Now, after giving you the score is typically the point in a recap where I start laying into the team about all the mistakes they made and about how awful they are. And they certainly were pretty awful, as evidenced by the 38 points. But frankly, I would just have all the same complaints about all the same guys.
So I'm not going to do that tonight. I'm going to be positive. Because actually, tonight was a pretty good result for the Eagles. Some young players flashed some ability, we saw some good things from guys who will be here next year, but ultimately they lost and the team is still in line for a top 3-5 pick.
So let's talk about some good stuff. Alex Henery has hit 21 straight FGs, a team record. He now has more FGs made in his first 50 NFL attempts than any kicker in the NFL history. Kickers don't often get drafted, but when they do they better be really good. So far, Alex Henery has been really good. A clear bright spot this season.
Nick Foles played easily his best game since being thrown in against these same Cowboys 3 weeks ago. He went 23-34 for 251 yards and a TD. He did not throw a pick and only had one pass that probably should have picked near the end of the game. More than just the stats though, he clearly looked more comfortable than in his first two starts and his fundamentals were strong as a result. The jury is obviously still out on Foles, but it was nice to see some real progress from him.
Damaris Johnson! Fielded a punt at the 2 yard line with :31 left in the game and took it to the house! The Eagles first special teams TD in the season. The 98 yard return is tied for the 3rd longest in NFL history, mostly because guys don't typically field punts on the 2... But it actually made a lot of sense in this situation. There was a ton of room to field it and make a return and the team was down 11 points with less than a minute to go. The only shot they had was a flukey return. So good job from Johnson. He'll be back next year.
Oh and that punt return was the longest in Eagles history. Guess whose record was broken?
My 20 yr old record for longest PR in Eagles history just broken in garbage time. Thanks a lot.— Vai Sikahema (@VaiSikahema) December 3, 2012
Bryce Brown rushed 24 times for 169 yards and a pair of TDs. In two starts, he has 347 yards and 4 TDs. Clearly, there is serious talent there. However, and this is where I break my promise about being positive, we can't ignore the fumble. With the team driving for a go ahead TD, he fumbled at the end of a run and the Cowboys picked it up and returned it for a TD. It essentially iced the game for them and Brown was directly at fault. That's 3 fumbles in 2 games. You know how long it took LeSean McCoy to lose 3 fumbles? 3 years.
As Chris Collinsworth so eloquently put it,
"You can't play. You cannot play RB if you can't learn how to hold onto the ball."
He's right. It really doesn't matter how talented you, if you fumble as a RB you can't be on the field. It's that simple. Now if we want to look on the positive side, which we do in this recap, Brown is still incredibly raw. He's played basically one year of football post high school and that was about 3 years ago. That his fundamentals aren't great should hardly be a surprise. But the fact that there's a pretty great base of talent to work from isn't a bad problem to have.
33 points tonight, 27 of which came from the offense. A season high.
Maybe the most positive thing of all? Just 4 more games left!
And I'll just stop there, because I don't actually think there's anything else to be positive about. Brandon Graham had 1.5 sacks tonight in his first start, which is the same amount that Trent Cole had all year. Kind of went invisible in the second half... but he's better than Babin.
Anyway, the Eagles are 3-9 and now within 1 game of the top pick in the 2013 draft.