Red Zone Issues Spoil Birds In San Diego

Red Zone Issues Spoil Birds In San Diego

The Eagles dropped an ugly but wild one out west today, which had Donovan McNabb attempt 55 passes for 450 yards and nearly rally the team from a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately it was too little, too late for a club that failed to convert touchdowns on three trips to the red zone, including a first down from the 1 yard line.

Occasionally the calls coming from the sideline can be defended. That often was not the case today, beginning with Andy Reid's decision not to attempt 4th and goal from the 1 yard line. It's an almost automatic spot to go, given that failure to convert pins the other team in their own end zone anyway. Particularly down 14 already, it seemed like a peculiar place to take 3 points.

Their subsequent two trips to the red zone resulted in field goals as well, the second of which saw Reid abandon the running game on a key 3rd and 1 play. In fact, Philly backs carried the ball just 12 times the entire afternoon, and although the passing game was very productive, it doesn't make things any easier when the head coach goes into his shell like that.

Having said all of that, by the end the defense had an opportunity to stop the Chargers, and for the second week in a row, they failed to give their offense a meaningful chance with the football. A lot can be said for a poorly coached game costing them, but this unit that hasn't made it count when it matters most.

It's not entirely their fault. Injuries certainly have something to do with it. Chris Gocong was ineffective at middle linebacker today, and Moise Fokou could develop into an excellent player, but he makes too many mistakes and draws too many penalties. Sheldon Brown was also injured, which put career special teamer Dimitri Patterson in an even bigger role than expected.

And then there is Asante Samuel. When he is on, it's always a major risk throwing to his side of the field, but he costs them in so many other ways. Today it was a completely wide open 20-yard TD pass to match his general unwillingness to tackle. It ultimately wound up killing any chance they may have had on 3rd and 2 with 2:45 to play, when he "slipped" rather than try to keep Legedu Naanee from making it to the sticks.

It's not a terrible loss in the grand scheme of things. The Eagles slip to 5-4 in an NFC filled with 5-4 teams. The fact that it's another loss out of conference gives them a bit of an advantage over the rest of the group. Still, there are a lot of reasons for concern after the last two weeks. The penalties aren't going away, short yardage is suddenly an issue again, and now it's obvious their red zone problems haven't gone away. Add it all up with all the injuries, it doesn't appear things are moving in the right direction.

But it's too soon to quit on them, whatever you may be thinking after this one.

Best of NHL: Oilers blank Jets to win outdoor Heritage Classic

Best of NHL: Oilers blank Jets to win outdoor Heritage Classic

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Cam Talbot made 31 saves and Mark Letestu scored the first of three second-period goals, lifting the Edmonton Oilers over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday in an outdoor game delayed almost two hours by sunlight melting the ice.

The Heritage Classic victory extended Edmonton's winning streak to three in front of 33,240 at Investors Group Field. Fans wore both Jets and Oilers jerseys to the league's 19th outdoor game.

Zack Kassian had a goal and an assist and Darnell Nurse also scored for Edmonton.

Connor Hellebuyck, who had a tuque attached to his helmet, stopped 29 shots for Winnipeg.

The NHL said the start of the Heritage Classic game was delayed "due to intermittent sunlight on the playing surface" and "in the interest of player safety." (see full recap)

Girardi leads Rangers past Coyotes
NEW YORK -- Dan Girardi scored 1:55 into the third period and New York beat Arizona.

Josh Jooris and J.T. Miller also scored for New York, which has won consecutive games to improve to 4-2-0. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 stops.

Radim Vrbata had both of Arizona's goals, and Louis Domingue made 23 saves. The Coyotes have lost their first four games on a six-game trip since beating Philadelphia in overtime at home to start the season.

Girardi put the Rangers ahead with a slap shot from the right point. The veteran was paired with rookie Brady Skjei in his first game after missing New York's previous three with a strained groin, and Skjei assisted on the goal (see full recap).

Tavares' big night helps Isles defeat Wild
NEW YORK -- John Tavares had two goals and an assist, Johnny Boychuk scored for the second straight game and New York beat Minnesota.

Calvin de Haan, Alan Quine and Thomas Hickey also scored to help New York get its highest scoring total of the year and win for the third time in four home games after opening with two road losses. Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for his first win in two starts this season.

Islanders rookie Anthony Beauvillier had two assists, giving the 19-year-old at least a point in three straight games.

Zach Parise scored twice for Minnesota to top 300 goals for his career, and Nino Niederreiter also scored. Second-string goalie Darcy Kuemper made 27 saves (see full recap).

Ducks hand Canucks 1st regulation loss
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Nick Ritchie scored the tiebreaking goal on a rebound with 8:36 to play, captain Ryan Getzlaf had three assists and Anaheim finally opened its home schedule with a victory over Vancouver.

Andrew Cogliano, Cam Fowler and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, who have won two straight after a four-game winless start. John Gibson made 17 saves in the Western Conference's final home opener, thanks to a schedule that forced Anaheim to play in five teams' home debuts this month.

Henrik Sedin scored the tying goal early in the third period for the Canucks, who lost in regulation for the first time this season. Bo Horvat scored a short-handed goal, and Loui Eriksson had two assists (see full recap).

Source: Eagles CB Ron Brooks to have knee surgery

Source: Eagles CB Ron Brooks to have knee surgery

It sounds like the Eagles will be out without a member of their secondary for a while, perhaps the rest of the season.

A league source tells CSN's Derrick Gunn that Eagles cornerback Ron Brooks will require surgery to repair an injury to his right knee. The Philadelphia Daily News' Les Bowen is reporting the injury is a serious quadriceps rupture that will end Brooks's first season as an Eagle and put him on the shelf until next summer's training camp.

Brooks was carted off the field after attempting to make an open-field tackle during the first quarter of Sunday's 21-10 win over visiting Minnesota. Brooks stayed down on the field for several minutes before his leg was stabilized and he was placed on a cart.

Brooks, 28, is primarily the Eagles' slot corner, but he's also a standout on special teams. A free-agent who left Buffalo to sign a three-year deal with the Eagles this past offseason, Brooks has 12 total tackles and a pass deflection this season, the LSU grad's fifth in the league.

Malcolm Jenkins slid over to slot corner in Brooks' absence Sunday, which allowed Jaylen Watkins to come in and see more playing time.

If Brooks is placed on injured reserve, the Eagles will have an open roster spot, possibly for another corner.