PHILADELPHIA – DeSean Jackson had a brilliant game that could have been epic, and committed a dumb penalty that contributed to a 33-30 loss.
Jackson caught nine passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 37-yard touchdown catch negated by a penalty. Plus Jackson was targeted six more times, mostly on deep passes. If he’d caught a couple of those, and the touchdown had counted, Jackson would have flirted with a 300-yard game.
“That’s very frustrating, honestly,” Jackson said of the missed chances. “The touchdown got called back. There was one I caught out of bounds when my right foot stepped out and then the overthrown one that slipped off my hands. But that’s part of the game.”
Also part of the game, albeit an avoidable part, is penalties. When Michael Vick scored a touchdown to give the Eagles a 27-23 fourth-quarter lead, Jackson was caught shoving a defender after the play.
“I kind of lost my emotions a little bit,” Jackson said.
The penalty forced Alex Henery to kick off from the Eagles 20. The Chargers returned it, setting up their offense on the Eagles 39. They scored a touchdown on the drive.
According to NFL rules, Michael Vick had to miss a down because the referee ruled that he was injured after a play late in the fourth quarter. If Kelly had called a timeout, though, Vick could have stayed in the game. Kelly, coaching his second NFL game, did not appear to know that. “No,” he said, when asked if a timeout was an option. Kelly had all three timeouts at that point. Nick Foles came in and threw an incomplete pass. Vick returned, threw another incompletion and the Eagles kicked a field goal.
With the loss, the Eagles’ chances of making the postseason dropped from 63 percent -- that’s the rate for 2-0 teams since 1990 -- to 41 percent. Of the 327 teams that have started out 1-1 in that span, 135 have made the playoffs. It helps, of course, that the Eagles remain tied with Dallas for first in the NFC East. Both Washington and the Giants are 0-2, which gives them each a 12 percent chance of reaching the playoffs.
Center Jason Kelce was wearing a soft cast on his right hand. It appeared to be there to protect his thumb, although Kelce declined to talk about it. “You know I can’t talk about injuries,” he said. “It won’t keep me out of the (Thursday night) game.”
The Eagles actually ran plays faster (20.5 seconds per play) than they did at Washington (25.4 seconds), according to ESPN Stats & Information. They also gained more yards per play, 8.7 to 5.8. However, they ran only 59 plays Sunday, or six more than they ran in just the first half at Washington.