Monday, September 29, 2014

A frustrating Eagles loss; is there another kind?

Raise your hand if you had the Eagles flying across the country and beating the 49ers in a national TV game before the season. Thought so.

Amazingly, despite not managing to get the ball into 49ers territory until late in the 4th quarter, the Eagles had a good chance to win.

That is not a misprint. The Eagles did not get the ball across the 50-yard line on offense until the latter part of the fourth quarter.

And they still could have won.

With a beat-up offensive line that opened exactly zero holes and had trouble protecting Nick Foles.

With another brutally sub-par performance from LeSean McCoy.

With a defense that continues to have trouble getting off the field on third down.

But thanks to their brilliant special teams, which provided touchdowns on a blocked punt and a punt return, as well as a Pick-6 from Malcolm Jenkins, the Eagles were in position to pull out a most improbable fourth straight come-from-behind win.

They had the ball at the 49ers 2-yard-line with 1:50 left in the game.

The 49ers had no timeouts left and the Eagles had two plays to punch it in.

They failed to do so.

And the fault lies with Chip Kelly.

The Eagles coach is an offensive wizard - some insist on calling him genius - who for some reason struggles at the end of games.

His frenetic, hurry-up offense is ill-equipped to use the clock.

Even if the Eagles had scored in this crucial series, they still would have given the ball back to the Niners and Colin Kaepernick with plenty of time to score.

Kelly does not seem to grasp the way to bleed the clock.

That game should have ended with the Eagles running that 4th down play as the clock expired, either they win or time runs out. You don't give the ball back to the other team.

His two play-calls are suspect as well.

Instead of at a minimum running the ball on third down, then coming back with a pass on fourth down, Kelly opted to get Foles on the move and throw the ball two times.

Two incompletions later, the Birds gave the ball back to the 49ers.

Amazingly, the Eagles still managed to get the back.

The Eagles are now 3-1, but they have lots of questions.

For one, how much stock do you put in those three wins.

Are they ever going to be able to get LeSean McCoy going.

They will get Lane Johnson back starting today, but that offensive line is still bruised and battered.

Speaking of bruised and battered, how long can Foles continue to take this kind of punishment. It's a long season. And this was just one of those frustating weeks Eagles fans have gotten used to over the years.


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