The instant reaction of many fans is that Alex Henery is to blame for the Eagles loss. The final score was 26-24 and he missed a FG in the 1st half. Give the Eagles those points and you’ve got a win.
Uh, doesn’t exactly work like that. Remember that the Saints marched the ball right down the field on their final drive. If they were down 27-23, they’d have played for the TD and not settled for the FG. You also never know how the Eagles having those points would have affected earlier decisions. Way too simplistic to think if Henery makes that kick the Eagles win.
I’m not trying to let him off the hook. That was a costly miss. My point is that no one player is responsible. This was a team loss.
The offense really struggled in the 1st half. They finished the game with 256 yards. They had chances in the game to put up additional points, but failed to do so. This is on the whole offense. Foles took dumb sacks. Cooper had a huge drop. The OL could have blocked better on some plays. And so on.
The defense limited the Saints to 6 points in the 1st half, but New Orleans finished the game with 434 yards and 26 points. The Saints were very good in the 2nd half. The worst part was watching them run the ball when they wanted to. Bill Davis said the Eagles were more concerned about the passing game, but at a certain point you have to sell out to stop the run and take your chances. We’ll see what the tape shows.
We’re all feeling very mixed emotions right now. We’re mad at the Eagles for losing the game. We’re happy they responded to being down 20-7 and making the comeback. We’re happy that they had such a good and fun seasopn. But we’re utterly frustrated that the season is over. Losing a playoff game really hurts.
I hope Eagles players learned a lesson tonight. The Saints were more physical. They were more aggressive. They were the better team. The NFL playoffs are a bit different. I’m sure Chip Kelly learned a lesson or two, although he might not admit it.
* No big plays from Mychal Kendricks or Brandon Boykin.
* The Eagles tackling was poor throughout the game. I was especially frustrated with Cary Williams. There were several plays when he was hesitant before making contact. This isn’t Nnamdi/DRC stuff, but it was odd.
* Why no Earl Wolff? We can only guess that the coaches didn’t think he was ready to play unless absolutely needed.
* The lack of touches for DeSean Jackson for so long is something that must be remedied. Once they got him the ball, you could see what a playmaker he is. He should touch the ball on the 1st series of every game. Get him touches.
* The DL was way too quiet. Curious to see how they look on tape.
* The Saints were clutch on 3rd/1 and 4th/1. The Eagles weren’t. Must control the LOS better than that.
* Sproles 39-yard KOR and subsequent penalty to open the final drive were huge. Henery needs better depth on that kick and the Eagles must do a better job in coverage.
* It was great to see Foles lead the Eagles on that final TD drive. He left the field with the lead and never got another chance. Foles was far from perfect in this game, but he put his team on top with a long drive late in the game. That’s a huge sign from a young QB. McNabb first did that in his 5th season, when the Eagles came back to beat the Packers in 2003.
* I do think it was important to see the Eagles come back from down 20-7 and then go ahead 24-23. The offense did their part. The defense played well in that stretch. Even STs came up big. They just couldn’t keep that thing going for the whole game.
We have plenty to talk about in terms of this game and how to go about fixing the team in the offseason. I’m not going to jump in to every topic at once. Patience, my friends.