Let's play a little game.
If I told you the Eagles played this weekend and out gained a team 506 yards to 196. They out passed the opposing team 302 to 85. They out rushed them 208 to 111. The Eagles defense did not allow a touchdown. McNabb had 3 TD passes. The Eagles as a team gained 8 yards per play, while their opponent only 3.4 yards a play.
If I told you all that stuff and then asked you who won the game. Would any reasonable person say that game was anything but a complete and total domination by the Eagles? Yet, amazingly, it was not. The Eagles lost today 23-21 on a miracle last second 62 yard FG.
The Eagles beat out the Bucs in nearly every statistical category imaginable, except for one. Unfortunately, that one stat has determined the outcome of just about every NFL game ever played. That would be turnovers.
Make no mistake about it, it was those turnovers that lost this game. I've heard everyone pointing the birds failure to score at the end of the first half, to "clock management"(which I really think few Eagles fans know what that is, they just like saying it because it sounds smart) to one fan who actually thought Westbrook should have stood at the goal line before he scored to waste the clock... Insanity. You do not win games in which you turn the ball over 4 times, especially when 2 of those turnovers go back for TDs!!! The Eagles nearly stole this game, which they had no business winning and it took a miracle kick to beat them. Still, that does not change the fact that this loss was 100% due to turnovers. Everything else is just extra chatter.
I just don't know what it is that this team can play 2 halves of good football. This is the 3rd out of 4 games in which they were awful in the first half only to explode to erase a deficit in the 2nd half. In 2 of those games, 3 TDs just wasn't enough. No team can put themselves in a position where they need to score 3-4 TDs at the end of a game to win it. You can go on the road and spot teams 17 points and expect to win!
This makes the 3rd loss out of 3 to be decided on the final play of the game. Two last second FGs and one overtime TD have beaten the Eagles this year. What does that say about this team? Are they better than their record suggests and have just been victims of bad luck or miracle plays? Or are they just flat out unable to close out games? They made one huge play at the end of the Dallas game to win it, but is that the exception to the rule?
I honestly don't have the answer.
I know this, it's not enough to prove you can beat any team, they've done that in all 3 losses so far this year. In the end however, that's meaningless. You have to do it, and now heading into the significantly tougher part of their schedule that's more important than ever. The problem is that the team has squandered their opportunity to create a real cushion and get some separation in the NFC East.