The Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) have now lost three straight, dropping their week four game at home against the San Francisco 49ers (3-1), 24-23. This loss signals not only the Eagles third consecutive loss, but also their second consecutive loss at home. The Eagles remained totally consistent up until the mid-third quarter, when San Francisco was able to score a shocking 21 unanswered points, eventually taking a one point lead to close out the game.
Philadelphia had an assortment of mistakes in the second half, both defensively and offensively, which led to the 49ers coming out on top. The Eagles defense looked terrible, similar to the past three weeks, and ended on a poor note — Unable to stop the 49ers rushing attack to get the ball back with two minutes left in the game. The offense had an equally poor performance, as they were held to three points in the entire second half.
Here are some quick thoughts from the game –
David Akers Gets The Last Laugh
This off-season the Eagles neglected to resign long-time kicker David Akers, and elect to draft a rookie kicker in Alex Henery. After testing the free agent waters, Akers signed with San Francisco, and this was his first game back in Philadelphia not in an Eagles uniform. Akers started off the game for the 49ers with a missed field goal, which led to an Eagles touchdown.
But Akers would still get the last laugh as the Eagles rookie kicker missed two field goals, which would have given the Eagles the lead and most likely the win.
Nnamdi Asomugha Isn’t Living Up To Expectations
With the Eagles second consecutive loss, Nnamdi Ashomugha is still not making an impact. The big name free agent has been torched this entire season, and has actually been hurting the Philadelphia more than helping it. Missing tackles, and giving up huge passing plays down the field, on throws that should have been easily covered. Alex Smith targeted Ashomugha several times this game, and hit his mark on almost everyone.
Maybe the Cowboys and Jets got lucky when Ashomugha decided to sign in Philadelphia.
Michael Vick Was on A Mission
Despite a slow start by Michael Vick, he had quite a nice rebound, but still couldn’t lead the Eagles to victory. Vick started the game off with a severely under thrown pass to DeSean Jackson, and was picked off leading to a 49ers score. But after that interception, Vick totally turned around his game and started to play like the vintage ‘Mike Vick,’ from last season. Dodging sacks, scrambling out of the pocket, and throwing rockets out of the backfield.
He made a promise to the media earlier this week that he would stay in the game no matter what — A goal in which achieved. However, he couldn’t quite pull out the win towards the end of the game, as the Eagles offense went totally silent in the second half.
The Eagles Were Sloppy With The Ball
For those who watched the game, there are some questions regarding Ronnie Brown’s attempt to throw the ball at the goal-line while being tackled. After watching the play several times, I can not reach a conclusion as to what Brown’s objective was. Aside from Brown’s mistake, there was still countless plays where the Eagles offensive players were sloppy with the ball and it would come loose and nearly be a turnover.
Most of the dropped balls were marked down, but on the Eagles last drive, Jeremy Maclin fumbled the ball on a routine tackle, on a play that should have never been a turnover. This fumble is just one of many critical mistakes on offense, and something that the Eagles coaching staff is going to have to address.
Philadelphia’s Rushing Defense Was Just Bad
The Eagles had a chance to get the ball back with about a minute or more left in the fourth quarter and all the defense had to do was stop the 49ers rushing attack. They couldn’t do it. Frank Gore powered through Philadelphia’s defense and was able to get two-straight first downs to end the Eagles chances late in the game. But it wasn’t just the fourth quarter that Philadelphia struggled with, it was the whole game.
Gore and Kendall Hunter were able to shred the Eagles defense to a tune of 164 yards and one touchdown. If you thought the issue was solved, think again.
Second Half Play-Calling Was Miserable
I don’t know how to put this other than this — Andy Reid can not make in-game adjustments. This has been an issue with Reid from the moment he was hired, and an entire decade later, absolutely nothing has changed. If Reid would be willing to tweak his game-plan, and make adjustments to things that obviously are not working, the Eagles may start winning some of these second-half battles.
Still can’t cover the tight end? Still can’t get that one-yard conversion? Still can’t score in the red zone? Same old thing from Reid, and the Eagles won’t make it anywhere if this does not change soon.
DeSean Jackson Was Finally a Weapon
Considering that DeSean Jackson is playing for a new contract — It sure hasn’t seemed like it this season. After being dead quiet in the Eagles first three games, Jackson finally showed up and proved why the Eagles should keep him on the team. Reeling in six catches for 171 yards, and spreading out the 49ers secondary with elite down-field speed. Forcing the defense to make sure there was someone on him every single play.
Jackson was the one bright spot this game, and should be commended for his great game, even with the loss.
I am aware that it is still early on in the season, but I don’t see much in Philadelphia that looks promising. At this stage, and four weeks into the season, I would be surprised to see this team even make the playoffs. The NFC East as a whole has taken a step back, and may be the next NFC West, in terms of mediocrity. There is no excuse for what has happened, and with the amount of talent on the team, it doesn’t make much sense.
One thing is certain — If Andy Reid doesn’t fix this team soon, he will be out the door faster than DeSean Jackson down the sideline.