For the second straight game, Jason Campbell took the ball, on his team's last drive of the game, with a chance to make a difference -- to lead his team to victory. And as in last week's loss to the Cowpokes, Campbell couldn't get it done against the Eagles.
When his pass to Santana Moss on fourth-and-1 went wide (when it looked like he had a clear running lane for the first), the Skins had failed to salvage anything in a game they once led by 8. Did it tell us anything about his future and his ability to lead the team?
JC finished with OK stats. He was 22 of 37 for 231 yards with two TDs. He managed to lead the Skins to four scoring drives (well, Andy Reid helped with the first).
He looked gunshy in the pocket. When he faced heavy pressure, he evaded it. When he didn't face heavy pressure, he ran around as if he was facing it. With the number of times he's been hit over the last few seasons with the seive-like offensive line, he's learned to associate standing in the pocket with bad things. Bad, bad things.
He can be frustrating to watch. Sometimes you can see the gears in his head grinding. "Should I run? No. Wait, yes! Damn, now it's too late." When he makes a great pass, the receivers drop it. When the receivers are open, he fires it a tad high or tad low. He completes enough checkdowns and short throws to keep his completion percentage up there and to create short drives, but the inconsistencies of his throws and the receivers' hands mean there are far too few long, sustained drives, and too few big plays.
The question entering this season was how much of the problem the Skins had moving the ball were him, and how much was because of the offensive line or the receivers.
His performance this season probably hasn't changed anyone's mind. If you didn't like Campbell before, you've seen nothing to convince you he can do it. If you thought his problems could be explained away by the talent around him, you can still do it.
What we do know is that he's not the sort of rally-the-troops leader (think Matt Stafford in the Cleveland game) that's going to pick the team up on his back and carry them. But if you're looking for a Mark Brunell-like game manager, well, maybe he could win the big game -- if he ever gets the talent around him.