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From being lauded in the offseason as the NFL's Dream Team, to losing four straight game, few teams have failed to live up to expectations as spectacularly as the Philadelphia Eagles.
Even though they tried to immediately distance themselves from the title, the football gods saw Vince Young's hubris and condemned the team to a 1-4 start. We still don't know if Young was referring to the team of starters that takes the field on Sundays or the scout team with which he's so familiar.
Gallingly, the Eagles have suffered losses in games in which they have controlled significant portions. After starting slow against the Giants in Week 3, Philly dominated the second and third quarters, scoring 16 unanswered to briefly take the lead. The Giants then dropped 15 on them in the fourth and won 29-16, but the effort was there. In a Week 4 loss to San Francisco, Philly was ahead 23-3 in the third before surrendering three touchdowns, losing 24-23.
It's difficult to pinpoint where exactly Philadelphia, a team that has missed the playoffs only twice in the last decade, has gone wrong. The offense looks efficient one minute, then unbelievably turnover-prone the next (worst in the league with nine interceptions).
While it's easy to scapegoat Michael Vick for poor decision-making, his pass protection might be the more correct culprit. Vick's offensive line has allowed 29 quarterback hits, 28th in the league in that category. It's hard to see all the options and make good throws when you're constantly under pressure.
The defense oscillates between smothering and leaky at such an alarming rate Andy Reid is considering hiring a defensive consultant to assist Juan Castillo. In his first year as a defensive coordinator, Castillo's men have allowed 26.4 points per game, tied for 26th in the NFL. They rank among the leagues worst in yards conceded on the ground, surrendering 140.2 per game.
We've seen flashes of greatness from Philly this year, but they have so far been unable to put it together week to week.