IF Michael Vick didn’t leave the game with a concussion, the Eagles would’ve won.
IF Jeremy Maclin wouldn’t have dropped the fourth-down pass late in the game, the Eagles would’ve won.
IF Andy Reid would’ve challenged the interception, the Eagles would’ve won.
I think you get where I’m going here…this is what all Philadelphia fans said after the game. But here’s the thing, mistakes are costly and as we saw on Sunday night, they cost you football games.
As much as the Eagles outplayed Atlanta last night, it was the Falcons who made the plays in the fourth quarter, not the Eagles. It was the Falcons who were 5-for-5 in red-zone opportunities. It was Michael Vick who made two crucial turnovers in the first half which led to 14 points for Atlanta.
The Eagles outgained the Falcons 447-318.
When Vick left the game with a concussion and the Eagles up 31-21, Philadelphia’s defense was in prime position to get after the quarterback with their front four and sit back in coverage leaning on their fantastic secondary. Instead it was Matt Ryan who picked a tired Eagles defense apart in the fourth quarter for the win, 35-31.
We’re seeing very early on where the Eagles are struggling on defense. Michael Turner, for the most part, ran all over Philadelphia. He had 114 yards on 21 carries. Much of that came on a 61-yard scamper – the second week in a row that a prime rusher punished the Eagles defense.
Ryan didn’t attack the boundaries of the defense with the trio of cornerbacks the Birds haveas expected, but he did attack the middle where the linebackers and safeties were vulnerable. Tony Gonzalez had a monstrous game. He caught seven balls for 83 yards and an amazing one-handed toe-tapping TD catch in the second quarter.
As for Michael Vick he played well – besides the crucial mistakes. He threw for 242 yards and two scores on 19-of-28 passing.
Andy Reid got really conservative with the play calling once Mike Kafka came in to replace Vick. He never let the Northwestern grad throw the ball downfield and on a third down and long on his first series, Philadelphia called a wide receiver screen pass. I was a bit shocked that they didn’t let Kafka make plays. When A.J. Feeley, Koy Detmer and all of the other backup quarterbacks came in to replace an injured Donovan McNabb, Reid stuck with the gameplan.
It’s a shame that Jeremy Maclin dropped the critical fourth down pass to cost Philadelphia the game, because he had one of the more memorable receiving contests in recent Eagles history. He had 13 receptions for 171 yards and 2 TD.
Overall, the Eagles played fairly well, but those critical mistakes in the first half led to the Falcons fourth quarter comeback.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!