Sunday, May 24, 2015

Eagles bitten by reality

Final score: Chargers 33, Eagles 30

Eagles bitten by reality

San Diego Chargers´ Danny Woodhead, left, tries to slip past Philadelphia Eagles´ Cary Williams. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
San Diego Chargers' Danny Woodhead, left, tries to slip past Philadelphia Eagles' Cary Williams. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

The NFL version of real life intruded on the Eagles' home opener Sunday. After electrifying the NFL with their offensive performance on Monday night against Washington, the Eagles stalled against the San Diego Chargers. They did not block well for long stretches of the game, and the connection that seemed available for much of the afternoon -- Michael Vick to DeSean Jackson -- was decidedly hit-and-miss (and a lot more miss than hit). Oh, and the defense gave up yards by the bucketload.

Through the first half, the numbers on the scoreboard did not spin as anticipated. The pace of the game, such a shock to Washington, was not nearly as stunning. What many thought would be another demonstration of Chip Kelly's lightning was, instead, a slog at times.

The offense came alive in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome the team's atrocious secondary.

In the second half, Vick threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Jackson and ran for another. And then, after the Chargers scored to take a 30-27 lead with 3:11 left in the fourth quarter, Vick took the Eagles down the field again, had to leave for a play just before the 2-minute warning after being shaken up on a hit by the Chargers' Jarius Wynn, and then returned to throw an incompletion under pressure. Alex Henery's 32-yard field goal tied the game with 1:51 remaining.

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It was too much time. The Chargers' Philip Rivers, who picked on safety Nate Allen all day, picked on him a little more and maneuvered his team into field goal range. And Nick Novak kicked the game-winner from 46 yards with 7 seconds remaining.

And now, we all get to try to figure out what the Eagles will look like on Thursday night against the Andy Reids. But this much seems clear: if the Eagles' defense does not improve, the pressure on this offense to score points will be overwhelming. Because even on a day when Vick threw for a career high in yardage, a game when the team scored 30, it wasn't enough.

That is the Eagles' current reality.

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Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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