10 observations: Eagles-Bears

A few quick notes before we get to the observations:

The Inquirer's Ashley Fox will join us for a live chat at 11 a.m. So if you're looking to vent, that'll be a pretty good option. And after the chat, the above link will be the transcript.

Correll Buckhalter and the Eagles' offense failed to score down near the goal line in the fourth quarter of last night's loss to the Bears. (AP / M. Spencer Green)

Have your hand at grading the Eagles here. And for all the stories, columns, blog posts, etc., go to philly.com's Eagles section.

Now on to the observations:

1. The Bears' offensive possessions in the third quarter: three-and-out, interception, three-and-out, fumble, three-and-out, fumble. The Eagles' total points in the third quarter: three. Chicago was giving the game away, and the Eagles couldn't take it.

2. Should the Eagles have run the ball more? It's tough to say. In the first half, Correll Buckhalter carried six times for 4 yards. Not good. In the third quarter, when he got banged up, Buckhalter had three carries, one of which went for 25 yards. And in the fourth quarter, he carried for 35 of his 66 total yards.

3. Did you notice Al Michaels' incorrect math? When the Bears had their final possession, he said if the Eagles stopped them on three downs, the offense would get the ball back with about 1:10 left. In reality, the Eagles stopped them and got the ball back with 28 seconds.

4. We did a quick poll during the live chat asking you all what play the Eagles should've called on fourth down from the 1. The majority said a quarterback sneak to Donovan McNabb, so the second-guessing of Andy Reid's play call in understandable. Did Reid consider using a sneak? After the game, he said yes, but he held off because of McNabb's chest injury. When's the last time a QB got injured or reaggravated an injury on a QB sneak? Can someone please look this up?

5. One of you made the point during the chat that opposing kickers never miss field goals against the Eagles. It seemed true at the time, so I had to look it up. Through four games, opposing kickers are six-for-six against the Birds. Two of those kicks were from more than 50 yards, and four were from more than 45 yards. Incredible. David Akers is 8-for-10 on the year, with his two misses coming yesterday.

6. What's your biggest concern after four weeks? High on the list has to be the offense's inability to score late in the game, and that includes the flat-out ugly two-minute offense. In both losses, the Eagles had a chance to win in the fourth quarter, and in both spots, they came up short. On the bright side, the defense has allowed just three total points in the second halves of the last two games.

7. The optimist says:

Give the Eagles a break. It's hard to win on the road in the NFL. The Eagles were without Pro Bowlers Brian Westbrook and Shawn Andrews. Try taking away the best player on a lot of NFL offenses, and they'll struggle. Reggie Brown made positive contributions. Once Kevin Curtis is back, the Eagles will have their full arsenal of weapons. The defense, which struggled to create turnovers last season, had four takeaways. Jim Johnson showed he can make adjustments. It's a long season.

8. The pessimist says:

This team is a joke without Westbrook. Huge mistake not to run the QB sneak down near the goal line. Classic Andy Reid inept play-calling. McNabb fails to come through when it matters once again. And DeSean Jackson makes as many bonehead plays as he does good ones. Defensively, that was the supposed best secondary in the league? They let up three touchdown passes to Kyle freaking Orton! They're in last place in the NFC East. 8-8 would be a miracle at this point.

9. In the first three games, the Eagles converted 19 of 40 third-down chances, a rate of 48 percent. Last night they converted two of 13, 15 percent.

10. I moderate our Eagles chats during the week, and it seems like the same questions keep coming up from you guys. I don't have answers, but I thought I'd share them. Feel free to discuss.

  • Where is Chris Clemons?
  • Is Lorenzo Booker incapable of making a contribution? Why'd we get this guy?
  • What happens to the receiving corps when Curtis comes back?
  • Who is calling the plays?
  • Is it too late to deal Lito for a receiver?