NFL Christmas Eve: New York Giants Close the Book on Philadelphia Eagles

Ron PasceriCorrespondent IIDecember 24, 2011

No matter what Vick does in these last two games, his team will be home for the winter.
No matter what Vick does in these last two games, his team will be home for the winter.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Despite an impressive opening touchdown drive by Michael Vick and the Eagles offense, the book has closed on 2011 for Philadelphia. Despite a late fourth quarter effort by Mark Sanchez and the Jets, they fell apart in the final three minutes, losing 29-14 to the arch-rival New York Giants..

After going up 7-0 on their first possession, the Jets offense went into the tank. Poor decisions, inaccurate throws and drive-killing penalties plagued them all afternoon.

With that, a week of anticipation and Christmas hope in Philadelphia has also come to a bitter end. The Eagles have nothing to play for besides pride and the opportunity to finish at .500.

Despite all the disappointment sweeping through the Delaware Valley this Christmas Eve, there is one gift that can come from this.

Even if they manage to win their final two games to make it four-straight on the way to an 8-8 record, there is no way to spin this season into any type of success story. No matter how young you are or how strong you finish, going home after 16 games is always a failure when the goal was a Super Bowl.

Don't fool yourself into thinking there is any scenario under which Andy Reid could be fired, or the front office can be shaken up. This is the group that will be here at least through next season. But failing so miserably will hopefully force them to take a long, hard look in the mirror and an honest assessment of where they went wrong.

Juan Castillo can save his defensive coordinating job with a strong finish, but should he return he will still need an upgrade of talent on the D.

Eagles fans: all is not lost. You will likely see some improvements in personnel and you have a chance to watch your favorite team beat the Washington Redskins after their Christmas Eve victory over the Cowboys.

Merry Christmas Philadelphia, and try to keep your heads up.