Philadelphia Eagles News

Offense Comes Alive In Red Zone

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INDIANAPOLIS –** What in the world was going on? The Red Zone was the dead zone for the Eagles offense through six quarters of this regular season until the second half of Monday night's game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Then the Eagles executed just in time to win a thriller, 30-27, to move to 2-0 this season.

After an 0-for-2 performance in the Week 1 victory against Jacksonville, the Eagles were zero-for-two in red-zone chances against the Colts in the first half on Monday night, coming out with just six points and again facing a double-digit halftime deficit because of the lack of effectiveness in the red zone.

But in quarters three and four, the Eagles scored touchdowns on their first three red-zone trips, finishing the night three-of-six inside the Indianapolis 20-yard line (with the final non-touchdown coming of the surely acceptable last-second game-winning field goal variety).

"We needed every bit of it," said wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who scored on a six-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 27-27 with 3 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the game. "We would help ourselves a lot by not leaving so many points on the field."

On the team's first offensive possession of the game, the Eagles drove from their 17-yard line to the Indianapolis 10 and set up shop with a first-and-goal situation from there. But a run to the left by running back LeSean McCoy lost two yards, a McCoy run up the gut lost another two yards and an incomplete pass short of the end zone intended for Maclin was incomplete.

Cody Parkey came on to kick a 31-yard field goal as the Eagles took a 3-0 lead. Down 10-3 in the second quarter, the Eagles again drove inside the Colts' 20-yard line and again came up short of the end zone. A McCoy run up the middle gained 12 yards to give the offense a first-and-goal situation at the 6-yard line, but two McCoy runs lost two yards and on third-and-goal from the 8, a Foles swing pass to McCoy was stopped short at the 5-yard line. No touchdown. Zero-for-2 in the red zone, with an earlier Parkey missed field goal coming on the very verge of the red zone.

And while Parkey converted a 23-yard field goal, it wasn't enough for the Eagles in the first half.

"We stayed patient and knew we would get more chances," said tight end Zach Ertz. "It was just a matter of executing when we had the opportunities."

McCoy capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter and then Sproles broke free for a 19-yard scoring run late in the third quarter to tie the game at 20-20 before Malcolm Jenkins intercepted Andrew Luck to keep the Eagles within 27-20 late in the fourth quarter. A five-play, 76-yard drive followed with Foles throwing to Maclin for the touchdown, a red-zone score that tied things up and led to Parkey's last-second heroics after a three-and-out defensive stand.

"In the big picture we have to score more touchdowns in the red zone," said tight end Brent Celek, "but we did enough tonight to win the game. We'll get those things corrected and move on and improve in there."

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