PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was 3rd and goal from the opposition’s one-yard line. Two minutes remained in the game. The Eagles were trailing the 49ers by five points with the ball, needing a touchdown to improve to 4-0. They had two plays to gain 54-inches of offense.
And they failed.
“We tried to throw it on first down and obviously they had dropped a ton of guys into coverage and were defending the goal line very well, so [we] tried to surprise them with a run [on second down] although we didn’t run the ball very well at all—that’s probably an understatement—all day long,” Eagles head coach Chip Kelly told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday morning. “Got the ball to the one and a half [yard-line], but just knew that from that distance, with the type of push we were getting inside, I just didn’t think we were going to be able to run the ball in from that distance.”
Listen: Chip Kelly on the 94WIP Morning
The infuriating sequence, starting on the SF six-yard line, went like this: A dropped touchdown in traffic by Riley Cooper, a five-yard run by LeSean McCoy to the SF one-yard line (his best run of the game), an incomplete pass to Brent Celek, and an errant throw by Nick Foles intended for Jeremy Maclin in the back of the end zone.
The Eagles recorded a total of 22 rushing yards on 12 carries, running behind an offensive line that was missing three out of its five starters. Kelly did admit his mindset “probably” would have been different for those 3rd and 4th down passing calls, if the 0-line was healthy.
Despite only 11 first downs 213 total yards of offense, the Eagles still had a chance to win the game thanks to two special teams touchdowns and solid play from the defense.
“When you’re going three and out and in two of those situations we were two and out,” Kelly said. “You know, we got the interception and then that catch and fumble, those are two big drive killers in the second half. You can’t turn the football over against a good team like that. It’s just disappointing because I thought our defense played really well, and obviously our special teams played really well.”
The Eagles will get their second-year offensive tackle Lane Johnson, who missed the first four games due to a PED suspension, back this week. However, the offensive line will still be without a Pro Bowler in Evan Mathis (MLC) and arguably the league’s best center in Jason Kelce (sports hernia) for several weeks.
“We had a group of guys in a week or so ago for workouts, we ended up signing Wade Smith out of that group, and you know, bringing Wade up to speed in terms of what we’re doing,” Kelly said on bringing in offensive line help. “Obviously Lane [Johnson] will be back today so we’ll get a chance to take a look at him, but there’s not much out there right now.”
Is Richie Incognito a possibility?
“We didn’t bring Richie in when we were looking at guys to work out last week,” Kelly said.
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