By Kevin McGuire
The Eagles lost their third straight game on Sunday afternoon in Denver, losing to the Broncos 52-20. It is the first time Chip Kelly has lost three straight games in his head-coaching career, and he may be having a rough time adjusting to life in the NFL. While the last two losses at home were tough to swallow, a loss to the Broncos was probably expected. However, to lose the way the Eagles did will leave room for plenty of work in the coming week as the Eagles try to solve their puzzles before heading back on the road next week to take on the New York Giants.
As you might expect, the post-game grades for the team are not exactly honor roll material.
Quarterback Grade: C-
It was a rough afternoon for Mike Vick. Before being replaced by Nick Foles in the second half, Vick had completed just 14 of 27 passes for 248 yards and zero touchdowns. Vick also added 41 rushing yards, had no interceptions, but again had zero touchdowns. His job is probably not in much jeopardy yet, although three straight losses will ignite the discussion on local sports radio this week. Nick Foles was effective in running the offense in his brief time on the field, and he led the offense to a fourth quarter touchdown.
Offense Grade: D-
The Eagles put up some yards against Denver’s defense, but had to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns early on. Trading field goals for touchdowns with Peyton Manning and the Broncos never results in a good outcome. The Eagles did not turn over the football but failed to do what they needed to do in order to keep pace with the Broncos. One thing that has been learned so far is that this team struggles when coming from behind.
Defense Grade: F
The Denver Broncos had everything they needed to completely shred the Philadelphia Eagles defense, and after halftime they made all of the adjustments needed to start pulling away. The defense allowed 35 first downs on 71 plays and was unable to cover anything thrown its way. A poor outing against the Broncos, playing the way they are, is certainly nothing to be too upset about, but the defense was unable to make any adjustments in the second half.
Special Teams Grade: C
Alex Henery kicked a couple of field goals but missed a long one that he probably should not have been attempting in the first place. Broncos kick returner Trindon Holliday flew past the Eagles return coverage for a 100 plus yard return to pay dirt. The Eagles also had a punt blocked that was returned for a touchdown. Despite having Denver kick off so many times, the Eagles never returned one kickoff and had just one punt return by Damaris Johnson (for 21 yards). The special teams were not the reason for the loss, but had no impact on changing anything around either.
Overall Evaluation: F
The bad news is each loss seems to have gotten worse by the week for Philadelphia. The good news is it cannot get much worse. Can it? The offense moved the ball at times but did not score the points to keep pace early on and the entire team hit a road block in the second half after Denver made their adjustments and started to pull away.
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.