Miscues For Kelly, Eagles On Final Offensive Drive

Chip KellyWith 3:11 left in the fourth quarter, the Eagles took over from their own 29-yard-line, trailing the Chargers by a field goal.

Thanks to three Michael Vick completions and a scramble, it didn’t take long before they marched down to the Chargers’ 14-yard-line with a 1st-and-10.

But that’s where the drive stalled. With 2:09 on the clock, Vick took the snap and looked for Brent Celek, but got crushed on the play by Jarius Wynn as he released the ball. He was slow to get up, and the Eagles were charged with an injury timeout.

“The referee said I had to come off,” Vick said. “I was back up and standing, ready to play. The referee told me to come out.”

Asked if he was hurt, Vick said: “I won’t say I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t hurt hurt. If I am standing up, I’m not hurt. I’m ready to go. But [the referee] said I had to come out for a play. I think that was unfortunate for my team, but [the referees] are doing their jobs, and I won’t try to negate any decision they try to make.”

When asked if he had the option to call timeout there and get Vick back in the game without missing a snap, Chip Kelly said: “No.”

But that’s not really true.

The NFL rulebook states the following:

When an injury timeout is called [prior to the 2-minute warning of either half], the injured player must leave the game for the completion of one down. The player will be permitted to remain in the game if:

a.) Either team calls a charged timeout.
b.) The injury is the result of a foul by an opponent.
c.) The period ends or the 2-minute warning occurs before the next snap.

At the time, the Eagles had three timeouts left. They could have called one and gotten Vick back in the game. Instead, Vick went to the sideline, and Nick Foles came in, throwing incomplete to DeSean Jackson in the end zone.

One other note on that final drive: With 2:09 on the clock, the Eagles snapped the ball instead of waiting for the two-minute warning.

It was 1st-and-10 from the Chargers’ 14. At that point, barring a turnover, they were at worst set up for a 31-yard field goal that would have tied the game. But instead of limiting the amount of time the Chargers would have on their ensuing possession, the Eagles snapped the ball early.

Asked about potentially taking some more time off the clock, Kelly said: “We were trying to score. We were trying to score a touchdown. We weren’t trying to kick a field goal. We were trying to score a touchdown, so hoping we could get to a situation where we made it a four-point game.”

Of course, with three timeouts left and 14 yards to go, using clock and scoring a touchdown were not mutually exclusive.

One possible explanation is that Kelly was thinking one possession ahead and wanted to maximize the time remaining in the event that the Chargers scored quickly and the Eagles’ offense got the ball back. We’ll ask him about that tomorrow.

At any rate, Eagles offensive players viewed not scoring a touchdown on the final drive as a missed opportunity. The Chargers got the ball back with 1:51 left, drove to the Eagles’ 28 and won the game on a 46-yard field goal.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

  • Soybot

    Couldn’t they have run it down the play before Vick got hurt?

  • #7

    smh

  • ACViking

    Hey Sheil . . .

    You can ask Kelly if he was thinking 2 possessions ahead.

    But you might as well ask him if his general practice is to throw his defense under the bus in response to media questions.

    Knock yourself out, though.

    • UKEagle99

      The bus would have a hard time hitting our defence with lanes that wide.

  • jakethesnake

    total mistake by chipper here….dumb dumb dumb move to rush that play with 2:12 left….also earlier in the game the 3rd down pass to Casey was a stupid call….just run the friggin ball there with misdirection….

    also if he has any balls left he cuts Nate Allen today….and he better be ready to take over the defense….cause Peyton Manning will carve this D up like a turkey.

    • Eaglehaslanded

      I can’t stand Nate Allen, cut him, burn his jersey and never issue # 29 again.

    • aub32

      Can’t say that was a dumb play. The play would have worked perfectly had Casey not dropped the ball. Chip put him in position to be wide open with a relatively easy catch in the endzone. He can’t catch the ball for these guys too.

