The Eagles had a lot working against them today with a crushing amount of injuries and a cross country trip, but in the end what we saw was more of the same. The offense was inconsistent early on and once again the team can't make a play to win a close game. The lack of a play I'm referring to is of course the inability of the defense to stop the Chargers and afford the offense with a real chance to get down the field for a score.
The injuries can't be discounted in this game however. When Sheldon Brown went down with an injury in the 3rd quarter, the Eagles with one member of their regular group of corners. They didn't have one linebacker playing their normal position, they were without their best offensive lineman, and of course Brian Westbrook was lost with yet another concussion. More on what that probably means later.
The offense led a comeback in the second half to get it close and the defense tightened up for a while... but in the end both were too little too late. The team doesn't lack heart and fought until the end, but I don't really think they had the bullets to win this fight.
I suppose if you want to take any solace from this game, Dallas lost and the Eagles lost no ground in the division. Right now, the NFC "beast"(LOL) isn't looking so great. Anyone could still make the postseason.
Headlines after the jump.
Westbrook probably done for the year
I don't have anything official, but I doubt the Eagles or the NFL or pretty much any doctor is going to allow Brian Westbrook to play against this year after suffering his second concussion in 4 weeks. I fully expect him to be shut down for the year, but I hope this isn't the end of his Eagles career. At this point, his future health is what's most important.
Career day for Avant
Avant hauled in 8 passes for 156 yards including one of the most impressive grabs you'll see all year. Facing double coverage on 3rd down he leapt up, bounced the ball off one hand, stayed with it, and ended up pulling off an impressive one handed catch before hitting the ground just beyond the first down marker. Just a fantastic individual effort and an overall great day for #81.
It wasn't the loss of Peters, it was the loss of Herremans
For me, the worst part of the offense today by far was the interior of the offensive line. I'm not sure I saw them get a push once all day. This is where the loss of Jason Peters had a ripple effect. Todd Herremans did a sold job out at LT, but his absence on the inside was sorely missed. Stacy Andrews was in my opinion by far the worst of the bunch. You could give him the benefit of the doubt since he's less than a year removed from major knee surgery, but whatever the case he kills them out there. No series was it more evident than the first and goal when the Eagles ran up the gut two of the three times and the RB hit a wall each time. No push, no holes, no gain.
Speaking of lines...
The defensive line wasn't a whole lot better. There's no doubt that the decimation of the secondary and the LB corps to injury played a part in the Eagles weakness against the run, but it's also fair to say that Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson didn't have their best day. Normally those guys combine to be a pretty force against the run, but I noticed them getting moved around quite a bit today.
No rest for the weary
Next week, it's the Bears in Chicago in prime time.