Eagles scrape rock bottom

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson moves the ball against Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin at...

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson moves the ball against Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Oct. 9, 2011. (DOUG BENZ/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 PM ET

TORONTO - It’s pile on time for the Philadelphia Eagles, deservedly so.

Following their 31-14 stinker Thursday night in Seattle against the Seahawks, the Eagles hit a new low and with the loss, their eighth of the season, came a number of withering articles from an angry Philadelphia press corps.

Nobody likes an under-performing team, especially one that appears as gutless and with such little heart as the current edition of the Eagles.

Even with dispirited play stemming from so many quarters, one player is clearly getting carved up to a far greater degree than the others and on the Eagles that player is wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Jackson has been whining about being underpaid and under-valued all season — and he has a legitimate case seeing that he is making just $600,000. But it is his play of late, his lack of effort and in Thursday’s loss, his lack of being one of the guys, the perception that he is selfish and not a good teammate, that drew the wrath of his critics.

Both in the Philadelphia papers and during the broadcast of the game on NFL Network, the reporters and broadcasters zeroed in on Jackson’s every move, where he stood on the sidelines, who he chatted with during the breaks in the action, who he seemed to snub. He was under a microscope like a dissected frog.

Afterwards, Jackson was asked to explain himself.

“I’m not answering none of that type of question,” Jackson said. “If you’re going to ask something about the game, do that. You’re asking questions that don’t even mean nothing. Next question.”

He was specifically asked why on a few occasions it appeared that he turned away when approached by quarterback Vince Young.

“If that’s what they saw, that’s what they saw,” Jackson said. “I don’t have to sit here and answer them questions. My teammates know what it is.”

It was unusual stuff and the following day, Friday, Eagles coach Andy Reid felt it was important enough to address in his day after media conference.

He started out by saying he was “very, very disappointed” with the network’s coverage.

“DeSean, I’m going to tell you now, DeSean was all in that game,” Reid said. “He had a great attitude during that game, and you can take a camera and make some things look the way you want to make them look, but that kid was all in last night, and I was proud of him for that.”

Reid also slammed the network for suggesting that Jackson wasn’t talking to his offensive teammates.

“I am not sure they know who’s talking to who and so on and what the conversation is about,” Reid said. “Not knowing the language, I don’t know how you are able to go into that stuff ... This is petty stuff.”

Yes, it may be petty and no doubt is unfair.

But that’s what happens when a team as talented as the Eagles goes into the toilet. The knives come out and it’s every man for himself.

FANS SUFFERING

While Jackson may be feeling the heat, the Eagles’ fans are feeling the pain. It’s one thing to have your team lose, it’s another when it looks as if it has quit and doesn’t care and that’s about where the Eagles are now.

Give credit to some of their players, though. They know their fans are hurting.

“There’s going to be a lot of anger,” defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. “I’m sure, right now, there’s a lot of people out there ticked off, and they should be. Any fan wants to see their team do good. It’s one thing, if we’re going out there and teams are just better than us. But they’re not. We’re going out there and giving away these games. I can just imagine, from a fan’s standpoint, what it looks like, watching the games.

“It probably looks like a lack of effort, lack of fundamentals, a lack of everything. The fans are going to be frustrated.”

As for throwing in the towel, the Eagles say that hasn’t happened despite how it looked.

“We didn’t give up,” guard Evan Mathis said. “It might look like that, but I know inside we didn’t give up.

“Outside looking in, some people might question our locker room, but I think we have a great locker room.”

The lone positive the Eagles and their fans can take from here is that there’s just four games left.

MANNING’S NECK IMPROVING

Next up for Peyton Manning in his recovery from neck surgery is a return to throwing a football. It’s unlikely, however, that Manning will see any game action this season.

So if the 0-11 Indianapolis Colts plan to win a game this year, they’ll have to manage it without their star quarterback.

“Throwing — that’s what you’re asking me — yeah, throwing will be part of this next progression,” Manning told reporters Friday following the news that his recovery from neck surgery Sept. 8, has been deemed a success. “That is critical to my job. So, yeah, I will be throwing and have been doing some throwing and we’ve got to ramp that up a little bit and answer some questions about where we are.”

As for when he is expected to return, Manning said there is no time table.

“It doesn’t guarantee anything in this next phase, but it does allow you to step into that phase,” Manning said of the rehab process. “The worst news we could have heard yesterday was ‘You’re not where you want to be and you’ve got to keep doing what you’re doing.’ He has given us clearance for the next phase, and I’ll follow that as well as I can.”

On Sunday the Colts continue their quest for a winless season when they play the Patriots in Foxborough.

That’s one step closer to drafting Andrew Luck.


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