Philadelphia Eagles News

Defense Comes Up Short In Key Opportunities vs. Titans

Bend but don't break.

That's been the Eagles' defensive mantra for the past season-plus. Last week against Indianapolis, that motto held true, as the defense stopped the Colts deep in Eagles' territory to preserve the 20-16 win.

Faced with similar situations on Sunday in Nashville, the Eagles were unable to hold the Titans down in key situations, culminating in a frustrating 26-23 overtime loss. The Titans tallied 397 total yards, converting three of four red zone opportunities into touchdowns, including the game-winning 10-yard pass to Corey Davis with under a minute to go in overtime.

"We've got to get off the field," cornerback Jalen Mills said after the game. "Really at the end of the day, we shouldn't have even been in overtime, honestly."

On the Titans' game-winning drive, the Eagles had three different fourth-down opportunities to end the game and head back to Philadelphia with a win. On instances of fourth-and-15, fourth-and-4, and fourth-and-2, the Titans found a way to convert each of those make-or-break plays.

"There at the end in overtime, I thought we made plays on defense, but just from a situational standpoint, really made some elementary mistakes," safety Malcolm Jenkins said after the game. "It's one of those things where we just have to wear that. Hats off to that team for fighting and making plays. They had some good play calls at the end, but we just gave up one too many and survived some other mistakes really. It's one of those things where we'll be critical about the tape and keep hacking at it.

"At the end of the day, you don't let them get behind you. You sit at the sticks, you make them throw it in front of you, and you run up and make a tackle. To let a ball get behind us, that's one of those things you talk about and you gameplan for. We let it get outside of our grip."

"It's just execution," said Mills. "We've got to know the position that we're in. On that fourth down (fourth-and-15), we've got to know it's fourth down. We're playing the sticks right there. We're not playing a guy, we're playing the sticks, so whatever the call is, we've just got to be able to execute."

The Eagles' defense will look to bounce back next Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles' defense has been dominant at home as of late, but the Eagles know they'll have to learn from this loss in order to bounce back into form next weekend.

"In this one, we had every opportunity to win it, so I don't think anyone is second-guessing our ability," Jenkins said.

"I think we have too much leadership and too much focus to allow experiences from one game transfer over to the next."

"We've just got to keep playing the game, regardless of whatever (the situation) is," said Mills. "We're an aggressive defense, we've got aggressive guys on this team, and you've got to play that way."

Check out the best photos from the Eagles' Week 4 game against the Tennessee Titans.

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