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Eagles lose QB Vick in first start since hamstring injury

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The Canadian Press
10/27/2013 5:47:12 PM
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PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Vick plopped himself on the bench, a towel on his head.

He was about as mobile watching from the sideline as he was under centre, his hamstring acting up again.

"I've never had a hamstring injury this bad," he said.

Vick's first pulled hamstring against the Giants cost him two weeks. This time, he lost most of the game.

Wearing the same forlorn expression as 65,000 Philadelphia Eagles fans, all a helpless Vick could do was watch.

Vick and Matt Barkley combined for another miserable outing, and the once-dynamic Philadelphia offence was held without a touchdown for the second straight game. Josh Brown kicked a career-high five field goals, Eli Manning played error-free and the Giants beat Philadelphia 15-7 Sunday.

The Eagles lost for the 10th straight time at Lincoln Financial Field since a win over the Giants on Sept. 30, 2012.

"I don't care if it's home, away, I just want to win," running back LeSean McCoy said. "I'm more disappointed in losing to them today than keeping that streak alive."

The Eagles (3-5) aren't home again until Nov. 17, plenty of time for that losing streak to hang over the Linc.

But the more pressing concern is, who starts at quarterback next week at Oakland?

Vick, the NFL's career QB rushing leader, tested the hamstring last week in practice and insisted he was ready to play. Coach Chip Kelly gave Vick the bulk of the first-team snaps instead of Barkley, perhaps a mistake with no guarantees Vick could stay healthy.

From the start, Vick never had it going.

He threw an interception on Philadelphia's first drive of the game, fumbled on the second, then came up lame on a sideline run.

Vick rode the stationary bike between drives in the second quarter, and conferred with QB coach Bill Lazor and Kelly.

Much like the bike ride, the Eagles' offence was on the road to nowhere.

"I felt good going in," Vick said. "I felt like I did everything I was supposed to do to reassure myself I could go out and play. But there's just nothing like being in the moment and having to move and having to react. When I did that, that's when I pulled it again. I felt the pop."

Nick Foles was impressive in a victory at Tampa Bay, but was awful in a loss last week to Dallas. Foles sustained a concussion on the final play of the third quarter last week and was inactive.

Vick strained his left hamstring late in the first half of a win at the Giants on Oct. 6. He couldn't spend another week on the sideline.

"Once Nick got hurt last week, I just made up my mind that I was going to try to get out there," Vick said. "I was going to try to rehab as hard as I could all week, and try to put myself in a position where I could get back under centre and help our team win."

Again, the Eagles turned to Barkley, who got the call with the Eagles trailing 12-0. Barkley threw three interceptions on all their series after replacing Foles in last week's loss to Dallas. On his first drive against the Giants, Barkley lost a fumble, marking four turnovers on four series to start his NFL career. He had his final pass attempt of the game intercepted, ending a last-ditch effort for a shot at an improbable tie game.

"Matt's been thrown in twice in some tough situations," Kelly said.

Barkley, out of USC, was 17 of 26 for 158 yards. He came in and drove the Eagles 78 yards in just over a minute late in the second quarter. But on first down from the 2, Barkley was sacked by Terrell Thomas and fumbled. Jacquian Williams recovered at the Giants 12.

Trailing 15-0, the Eagles finally scored when Zak DeOssie's snap sailed over punter Steve Weatherford's head and Najee Goode picked it up and ran 2 yards for a touchdown with 4:11 left.

Kelly's high-octane offence was hailed as revolutionary after the Eagles had at least 425 yards in each of the first six games. But the QB carousel has stunted the play calling -- the Eagles had just 201 yards of offence against New York and have totalled 479 the past two weeks.

If Vick and Foles aren't cleared to play, Barkley would get his first NFL start against the Raiders.

He'll need help: McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, was held to 48 yards on 15 carries. DeSean Jackson had 63 yards receiving on eight catches.

Brown kicked field goals of 40, 44, 33 and 46 yards on four straight possessions in the first half to give the Giants (2-6) a 12-0 lead.

The Eagles' D held up its end -- but an offence in flux has kept them from a .500 record.

Michael Vick (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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