NFL Team Report - Philadelphia Eagles - INSIDE SLANT
Quarterback Michael Vick started the game for the Philadelphia Eagles, but he did not finish it and the Eagles couldn't start or finish anything in a 15-7 loss to the New York Giants Sunday.
Vick, who missed the last two games with a sore hamstring, aggravated it again and was replaced by rookie Matt Barkley with about 2 minutes left in the first half. Barkley got the call because No. 2 quarterback Nick Foles was deactivated with a concussion.
Vick did not have much fun even before he reinjured his hamstring. His first possession ended with an interception, his second ended with a sack and his third with an intentional grounding penalty. Vick completed six of nine passes for 31 yards and the interception, which added up to a passer rating of 32.4.
Barkley, a fourth-round pick from Southern Cal, played better than he did last week when he took over for Foles against Dallas, when he was intercepted three times. Against New York, Barkley completed 17 of 26 passes for 158 yards and his only interception was a desperation heave on the final play of the game.
"I feel I did improve (from last week), but you've always got to look at the things you could have done better," Barkley said. "There are a lot of things we can improve across the board and it always starts with the quarterback."
The Eagles have gone eight consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown. One reason the Eagles could not score is because they could not run the ball. Running back LeSean McCoy, who came into the game leading the NFL with 685 rushing yards, ran for 48 yards on 15 carries against the Giants, an average of only 3.2 yards per attempt, and his longest run was just nine yards.
"We knew the key to beating that team was shutting down the run game," Giants defensive Jason Pierre-Paul said. "They have one of the best in the game back there (McCoy) and he can hurt you if you let him. But if you can stop the run, it's going to be a long game for those guys."
It was the second straight long game for the Eagles in what promises to be a long season after their impressive opening-day victory over the Washington Redskins.
"It's really hard to win games when the offense can't score points and help the defense out," said wide receiver DeSean Jackson. "That's totally our fault and we take responsibility. Two straight weeks have been tough for us."
"We've taken a couple of steps back and that's disappointing," Eagles guard Evan Mathis said. "But we also have half the season left and that's encouraging. And that's what we have to keep reminding ourselves -- there's a lot of football left to play."
Which, depending on how they play, could be the good or bad news.
NFL Team Report - Philadelphia Eagles - NOTES, QUOTES
--QB Matt Barkley was the only Eagles QB in uniform other than Michael Vick. TE James Casey was the emergency QB.
--LB Emmanuel Acho, signed off the Giants practice squad on Oct. 19, suited up against his former team.
--S Patrick Chung (shoulder) was deactivated for the fourth time in the last five games. Rookie Earl Wolff took his place in the starting lineup.
This was the Eagles' 10th straight loss at home.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I felt good going in. I felt like I did everything I was supposed to do to reassure myself that I could go out and play. But there's nothing like actually being in the moment and having to move and react. When I did that, that's when I pulled it again. I felt the pop." -- Quarterback Michael Vick on aggravating his hamstring injury.
NFL Team Report - Philadelphia Eagles - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
What we learned:
What happened to the new, super-charged offense of coach Chip Kelly?
The Eagles have gone eight quarters without scoring a touchdown, and so far Kelly's offense looks a lot like the one used last year by Andy Reid's team. Maybe the Eagles need to schedule some games against the Pac-12. Kelly said instability at quarterback is at the root of the team's problems -- issues which also include Kelly's play-calling.
"I think we've had some instability at the quarterback position. I think we've also got to step up," he said. "And it starts with me. I'm the play caller. I'm the guy calling plays. In the last two weeks I haven't done a very good job of it. Until we can get that straightened out, the disappointing thing is I think our defense played a really, really good football game again today. They've really come along. But offensively we haven't done what we need to do to win two football games and we need to get that fixed."
--While their offense gets worse and worse, their defense gets better and better. The Eagles have put together four pretty good games on defense and now that unit is the one that is keeping the games close instead of Kelly's offense. A big reason for that is the Eagles have not been giving up the big plays they did earlier in the season and teams have to earn their yardage -- and sometimes settle for field goals instead of touchdowns, like the Giants did five times on Sunday.
"I just think they're starting to really get the grasp and understanding of what our defensive coaches are doing," Kelly said. "I think they're in the right spots. They're holding disguises a little bit longer. They can confuse the quarterback at times. ... I think we can build from where we are on the defensive side."