Eagles Wake-Up Call: Offense Knows It Needs To Do More

0V3J0109The Eagles’ offense piled up 511 yards Sunday afternoon, scoring 30 points and averaging 8.8 yards per play.

Michael Vick completed 23 of 36 passes for 428 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 11.9 yards per attempt. LeSean McCoy totaled 167 rushing/receiving yards. And DeSean Jackson had nine catches for 193 yards.

In the second half, the Eagles scored on every possession except for the final one when they got the ball with seven seconds left.

Yet, given the nature of Sunday’s three-point loss, it was clear afterwards that Chip Kelly and the offensive players felt they should have done more.

“We left points out there offensively,” Kelly said. “You can’t do that against a good team. So when you play against a good quarterback, you have to be as sharp as you can. I think offensively, [we] had a touchdown called back, had a drop, missed a field goal.

“You can come down to – in a game like this that is decided at the end of the game – you can take a pick and look at every play, but to me, it’s not nit-picking. One play is the difference in a game and we talked about it all the time. You don’t know when that play is going to impact the game. And we have to understand how important it is to make plays when you have an opportunity to make them.”

Tight end James Casey had a drop in the end zone in the first quarter, and the Eagles were forced to settle for a field goal on that drive. Jackson had a 37-yard touchdown in the third called back because of a Lane Johnson penalty. Later, Jackson couldn’t keep his feet in bounds on a deep ball from Vick, and another one hit him in the fingertips, but he couldn’t hang on.

Vick overthrew Jackson for what could have been a 69-yard score, but he was hit on the play by Dwight Freeney, who beat Johnson with a spin move.

And this goes back to last week 2. Against Washington, the Eagles had a red-zone turnover and left several plays on the field.

Two games in, the theme is clear: The offensive concepts are working beautifully, but the execution has to be more crisp, especially considering the struggles of the defense.

“I think it’s always frustrating as an offense when you can’t really produce how you want to,” McCoy said. “It was always a play too short, or you don’t quite get it so it’s always frustrating.”

Added Vick: “Regarding the things we were able to do [offensively], I thought it was a success. But it’s tough, maybe we need to score 37 points. I think that’s what needed to happen in order to win this football game.”

The four teams in the NFC East have two total wins. If the first couple weeks are any indication, the Eagles have a chance to be a competitive team.

Defensively, Billy Davis has tried to temper expectations from Day One. But Kelly is giving his offense chances to make plays and put points on the board on every possession. If they can continue to figure things on that side of the ball, this will be an entertaining season.

WHAT YOU MISSED

“Phillip Rivers just seemed to know everything that we were trying to throw at him,” said Cary Williams. Telling quotes from the Eagles defenders about what went wrong.

A closer look at how Kelly managed the final offensive possession. Vick could have stayed on the field after the injury had Kelly used a timeout.

Post-game observations from Sunday’s loss.

According to a report, the Eagles backed out of a deal to land Colin Kaepernick in 2012.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com hands out his post-game awards:

The “What the Hell Was That Play Call” Award: Chip Kelly (I presume) And then, after Vick was forced out for a play, the Eagles inserted an un-warmed-up Nick Foles, who threw a fade pattern to the shortest player on the field. Whaaaaat? Disclaimer: This is Chip’s second negative award in this column. But just to note, you’re still awesome, Chip.

CSNPhilly.com’s Reuben Frank offers 10 post-game observations:

Speaking of Earl Wolff, he got far more playing time Sunday than he did Monday night in Washington, and he hung in there. He’s still going to make mistakes, but does Nate Allen have upside at this point? Wolff at least is a sure tackle and seems to take the right angle on the ball, two things that Allen has struggled with. Wolff might not be ahead of Allen in every area right now, but he’s certainly got more upside. Time to make Wolff the full-time starter and see what the kid can do. Time to move on.

COMING UP

We’ll hear from Kelly and the players. Short week with the 2-0 Chiefs coming to town Thursday  night.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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