Three Explanations From Chip

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

Chip Kelly addressed a variety of topics during his post-game press conference. Here is what he said about three specific decisions from the Eagles’ 48-30 loss to the Vikings, including the fourth-down call and why he didn’t run the ball more.

1. What was the kickoff strategy with the squib kicks?


"We were concerned going into the game with [Cordarrelle] Patterson, obviously the best returner in the league," Kelly said. "If you look at what he’s done during the season, even when you do kick it deep, he takes it out and he’s got a 109-yard kickoff return. We knew how dangerous he was and were just trying to keep the ball away from him."

Kelly was asked why he didn't want to take his chances with Alex Henery kicking touchbacks, given that the game was being played indoors.

"It’s gotta go out the back if he does it because like I said, Patterson has returned one 109 for a touchdown," he said. "So he’s gonna take it out no matter how deep it is. So it would literally have to be out of the back of the end zone."

Asked if he envisioned the Vikings getting such great field position, Kelly said: "We hit the ball a lot better during the week and covered it a lot better during the week."

2. Why did LeSean McCoy only have eight carries?

Kelly seemed to indicate that the offensive line wasn't doing a very good job.

"We got down a little bit there, and we really weren’t moving them very well up front," Kelly said. "But I think trying to take advantage of some of the matchups in the passing game, trying to free up DeSean [Jackson] and those guys… I also thought LeSean was a very good weapon in the passing game itself with the screen passes and some of the underneath routes. Didn’t convert in the red zone and then we were down. It felt like we were down two scores all the time, so just trying to get back into it."

The Eagles ended the game with 56 called pass plays and nine run plays. McCoy had eight carries for 38 yards.

3. Why go for it on 4th-and-1 from your own 24?

Midway through the third quarter with the Eagles down 24-9, Kelly elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 from the Birds' 24-yard-line.

"I thought we could’ve made it, and I also thought if we don’t make it we’re in trouble," Kelly said. "If we can’t get half-a-yard, maybe it tells you what the day’s all about. But you’ve gotta think at 4th-and-half-a-yard we can get half-a-yard. They didn’t blitz. It wasn’t like there was an all-out coming at us. We need to come off the ball and get some movement at the point of attack and dig ourselves out of that hole right there. We hadn’t gotten anything going at that point in time so hoping we could jump-start something there."

McCoy was stopped on the play. Kelly challenged the call, but the ruling on the field was upheld.

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  • jakethesnake

    idiotic kickoff strategy….playing scared never works….sometimes he outsmarts himself…kick the f-ing ball and cover the kick.
    Also high school move to go for it on 4th down from your own 20….and then having foles in the gun for the play.
    he better chg his kickoff strategy for devon hester….

    • UKEagle99

      Easy with hind sight isnt it?

      • G_WallyHunter

        Where’s Captain Hindsight when you need him eh?
        Too bad he didn’t fly into the metrodome when we needed him

      • Jason

        I don’t think the kickoff strategy is hindsight, it was a terrible strategy. If your special teams unit isn’t good enough to cover kicks that will go 8 to 9 yards deep, then they have bigger problems. Smith had a great return and it was still 8 yards short of the squib kicks.

        • UKEagle99

          How many points did ST give up? We lost this game because we couldn’t get off the field. The O did enough (coulda and shoulda done more) but I will bet English Pounds that anytime you let the opponents offence score 48 points, you lose.

          • Jason

            Not going to argue, the secondary was atrocious. If your only argument is points allowed then I think I made my point.

          • UKEagle99

            I’m not saying ST was great but we gave them a long field, they scored 7. We never looked like stopping them. Chip knew it & went for it from his own 25 or thereabouts…

          • Jason

            Fair enough, my point is that we don’t know if the special teams was good or not. They didn’t have a chance to be good or bad. Many, many more problems then ST, just didn’t like the philosophy and I think it leaked into other aspects.

          • UKEagle99

            Yes, I think we’re both disappointed, for different reasons. However, GO Packers!!

          • theycallmerob

            You are not wrong (double negative alert!) special teams has helped our O and D all year. One of the first games I remember in awhile where we lost that battle

          • JofreyRice

            Totally agree. Casell would have gone for 500 and the RB Asiago or whatever would have gone for even more yards. Guy had the game of his life against the Eagles.

            The defense was swiss cheese today. What, did they force them to punt 2x? You ain’t winning like that.

          • Nobody Knows Nothin

            asiata was awful; under 2 yards per carry. you could score 3 TDs from inside the 5!

          • UncleCarm

            Chung has to go. Vikings used guys from the practice squad and did better than us.

          • UncleCarm

            I don’t know what the average starting field position was for the Vikings offense, but I’ll bet you anything that when you give the opposition a short field all day, you give up alot of points.

