The "Master the Simple Stuff, Please" Award: Lane Johnson... and others
The Eagles have a fast-paced Lamborghini of an offense, but they didn't do some very simple things correctly on Sunday.. like... line up properly. Lane Johnson was flagged for an illegal formation penalty because he was lined up too far off the ball. That negated a 37 yard TD strike to DeSean Jackson. But that wasn't the only play in which the Eagles weren't lined up properly. On Michael Vick's TD run in the 4th quarter, the Eagles should have been flagged for only having 6 players on the line of scrimmage, but they weren't. Note that both Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson are lined up off the line of scrimmage. This is an illegal formation:
That is something that will be addressed this week, I would imagine.
The "I Can't Stay Mad at You" Award: Lane Johnson
Lane Johnson, after the game: "The two penalties I had pretty much cost us the game."
That's what you call accountability. Ultimately, Lane Johnson isn't the reason the Eagles lost today, but that's the way he feels, and that's what you want to see. Rookies are going to make mistakes like this. It's only problematic if they don't correct them. If that problem isn't corrected, that's when the "It's on me" thing begins to sound hollow (see Reid, Andy), but good for Lane for owning up to his mistakes.
The "Delusional Quote" Award: Nate Allen
When asked how he thought he played, Allen replied "OK."
The "Anti-Andy Poor Clock Management" Award: Chip Kelly
We all remember the Super Bowl against the Patriots in which Donovan McNabb and the Eagles were taking forever to run plays when they had a 10 point deficit and the clock was wasting away. They were far too slow. The Eagles showed poor clock management today by trying to go too fast when they should have been taking their time.
The Eagles got the ball back with a 3 point deficit and 3:11 left to play. They quickly drove 57 yards in 5 plays down to the Chargers 14 yard line, which took them less than a minute. That was fine, but once they were in the Chargers' red zone, there was no need whatsoever to continue to push the pace, especially when they had all 3 timeouts remaining.
Instead, they ran a play when they could have let the clock run down to the 2-minute warning. Then they threw two incomplete passes, before kicking a game-tying FG. This left the Chargers with 1:51 left on the clock to drive down to win the game, and I doubt there was a soul in the stadium who didn't think they'd pull it off.
Chip Kelly said after the game that they wanted a TD, not a FG. That's fine, and that absolutely should be the mindset. However, if you don't get that TD (and even if you do), you also want to make sure you make it as difficult as possible for the other team to score going to other way, and the Eagles could have played the situation smarter.
The "Traffic Sucks" Award: The Fans
Now, I'm not talking about all of you. The Philly fan base is as knowledgeable and passionate as any fan base out there. But people were leaving the stadium after the Eagles kicked their game-tying FG.
Think about that. You paid good money for tickets and parking. You went to the grocery store to buy food for the game. There's a good chance you marinaded that food and took delicate care in grilling it just right in the pre-game tailgate. You bought beer. You may have brought your kids along. You may have declined other plans so you could spend all day at the stadium. You wore your Brian Dawkins jersey, which you only wear on game day at the stadium. You spent all kinds of time and money getting ready for an afternoon of Eagles football, and you leave with two freaking minutes left when the other team has a chance to win the game, and the struggling defense could maybe use a little noise? All so that you can beat the traffic, which isn't even all that bad to begin with?!? Really?!?
Why even go in the first place?
Look... I get it. The Eagles defense was atrocious today, and maybe the fans who left didn't want to see what they thought was the inevitable. But in my book, if you left the game early, that's Grade A Weaksauce.
The "Over-Officious Jerk" Award: Referee Terry McAulay
Michael Vick said the officials made him come off the field. "The referee said I had to come off," said Vick. "I was back up and standing, ready to play. The referee told me to come out. I wasn't 'hurt hurt.' If I'm standing up I'm not hurt. I'm ready to go. He said I had to come out for a play."
I understand that the NFL wants to make football a safer sport, but as an official, you're really going to make the QB get off the field with 2:03 left in a 3-point game, when he's still upright? Are referees doctors now?
The "What the Hell Was That Play Call" Award: Chip Kelly (I presume)
And then, after Vick was forced out for a play, the Eagles inserted an un-warmed-up Nick Foles, who threw a fade pattern to the shortest player on the field. Whaaaaat?
Disclaimer: This is Chip's second negative award in this column. But just to note, you're still awesome, Chip.
The "Hug From Grandma" Award: The Eagles' pass rush
There's nothing like a big hug from good ol' Grandma. She makes everything feel comfortable, like everything is right in the world. Philip Rivers dropped back to pass 47 times today, and despite a fair number of blitzes, the Eagles rarely sniffed him. The Eagles' pass rush afforded Rivers the same kind of comfort as a big hug from Grandma.
The "Awesome DeSean Jackson Is Back" Award: DeSean Jackson, awesome version
Here are DeSean's numbers so far...
"He on pace for..." statements are generally useless because of their "unlikely to continue that pace" nature, but DeSean is on pace for for 128 catches, 2376 yards, and 16 TDs. Did he make a dumb mistake on the personal foul? Unquestionably, and that needs to stop. But holy hell he looks good.
The "At Least the Rest of the NFC East Stinks" Award: Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins
They all lost, too.