Eagles Wake-Up Call: This Time, Foles Comes Up Short

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.In that split second when the ball was in the air and Jeremy Maclin flashed open in the end zone, the mind went back to Tampa. Similar situation, same lead characters, the ball thrown to the same spot on the field.

It was all happening again. Only, it wasn’t. Foles pass sank and hit the turf, bouncing incomplete. Twenty-three seconds and a couple mistakes later, and the Eagles were walking off with their 11th loss of the season. Five of Foles’ six starts have now ended in defeat.

“He came up short. He tried to get it out as fast as he possibly could before that corner settled back on it,” said Andy Reid. “He was able to get it out but it wasn’t an accurate throw, and he came up short.”

Foles finished 32-of-48 for 345 yards with a touchdown, an interception and a lost fumble. His 132.6 quarterback rating after one quarter of play settled in at 85.6 by game’s end. Somewhere along the way in the first half he sustained an injury to his throwing hand that the QB said had nothing to do with some of his errant throws. Still, you wonder.

“Everyone knew [that Foles was hurt],” said Riley Cooper. “Nick is not the only guy with an injury out there. Yeah, he had a hurt hand but the majority of the team is hurting too. Did we know it? For sure, but we look right past it. If he’s good to go, he’s good to go.”

Reid said he thought Foles actually played better in the second half (X-rays on the hand at halftime were negative) and credited him for playing through the pain.

“I have to eliminate mistakes,” said Foles. “I fumbled and threw an interception and it’s the quarterback’s job to make sure that we get more points on the board than the other team and I didn’t do my job today.”

There have been miscues, but there have also been glimpses of promise in just about every Foles start. His 27-yard touchdown pass to Maclin early in the game was another example of that. Foles now owns the two highest passing performances ever by an Eagles rookie for both yards and completions. The first came in Tampa, the second Sunday against the Redskins. The first time the deciding pass to Maclin was true, the second time it fell short.

Despite the inconsistencies, most of his teammates left the Linc encouraged about what they are seeing out of Foles.

“I know you all know that he can be great,” said Cooper. “He’s a rookie and the way he’s running this offense is impressive for how young he is.”

WHAT YOU MISSED 

There was little acknowledgment Sunday that this was likely Reid’s last home game.

LeSean McCoy is not feeling very positive at all about this season.

Sheil gives his instant observations from Sunday’s loss to the Redskins.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Jason LaCanfora furthers the Chip Kelly conversation:

The Philadelphia Eagles will consider Chip Kelly to replace Andy Reid, according to league sources, and multiple executives with rival teams anticipate Philadelphia making a heavy push to land the Oregon head coach.

As previously reported in the space, Kelly will be a hot NFL commodity. And with possible NCAA sanctions looming over Oregon, the noted offensive mind is expected to make the jump to the NFL. The Ducks finish out their season in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State on Jan. 3. The Eagles won’t be the only team to contact Kelly, but league sources expect them to be among the first to try to interview him and believe he could emerge as a quick favorite for the position. The attractiveness of the Eagles job, versus other potential opportunities on Kelly’s plate, remains to be seen.

Reid, whose 14-year tenure with the Eagles is believed to be coming to an end, is seeking to coach elsewhere in 2013 and is expected by those close to him to move on regardless of whether Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie wanted him to return.

Dan Graziano gives his rapid reaction to Eagles-Redskins:

What it means: The Redskins have their first winning season since 2007, and if they beat the Dallas Cowboys at home Sunday, they will be NFC East champions for the first time since 1999. The Redskins also retain a chance to make the playoffs as a wild-card team, though they cannot clinch their playoff spot today. The Eagles have lost 11 games for the first time since 1999 — Andy Reid’s first season as their head coach. They have not lost 12 in a season since 1998, when they finished 3-13 under Rich Kotite.

COMING UP

Christmas with Andy! Reid will address the media at noon.