Bears Insider

Eagles coach blames self for botched 'Philly Special' vs. 49ers

Bears Insider
Greg Ward, Fred Warner

The Philadelphia Eagles let the 49ers get away Sunday, and head coach Nick Sirianni takes all the blame for Philadelphia's 17-11 Week 2 loss at Lincoln Financial Field.

While the 49ers didn't win the game on one play, Sirianni's decision to call the famed "Philly Special" play on fourth-and-goal from the 49ers' 3-yard line with 4:28 remaining in the second quarter was a key moment in the game.

The Eagles led 3-0 at the time and got into the red zone on a 91-yard completion from Jalen Hurts to Quez Watkins but were unable to come away with points.

After the game, Sirianni took full responsibility for the play call.

"We thought it was a certain coverage; it wasn't," Sirianni said after the game (h/t CBS Sports). "They did a good job of disguising it. 54 [49ers linebacker Fred Warner] gets the show running out there and can get everybody lined up the way he needs to, so I give them credit first. Then I felt confident in the play. The play looked good in practicing this last week. Felt confident in the coverage we were getting, and they didn't play it. That happens sometimes.

"On second thought do I want that play back? Of course. Any time you call a play that doesn't work, especially in tight games and especially down there in a seven-point play you're going to want that back. So, I've got to call a better play."

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The 49ers would drive down and take the lead before the half on a touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Jauan Jennings.

After the failed "Philly Special," the Eagles' offense struggled to get going again until late in the fourth quarter when they scored to make it 17-11.

Sirianni won't be haunted by the play call, he just hopes to use it as a teaching moment in his young coaching career.

"What I regret is I just wanted -- I think I should have called a better play and put our guys in better position to score," Sirianni said. "So, I take full responsibility on that. Again, if it works, then great, we're up 10-0. It didn't. 

"In hindsight, I just wanted a different play call. I didn't call the right play in the right time."

The Eagles (1-1) will face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3, while the 2-0 49ers will head home to host the Green Bay Packers.

It wasn't pretty, but the 49ers escaped Lincoln Financial Field with a win. If they end up winning the NFC West by one game, perhaps they can send Sirianni a fruit basket at the end of the year to say thanks for the puzzling play call.

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