Five Key Plays that Led to 17-11 Loss

The goal-to-go playcalling and Jalen Reagor's touchdown that wasn't top the list
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PHILADELPHIA – It was a winnable game against a very good opponent that the Eagles let slip away, 17-11, to the San Franciso 49ers on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

“We had a lot of opportunities out there that we didn’t capitalize on,” said QB Jalen Hurts, who accounted for 272 total yards of offense. “I think that’s plain and simple right there. We have to be consistent in our execution.

“I have to be consistent in my execution and operation as a field general. It’s something to learn from today – a lot to learn from. They were things we could control, so that’s what hurts the most. We give credit to a good team and a good defense out there. Those wounds out there were self-inflicted.”

Here are five plays that contributed mightily to the loss:

Fourth-and-goal at the 3. Again, the decision to go for it was probably the right one. A touchdown and the Eagles go ahead 10-0 with less than five minutes to play in the first half.

It was the play calling that was dubious, from a first-and-goal pass from the 1 to the fourth-down call of a Greg Ward throw off a double reverse that was designed to go to Hurts in the end zone.

“I don't think I called good plays in that area,” said head coach Nick Sirianni. “There are going to be times where you're going to look at it and be like, ‘I want those calls back.’ When they work, it was a good play. They didn't.

“So, it was my fault. I didn't call good enough plays right there. I didn't put the players in good enough positions, but we're all in this together, coaches and players.”

Jalen Reagor’s 36-yard TD that wasn’t: It didn’t survive the review because Reagor stepped out, and he did. It would have been 10-0 if he hadn’t.

Asked about the teaching point, Sirianni said: “Just saving room on the sideline with how you release. That's the main thing right there is how you release to save some room on the sideline so even if you get bumped, you don't get pushed out.

“So, he was probably a little closer than what we'd like. I thought he made a great play. Obviously, his foot was just out, and the referees did a good job of officiating that. I told the one referee, ‘You have probably never heard a coach tell you good job when a 50-yard touchdown comes off,’ but they officiated well and did their job.”

Blocked field goal: This wouldn’t have happened had Reagor not gone out of bounds because this mistake came on the same drive when Javon Kinlaw swatted away Jake Elliott’s 47-yard field goal try to open up a 6-0 lead.

“I don't think there was penetration,” said Sirianni. “It just looked like he got his hand on it and I don't know if it was a low kick...I feel like if you get the ball a little closer for him on offense, then maybe he doesn't have to line drive it like that. 

"I'll have to look at the tape. (Special team coach) Mike (Clay) and I didn't talk about that yet, but I felt like he had to drive it from where we were on the field.”

Personal fouls. The Eagles were called for two on back-to-back plays that led to a San Francisco field goal that increased their lead to 17-3 with 5:07 to go in the fourth quarter.

The first one was on Derek Barnett when he hit a 49ers player after the whistle had blown. It negated a loss of eight yards that would have put SF in a 3-and-15 situation from their 27.

Instead, it was first-and-10 at the 42.

On the next play, K’Von Wallace went helmet to helmet with Trey Sermon, negating a fumble that Darius Slay had recovered and returned into 49ers territory. Sermon actually got forearmed by safety Anthony Harris, forcing Sermons’ head down.

Wallace looked to simply be gong low with his shoulder to take out Sermon’s legs, but because his head was hit, it was lower than expected.

Fletcher Cox was skeptical.

“I don’t agree with the call,” the DT said. “It is what it is. They threw the flag, they stuck with it and that was a big turning point in the game for us and, as a player, being honest, it just sucked the air out of you when things like that happen.”

Instead of the Eagles ball trailing 14-3 with 5:45 to go, the 49ers still had possession with a first-and-10 at the Eagles’ 35.

Chunk plays. The Eagles held the Falcons without any plays over 20 yards last week.

This week, the 49ers didn’t get their first one until 25 seconds were left in the second quarter. But it was a big one, a 40-yard catch and run to Deebo Samuel that put the Niners at Philly’s 11. On the next play, the 49ers were in the end zone for a 7-3 lead.

SF had two more plays over 20 yards. The Eagles also had three plays of more than 20 yards.

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Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.