To quote the great Russell Crowe in Gladiator, “Are you not entertained?”
The Eagles might not have anything to play for in these last four games, but watching the development of two rookies, Nick Foles and Bryce Brown, should be enough to keep the tailgates going.
Yes, it isn’t the desired outcome anyone wanted. There will be no Super Bowl parade, not even a single playoff pep rally. Yet there is some small satisfaction to be had from watching two guys that could be counted on heavily in 2013.
For Foles, it’s a chance to prove he can play in the NFL. After two shaky starts, the third-round pick impressed in Dallas. His 793 passing yards are the most for a rookie since Donovan McNabb in 1999. With a few more solid performances, he’ll at least put himself in the mix to be the Eagles’ starting quarterback when training camp opens.
“Each week he’s come in and he’s kind of been the replacement guy. Now he is the starter and we’ll see how he does with that on his plate and see how he handles it,” coach Andy Reid said. “I don’t expect much to change with him. He handles things in a pretty cool manner and I think he’ll continue to do that.”
Brown — aside from his fumbling epidemic — is gashing opponents for huge chunks of yardage. His 347 yards in two starts leads the entire NFL during that span and marks the second-highest total for an Eagle in consecutive games. He’s also the first rookie in franchise history to score at least two touchdowns in back-to-back games.
“I know that I can play, I know that I can contribute,” Brown said. “Coach is going to rely on me and Dion [Lewis] to kind of take the pressure off of Nick [Foles] a little bit. So we’ve got to prepare and [be] ready for it.”