Penalties Hurt Eagles in Loss to Miami
Sunday's game served as a reminder that penalties are still very much a problem for Philadelphia. They might have been the biggest problem for the Eagles in their 20-19 loss to Miami.
"We moved the football," Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said on Monday. "But the penalties were the biggest thing, I think, offensively that held us back yesterday."
But it's not just yesterday, the Eagles have been penalized 68 times this season for 518 yards (15 penalties have been declined), for an average of 7.55 per game for 57.56 yards per game.
In the game against the Dolphins, the Eagles were assessed seven penalties in all, perhaps none more costly than an illegal shift call on Riley Cooper that nullified a Mark Sanchez to Zach Ertz 22-yard touchdown pass that would have been Philadelphia's go-ahead score with 10:20 left in the fourth quarter.
"I know on this one we weren't set in the formation," Kelly explained. "We didn't get lined up as fast in terms of snapping the football, and you know, that's what I think is the game; we didn't play smart. We had too many penalties that I think negated big gains for us. A lot of them, I think there are only seven when you look at the game sheet, but there was a lot of them that were offsetting, so we obviously had more than that. But we had way too many penalties on the offensive side of the ball to be productive.
The seven penalties cost Philadelphia 54 yards and a touchdown, which would be a significant amount in any game but especially one decided by one point.
Cooper didn't make excuses when asked about his penalty.
“No, it was completely, completely my fault," Cooper admitted. "Everyone else did everything great and Ertz made a great catch.”
The frustrating part about Cooper getting flagged is that he wasn't targeted one time in the game, zero catches, zero yards - one costly penalty.