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Eagles-Chargers Review: Looking Back at Missed Opportunities

Philadelphia missed out on a number of chances in a close loss to the Chargers.

Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY S

After a 33-30 loss to the San Diego Chargers, it was hard to not think about how the Eagles were so close to winning on Sunday. Philadelphia seemed only one play away from ending up with a different result. If they had just capitalized on that one chance. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that wasn't the case.

It was never just one play, either. It was a number of missed opportunities. Chip Kelly, along with several Eagles players, discussed their frustration with these type of plays:

"Yeah, obviously.  We left points out there offensively.  You can't do that against a good team.  So when you play against a good quarterback, you have to be as sharp as you can.  I think offensively had a touchdown called back, had a drop.  Missed a field goal.  You can come down to ‑‑ in a game like this that is decided on a field goal at the end of the game, you can take a pick and look at every play, but to me, it's not nit‑picking.  One play is the difference in a game and we talked about it all the time.  You don't know when that play is going to impact the game.  And we have to understand how important it is to make plays when you have an opportunity to make them."

Re-watching the game only confirmed this notion, except this time I recorded all of these moments.


1) A long catch and run by LeSean McCoy set the Eagles up in scoring position. The Eagles ran the ball on first and second then threw to James Casey on third. It looked like a completed pass but Casey did not "complete the process" as he attempted to make the diving catch. The non-catch meant 3 points for Philly instead of 7. (Q1- 5:36)

2) Vick to DeSean Jackson deep was incomplete. Jackson was 3 or 4 yards past his defender. DJacc caught the ball but only managed to get one foot in-bounds. Instead it was no good and the Eagles had to punt. (Q2 - 13:38)

3) Brandon Boykin forced a fumble on Antonio Gates near the goal line. The Eagles couldn't do anything with this possession. Points after turnovers is a key statistic for Chip Kelly, as has been discussed here before at BGN. (Q2 - 2:21)

4) The Eagles forced another turnover. Vick tried to hit DeSean deep yet again but overthrew him by a good number of yards. Jackson was wide open and it would have been an easy TD. (Q2 - 0:25)

5) Missed field goal by Alex Henery right before the half that would have tied the game at 13-13. (Q2 - 0:09)

6) Malcolm Floyd got drilled and it looked like he fumbled. The injury was extremely unfortunate and I don't mean to take away from that. Here is hoping Floyd recovers well. (Q3 - 14:52)

7) The say "the third time is a charm" but that wasn't the case for the Eagles when Vick and DeSean tried to connect on another deep ball. This time the ball was slightly overthrown; probably by a matter of inches. DeSean had it on his hands but dropped it. (Q3 - 9:53)

8) DeSean had a touchdown called back due to an illegal formation penalty on Lane Johnson. The penalty probably didn't even have an effect on the outcome... such as a holding penalty could lead to a long run. No matter, though. Seven points off the board. The Eagles would settle for a FG instead. (Q3 - 7:55)

9) San Diego had their way with the Eagles defense on third down finishing with a 10-15 conversion rate. The Eagles earned a stop late in the third but it was erased by a Patrick Chung defensive holding penalty. Big letdown. (Q3 - 3:43)

10) Chargers fumble on a kickoff return after an Eagles TD! The ball looked like it rolled right to Henery but along with a several other Eagles, he couldn't contain it. Even the broadcast commentator thought it looked like a sure Eagles recovery at first, but alas,  it was not meant to be. (Q4 - 6:53)

11) Michael Vick had to leave for a play due to injury and Nick Foles entered the game. The team was in scoring position and threw a fade pass to one of their shortest receivers (DeSean). Once again, Philly settled for a field goal instead of being up by four. (Q4 - 1:50)


In the interest of objectivity, the Eagles were not the only team who didn't capitalize on several opportunities. The Chargers had their fair share of blunders as well.


1) Michael Vick "fumbled" when he attempted a throw and then tried to tuck the pass back in. He lost control and the ball luckily rolled out of bounds. That could have been an easy TD for the Chargers. (Q2 - 13:12)

2) Already mentioned this one from the Eagles side, but Antonio Gates fumbled at the goal line thanks to a strip from Boykin. Inches away from being a TD. (Q2 - 2:21)

3) Right after that turnover, the Chargers nearly tackled LeSean McCoy in the endzone for a safety. McCoy had to dodge a number of tackles to avoid that disaster. (Q2 - 2:20)

4) Trent Cole forced a fumble in Chargers' scoring territory. (Q2 - 1:00)

5) Antonio Gates, being "covered" by rookie Earl Wolff, drops a TD in the endzone. (Q4 - 11:39)


The Eagles offense certainly did a lot to win yesterday by putting up 30 points. In no way am I blaming the loss on them. The defense struggled to do their part. That unit absolutely needs to do better. But could the offense have done more? Considering these chances, I would say so.

Ultimately, there are missed opportunities likes these ones in every game. It's no reason to be ever be a sore loser. Instead, the Eagles just need to do a better job of making the most out of these opportunities in future situations.

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