Kelly: 'We're not running enough plays on offense'
DeSean Jackson was limited to just 62 yards against the Chiefs, the first game of the season he had less than 100. (AP)
There are two ways to hopefully prevent a receiver from beating you deep.
One, keep a safety deep to help the cornerback.
Or two, have the corner give the receiver plenty of cushion.
The Chiefs, for the most part, chose the latter.
Four days after DeSean Jackson erupted for nine receptions and 193 yards receiving against San Diego -- and he could have had 100 more -- Jackson was limited to three catches and 62 yards in the Eagles' ugly 26-16 loss to Kansas City.
"I think it was kinda similar, a little bit," Jackson said asked if the Chiefs' defended him the same way the Chargers had. "They had single-high safety came down with the other safety in box sometimes. Twenty-four was kind of bailing on me a little bit, backing up, not really trying to let me get over top."
Twenty-four is cornerback Brandon Flowers, who entered the game questionable with a knee injury and aggravated it later in the game. When Jackson caught a 61-yard TD on Sunday, the Chargers had a single safety deep, and cornerback Shareece Wright lined up in Jackson's face.
Jackson on Thursday didn't see much press coverage.
"It was one-on-one," said Michael Vick, who also was pressured more than he had been in Weeks 1 and 2 and went 13-for-30 passing (see story). "They played off a bit more. They just didn't press. When we did get some press opportunities, we took advantage of them downfield."
Jackson did catch a 40-yarder -- Vick's longest completion -- but overall he was targeted seven times. Riley Cooper was also targeted seven times -- including a few deep balls -- but made only two receptions, the longest for 16 yards.
"They did what we thought they were going to do -- play single-high man," Cooper said. "It was going to be a man-beat-man game, so we didn't come through."
The only receiver to catch more than half his passes was Jason Avant, who had five receptions (eight targets) for 87 yards and a touchdown. Vick also exploited the man-on-man by running for 95 yards, including a 61-yarder, the longest in team history by a QB.
But it wasn't enough.
"Guys, when they had the opportunity, guys are getting singled, you’ve got to be able to get off coverage and be able to uncover yourself a little bit," head coach Chip Kelly said. "That's where you also saw Mike take advantage of it in the run game, because then there's no one responsible for the quarterback."
It's no surprise that Andy Reid's team was the first this season to hold Jackson to less than 100 yards receiving. Defenses in the past have contained the Eagles by sagging deep and forcing Jackson to beat them underneath.
"They are an explosive offense," Reid said. "They're going to get a big play here or there. You've got to try to limit that the best way you can, and I thought our guys did that, and our defense is coming together each week."
Remember this: The Eagles' offense is also coming together. Kelly's system wasn't going to be perfected in three weeks, and any scheme will be disrupted by turnovers.
"It's a long season," Cooper said. "We'll bounce back from this and see what we're really made of."