Panthers vs. Eagles: Philadelphia's Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 12
Following their 30-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers at home on Monday Night Football, it's safe to say that the Philadelphia Eagles have hit rock bottom. But with the Eagles, it'll likely only get worse over the next few games.
The Eagles have now lost seven straight games, their longest losing streak in 18 seasons, all but guaranteeing that head coach Andy Reid will not return as the team's coach in 2013.
The next five games will essentially be spent preparing for the future, meaning the Eagles will need to figure out which players on the 2012 team are worth building around for the future.
The following 10 slides will highlight the winners and the losers for the Eagles in Week 12.
Nick Foles: Loser
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The Eagles' rookie quarterback is failing to show that he can be the team's franchise quarterback. Against the Panthers, Foles completed 16 of 21 passes, but he threw for just 119 yards and no touchdowns. He wasn't intercepted but he threw at least three passes that could easily have been intercepted. He also fumbled once.
He played better than he did last week when he couldn't lead the offense into the end zone against the weak Washington Redskins' defense. But in two- and three-quarter games as the team's starter, he has not taken any significant strides to show that he deserves to be the starting quarterback in 2013.
Michael Vick: Winner
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The reality of the NFL is that when one quarterback struggles, the other thrives, even if he isn't actually playing. With Nick Foles struggling as Vick's replacement, the Eagles will have more incentive to bring back Vick for the season's remaining five games. Sure, the playoffs still aren't a possibility, but head coach Andy Reid is a competitor, and he's going to go down swinging, even in his last year in Philly. Vick is the best quarterback for the Eagles, so he's the one who will play when he is healthy, especially considering Foles' recent struggles.
Bryce Brown: Winner
With LeSean McCoy out after a concussion, rookie seventh-round draft pick Bryce Brown made his first NFL start. Brown dominated as a runner, carrying 19 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns, including a 65-yard gallop in the second quarter. He broke the Eagles' single-game rushing record for a rookie, and he all but guaranteed that he will be the backup running back in 2013 and possibly beyond.
Bryce Brown: Loser
The Eagles may have found themselves a new complement to LeSean McCoy at running back, as rookie Bryce Brown rushed 19 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns. But Brown's two lost fumbles proved extremely costly for the Eagles and really soured on his terrific rushing numbers.
DeSean Jackson: Loser
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The Eagles' number one receiver caught just one pass for nine yards against the Carolina Panthers. Incredibly, he almost doubled his yardage output from last week's game against the Washington Redskins, when he caught two passes for five yards. The Foles-to-Jackson combination has certainly not hit its groove yet, to say the least.
Offensive Line: Winner
The offensive line for the Eagles has been one of the biggest weaknesses on the team this season, as the Eagles are playing without three key starters: left tackle Jason Peters, center Jason Kelce and right tackle Todd Herremans. But against the Panthers, the makeshift offensive line opened up enough holes for rookie Bryce Brown to rush for 178 yards. In pass protection, quarterback Nick Foles was sacked just one time. For once, the Eagles' offensive line was not the reason for the team's loss.
Trent Cole: Winner
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One of the bigger disappearing acts for the Eagles this season has been veteran defensive end Trent Cole, who has looked slow and appears to have lost a step. But he had a pretty good game against the Panthers, collecting two tackles for a loss and registering a hit on quarterback Cam Newton. In all, he had four tackles. The Panthers gained 109 yards on 35 carries, just 3.1 yards per rush.
Nnamdi Asomugha: Loser
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The Eagles' $60 million cornerback has not even remotely lived up to expectations since he joined the Eagles before the 2011 season. Against the Carolina Panthers, he looked lost, old and slow. He took bad routes toward the ball and appeared to be responsible for a botched coverage in the first quarter that led to an easy touchdown pass for Cam Newton.
Todd Bowles: Loser
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The Eagles' decision to fire defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and replace him with defensive backs coach Todd Bowles is proving to be one of the most costly moves of the season, as the defense under Bowles has been much worse than it ever was under Bowles.
With Bowles as defensive coordinator, the Eagles' defense has surrendered 13 touchdown passes without intercepting a pass. They've forced just 31 completions in five games. In all five games, the defense has given up at least 28 points, and no quarterback has posted a passer rating below 120.
Bowles has gone from a potential future head coach to a symbol of everything that has gone wrong for the Eagles in the past five games.
Andy Reid: Loser
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Andy Reid will not be coaching the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. It's unofficially official, as owner Jeffrey Lurie stated before the start of the season that an 8-8 record would not be acceptable for Reid to keep his job.
The Eagles started strong, winning three of their first four games, all behind late-game heroics by both the offense and the defense, but they have since faltered, losing seven consecutive games (and counting). The firing of defensive coordinator Juan Castillo proved to be nothing but a scapegoat move, as the Eagles' defense has gone from bad to historically awful in the past five games.
It's been a difficult season for a man widely regarded as the greatest coach in franchise history, from the tragic passing of Reid's son during training camp in August to the demise of the Eagles over the past two months. He'll almost certainly receive a head coaching offer when he is fired from the Eagles. But make no mistake, Reid is as good as gone. If there were any doubt coming into tonight, there aren't any left.