Philadelphia Eagles News

Tough Debut For Bowles

Todd Bowles' debut as defensive coordinator didn't quite exactly go as planned.

The Eagles allowed a season-high 30 points and 392 yards of offense in Sunday's 30-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

"We didn't make the plays we needed to make to win the game," Bowles said. "We ran the same things. The guys have to play nevertheless. The coaches have to coach. We didn't coach it good. We didn't play it good and they beat us. They deserve all of the credit in the world."

Bowles was promoted from secondary coach during the bye week to improve a defense that ranked 11th in points allowed and 12th in yards allowed. However, the Eagles had been very good on defense in a few key areas - completion percentage (No. 1 in NFL), passer rating (No. 3 in NFL), third-down conversions (No. 3 in NFL) and red zone play (No. 3 in NFL) entering Sunday's matchup.

The Eagles struggled in those areas against Atlanta as quarterback Matt Ryan was 22-of-29 (76 percent) for 262 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 137.4 rating. Atlanta converted six of its first seven third-down opportunities including all four on the game's opening drive. The Falcons scored a touchdown on each of their first three drives and came away with points on their first six drives.

"It definitely wasn't our new coordinator," free safety Kurt Coleman said. "It really came down to getting off the field on third down. I don't know how many penalties we had as far as defensive holding or whatever else we had. We were shooting ourselves in the foot and allowing them to get first down after first down on penalties. That's an area that we have to be disciplined."

On the game's opening drive, the Falcons marched 80 yards in 16 plays as Drew Davis, certainly not the name one expected with the likes of wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez, hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ryan. On third-and-10, it appeared as if the Eagles got off the field as Ryan's pass was incomplete. However, defensive end Jason Babin, who dropped into coverage, was called for holding.

"We made mistakes," Babin said. "I'm sure after everyone evaluates the tape, we'll evaluate ourselves and we'll see that there are some things that obviously we could have done better as players and as a team. All on board."

On Davis' touchdown reception, he lined up in the slot to the right with Jones on the outside. Ryan took the snap out of the shotgun and both cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the outside and Brandon Boykin in the slot reacted to Jones, who waited for the pass in the flat. Davis was left wide open in the back corner of the end zone.

"They (went) fake rocket and go," Coleman said. "Through the film study, I hadn't seen them do that 15 (yards out) and beyond. They did that from 5 yards out, but not 15. I think it was just that (Rodgers-Cromartie) saw it one way, Boykin saw it another way and I saw it another way. We just weren't on the same page there."

As tough as his debut was, it doesn't get easier with quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints next week on Monday Night Football. But don't expect Bowles to get down on himself over one game.

"It's frustrating that we lost. We didn't play well and we lost. This is not going to make or break me," Bowles said. "We're going to line up next week. You're going to have some ups and downs in this business. We're frustrated today. I'm pissed off and that's what we should be. I don't like losing. I'm a sore loser. We lost.

"They know it's a long season. You've got to keep swinging. It's an up and down business. You can go from the outhouse to the penthouse in one week. Now, we're in the damn outhouse."

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