By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — Chip Kelly began picking up the pieces on Monday after the disastrous 52-20 thumping the Eagles absorbed against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Kelly said he and his staff saw a great many things, mostly breakdowns, which he’s hoping to correct by the time the Eagles visit the winless New York Giants.
Through the three-game losing streak the Eagles find themselves in, they’ve been plagued by myriad issues in the red zone, with special teams, dropped passes, missed assignments, poor tackling and the list can go on.
“There’s a lot of things, you look at specifically yesterday, penalties and drops,” Kelly said. “We’re in the red zone, we drop the ball. We’re potentially in the red zone once, and we get a penalty and we’re in the red zone another time and get a penalty. You set yourself back and you’re playing first-and-20s, or second-and-20s, that makes it a little bit difficult. So when we get into the red zone, we talk about no sacks, no turnovers, no penalties and no drops. Those are the things that are hurting us right now. The penalties and the drops.
“We’ve seen a little more man [defense]. I also think we’ve still been productive moving the football, I still think we’re stopping ourselves. We’re not getting stopped by a scheme, or we’re not getting stopped by a look. I think we’ve been in situations where we’ve driven the football and we’ve proven we can drive the football. This past week, it was the penalties and drops.”
The inconsistency on special teams has been stinging the Eagles. Kelly said the breakdowns are coming in base fundamental coverages and protections. He said the things where the Eagles have had problems—the Broncos’ 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and the blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown—are areas the Eagles work concentrate on a daily basis.
Though it didn’t look like it on Sunday.
Alex Henery missed his third field goal on Sunday, and all have come between 40 and 49 yards. Kelly said the patience level is still good with Henery and he still has confidence in him.
Kelly also addressed the attitude of the team. He likes the fact the veterans are keeping their heads up.
Defense continues to be a concern. There were gaping holes that allowed the Broncos’ rushing attack to churn out big yards, and times when there were overwhelming mismatches, like when Eagles’ 5-foot-10, 185-pound defensive back Brandon Boykin came close to the line of scrimmage and was positioned as a makeshift-outside linebacker against a two-tight end set.
Asked if that was a favorable matchup, Kelly almost quizzically replied, “Boykin playing outside linebacker against two tight ends, no,” he said.
Kelly also touched on the progression his team needs to take. He brought up the learning process, when talking about the development of tight end Zach Ertz and safety Early Wolff.
“I don’t think we’re far away offensively, I look at what we’ve done consistently in four games, I think we know as a group we can move the football, but sometimes the enemy that we play isn’t the other team, it’s ourselves,” Kelly concluded.
Asked what his team could learn from Sunday’s loss, Kelly succinctly said, “Not to let it happen again.”
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.