Even when the Philadelphia Eagles had the correct play called, things somehow went awry. While any of the seven sacks of Michael Vick could be called out as the most emblematic play of the Eagles' loss to the Saints on "Monday Night Football," perhaps no play captures their snakebitten slump like Riley Cooper's almost-touchdown in the third quarter. Even when the Eagles had a perfect play drawn up, things went horribly wrong.
That's what happened after the Saints took a 28-13 lead late in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Philadelphia drew up a trick play that involved Cooper literally hiding in plain sight by laying down on his stomach in the end zone.
Cornerback Brandon Boykin received the kick all the way on the left side of the field. With Cooper hiding on the opposite side, the defense flocked to Boykin as he took it out to the 5-yard line. Boykin then launched a lateral across the field to Cooper, who sprinted down the right sideline for a 94-yard return touchdown.
Philadelphia is back in the game, right? Wrong.
A flag was thrown for an illegal forward pass on Boykin's pass. The instant replay clearly shows Boykin behind the 5-yard line when he threw the pass and Cooper beyond the 5-yard line when he caught it.
Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times wrote that if the Eagles hadn't squandered the trick play, Andy Reid's job might have been saved. Instead, according to Ashley Fox of ESPN.com, the end of the Andy Reid era is near.