I was a happy man this weekend. As a die hard Redskins fan I could not stand the idea of another NFC East foe winning the super bowl this year. So when the Eagles and Cowboys lost this weekend it was very relieving to know that a team I hate won’t be hoisting the Lombardi trophy this year. However, the way that the Eagles lost, while still pleasing to watch, actually made me feel a little bit upset.
In case you didn’t watch the game this Sunday, Saints Kicker Will Lutz missed a field goal to go up by nine with just under three minutes remaining in the game, giving Big Dick Nick Foles and the Birds a shot to drive down the field and win the game. They completed a couple first downs and got all the way down the the Saint’s 27-yard line with plenty of time left to score a touchdown.
Then tragedy struck for the Eagles as star receiver Alshon Jeffery dropped a wide open pass that landed in the hands of Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, effectively ending the Eagles’ season.
There really was no excuse for the play. Jeffery dropped a wide open pass that he should have easily caught and it potentially cost his team a chance to extend their season, but I can’t say I don’t feel for the guy. That is a horrible feeling thinking that you cost your team the game. It is a feeling that I actually almost experienced one time.
In high school I was the long snapper for my varsity football team. My junior year we were playing our arch rival in the final game of the season. Late in the game we were down by seven but we scored a touchdown and needed the extra point to tie it. Clumsy ole me trotted out onto the field and almost completely blew it. I had a bad snap that led to a botched field goal and we failed to tie the game.
Luckily our offense bailed my ass out hard and scored later in the game to win it. I quickly forgot about the bad snap as I was so thrilled to beat our rivals, but it later dawned on me just how badly I could have screwed things up. If I had blown that game I would have felt like I let my team and my school down and that is probably how Alshon Jeffery is feeling right now.
The week before Jeffrey’s mishap, Bears kicker Cody Parkey went through a similar situation as his game winning field goal attempt hit the post and his team lost. The replay showed the ball was actually tipped, but it didn’t matter. The Bears still lost and Parkey received ridiculous amounts of backlash from fans.
You hate to see guys like Jeffrey and Parkey catch so much flack, especially because football is a team sport and one person does not decide the outcome. It is encouraging to see how their teammates have responded to these situations.
Immediately after dropping the pass, Jeffery was consoled by quarterback Nick Foles in a very honorable measure. These players work so unbelievably hard for their teams so it makes me happy to see that these teammates pick each other up when they’re down.
There is no question that Jeffery and Parkey blew it for their teams. Although they do not deserve all the blame, you can’t deny that they failed to do their jobs when it really mattered. However, their true character will be shown in how they respond to their failure.
They can either let this keep them down or they can let it motivate them to come back stronger than ever. All I know is that these guys have a long off season ahead of them and there is nothing they want more than to get back on the field.
– Jake Hornyak