SEATTLE—— Too many turnovers and too few tackles led to another Eagles loss Thursday night in what has become a recurring pattern this season.
This time, with the Eagles driving toward a possible touchdown that would have cut the Seattle Seahawks' lead to three points with more than four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Vince Young floated a pass toward LeSean McCoy in the left flat, and David Hawthorne quickly ended any chance of the Eagles being winners this year.
The loss means the Eagles (4-8) will not finish with a winning record for only the fourth time in coach Andy Reid's 13-year reign and first time since 2007.
Seattle (5-7) prevailed with its defense and a dominant ground game that allowed quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to turn the clock back 40 years or so. In a pass-first league that has three quarterbacks on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing record, Jackson attempted just 16 throws. But he completed 13 of them for 190 yards, a touchdown and a passer rating of 137.0.
Adding injury to insult, the Eagles lost special teams ace Colt Anderson for the season to a torn left anterior cruciate ligament and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha indefinitely to a concussion and stinger. Both players were out of the game by the time the Seahawks kicked a 49-yard field goal to take a 17-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Seattle never trailed after putting two first-quarter touchdowns on the board before the Eagles finally were able to answer in the second.
Its first score came after running back Marshawn Lynch appeared to be stopped in a massive pile just past the line of scrimmage before emerging and going the rest of the way for a 15-yard touchdown. Perhaps no other play this season better underscored the Eagles' tackling and concentration problems than that.
"It looked like there were a lot of bodies around him," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "And obviously nobody got ahold of him. He was able to squirt through. Our guys tried to jump on him and obviously nobody grabbed him.
"... He was the key to their offense, and we didn't do a very good job of stopping him."
Defensive end Trent Cole also was unable to explain the breakdown that symbolized their season.
"I was kind of disgusted myself, I couldn't figure it out myself," Cole said. "I remember going to the pile and I thought he was caught up in there. All of a sudden somebody popped out. I didn't know who had the ball. Popped out of that big pile and he was on his way to the end zone.
"There was nothing we could do about it. It's just, we've got to wrap him up and get him down. That's what we've got to do."
Lynch's touchdown was set up by a 26-yard pass down the middle to wide-open receiver Ben Obomanu to the Eagles' 10. Lynch scored immediately after a false-start penalty on Robert Gallery moved the ball back 5 yards.
The Seahawks made it 14-0 on another spectacular run by Lynch, this time for 40 yards.
Young quickly brought the Eagles back, however, hitting Riley Cooper with an underthrown, 47-yard bomb that would have been a touchdown if Cooper didn't have to come back to it.
No matter. They scored two plays later when McCoy went off right tackle for a touchdown.
The rest of the half featured a trade of punts until the Seahawks took possession with 2:49 to go and went 49 yards before kicking their field goal to go up by 10.
Young, starting his third straight game in place of injured Michael Vick, completed 17 of 29 passes for 208 yards and a TD to go with his four picks.
Lynch finished with 148 yards on 22 carries to outshine Eagles counterpart LeSean McCoy (17 carries, 84 yards), who entered this weekend as the NFL's leading rusher.
McCoy also was at a loss for a logical explanation for how this season started falling apart almost from the minute the Eagles routed St. Louis in Week 1.
The Seahawks made it 24-7 in the third quarter after capitalizing on an interception that was returned by 55 yards by Brandon Browner to set up a short field. Not long after that, Jackson provided Seattle with its last offensive score, hitting Golden Tate with an 11-yard pass.
That might not have been enough, if not for the defensive score that sealed it, because the Eagles' defense appeared to have finally solved Seattle's attack while Young made it 24-14 by connecting with McCoy on a 2-yard shovel pass.
Now the best the Eagles can do is .500.
"It's at the point right now where you've got to have pride," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "You've got to have that desire in you that makes you play more than just for money."