Eagles

How 1 play was microcosm of the Eagles’ loss and a young career

Eagles

Since his arrival in Philadelphia, Nick Sirianni has stressed the details. One of his favorite mantras is to master the things that require no talent.

Staying in bounds doesn’t require an awful lot of talent.

And that’s one of the reasons that made Sunday’s 17-11 loss to the 49ers so frustrating. The Eagles could have won that game. The Eagles should have won that game. Sure, give credit to the 49ers. But in a lot of ways, the Eagles beat themselves.

That was never more evident than the penultimate play in the first quarter. Jalen Hurts hit Jalen Reagor for a beautiful 36-yard touchdown pass that put the Eagles up by two scores. Only it didn’t count. Reagor stepped out of bounds on his route down the right sideline and the score was called back.

“If it’s a touchdown, it’s probably a whole different outcome of the game,” Hurts said.

He’s right.

Instead of going up 10-0, the Eagles tried a field goal a couple plays later and Jake Elliott drilled it into the line for a blocked kick. It was a huge swing in a game where the Eagles had their chances to score and simply failed.

So for Reagor, what’s the coaching point?

“Just saving room on the sideline with how you release,” Sirianni said. “That's the main thing right there is how you release to save some room on the sideline so even if you get bumped, you don't get pushed out. So, he was probably a little closer than what we'd like. I thought he made a great play. Obviously, his foot was just out, and the referees did a good job of officiating that.”

 

It was clear. Reagor stepped out of bounds. The refs made the right call. Was Reagor bumped a tad by the DB? Yeah, but he still has to stay inside the lines.

That was just one example of missed opportunities on Sunday afternoon. There was also the goal line sequence when the Eagles had a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line and failed to score.

There were also plenty of missed chances to get their first takeaways of the season on defense. And, overall, they were called for 8 penalties for 57 yards.

“We had a lot of opportunities out there that we didn’t capitalize on,” Hurts said. “I think that’s plain and simple right there. We have to be consistent in our execution. I have to be consistent in my execution and operation as a field general. It’s something to learn from today — a lot to learn from.

“They were things we could control, so that’s what hurts the most. We give credit to a good team and a good defense out there. Those wounds out there were self-inflicted.”

The non-touchdown play to Reagor wasn’t just a microcosm of the Eagles’ loss. But it was also a good summary of Reagor’s career to this point. Obvious talent, but not much to show for it.

It was such a good sign that Reagor was able to get in the end zone in the Eagles’ Week 1 win over the Falcons. And the thought of Reagor starting his second season with touchdowns in back-to-back games would be very encouraging, especially given how disappointing his rookie campaign was.

Instead, Reagor finished with 2 catches on 5 targets for just 5 yards. A disappointing day in a disappointing loss that all might have changed if his feet landed a few inches to the left.

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