Plenty of things went wrong for the Philadelphia Eagles during their second-half collapse against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. And all of those miscues left Eagles quarterback Michael Vick feeling less than chatty during his postgame press conference.
Prominent among Philadelphia's woes was their failure to score during the fourth quarter for the third game in a row. The visiting 49ers took advantage of the Eagles' inability to score late to reel off 21 unanswered points. Of course, it didn't seem like the Eagles would need many late points when they held a 20-3 lead at halftime. The lead seemed secure and the "Dream Team" seemed headed for a 2-2 record, but it all slipped away. Perhaps they could have built a lead that was truly insurmountable if not for veteran running back Ronnie Brown's bizarre mistake.
Midway through the second quarter, the Eagles had an opportunity to build on their 10-3 lead by punching it in from the 1-yard line. Michael Vick handed the ball off to Brown, but the former Miami Dolphin was immediately wrapped up a few yards behind the line of scrimmage. Just before the tackle was complete, Brown attempted to throw the ball to to fullback Owen Schmitt. But the ball went backwards and it resulted in a fumble recovered by the 49ers. Hoping that the play was actually an incomplete pass, Eagles coach Andy Reid challenged it, but to no avail. 49ers ball.
What was Brown thinking?
"I've just got to make a better decision with the ball," he said after the game, explaining that the play was a designed run/pass option play (via Philly.com). "No matter if it's a pass or a run, I've just got to make a better decision. I was trying to out-think myself a little bit. It was a pass play and I was thinking, once the guy slipped off, just try to throw the ball away and give us another chance for fourth down - not take a loss where we can go for it on fourth down, if possible. I've just got to make a better decision with the ball."
Charley Casserly of CBS Sports described the botched red zone gambit "as the dumbest play of the year." It occurred during one of Philadelphia's seven trips to the red zone. They came out with just two touchdowns.
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