The 2012 NFL regular season comes to a close Sunday. For the New York Giants there is still a sliver of playoff hope, but that is unlikely. The Philadelphia Eagles are already eliminated from the playoffs.
As both teams prepare to complete disappointing seasons Sunday at MetLife Stadium I reached out to 'JasonB' of SB Nation's Eagles web site, Bleeding Green Nation, for an end of season Q&A. The results of our chat are below.
Ed: Do you see any scenario under which Andy Reid remains as head coach of the Eagles? Added to that, Reid never won a Super Bowl during his 14 years in Philly. Would you consider his tenure a success or a failure?
JasonB: No, I don't. I think it's quite clear that he's done. Overall, I think his tenure has been successful. He's set pretty much ever franchise coaching record and this year will the be first that he's missed the playoffs 2 years in a row. He's been responsible for a lot of good times with the Eagles and he's had a good run here.
Ed: Sunday will also be Michael Vick's swan song as an Eagle. Do you think he can still be a starting quarterback on a good NFL team, or are his days as a big-time player likely done?
JasonB: That's really hard to say. There's a lot of bad QBs in this league and I still think Vick has enough talent that he could do good things for a team. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't see a contender beating down his door next season thinking he's the final piece... but I still think in the right system with the right coach he could still be seen as a pretty good QB in this league.
Ed: Let's stick with the quarterback theme. Have you see enough from Nick Foles to believe he should be the starter next season and can be the long-term answer at that spot for the Eagles?
JasonB: Let me put it this way, given the QB market this offseason, yes I have seen enough to believe he should be the starter next year. There don't really appear to be any elite QB prospects in this draft, certainly not like last year, and none of the free options are particularly attractive. The trade candidates like Alex Smith or Matt Flynn are just meh. So I think going with Foles for next season is the best bet and I think he has shown enough poise and calmness in the pocket to get me interested to see more.
As for long term? No, I haven't seen enough to convince me. It has really been a tough spot for him to prove himself given that 4/5ths of the starting offensive line isn't there and he's been without most of the "big name" offensive weapons. Still, there are accuracy issues and sometimes he does still try to do too much. These are things that can be fixed, but it's still way too soon say he's a QB of the future. Like I said though, we should get another year to figure that out.
Ed: Jason Babin was released. Vick is headed out the door. Do you expect wholesale changes to the roster? If so, what other big-name players do you think Philadelphia will part with this off-season?
JasonB: Well I do think there will be significant change, but I'm not sure sure how many "big names" are even left. Of the guys that I would consider big names, I think we won't see both Nnamdi Asomugha & Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie back. Maybe one of the two stays, but not both. DRC will be a free agent, so he's the most likely, but at the same time I can't see the Eagles bring back Asomugha at the money he's making.
One of the things to remember is that the Eagles have really been destroyed by injuries this year, especially on the offensive line. So a lot of the change you see from the team that will take the field Sunday will come in the form of guys getting back from injury.
Ed: Try to put aside the standard Eagles fans hatred of the Giants for a minute and answer this as objectively as you can. Are you as surprised by the second-half-of-the-season fall of the Giants this year as many Giants fans are?
JasonB: Yes & no I guess. Obviously, we all know the Giants have it in them to be this mediocre. Seeing the Giants play this way isn't exactly unfamiliar. Even at their best in this Coughlin era the Giants have never been a dominant team and have always had these kind of stretches. We can't forget that even last year they were only 8-8 [EDITOR'S NOTE: Giants' fans know it was 9-7, not 8-8]. So I can't say that I am surprised to see them play this way.
What is surprising is that they never bounced back. As bad as this Giants team has looked at times over the past couple years, they've always managed to turn it around or get hot just in time. They've always managed to get that big win when they most needed it. But that's hardly a recipe for success. It's kind of playing with fire. And as much as it wouldn't shock me to see the Giants gets hot if they snuck into the playoffs, the NFC (and the division) was just too good this year for the Giants to stop, start and sputter their way to the postseason again.
-- Thanks to Jason for answering some questions. If you drop by BGN this week to read my answers to Jason's questions or participate in any other discussion please remember to play nice.