By the time everyone reads this, they will have already had a chance to digest the Eagles performance against Arizona this past Sunday. Yes, it was a defensive battle early, but the fireworks really got going in the second half, with both teams coming up with big plays. But, sadly, for the birds in the midnight green and white, Jordan Matthews could not get both feet in bounds, and the Eagles lost 24-20.
OK, we all know that one. We saw the secondary get burned badly again, costing the team 14 points, really. I mean, Larry Fitzgerald is elite, to be sure, but, how in the heck does he turn that route into the long play that gave the Cardinals a score? Also, how in the heck does a rookie WR get behind an experienced safety and turn that into an eventual game-winner?
It never should have gotten to that point. Rewind with me a little back to San Francisco. The Eagles, with virtually no offense, had a chance late in that game, to win. Two shots from the two yard line. And what does Chip Kelly do? He throws the ball twice. Incomplete. Incomplete. Game over. No handoff to LeSean McCoy. No tuck it behind Jason Peters, and go man-to-man. And, in my eyes, the reluctance to go to the running game in that position cost the Eagles a victory.
Now, back to last Sunday. The Eagles got right on the doorstep again. They tried the run and the Cardinals stopped them. But, they never tried to bounce outside, something McCoy has made quite the living doing in this league. 4th-and-1, and Kelly takes the FG. You’re known for being a gambling coach, Chip. Go for it there. If you don’t make it, you’re still tied, with under two minutes to play, and the other team basically having to line up in their own end zone. You don’t give them room to operate, and have Carson Palmer hit a guy that inexplicably, has gotten behind the secondary. Didn’t the Eagles sign safety Malcolm Jenkins as an insurance polilcy, to ensure something such as this, didn’t happen?
With the Cowboys loss on Monday night, it makes the Arizona loss a little easier to take. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that the team lost, but the division record is still spotless, and the Cowboys not only lost, but they now look vulnerable. With the Eagles hitting the road again this week, they must concentrate on getting back to the win column, and keeping the pressure on Dallas. Maybe Arizona goes to Dallas and wins. Who knows?
All I’m saying here, Coach Kelly, is that, in the 2 losses, you are 4 yards away from having a perfect record. Think about that.