This season certainly hasn't gone as expected for Michael Vick, who already has thrown seven interceptions in five games after throwing just six last year. (Richard Mackson/US Presswire)
[4-1] Bills 31, [1-4] Eagles 24 (Box Score | Recap)
What's really left to say about the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.
On paper, there's no way this is a 1-4 team. It's certainly not a team that should have three fewer wins than the Bills, who held off Philly Sunday in an exciting 31-24 game.
Just as in the prior three games -- all Eagles losses -- Philadelphia had a chance to win in Buffalo. The Eagles found themselves down 21-7 at the break after three first-half Michael Vick interceptions and an egregious display of clock management to end the second quarter. That deficit stretched to 28-7 early in the third quarter.
And yet, in the closing moments of the fourth quarter, the Eagles found themselves in a position to tie, driving deep in Buffalo territory down by seven.
Philadelphia's chance ended with Drayton Florence ripping a pass out of Jason Avant's hands and Nick Barnett catching the ricochet. The defense had an opportunity to get Vick the ball back, but Juqua Parker jumped offsides on a 4th-and-1 near midfield, effectively ending the game.
It was all pretty fitting, really.
No matter how good Philadelphia should be or how close to victory the Eagles keep coming, the truth is that they deserve to be 1-4.
We can keep sugarcoating it all season long -- new defensive coordinator, young offensive line, fresh faces all over the field. It's probably time to just accept reality: The Eagles are not very good.
The problems Sunday started with Vick, whose final line will show that he topped 400 total yards (315 passing, 90 rushing) and threw two TD passes. But he put Philadelphia in a huge hole with the three first-half interceptions, the third of which was taken back to the house to give Buffalo that 21-7 halftime edge.
He was also partially responsible, along with Andy Reid, for not getting points on the board late in the second quarter. With the Eagles in field-goal range and eight seconds on the clock, Reid called for one more passing play -- a huge risk with Philly out of timeouts.
The plan backfired totally when Vick danced around in the pocket for five seconds, then whipped one out of the back of the end zone as time expired.
From the top down, Philadelphia's making the type of mistakes that good teams don't make.
Which is what has to make the second half so frustrating for the Eagles and their fans. Vick broke free for a long run to set up a LeSean McCoy TD. He hit DeSean Jackson for a touchdown, then drove Philadelphia in position for an Alex Henery field goal.
The Eagles outscored Buffalo 17-10 after halftime and were in position to tie or win the game late. They showed that they are plenty capable of putting together good stretches of football.
Of course, in the end, they came up short -- again. Moral victories don't apply when you're labeled a "Dream Team" in the offseason. Philadelphia carried "Super Bowl or Bust" expectations into the regular season.
Now what? It might take a 10-1 close to the season just to reach the playoffs as a wild card, a climb that looks impossible right now.
Eleven games left and Philadelphia's year is already an unquestioned disappointment and failure. Barring a miracle turnaround, the Eagles will be watching the postseason from home.
Looking at the talent Philadelphia has up and down its roster, that's a baffling prospect. Watching the Eagles stumble around the field, though, it's getting harder and harder to be surprised when they fail.