Posted by: The Matzo Ball | November 15, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles Score First Red-Zone Touchdown In Three Years

Eagles Coach Andy Reid watches in disgust as Donovan McNabb throws for a touchdown on third down instead of calling a timeout and allowing Akers to kick a field goal.

When a team has nine more passing first downs, and 131 more total yards than its opponent, and its quarterback throws for 450 yards, generally one would assume that team would be the victor. But when you’re the Philadelphia Eagles, none of that matters.

The Philadelphia Eagles lost to the San Diego Chargers 31-23, and while many would conclude that the Birds are making a downward spiral with their second-straight loss, there are many beams of optimism to take away from this game.

Thanks to Jeremy Maclin’s 5-yard touchdown reception 48 seconds into the fourth quarter, the NFL Philadelphia Eagles have scored a touchdown in the red zone for the first time in over three years.

“When it got to that third-and-goal situation from the five, I tried calling a timeout so we could kick a field goal,” Eagles Coach Andy Reid said. “But I guess Donovan [McNabb] couldn’t hear me and the referees didn’t signal it.  I was afraid that if we went for it on third down, we might fumble the ball or thrown an interception, but we got lucky.”

A  1-yard run by McNabb against the Cowboys on October 8, 2006 gave the now 5-4 team its last successful conversion. The Eagles scored three more touchdowns after the quarterback sneak for six, but the scores came on an 87-yard reception by Hank Baskett, a 40-yard reception by Reggie Brown and a 102-yard interception return by Lito Sheppard.

Ironically enough, none of those players are currently with the team (A player must average at least 1/8 of a catch per game to be considered; hence, Reggie Brown does not meet the requirement).

Reid elected to kick the ball on an earlier occasion after the Green Birds squandered a first-and-goal opportunity from the Chargers’ 1-yard-line. But late in the game, some of the coaches questioned Reid’s decision to kick the ball on third down early in the fourth quarter.

“We were only down by 19 at that point, and could have made it a 16-point game if Akers connected,” the two-time NFL Coach of the Year methodically explained. “That means we would have been six field goals away from taking the lead, which is much more manageable than seven field goals had we turned it over.”

Overall, Reid’s decision making has been superb this season, despite the team’s 5-4 record. The only area where fans and coaches criticized him was regarding his questionable play selection by having an overload of passing plays.

There were no complaints today, however, as the Eagles ran the ball a season-high 13 times and only threw the ball 56 times.

“Balance is essential to our team’s success,” Reid said during the post-game press conference. “I’m not sure what the average pass-to-run ratio is, but I do know that passing the ball on 81 percent of our plays is as close to the NFL average as it’s going to get.”

Game Notes:
The Philadelphia Eagles’ 13-9 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 18 is not a misprint. We called the NFL Headquarters, ESPN, CBS Sportsline and Michael Vick, all of whom are spectators throughout the season to confirm the details.



  1. the third and goal quote made me crack up

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