What Can The Eagles Learn From The Loss In Chicago?
A lot of things, and most of them have to do with putting that game in the past and focusing on the Redskins. Clearly, though, the Eagles let one slip away in Chicago. The defense allowed three touchdown passes in the first half and, while it dominated in the third quarter and for much of the fourth quarter, still did not do enough to carry the team over the top. The special teams missed two field goals and permitted one long kickoff return. And the offense scored just one touchdown in four red-zone opportunities and did not put the ball in the end zone in the key stage late in the game with three cracks from the 1-yard line.
But maybe more than anything else, the Eagles understood – once again – that they have to win in the fourth quarter to win close games. The blew an opportunity to win in Dallas when a fumble signaled the momentum-changing moment in a 41-37 loss and they tripped all over themselves with numerous chances to seize control of the game in Chicago.
There are still many miles to go in this 2008 season. The Eagles are 2-2 as they jockey for position to make a playoff run. Obviously, the Eagles can't miss on many more opportunities and remain in the playoff race in the ultra-competitive NFC East race. The Eagles are one game behind both Washington and Dallas and two games in back of the Giants. Both of the Eagles' losses came to NFC opponents if you are looking at potential tie-breaker scenarios.
Good news could be on the horizon with regard to the return of running back Brian Westbrook and injury updates later in the week with offensive guard Shawn Andrews and tight end L.J. Smith, as well as wide receiver Kevin Curtis. The Eagles internally turned the page very quickly after the loss in Chicago. They hurt badly, knowing they blew a game they should have won.
But with Washington approaching, there is no time to lament the losses. The Eagles have a big game to play on Sunday.