Eagles called out by coach after horrible loss

By JEFFREY WARNER
Staff Writer — jwarner@highhopesblog.com
_______

Head coach Andy Reid let the Eagles have it, calling out specific players he felt did not live up to par, in the locker room following Sunday's loss in Chicago. (Philly.com)

Sunday’s much-anticipated Bears-Eagles showdown in Chicago proved to be a game that started off terribly and the ended even worse for the Eagles.  The Birds fell to the Bears, 31-26, dropping them to 7-4 and putting them back in a tie with the Giants for first place in the NFC East, after their nail-biting win over the Jags. This could possibly been the worst performance by the Eagles this year and according to multiple reports, upset head coach Andy Reid more than any loss in recent Eagles history.

Their won’t be much time to stew over this one however, as the Birds turn around to host the Texans Thursday night. Let’s take a closer look at Sunday’s performance…

Offense- D:

The Eagles went up against one of the toughest defenses in the league and once again struggled. Philly was just unable to get in a rhythm and sustain an efficient drive. They could only convert four third downs in the game. That isn’t going to cut it. Also again the offensive woes in the red zone continued as they could only punch it in once for a score and settled for four field goals. That is not going to win you football games.

The Bears did a tremendous job keeping Michael Vick in check as the offensive line had no answer for the blitz packages the defense threw their way, leaving Vick no time to get rid of the football. Chicago was able to bring Vick down four times in the game and did a very good job containing him and not letting him make a big play on the ground. Vick did have over 330 yards passing and two scores but a big momentum shift came late in the second quarter when the Eagles were knocking on the door for the go ahead score. Vick threw a pass for the endzone that was tipped and picked off, giving the quarterback his first pick since his incarceration.

That play proved to be costly as the Bears would take advantage of the opportunity and punch it in to go up big, never looking back. Vick just wasn’t on his game. He was missing his receivers down field, throwing it into coverage, and could do very little with the football. Vick couldn’t hang onto the football either, and was stripped four times, luckily none of them recovered. You can’t win games if you can’t execute the play calling and ruins the rhythm of the drive.

It wasn’t the greatest day by these receivers as many passes were dropped and just miscommunication as it seemed some of the receivers were running wrong routes. Overall was a pitiful day. Jason Avant led the Eagles with eight catches for 83 yards. WR Desean Jackson finished with just two receptions for 26 yards. But Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek did have each a touchdown but in a losing effort.

The running game was non-existent only rushing one-third of the plays. Coach Andy Reid went away from the balance attack that has worked for them these past few games. When Philly got down early they went heavy in the passing game and when they did run they were not effective. RB Lesean McCoy ran for only 53 yards. When you’re that unbalanced and the defense knows what you’re going to do, you can’t expect to execute and be effective moving the football. You have to pick up first downs and move the chains controlling the tempo which the Eagles did not do.

It was not good day by the Eagles offense. They did have almost 400 yards of offense and 26 points but most of that was late when the game was already out of reach. They were unable to jump out to an early lead like they have during the win streak which might be the reason why they loss today. The Eagles just hope they can get back on track and get back to their winning ways against a horrible Texans defense.

Defense- F:

After a game like last week shutting down one of the top offenses in the league, the Eagles came into Chicago not ready to play. They showed no emotion or determination to get the job done in this football game. They consistently allowed Chicago to move the football at will and pick up big yardage on first and second down. This defense could not get off the field. This was a Bears offense that came in struggling to put up points and in the bottom half of the league in most statistical offensive categories, and the Eagles made them look like superstars.

QB Jay Cutler who has struggled all season long looked like the player the Bears would hope to be. The Chicago quarterback torched the Eagles secondary for 247 yards and four touchdowns and committed no turnovers in the game.

They were able to get pressure on Cutler and sack him four times but something the Eagles have done a lot of lately and that was make big plays and force turnovers. You saw none of that in this game as Philly just couldn’t catch a break. And that would be big as the offense had troubles moving the football and would really needed the defense to make a play and set them up with short field.

The Eagles couldn’t control the running game like they have this season, allowing their first 100 yard rusher of the year. RB Matt Forte was just too much to handle as he ran for 117 yards on the ground including a huge 61 yard run to set up another Chicago touchdown.

Stewart Bradley and the rest of the linebackers couldn’t get off blocks to make a play, poor tackling and horrible position to make tackles all around on this defense. The Eagles were missing CB Asante Samuel and it showed how important he is to this Eagles defense The secondary had some miscommunication and allowing the receivers to get into open space.

