It didn’t look good.
Actually, it looked really bad.
Watch Eagles safety Rodney McLeod on the 16-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run by Ravens rookie running back Kenneth Dixon.
It appears that as Dixon runs toward him on a pitch to the left, McLeod simply keeps backpedaling from about the 8-yard line to the 2-yard line, where he finally engages Dixon.
But by then, Dixon has a full head of steam and basically runs unimpeded past McLeod into the end zone for a pivotal touchdown that gave the Ravens a 10-point lead early on the way to a 27-26 win over the Eagles.
McLeod was the Eagles’ only chance to bring Dixon down before the goal line. Nigel Bradham was inside McLeod but was being blocked by left tackle Ronnie Stanley, the rookie first-round pick. Brandon Graham was pursuing but was too far out of the play to help without somebody slowing him down. Malcolm Jenkins, outside of McLeod, was being blocked by Mike Wallace near the sideline.
It was essentially McLeod 1-on-1 on Dixon, and McLeod never challenged him.
“I don’t have an issue with him, and I have to just look at the tape,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said.
“I did not see him, as it was on the other side of the field from me, and I’ll have to defer to the tape. I don’t know. I just have to find out.”
McLeod said after the game he misjudged where he was on the field.
“We were in Cover-3,” he said. “It was a scheme play, and it’s been kind of working against us. The Redskins scored on a play like that. The Ravens ran it at the right moment.
“I felt like I had more space. Obviously, I’m the last line of defense, so my job is to get him on the ground ... before the end zone. It was one of those tough plays.
“If I could change, I would attack a little more and take my shot maybe a little sooner than what I did. I’ve just got to be more aware of where I am on the field.”