PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was as catastrophic as a loss could get.
The Eagles out-gained the Cardinals 521 to 400 in total yards, but lost the game thanks to bad red zone turnovers, a bad spot, and a late defensive collapse. Head coach Chip Kelly, however, defended his 5-2 team on Monday morning.
“I’m very happy with the team we have right now, and I will say that,” Kelly told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show. “I love the guys we have. I love the way they compete, I love the way they perform, I love the effort, and what they bring to the game, what they bring to the training sessions that we have. I think we have a really good football team.”
Despite three turnovers, including two in the red zone costing the Eagles points, Kelly’s team held a three-point lead with 1:56 remaining in the game. The Cardinals needs to go 80-yards to win the game and unfathomably, they did exactly that, all on one single play.
On 3rd-and-five, Cards’ wide out John Brown got behind Nate Allen, caught a bomb from Carson Palmer, and waltzed into the end zone for the go-ahead back-breaking touchdown. How did he run right by the defense in that situation?
“He [Brown] didn’t run right by our defense,” Kelly clarified. “He [Brown] did a great job on a double move. He [Brown] faked like he was running an in-route and it was third and five, and we bit on the in-fake, and then he went over the top.”
Why would the defense bite on a double move there?
“Because you’re trying to make a play on third and five,” Kelly explained. “If you stop them on third and five—I understand why they did it, it wasn’t right, but if he catches that ball on a dig route you give up a first down in that situation.”
On the Eagles’ drive prior to the Brown touchdown, they were forced to settle for a field goal. A replay shows Chris Polk may have gotten a first down, maybe even a touchdown, on a third-down run, but was marked short. Kelly opted not to challenge the spot.
“I don’t think the league rate at overturning spots, in terms of where his knee was down—most of the time the err, I think percentage wise in the league, if you study the percentage of it there you err on the previous call on the field because it’s very difficult to tell on the spot unless it’s kind of a clear-cut open field kind of thing,” Kelly said.
While the Eagles are a yard or two from being 7-0, clearly they have some glaring weaknesses Kelly must address.
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