The Extra Point: Philadelphia Eagles Lose Heartbreaker


Last Friday, I introduced a series called “Five-Step Drop” in which I outlined the five players that the Philadelphia Eagles could use big performances from in their upcoming game. This series, “The Extra Point”, is essentially a recap of the game broken down into seven simple points. The Eagles suffered a devastating loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon, and much like the injury to Jordan Hicks, it is difficult to move on from.

1) The offensive line is atrocious

It is time to face the music; the Eagles’ offensive line is messier than Amanda Bynes’ 21st birthday weekend. Center Jason Kelce is having the worst season of his entire career, and he continuously points it out himself on Twitter. Left tackle Jason Peters is battling father time, who just so happens to be undefeated. The two new starting guards are career backups and cannot be counted on to pick up the slack. Lane Johnson is the one bright spot, but he’s been expected to move all over the line to cover up injuries. Bill Hader, Amy Schumer, LeBron James, Judd Apatow and Brie Larson are the starting offensive linemen for the 2015 Philadelphia Eagles.

“You can quote me on that, that was the worst game I’ve played in my entire life” – Jason Kelce

2) Sam Bradford‘s injury was the inevitable

The aforementioned


offensive line was only going to get quarterback Sam Bradford killed, eventually. If this offense was a Christmas carol it would go something like: Five holding calls! Four botched snaps, three blown assignments, two turnovers and a whole lot of you-know-what. If Bradford passes concussion protocol, and can play through the pain of his AC joint sprain, then this offense will be in better hands. The quarterback play could be a big reason why the Eagles are 4-5, but the injury to Bradford could be a reason why the Eagles are not 5-4. The offensive line must avoid the self-inflicted wounds that have haunted them all season.

3) The defense is good, yet the “elite” label is not yet warranted

One of the key signs of an “elite” defense, among other things, is the ability to come up clutch when it really matters. The Eagles have counted on their defense far too often this season, but if they came up with stops in key situations they may be looking at a different situation. The defense cannot take the fall for every loss, and certainly not yesterday’s loss, but this is just a general observation. The defense has endless potential, though, and it seems that this is the beginning of something great.

4) Caleb Sturgis comes up short against his former team

After the 32-yard missed field goal, Sturgis returned to the bench of a lifeless football team. His kick, if it had gone through, would have made it 19-3. Instead, the Eagles basically threw in the towel for reasons unknown. Fans can try to predict what may have happened if he had hit that field goal, but he missed it. Ultimately, it was just another shortcoming in this rocky 2015 season.

5) The Eagles finally started hot

One of the positive takeaways from this game is that the Eagles started hot out of the gates. They jumped out to a 16-3 lead early, and it looked like they would cruise to a big win. The downside is that they did not, and it left the entire stadium speechless as the final seconds ticked down. After the 16-3 start, the Eagles scored just three measly points the rest of the game. This just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter how you start, or how you finish for that matter. The only thing that really counts is the way you play throughout the entire game. The Eagles (still) have yet to piece together four quarters of great football.

6) Mark Sanchez is Mark Sanchez

When the Eagles traded for Sam Bradford in March, they also re-signed who many believed was the NFL’s best backup quarterback in Mark Sanchez. With the injury history that Bradford has grown a reputation for, and Sanchez’ familiarity with the offense, some believed that the latter should have been named the starter. Bradford hasn’t been to the playoffs in his career, and Sanchez was the New York Jets’ quarterback when they went to back-to-back AFC Championship games. Obviously, the past means nothing as of right now. Those two AFC Championship game appearances did not prevent Sanchez from throwing a mindless interception while the Eagles were in field goal range down by one. Those playoff runs did not help Sanchez accomplish a winning record as the team’s starter last season, either. The Eagles need a quarterback to play sound football in 2015, not a quarterback that played well five years ago. With that being said, Sanchez did not even play “well” for the Jets. He was serviceable on a team that had a great offensive line, run game and defense. In conclusion, the quarterback picture is not any brighter with Mark Sanchez behind center.

The Extra Point:

As bad as it is, the Eagles are still only a half game back from first place in the NFC East. The division is a total toss-up and it will most likely be won in the last few games of the season. Many fans took to Twitter after the loss to vent their frustrations, and begged that the Eagles just lose for the rest of the season to position themselves better in the draft. Playoff experience is vital, especially for a young team that looks to be going through a revamp. If the Eagles can overcome adversity and get into the postseason during a year like this, that could go a long way. With seven games left, the Eagles have a lot of soul searching to do. These next seven games will show what type of character this team has. Who will be here next season? We’re about to find out.