2. Can we drop the insane statements of “never seen this before” or whatever else when it comes to Kelly’s coaching or Bradford’s throwing? We’ve all seen this Xs and Os act before, and we couldn’t wait to get Kelly’s predecessor out of town when we finally accepted that, hey, you can change and still survive. If Eagles fans think they saw the last of an Andy Reid-type script, they need their bifocals fixed. Fifty-two passing attempts mixed in with 16 rushing attempts – Big Red, are you wearing a Kelly disguise? As for Bradford, his 36 completions for 336 yards and one score being futile were so utterly “Bradford” it was uncanny. St. Louis already saw this show, for five years, and eventually quit on it.
3. The Birds’ hurry-up offense wore down the Falcons? Really, then Atlanta’s defense really sucks, and the Eagles’ D is even worse. For the record, Chip’s minions cranked out 68 plays in this one – a far cry from the 80ish amount the ultimate czar of football covets, and, just for kicks, exactly one fewer than the hosts got off in the Georgia Dome. To be fair, the visitors actually racked up more yardage, 399 to 395. Then again, Atlanta won the time of possession battle, 35:27 to 24:33, highlighting a blind spot in Kelly’s genius that may forever plague him and your beloved Birds.
4. Frankly, the defenses weren’t awful. Even Malcom Jenkins, whose hands of stone would make a heavyweight fighter a champion but are ill-suited for someone playing in the secondary at any level, made a play or two. In fact, his stop for loss of quality rookie RB Tevin Coleman on a 3-and-1 late in the fourth quarter was positively brilliant – so much so that it just may have been the play of the game had the Eagles been able to rally for the win. Also, Kiko Alonso’s interception in the end zone may be the best play he’ll ever make as a pro. Just an aside, anyone else grasp what a tremendous, albeit undersized, LB that Atlanta’s Paul Worrilow? He lit up a few Birds’ ballcarriers in this one, including newly acquired bullish RB Ryan Matthews, en route to a game-high 13 tackles. The 6-foot, 230-pound third-year pro just happened to play college ball just down the from Lincoln Financial Field for the University of Delaware.
5. There is no need to panic. For all the negatives that could be gleaned from this loss, including the stuff above here, this is one game in a 16-game season … that many considered a potential hiccup for the Eagles anyway. They faced a quality QB in Philly-area native Matt Ryan and a much-better-than-advertised D. The biggest concern probably should be the lack of pressure the Birds were able to muster going up against an acknowledged lousy OL. Kelly only using his 1-2 running punch (DeMarco Murray and Matthews), the pride of his offseason work this side of acquiring Bradford (still don’t see him as good as Foles, never mind better, but, whatever), for a grand total of 11 carries is, for me, alarming, but you’d think that would change down the road. Or rather, you’d hope.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com