      • UncleCarm

        Not hind sight. I was screaming it all day.

        • UKEagle99

          So post it here pre-game.

          • UncleCarm

            Bite me. Watch the next game from my house and you will know what I said during the game. No one could have known that we would run in fear of a return guy, so I never thought to post it.

          • Johnny Domino

            Post your address, I make a mean seven layer dip.

  • Ron Swanson

    McCoy was not stopped. They got that first down. Horrible spot.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Ya if Chip would have thrown the flag on that 3rd and 1, we wouldn’t be talking about any of this 4th and half-yard crap

    • jesse

      i thought he had it on the third down play chip should have challenged then. I feel we abandoned the run to early I mean Shady was still getting about 5 yards a run but the way our D played don’t think it would have mattered not enough pressure upfront and just horrible play in the secondary really cant understand the kick off strategy i mean your giving them a third of the field to start a drive . Fletcher played his worse game as an Eagle but thought tha PI was a bit touchy and that late bomb he had pretty good coverage , I don’t know reminds me to much of ’10 when we went into minny riding on a high

  • theycallmerob

    Honestly ok with the decisions and his explanations.
    ST were poop, like the D no one could tackle.
    McCoy needed more touches, but WRs also had trouble getting open and OL was rough in both aspects. Foles missed some throws too.
    And bad spot or not, if.you can’t get half a yard….well, that says it all

    • cliff henny

      pretty much. still control destiny, sky isnt falling in. we knew this was mediocre talent level getting good results. just bad strategy by defense all game. maybe it’ll be blessing in disguise. better now than in Dallas

      • theycallmerob

        outplayed in all 5 aspects- O, D, ST, coaching, and talent.

        • cliff henny

          no doubt, just proves how week to week nfl really is.

    • OG

      see my point above. i am not ok with his decisions or explanations. he says it was 1/2 yard, but the play he called was a shotgun play, so it was more like 5.5 yards. bad play calling = bad decisions. his explanations didn’t get that specific (at least as retold above), but he made many many bad decisions i have not heard him explain away satisfactorily, to me

      • theycallmerob

        I don’t disagree with you. As I said to Cliff below, decision-making was definitely an issue overall but not the only issue. But with regard to that one scenario, where there was no blitz and the receivers kept the DBs off the line, I felt that more of the OL was to blame. That same IZR has worked on 4th down before.
        It was a microcosm of the day’s failures: Fole’s 2nd worst game of the year, poor OL play, lack of run calls, WRs that couldn’t get open, DL and LBs that didn’t get much pass pressure, LBs that missed tackles, a porous secondary, bad STs, on top of great execution by MIN. whew…im out of breath!

        • Jernst

          It is nice to think though that Foles’ second worst game of the year was a 423 yard 3 TD 1 Int game with a passer rating of 103. I’m trying to stay positive and the one thing that I think we need to remind ourselves when it comes to Foles is just how young he is. The guy still has a lot of room to improve. If our defense stops them just once all game, perhaps were talking about how strong his day was and how he overcame a slow start.

  • Mr. Magee

    Follow up Q’s / observations…
    1) Henery is not capable of kicking it out if the end zone, even in a dome? Our special teams are a mess, and obviously Kelly has no faith in them.
    2) What will it take to fix management of replays / challenges? There was nothing wrong with going for it on 4th down in that situation. Problem is, Shady’s run on 3rd down was clearly a bad spot and should have resulted in a first down.
    3) Play calling was horrendous… Gave up on the run way to early. Looked like Andy all over again.
    4) Defense sucked – couldn’t cover anyone today.

    • anon

      I understand wanting to pass when their 3 best rbs are out and a guy you cut is starting. Also understand going away from the run when the line is getting dominated. Where’s geagle to explain this defense

      • Bird of Prey

        LOL, I’m just putting it to we got the Matt Cassle of the Patriots, not the Chiefs. He was hot, and when a QB gets that hot there isn’t much you can do about it. Ask the Raiders about Nick Foles.

  • dislikedisqus

    It’s the f’g SI cover jinx. Always the cover jinx

    • G_WallyHunter

      u mentioned it nooooooooo

  • Mr. Magee

    Not good for players (especially the D) to have a let down this week, but surprising for Kelly to have one. Probably his worst coaching job this season..

    • UncleCarm

      I wish I could give you more than one thumbs up. The players need to execute, but Kelly did a bad job all around today. How can you run so so scared from a kick return. The guy isn’t that good and our kick coverage is not that bad. How can you justify the gutsy call on 4th and 1, but not kick the thing away in a dome. i don’t understand.

    • UKEagle99

      Sorry but that is a cheap shot. How do you differentiate between bad coaching and poor execution? What if Foles doesnt throw a low block? We had our chances, Chip doesn’t run the D. You are throwing Chip and the O under the bus for not scoring 49. How many times did big Red put up 49 in his tenure?