  • Tom Davis

    My high regard for CK’s common sense and intelligence has been somewhat shaken by the last few minutes of the game. I am sure his understanding is far superior than us ordinary fans can comprehend but the way he handled the last drive and the ‘needless’ timeouts during the last minute is unsettling. Had it been Andy and Marty, these would be termed as dumb….Losses are tough but they are worse when we left so much on the table..

    • OregonEagle

      Nothing mysterious about the final timeouts. If he doesn’t call the timeouts, the Chargers run the clock down to two seconds before attempting the FG. Calling the timeouts was the only way to get the ball back if the Chargers made the FG. He also made the assumption that the Chargers wouldn’t do anything much more risky to move the ball closer than a run into the line, which they obliged. The three yards the chargers gained because of the eagle timeout didn’t change the odds on the FG appreciably.

      • BlindChow

        Yeah, the TV announcers were ripping Kelly for the timeouts, also. WTF? Was he supposed to just concede the game at that point?

  • anon

    Yeah Kelly has serious clock management issues. And San Diego w/ the slow play calling and keeping the offense off the field pretty much screwed us.

    • evanphilly

      Should get used to the other teams running a controlled offense. If our D can’t stop anybody then its going to be a long season.

      • Eaglehaslanded

        Our D can’t stop anybody. It’s going to be a long season.

  • William

    Wow, the boo birds are out….Last week Kelly was the next coming of Knute Rockne…..now he has clock mngmt issue and his intelligence is being questioned . Kelly I hope you know what you have gotten unself into ….you better get that thick skin out. We knew Nate Allen sucked and the D back field sucks, can we atleast wait until Nov before we start tearing this newly built coaching staff that we all asked for, apart

    • RIP illa

      I haven’t seen anyone question his intelligence. And yes even last week he didn’t make the best use of the clock. So no this is not coming from just today. Same thing was said after last game when we won.

      • William

        I was being sarcasted …..a couple post down somenos mentioned it . He is new , he will adjust and learn

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    He’s learning. He’s gonna make rookie mistakes. He’s not the coach I’m most worried about.

  • Dom

    We are what we are

  • morgan c

    Hmmm… seems to me, unsurprisingly, that Kelly is extremely stubborn and defensive, like every other NFL coach. I hope he being just that, and doesn’t actually think deep down that it was smart to do what he did. That would be troubling. Milk the clock, run the ball, wait until the 2 minute warning. We are at the 14 yard line. Simple. And he messed it up Reid style. Hopefully it will not happen again.

  • Dutch

    I assumed at that point the Chargers would score and the Eagles would have the last possession of the game. I was comfortable with that scenario.

    I thought at the worse a field goal to tie, and kicking off to the Chargers, and holding them. It was time the defense stepped up and the Eagles eventually getting the ball back even with a Chargers field goal at the worse with approx 45 sec on the clock. i

    the chargers had built a small house in the box and we were loosing the battle over the line of scrimmage so moving the ball via the run was difficult all day, if we were going into the end zone it was via the pass and any incompletions stops the clock whereby extending the game. it’s clear to me Chip and maybe Pat didn’t believe we could score on the ground either, that’s the only rational for their strategy at that point.

  • Kev_H

    Guy doesn’t really have much game management experience. His resume is built on having more, bigger, and faster guys and going pedal-to-the-metal for 60 minutes while running up the score. The NFL’s a little different. You especially can’t have your defense on the field for 40+ minutes and 70 some plays and expect them to come up with stops at the end. That holds even for a good defense-I’m not really understanding the method to purposefully exposing the team’s weakness to lose winnable games.

  • Seabreezes51

    My biggest concern was the need to drive and score a TD leaving NO TIME for the Chargers to score. Even I knew that the Chargers would have scored a TD and won if left with time. Chip needs to fix that part of clock managing.

  • dislikedisqus

    Also note that on Foles’ one play, Casey is open in the other corner of the end zone. Granted it was a slower route so likely foles was just following his progression but it hurts to see it just the same.

  • macadood

    If i’m not mistaken should the fumble on the kickoff not been returned to the spot of the fumble since it occurred in the 4th quarter? It sure looked to me like they spotted it where it was finally recovered. Or am I forgetting the rule…