Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Red zone woes kill Eagles

The Eagles made a late push in San Diego, but fell to the Chargers, 31-23, this afternoon.

Red zone woes kill Eagles

Eagles´ Brent Celek can´t make a catch in the end zone as Chargers Quentin Jammer covers. The Eagles lost to the Chargers, 31-23. ( Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer )
Eagles' Brent Celek can't make a catch in the end zone as Chargers Quentin Jammer covers. The Eagles lost to the Chargers, 31-23. ( Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer )

The Eagles made a late push in San Diego, but fell to the Chargers, 31-23, this afternoon.

If you have to point to the one thing that cost them a win, it's struggles in the red zone.

At halftime, the Eagles had outgained the Chargers, 188-149.

The makeshift offensive line had allowed zero sacks, and they did not commit a turnver.

Yet the Birds trailed, 14-6.

It started in the second quarter, with the Eagles facing a 1st-and-goal from the Chargers' 1-yard line.

A Leonard Weaver run up the middle. Stuffed.

A Donovan McNabb pass intended for Brent Celek in the corner of the end zone. Incomplete.

And in a puzzling call, Eldra Buckley charged up the middle for no gain.

Not Weaver again. Not Brian Westbrook. Not LeSean McCoy. But Buckley.

Andy Reid chose to settle for an 18-yard field goal, which put the Eagles on the board.

Later in the quarter, the Eagles faced a 1st-and-goal from the 9. This time, McNabb couldn't connect with DeSean Jackson on first down. Westbrook ran out of bounds for no gain on second. And McNabb hit Celek for a gain of two on third down.

Another field goal. And the Eagles went into halftime down 14-6.

In the third quarter, the problems continued. After a couple completions, including a big 58-yarder to Jason Avant, the offense was set up with a first down at the Chargers' 16-yard line, but had to settle for a field goal yet again.

McNabb couldn't connect with Celek on first down, but found Avant for 9 on second. The Birds once again made 3rd-and-1 feel like 3rd-and-21 as McNabb rolled out and threw incomplete in DeSean Jackson's direction.

They staged a comeback in the fourth, scoring a pair of touchdowns, but it was too late.

Three drives inside the 20. Three field goals. And a second straight loss.

At 5-4, the Birds travel to Chicago to take on the Bears on Sunday night next week before returning home to take on the Redskins.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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