Not much has gone right for the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles.
Entering Sunday’s action, the Eagles had lost eight straight, last winning a game on Sept. 30, the day before the final win of the 2012 season by the Philadelphia Phillies. Quarterback Michael Vick and running back LeSean McCoy are out with concussions, with Vick likely to be released shortly after Super Bowl XLVII when the Eagles have a brief window of opportunity to prevent $3 million of Vick’s $15.5 million base salary in 2013 from becoming fully guaranteed. The club has fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, and released defensive end Jason Babin, who had 23.5 sacks over the last two seasons. The release of Babin angered defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who had lured Babin to Philadelphia, and the resentment resulted in the firing of Washburn last week.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, starting center Jason Kelce and both of the Eagles’ projected starting offensive tackles (Jason Peters, Todd Herremans) are on injured reserve. The Eagles are so thin at offensive tackle, they signed Matt Kopa off the New England Patriots practice squad last week. In order to lure Kopa out of Foxboro — which should have been easy enough to do since he’d be guaranteed three game checks ($82,059 total) regardless of whether or not he played or even stuck on the Eagles’ roster — the Eagles tacked on a $25,000 signing bonus to the three-year deal, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to Shutdown Corner.
With nothing to play for in the final month of Andy Reid’s tenure as head coach, wide receiver Jason Avant provided a rare highlight of the season in hauling in one of the most impressive catches of the NFL season.
Facing a third-and-17 with 8:53 to play in the second quarter, Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles was under heavy pressure from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense when he heaved the ball towards Avant, who reached up, snared the ball with his right hand, pulling it into his body as he fell to the Raymond James Stadium turf and out of bounds. Avant’s left elbow touched in bounds, though, so while the Buccaneers took a timeout, they would not challenge the reception, which set up a 28-yard field goal by Alex Henery to break a scoreless tie.
Later in the second quarter, Avant would slip past the Buccaneers for a 39-yard reception that set-up a 10-yard touchdown run by Foles. Avant would finish the game with seven receptions for a game-high 133 yards, but his impressive catch in the Eagles’ come-from-behind 23-21 win might have been the most impressive of the nearly 9,000 passes that have been completed this season.
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