The Eagles 2010 season officially came to a close with Michael Vick's interception to Green Bay CB Tramon Williams in the end zone in the closing seconds of Sunday's game.
In reality, the season actually started its demise in the Week 15 game against the Giants. The dramatic comeback masked the growing problems with the defense as well as growing wear and tear on Vick himself.
Defensive coordinators had enough tape on him by then to scheme against his tendencies. The repeated hits he endured the last few games made him a little less fearless than he was when he was able to run free and clear.
Unfortunately, these hits also ended any serious consideration for Philly's latest sports hero to capture national accolades as this year's league Most Valuable Player.
Regardless of Sunday's painful loss, it was still one heck of year that actually exceeded most people's expectations. I had predicted before the season began that Philadelphia would make the playoffs as a wildcard team with a record of 9-7. Most people at the time had this team at 8-8 or less and missing the postseason all together.
Once again we are left disappointed by the outcome of a game that ended the season, but in the end 31 out of 32 teams eventually feel the same pain. This team still has a ton of young talent and if a couple of holes can be filled, will be right back in contention for another run at winning a NFL championship.
The reality remains that the offensive line lacks the stability of the Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan days. The biggest concern to me is that the defense has never been the same since losing coordinator Jim Johnson and safety Brian Dawkins.
The plain and simple fact that Sean McDermott’s unit does not scare anybody in the league is truly disheartening to any Eagles fan that lives and dies with smash-mouth defense.
I have confidence that Andy Reid and the Eagles front office will do everything in their power to make the right personnel moves to make this team better. They have been one of the most successful franchises in the NFL for well over a decade, but they are also widely thought of as the Sergio Garcia of the football world. In other words they remain‘the best team in the league to never win a Super Bowl’.
Until a new collective bargaining agreement is signed with the NFL Players Association, the uncertainty of the league as a whole will continue to overshadow the uncertainty of this team’s future in 2011. I am confident that both the owners and players will come to their senses in plenty of time to save the season, just as I am confident that the Eagles will make another strong run at that elusive world title next year.
Super Bowl XLVI is scheduled for February 5 in Indianapolis. It would not be the ideal location for a road trip in the middle of winter, but I’m keeping the date open just in case.