After getting dominated in the first half Monday night, the Philadelphia Eagles came alive in the second, turning a 20-3 deficit into a 24-23 lead. In the end, though, the Falcons won, 26-24.
So, who gets the lion’s share of the blame in Philadelphia? Is it Sam Bradford for playing so poorly in the first half?
Paul Jolovitz says no.
“The play-calling was terrible, the missed field goal (at the end), the penalties killed the Eagles – there’s a lot from last night that went wrong,” the WIP radio host said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It was not Sam Bradford. To be totally honest with you, he’s flying way under the radar today. He was actually fine in most people’s eyes.”
Chip Kelly, however, was not. What happened on the sidelines when he was deciding whether to go for it on 4th-and-1 or kick a field goal?
“Well, it’s a great question,” Jolovitz said. “First of all, on third down, why wasn’t DeMarco Murray in the game? Chip talks about rotations and it was Ryan Matthews’ turn. This was kind of your play of the game. To me, you got to make sure Murray is in there. And nobody will ever convince me that the shotgun in short yardage or the red zone is the way to run a running play of any kind. With that said, on fourth down, yeah, there was some indecision. And Chip, listen, every coach should have a guy next to him who handles two-point conversions, timeouts left, down-and-distances – coaches screw up too often.”
Kelly may have screwed up Monday. After some indecision, he sent Cody Parkey out for a 44-yard field goal to retake the lead. Parkey missed. The Eagles lost.
Missed field goals are a part of football, but Kelly’s indecision may have led to the miss.
“In this case, Chip’s explanation at his conference today is we kicked it with seven seconds left; if it goes under four, we’ll call a timeout,” Jolovitz said. “But it looked rushed to me. I guess it looked rushed to you. I think it was a no-brainer to go for the field goal. I’m the ultimate riverboat gambler, and to me, it was an absolute no-brainer in a dome with two minutes left to go for the field goal there. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was the time it took to make the decision, the lack of a timeouts and then obviously that Cody missed it.”