The Bears took advantage in the size as the Eagles corners Dimitri Patterson and Joselio Hanson are small and not physical. They were having troubles all day, staying with their man and reading routes to allow the receivers to get into open space and make plays. The speedy receivers were just beating the coverage with Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and Earl Bennett all having decent games. Quintin Mikell’s age was showing as he had troubles tackling and kept getting burnt by jumping routes. Nate Allen was making rookie mistakes. A team that has shown its inconsistency to defend the pass this year showed again. And they have to do something with the lack of depth they have at this position because it’s going to cost them.

This defense just couldn’t get it done. Not only did they give up 31 points to a team that only averages 19 points a game but almost 350 yards of offense. They kept allowing big play after big play putting them in horrible position not to give up points. This defense needs to get healthy and get back to the high level they have shown they can play at if they want to make a push to the playoffs.

Special Teams- D-:

The only reason special teams did not earn a big, deserved F is because of K David Akers’ performance and the fact that they luckily did not give up a special teams touchdown. Special teams coordinator Bobby April has a lot to work on. The return coverage was absolutely horrendous in this game, giving up 175 yards total including two 40+ yard returns in the game. Field position means so much and is a huge factor in the outcome of a football game. The Birds did a horrible job to contain Devin Hester and the rest of the Chicago return squad, putting the defense is a bad position to make plays.

As for the other side, no one could block and stay in their lanes to open a gap for return man Jorrick Calvin as he was unable to do much only averaging 24 yards a return. It kept giving the offenses a long field to move down. Not a good job by this unit.

Only bright side was David Akers, again the cause for the Eagles’ points, going 4/4 in the game. Punter Sav Rocca did a good job, taking Hester out of the punt game, only allowing him to return one kick and pinning another inside the 20.  But that wasn’t enough to overcome the blunders the return coverage was allowing.

Overall- F:

This was just an overall horrible performance in all aspects of the game. This is a team that has done well against opponents with winning records, but this was not the case Sunday. The Eagles again showed struggles against tough competition and teams with great defenses. The offense couldn’t do anything with the football early on and by the time they started to move the ball, the Bears were happy to trade points for time and it was too late.

The defense couldn’t get off the field and allowed the big plays. That combination ends in disaster and the Eagles win-streak comes to an end. They fall to 7-4 and now again tied with the Giants for first place in the NFC East. This is going to down to the wire for the Eagles on whether they make the playoffs or not with such a tight conference race. They will need to get their act together if want any chance of getting to the post season.

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER PHI CHI
FG 08:51 David Akers 45 Yd 3 0
TD 06:56 Earl Bennett 10 Yd Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick) 3 7
TD 02:25 Johnny Knox 20 Yd Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick) 3 14
SECOND QUARTER PHI CHI
TD 13:18 Jeremy Maclin 8 Yd Pass From Michael Vick (David Akers Kick) 10 14
FG 08:08 David Akers 36 Yd 13 14
TD 00:38 Earl Bennett 6 Yd Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick) 13 21
THIRD QUARTER PHI CHI
TD 13:29 Greg Olsen 9 Yd Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick) 13 28
FG 01:26 Robbie Gould 23 Yd 13 31
FOURTH QUARTER PHI CHI
FG 11:51 David Akers 22 Yd 16 31
FG 04:47 David Akers 36 Yd 19 31
TD 01:48 Brent Celek 30 Yd Pass From Michael Vick (David Akers Kick) 26 31

Boxscore

Passing

-Eagles: Michael Vick 29/44 333yds 2TD 1int, 94.2 QB rating

-Bears: Jay Cutler 14/21 247yds 4TD, 146.2 QB Rating

Rushing

-Eagles: Lesean Mccoy- 10car. 53yds; M.Vick-9carr. 44yds

Team-22carr. 105yds 4.8yd average

-Bears: Matt Forte 14carr. 117yds; J. Cutler 7carr 17yds

Team: 28carr. 131yds 4.7yd average

Receiving

-Eagles: Jason Avant 8rec 83yds; L.Mccoy 8rec 67yds; Brent Celek 3rec 50yds 1TD; Jeremy Maclin 4rec 47yds 1TD; Riley Cooper 1rec 29yds; Clay Harbor 2rec 27yds; Desean Jackson 2rec 26yds

-Bears: Devin Hester 3rec 86yds; Johnny Knox 3rec 68yds 1TD; Earl Bennett 4rec 56 yds 2TDs; M.Forte 2rec 22yds; Greg Olsen 1rec 9yds 1TD

Defense

-Eagles: Interceptions(none) Sacks- DE Trent Cole(2) DE Brandon Graham(1) DT Mike Patterson (1)

-Bears: Interceptions- S Chris Harris(1); Sacks-DE Julius Peppers(1) DT Anthony Adams(1) DT Matt Toeaina(1)DE Israel Idonije(.5) DE Henry Melton(.5)

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Filed under game recap, Jeffrey Warner

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