Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles were embarrassed by the Denver Broncos in Week 4, losing 52-20. They were out-played and put to shame in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams.
I tried to remain optimistic that the Eagles could be competitive and possibly pull-off the upset, but logic told me to expect a blowout. With that said, I still found myself watching in horror at how easy Denver was able to handle us.
When you play against who is perhaps the best team in the NFL with 12 days to prepare and look like the Eagles did, it tells you how far away they are from legitimately competing for a championship.
This game definitely served as a smack-to-the-face reality check and reminder that the Eagles have a long, long way to go. <Sigh> Oh well, on to the awards…
Things that made me say “WTG?” (Way to Go!):
While watching the game, there really wasn’t anything that got me excited. I should probably just leave it with the tumbleweed, but I guess I’ll dig deep and give props to…
Chris Polk, who had 33 yards on three carries and scored a TD on his first career carry. He also tacked on 19 yards with two receptions. That’s 52 total yards and one TD on five touches. That’s a nice start to his career.
In garbage time, Nick Foles and Jeff Maehl came in and ripped the Broncos’ defense to shreds (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration) in the fourth quarter. Denver is just lucky that Foles and Maehl didn’t get the ball a second time!
It’s a shame that most of the good things that stood out came in garbage time with the backups. I didn’t see any starter on either side of the ball that played like they wanted to make a difference.
The only other positives I can glean from that sewage pit of a game is that they actually forced a Denver punt, sacked Manning once and were still within one score at half time. However, they were more due to Denver mistakes than anything else.
Oh, and they didn’t turn the ball over.
Anyway, on to the WTF list…
The encroachment or off-sides penalties on the defensive line were really annoying. Manning and his “Omaha” pre-snap chatter sucked them in all day. On Denver’s first drive, they faced a third and four at the Eagles’ 20 but one of these penalties gave them a cheap first down.
Three plays later Denver scored a TD. Granted, it probably would have happened anyway, but you can’t give them a cheap first down like that.
On the Eagles’ second drive, Brent Celek dropped an easy pass inside the Denver 10-yard line on a third down play that would have given the Eagles a first and goal. Instead they had to settle for a field goal.
On a late first/early second quarter drive, the Eagles were at the Denver 13-yard line when Lane Johnson was called for holding…which effectively killed the drive (and had to settle for another FG).
Lane Johnson in general had another bad day. Chip Kelly says he doesn’t make the same mistake twice, but I guess Johnson is going to make every mistake possible so at some point in the future he’ll play perfectly.
An Evan Mathis holding penalty late in the second quarter killed yet another promising drive. They were at the Denver 41 and the penalty wiped out a 19 yard gain by DeSean Jackson.
Instead of first and 10 at the Denver 22, it was first and 20 at their own 49.
This ultimately led to a baffling decision by Chip Kelly. The Eagles were moving the ball at the time and on that drive they ended up facing a fourth and six at the Denver 37. I thought they were going to go for it, but they decided to take a delay of game penalty and punt.
Why would you give the ball back to Manning at that time? It made no sense. Sure, you can try to pin the Broncos deep, which they did, but that still didn’t stop them. Denver moved from their eight yard line to the Eagles’ 33 in a flash.
If not for a dumb unnecessary roughness penalty on Knowshon Moreno, the Broncos would have scored on that possession.
No pass rush. The Broncos were starting a career backup at left tackle but Trent Cole nor anyone else could expose that. Aside from the one sack, Manning was never uncomfortable in the pocket.
Receivers were wide open in the flat all game. This secondary is just as bad as the 2011 and 2012 versions.
The offensive line had another horrible game in pass protection. When Michael Vick doesn’t play well, sometimes it’s hard to tell if the OL is more at fault or if it’s him. I think it’s a blend of both, but yesterday it was clearly the OL that was off.
Vinny Curry was active yesterday but only played 13 snaps. He’s a guy that makes the most of such little playing time, it’s baffling why he’s not used more. In a game where they needed to get pressure on Manning without blitzing, it’s a coaching failure when you don’t utilize your best guys.
Penalties. The Eagles continue to make dumb mistakes that cost them on both sides of the ball. Yesterday it was to the tune of eight for 62 yards. On the season, they’ve piled up 31 penalties through four games, good for seventh most in the league.
The special teams are seriously regressing. This unit appeared to be dramatically improved during the preseason and the first two weeks, but these last two games featured seriously poor play from this unit.
They allowed a 105-yard kickoff return for a TD and a blocked punt for a TD. Alex Henery also continues to struggle outside of 40-yard attempts.
Over all, the entire team (including the coaching staff) deserves a big WTF! Yes, Denver makes a lot of teams look bad, but damn, I think the Raiders played them better last week.
Chip Kelly and Bill Davis had 12 days to scheme and get the players prepared but the team looked like they just came off of 12 days of keggers. I expected them to lose, but I also expected them to be a little more competitive, particularly on offense.
LeSean McCoy had issues with breathing and never got going, the OL played poorly, the receivers couldn’t get open against the 29th rated pass defense and penalties killed them.
The only good news is that they play the Giants this week and have a chance to compete against a team that is on their level.