ABOVE PHOTO: Michael Vick threw two interceptions in the Eagles loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
(Photo by Webster Riiddick.)
By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun
If there was ever a time for the Eagles to start working out the kinks in their uptempo offense, the 10-day break until their next game against the Denver Broncos might be a good time as any.
In their 26-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles (1-2) looked like a team that had played three games in 11 days. The offense was sluggish, woefully inconsistent and could never find any rhythm mainly because of their self-inflicted wounds.
As brilliant as Michael Vick has been in the first two weeks, he was wretchedly out of sync this week. He was 13-of-30 for 201 yards with one touchdown and two horrific interceptions-one of which was returned for a touchdown- and a fumble. He was sacked four times.
“We had the turnover, then we got a score and then we come back with good field position and have another turnover,” said Vick. “We’re moving the ball and then we have another turnover. It’s hard to get into rhythm and the next thing you know it’s halftime.”
In Vick’s defense, Eagles receivers had a difficult time getting open and that forced him to hold onto the ball a little longer than usual. Birds head coach Chip Kelly said his team did a poor job of executing and winning their one-on-one matchups.
“We gave up too much pressure tonight,” Kelly said. “A lot of times they’re rushing just four and they’re getting to the quarterback quickly. You know, we’re not even getting to the top of our drop and we’re getting too much on them. We can’t put Mike in a lot bad situations.”
With the exception of running back LeSean McCoy, the entire offense couldn’t seem to get out of the way of themselves with a combination of turnovers and penalties. For the game, the Eagles rolled up 421 of total offense, but committed four turnovers.
“It’s about execution and that’s what this game is all about, we have to come back and not put ourselves in these situations,” Kelly said. “You can’t turn the ball over like that and expect to win. We can move the football up and down the field. We’ve proven that.
“But if we’re going to put the ball on the ground as we did in the first half and throw interceptions that’s not going to win games for us.”
McCoy had another big game on the ground for the Eagles, gaining 158 yards on 20 carries. He said if the Eagles offense can stay away from making mistakes, they are unstoppable.
“I really don’t think there is a defense out there that can physically beat us,” McCoy said. “It’s a matter of us as an offense going out there and playing well. If we do not play well, it shows. I do not think it’s a matter of the defense stopping us.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles much-maligned defense played well for the most part and kept the Chiefs offense out of sync. But the killer situation in the game came late in the fourth quarter.
In that fourth quarter, the Eagles cut the Kansas City lead to seven on a 41-yard a touchdown run by McCoy. On their next possession, the Chiefs went on a 15-play, 76-yard drive that consumed eight-minutes and 15 seconds of the clock. The Chiefs march finished with a 38-yard field goal by Ryan Succup.
The big play on that drive was on third down from the Kansas City five-yard line. Just when it looked like the defense was going to hold the Chiefs to a three-and-out, Alex Smith found Donnie Avery for a 15-yard gain to keep the drive going.
“We’ve got to get off the field on those big third down plays and get the ball back in the hands of the offense as fast as you can, especially in situations like that,” said Eagles strong safety Nate Allen.