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.