      • anon

        Chips plan for st put the d in a terrible position. D played bad but we got killed in field position game both ways

    • JofreyRice

      ah, I thought the Broncos was worse. Parts of that game looked like he was just trying to avoid being embarrassed.

  • Damien

    How about that timeout during the 2 pt?

  • Jason

    Obviously a frustrating loss, but sometimes a dome team just plays really well at home. Just look at St. Louis. They are professionals

    • dislikedisqus

      Even though they are third string professionals

  • Beastmode

    So next year get a goddamn kicker who can get touch backs.!!!

  • Justin

    I said it repeatedly in the live chat. If Henery can’t kick the ball out of the endzone for touchbacks in a dome, he has no place on an NFL team and needs to be replaced.

    That out of the way, it was a shitty game. One to Chicago.

  • og

    i agree they should be able to pick up 1/2 yard. but they made it more than 1/2 yard by lining up in the shot-gun. it was more like 5.5 yards. why not line up under center, eh chip? i gotta see if that Q was asked during the presser…

  • UKEagle99

    Come on Cheese headz! Do the Cowgirls!

  • EaglefaninAZ

    McCoy gets eight carries? Yup. That sorta thing will kill ya.

    • UKEagle99

      So the passing game clearly failed. Foles 428 yards, 3 tds and 1 pick…

      • anon

        On nearly 60 attempts passing to 8 running.

  • UKEagle99

    I’m hoping Romo chokes now…

  • UKEagle99

    C H O K E !!! I N T !!

  • JofreyRice

    I actually didn’t mind going for it on 4th down. The D had held the Vikings one time at that point, and it was because Jennings slipped as Boykin missed a tackle. The offense was sputtering…they needed a spark. I thought the team actually played better after they failed to get the first, and held the Vikings to a field goal.

    Can’t figure out why they would go away from the run so completely, though. Give it to Polk a bit, if you want to rest McCoy’s legs. The interior line was OK, I thought both Peters and Johnson were shaky, and Foles compounded it by being a bit indecisive in the pocket. Also thought his numbers belied how scattershot he looked. He was badly off on a few throws in the Lions game, as well. Seems a little streaky, something to look at going forward.

    That being said, this was on the defense. No pass rush. Awful tackling. Bad safety play. Fletcher got fish-fileted. Kendricks, besides the one gimme sack and the lucky INT looked like he was out of position, or flying around, missing tackles a lot. I don’t think they were quite as good as they were playing during that stretch, and I don’t think they’re quite as bad as they were in this letdown game. Just get ready for the Bears, and move on.

    • Andy124

      Totally understand going for it on 4th.

      That same can’t be said for the lack of McCoy. Even with more McCoy though, that doesn’t cover Viking receivers.

      Can’t do anything but hope that this was a bad game for the D rather than an accurate predictor of future performance.

      • JofreyRice

        I thought Bennie Logan was a monster in this game. Very good to see that, along with Thornton playing well.

        Turning the secondary over, talent-wise, is going to be a process. I just don’t think there are any quick fixes.

        • Mr. Magee

          Couldn’t agree more with your comments. Good thing Dallas lost today, cause I think the only thing that stops the Bears offense next week is the Bears.

    • Nobody Knows Nothin

      chip shoulda challenged on the third down play; it was a bad spot. they had the first and woulda never been in that position to start with.

  • SoCalEaglesFan

    Sounds like Kelly coached that game scared. Just because the guy ran back ONE touchdown for 109 yards doesn’t mean he is going to do it again unless Kelly is afraid his coverage teams stinks. And perhaps they do. But in the NFL, 31 teams have kickers who can routinely kick the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs from the 35 in a Dome. Only the Eagles Henery is incapable of doing it. What does that tell you?

    Eight running plays is not enough for the line to establish themselves. Kelly was scared they couldn’t block anybody.

    Coaching scared when the games start to mean something does not bode well for the future of this team. This loss was 100 percent on the coaching staff. Just a horrendous job all around. Coaches get an F for this game. Even the bumbling Cowboys will beat them when they coach like that.

  • Bird of Prey

    It was a bad game and game plan. Why don’t they ask Chip the questions that drive us nuts though? “Chip, who is reviewing the plays in the booth because McCoy clearly had the first down before you went on to try to get in on fourth down?”. They lost, OK, you don’t win them all, but seeing things like the folks upstairs NOT calling for review the whole season is terrible. He also told his special teams that they stink, and that may come back to bite you. Oh wait, it did. But one bad game in the last six is really nothing to cry about.

  • John J. King

    Agree, actually 2 horrible spots on the 3rd & 4th downs.