There's plenty of blame to go around after the Eagles blew a 17-point lead in a heartbreaking loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
It seems like everyone splits up the blame differently. It was the offense or defense or coaching. Whatever. After a loss like that, the blame game takes over the shows on sports talk radio.
Eagles center (and one of two offensive captains) Jason Kelce, who declined to speak after the loss on Sunday, on Tuesday raised his hand implicating the offense.
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Obviously, everybody is embarrassed of the outcome. The reality is, offensively we had numerous times to put that team out of their misery, numerous examples in the red zone to get touchdowns. If you really look at the four losses we've had this year, outside of maybe Tampa Bay, we get one touchdown more a game and we're winning all of these games. That's the reality of it.
Our failure to execute in the red zone, our failure to put the ball in the end zone, our failure to come away with points, turnovers, penalties, [missed assignments], all of these things have culminated into making these games close. And when games are close, you can lose games. That's what's happened to us this year. We just gotta get that corrected. That's the bottom line.
I think the obvious glaring weakness to me … people can talk about the pass defense and all that stuff all they want, but the reality is, 17 points in this league isn't good enough to win a game. We gotta do better than that. We gotta do better for our defense, we gotta do better for this team.
While it's obviously not all on the offense - giving up 21 points in 15 minutes isn't ideal - Kelce is right: 17 points isn't enough to win games in this league.
In fact, this year in the NFL, teams that have scored 17 points or fewer in a game have a record of 5-53.
That's actually the fewest points the Eagles have scored in a game this season, but not by much. They're averaging 22.0 points per game and have gone over 23 just once (the 34-13 win against the Giants). Most games in the NFL aren't blowouts … they're close games. So the difference between scoring 22 points per game and 28 like they did last season is monumental.
What has to hurt for the Eagles is that in their four losses, the offense has moved the ball. They're averaging 387.5 yards per game, but have scored 20.5 points per game.
The hard part to swallow is that the Eagles are getting really good quarterback play from Carson Wentz and seem to have most of the ingredients to have a high-scoring offense. But it hasn't scored enough yet.
"It sucks. It's very, very frustrating," Kelce said. "It's things that we've continued to work on. We were hoping that after New York, when we had a really good day in the red zone, that it might translate over. And obviously it didn't. We moved the ball well, we had good yards, but at the end of the day, none of that matters unless you put the ball in the end zone and score points. Time of possession, all that stuff is meaningless unless we're putting the ball in the end zone, getting points and really helping that defense out."
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