they threw the ball deep on their last possession, which stopped the clock. The Giants got the ball back with 1:43 left, which is plenty of time against a horrible Eagles pass defense. Unfortunately for any Eagles fan with a clue, Manning missed open receiver after open receiver on the final drive and the Eagles held on for the win.
It amazing that Manning wasn't able to do better against an Eagles defense that is so bad it set an NFL record for futility. The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to have its defense allow 6,000 yards in three straight seasons. I'm guessing the Giants defense will break that record soon enough with how horrible they are.
The Eagles managed to let Giants RB Rashad Jennings rush for a season-high 116 yards in the first half alone. Jennings finished with 170 yards and a TD for the game, but it should have been more. It seems that Coughlin and his staff were the only people who didn't realize that the Eagles defense couldn't stop Jennings. On New York's first two scoring drives, the Giants stopped running the football once they got into the red zone. Yes, the Eagles have given up more passing TDs in the redzone than any other team in the NFL this season, but why stop what's working? It made no sense. (Unless, the Giants were trying to lose)
Jason Peters continued to prove that the Hall of Fame portion of his career ended at least a season ago. He was flagged for tripping early in the game, which negated a first down when the Eagles were inside their own 5 yard line and he gave up a sack later in the game to a team that normally needs a GPS to find the QB. Only two teams in the NFL registered fewer than the Giants' 23 sacks.
Final NFC East Standings
New York Giants
A couple of other amazing things happened in this game.
Kiko Alonso had his first tackle for a loss of the season. Let that one sink in for a minute. Kelly traded the franchise's all-time rusher leader, LeSean McCoy for that stiff. Equally as absurd is the fact that LB Marcus Smith got his first career sack in the game. You're forgiven if you have to think hard to remember who Marcus Smith is, since he played less than 100 snaps the entire season. He's the guy who Kelly drafted in the first round in 2014, remember?
Those are two more shameful reminders of what a torture it is to be an Eagles fan.
Yes, I suppose this win may have had more to do with the fact that the Eagles own Eli Manning and the Giants, winning 13 of the last 16 meetings between the two teams, but that doesn't make it any less painful that the Eagles can't even lose when they're supposed to lose. So frustrating.
Now that the season is over, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and his GM, Howie Roseman will try to find the next coach of the team. They won't get any of the top candidates mainly because of the sad state of their roster and Roseman's horrible reputation around the league. Yet another kick in the groin to all the helpless Eagles fans out there.
The Eagles are a curse, which is probably why so many Eagles fans are always cursing the team. They can never seem to win and, lately, they can't even seem to lose when they should.
It's actually a good thing that the season is over. Eagles fans need some time off from all the abuse they receive year after year form this franchise. Unfortunately, the team will go right back to disappointing their loyal fan base once they start their coaching search, make horrible draft picks and sign the worst free agents available.
If you think I'm being too harsh, then please explain to me where the Eagles are hiding all the Lombardi Trophies
Ex-Eagles President/GM Joe Banner once famously said, "The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." Well, if that's the case, then Eagles fans are insane for being fans of the team.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to my padded cell for the offseason.