The Eagles had three touchdowns come off the board Sunday because of penalties.
They were a paltry 3-for-6 in the red zone.
Against the high-flying Chiefs, that ain’t gonna get it done.
Nick Sirianni’s offense on Sunday against the Chiefs was much better than it was last Monday against the Cowboys. They moved the ball, they piled up 461 yards and they even managed to hit 30 points in the game.
But they still lost 42-30. They just left too much on the field.
And against a Chiefs team that sliced through the Eagles defense like a hot knife through butter, the Eagles needed to capitalize on all their chances to score. They didn’t.
Not only did the Eagles have three touchdowns get called back, but they ended the game 3-for-6 in the red zone and were 2-for-4 in goal-to-go situations.
“When you're playing a team like that, you have to convert there,” Sirianni said about the Eagles’ performance in the red zone.
“It’s everything. It's the plays I'm calling. It's the lack of execution. I'll always have it start with me. When the plays don't work, that's on me. I have to call better plays. I have to put our guys in better positions to win.”
There were four situations in particular that will haunt the Eagles’ offense for the next few days. There was one in each quarter:
On the Eagles’ first possession of the game, they moved down the field and eventually had a 4th-and-3 from the Kansas City 11-yard line. The offense was on the field but the play clock was winding down and they called a timeout. And then they kicked a 29-yard field goal. That was terrible mismanagement. Either call the timeout and go for it or take the delay of game and kick the field goal.
There was a clear miscommunication on that decision between Sirianni and Jalen Hurts. Hurts was the one who called the timeout.
“We went all the way down there, we had a really good drive,” Sirianni said. “We ran out of time on the play clock on the one. I didn't get the call in quick enough. So, once we got to that, I thought it was important that we got points on the board at that particular time. I thought it would be too much of a momentum swing if they stopped us on fourth-and-three, so I decided to kick a field goal.”
On Monday night, Sirianni attempted to explain away his lopsided run-pass ratio by saying he knew the Eagles needed to keep up offensively with the Cowboys. He didn’t think the same thing about the Chiefs? Because Kansas City will happily trade field goals for touchdowns.
The Eagles went up 3-0 and then the Chiefs promptly marched down the field to take a 7-3 lead.
The Eagles were down 14-10 in the second quarter and should have taken a lead on a touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert but offsetting penalties on the play negated it. The Chiefs were called for a face mask and Andre Dillard was called for being an ineligible man downfield.
Sirianni made sure to point out that the penalty wasn’t on Dillard. The problem is that this was an RPO and Dillard was run blocking so he was downfield too far and the refs have clearly been calling that this year. The Eagles have been on the wrong end of it too much.
“Well, they're calling it,” Sirianni said. “The referees, they're calling that pretty hard this year. Probably a little bit harder than they have in the past. So, we have to adjust.
“That starts with me. We have to adjust how we're blocking it, how we're teaching the blocking schemes to not allow the guy and how we're reading it, or just don't call it. That's what we're going to have to do because you obviously can't shoot yourselves in the foot. That's my fault. I have to get better at that with that. It's not Andre’s fault he was downfield on that one because the timing was pretty good.”
Eventually, the Eagles settled for a 25-yard field goal when they were faced with a 4th-and-goal from the 7. All that did was cut the lead to 14-13. The Chiefs got the ball back and scored another touchdown.
The Eagles had a 4th-and-3 from the Chiefs 3-yard line and schemed up a pass to Zach Ertz, who got into the end zone. But J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was called for an offensive pass interference.
“They thought that he pushed him downfield, and they thought it was [OPI],” Sirianni said. “You know what, they have a tough job. The referees have a tough job, we have a tough job, the players have a tough job. They're trying to get it right. I know they're trying to get it right. They are trying to do their best to get it right. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.
“I’m not saying one way or the other if they got that right. I'll keep my opinion to myself. But they have a tough job just like all of us.”
Sirianni might have kept his opinion to himself after the game but he certainly didn’t on the field. He was hot about that call and let the referees have it for well after the play was over.
Even Jason Kelce was heard on the live referee mic yelling, “Don’t do this.”
Again, the Eagles settled for a 31-yard field goal to cut the KC lead to 21-16. The Chiefs again marched down the field to score a touchdown on the next drive.
DeVonta Smith ended his night with seven catches for 122 yards but he could have had a 34-yard touchdown in the fourth to make it a game.
Instead, he stepped out of bounds on his route and the touchdown didn’t count.
“I just need to squeeze and hold my line,” Smith said. “I got pushed too far to the sideline, so I just need to squeeze and hold my line and that will not happen.”
This is the second time in a few weeks the Eagles have lost a touchdown because a receiver stepped out of bounds on a sideline route. Jalen Reagor did the same thing on the other side of the field in the loss to the 49ers. Smith had a great game but he just can’t go out of bounds there.
And you’ll never guess what happened next.
The Chiefs got the ball back and scored another touchdown to put the game out of reach.
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