PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles is sacked by Victor Butler #57 of the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter in a game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 38-23. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Each week we'll take a look at the decisive play that proved to be the difference between winning and losing.
The Eagles season will not miraculously right itself. Any shred of hope that it would was dashed in the second half of Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, shortly after Michael Vick was sent to the locker room with a concussion and his replacement, rookie third-rounder Nick Foles, suffered two turnovers, both returned for touchdowns by a suddenly opportunistic Dallas defense.
Fans have called for Foles for weeks and they finally got him. For the most part, the rookie played well but this is the NFL, not the Pac-12 and mistakes are amplified against the best players in the world. Foles finished the day 22-of-32 for 219 yards, 1 TD and one ill-fated interception.
With the Eagles trailing 24-17 and three plays after Cowboys returner Dwayne Harris took a punt 78 yards to the house, Foles hit wideout DeSean Jackson in the hands with an eminently catchable pass that was bobbled before cornerback Brandon Carr snatched it out of the air and galloped 47 yards to put the game out of reach.
The exclamation point on the Dallas win came some 13 minutes later when Foles was standing in his own end zone and found himself the victim of a Cowboys sandwich. Linebacker Anthony Spencer caused a fumble and defensive lineman Jason Hatcher fell on the ball in the end zone.
And that, as they say, was that -- not just for the game but for the season.
As has been the case all year, Reid took the blame. For everything.
"I take full responsibility for our play," he said. "I'm going to do a better job. They're going to do a better job. We'll get it right."
Those are just words at this point, ones that Reid likely doesn't believe. But despite one of the worst stretches in his career (the five-game losing streak is a new low for Reid), it's impossibly unfair to rest this all at his feet. That said, nothing will save him now and he's fully aware of the fate that awaits him even if he's not saying so publicly.
"The obvious is too many big plays in a very short period of time there," Reid continued. "We went from the lead to being behind by a couple touchdowns. Between the special teams and the big plays on defense, we have to do a better job there and figure this out. The guys are battling. … Right now, we are what we are. We have to change that around and I believe we have the players to do that. So we've got to get that taken care of."
Yeah, you do.
The problem: we've been having this conversation for more than a year now. And while the future won't likely include Reid, Foles could play prominently in helping turn things around. Reid admitted that he was impressed with how Foles handled himself Sunday but for now, Vick's his guy -- with one qualification: "He's the quarterback, yeah, but he's hurting," Reid said. "I just have to see how he's doing."
If Vick can't go, it's reasonable to assume that his career in Philly could be over too.