Once again, Michael Vick couldn’t make it through a first half against the Giants (see story). This time, Nick Foles couldn’t rescue the Eagles.
Vick’s anticipated comeback from a two-week hamstring injury quickly turned into Matt Barkley’s first lengthy NFL action, but the rookie couldn’t deliver against the Giants as the Eagles fell, 15-7, Sunday at the Linc.
The Eagles’ only touchdown -- the game’s only touchdown -- came from special teamer Najee Goode, who scored after recovering a snap that went over the head of Giants punter Steve Weatherford and was loose near the goal line.
The Giants won on five Josh Brown field goals and with a defense that capitalized on the Eagles’ shaky quarterback situation.
The Eagles (3-5) have dropped two straight and retreated to two games under .500 for the second time under first-year coach Chip Kelly. The win drought at the Linc reached 10 games, continuing the NFL’s longest-active home losing streak.
After churning out at least 425 offensive yards in their first six games, the Eagles have hit the skids. They’ve gone eight quarters without scoring an offensive touchdown and managed just 201 yards against the Giants one week after scoring just three points and totaling only 278 yards against Dallas.
Obviously, injuries at quarterback have played into the sudden funk. Foles rescued the Eagles against the Giants on Oct. 6 after Vick pulled his hamstring, and then beat Tampa Bay the following weekend, but his nightmarish start last Sunday against Dallas, a 17-3 loss, ended before the end of the third, when he sustained a concussion that kept him out of practice all last week.
Vick, who practiced all week but never declared himself fully recovered, didn’t look right from the start and left after four possessions. The Eagles trailed, 12-0, when Barkley entered the game and didn't get any boost from the rookie out of USC or Kelly’s play-calling.
On his first possession, Barkley marched the Eagles to the Giants’ 2-yard line. Instead of a first-down carry for LeSean McCoy, Kelly called for a pass that resulted in Barkley getting strip-sacked by cornerback Terrell Thomas and having his fumble recovered by the Giants.
Kelly later eschewed a 49-yard field goal attempt on 4th-and-10 at the Giants’ 37 to have Barkley pass and throw incomplete to Jason Avant. In the third, down by 15, Kelly punted on 4th-and-4 at the Giants’ 37, a curiously conservative decision. Kelly also strangely called for an onside kick with more than four minutes to play after Goode’s touchdown trimmed the Giants’ lead to 15-7.
For the second straight week, an outstanding effort by the defense went by the wayside. After holding Dallas’ second-ranked scoring offense to 17 points last Sunday, the Eagles kept Eli Manning and the Giants from finding the end zone. They lost despite not allowing an offensive touchdown for the first time since Dec. 3, 2000, a 15-13 loss to Tennessee at The Vet.
Vick was intercepted once, sacked once and completed just 6 of 9 passes for 31 yards. He clearly lacked his trademark speed and mobility, as he tried to stay in the pocket and ran once for just one yard.
Barkley looked OK in his first extended NFL action, but he couldn’t get the Eagles into the end zone. He completed 17 of 26 passes for 158 yards, was picked off once and fumbled once.
This week, he could likely get all the first-team reps in practice to prepare for Sunday’s game against Oakland.
Manning wasn’t great, but he went his second straight game without a pick on a short turnaround. He completed 25 of 39 passes for 246 yards. The Giants converted 8 of 19 third downs
Normally not an award for a special teams player, but hey, Giants kicker Josh Brown made all five of his kicks.
Too many to choose from, but McCoy was once again bottled up by a Giants defense that again had his number. McCoy managed just 48 yards on 15 carries and combined for just 94 yards in two games this year against the Giants.
Giants safety Antrel Rolle made the early plays that set the tone, picking off Vick on the Eagles’ first drive and then sacking the Eagles’ quarterback to start the second drive.
Nobody really played a bad defensive game, on either side, but the Eagles’ defensive line really didn’t get much pressure on Manning, who came into the game with 15 interceptions. Not exceptional games from Fletcher Cox, Trent Cole and Cedric Thornton.
Vick’s status is obviously in doubt going forward. The same can be said for Foles, who didn’t practice all week. Running back Chris Polk re-injured his shoulder in the first half and was probable to return. Reserve outside linebacker Casey Matthews, a special teamer, suffered a hip flexor in the third but returned in the fourth.
QB Nick Foles, S Patrick Chung, OT Matt Tobin, OT Dennis Kelly, DE Damion Square, RB Matthew Tucker, LB Jake Knott (see story).
The Eagles (3-5) travel cross country next weekend to play the Raiders (2-4 going into Sunday afternoon) at O.co Colliseum. The road has been kind to Eagles. All three of their wins have come away from the Linc.