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Eagles’ offense in a race with its own defense

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA - Two games into the season, it's fairly evident that the Philadelphia Eagles are going to be able to move the football. They've scored 63 points and are averaging 477 yards per game.

Quarterback Michael Vick is the NFL's third-leading passer with a 119.0 rating and leads the league in yards per attempt (10.3)

Running back LeSean McCoy leads the league in rushing (237) and yards from scrimmage (356).

DeSean Jackson leads the league in receiving yards (297) and is second to McCoy in yards from scrimmage.

The problem - and it's a big one - is even with those kind of gaudy numbers, it may not be enough to offset their bad defense.

The Eagles gave up 539 yards in Sunday's 33-30 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Philip Rivers tore the Eagles defense to shreds, completing 36 of 47 passes for 419 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"The whole defense has a lot of room to improve obviously," defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. "There's a lot of work to be done. We're going to see who we are. Week 1 (a 33-27 win over Washington) was a picture. This (loss to the Chargers) painted another picture for us.

"We've got to work our tails off and get these things fixed so we can get off the field and get our offense the ball."

The Chargers converted 10 of 15 third-down opportunities against the Eagles, including 9 of 12 in the second half. Rivers was 12-for-13 for 122 yards and a touchdown on third down.

Their secondary, particularly strong safety Nate Allen, played poorly against the Chargers. Allen had a hand in all three of Rivers' touchdown passes, as well as several other important pass plays.

They also were without starting corner Bradley Fletcher, who missed the game with a concussion.

Asked about his safeties (Allen and Patrick Chung, who also struggled against the Chargers), Kelly said, "You're not going to find anybody at this point in time that's hanging out on the street corner that's going to be able to play safety for you. I don't think there are any free agent safeties that are standing on the streets unemployed right now."

The Eagles gave up a franchise-record 33 touchdown passes last season. Through two games this season, they've given up five.

--Late in Sunday's loss to the Chargers, Michael Vick got body-slammed and was slow getting up. The official told the quarterback that he would have to sit out a play before returning to the game. So he went to the sideline and was replaced by Nick Foles, who threw an incompletion on second down at the San Diego 14 yard-line with two minutes left.

Vick returned to the game on the next play and also threw an incompletion, forcing the Eagles to kick a field goal in a game they would end up losing by three.

After the game, Kelly said he didn't have the option of using a timeout to keep Vick in the game. But NFL rules state that he could have done that.

"That's on me," he said Monday. "I didn't think we could."

Had he known, would he have called a timeout so that Vick wouldn't have had to leave the game for a play?

"Yeah," said Kelly.

--CB Bradley Fletcher, who sat out Sunday's game with a concussion, has been cleared to play and was a full practice participant on Monday.

--QB Mike Vick didn't run nearly as much Sunday, possibly because of the groin injury he suffered in Week 1.

--C Jason Kelce was wearing a brace on his thumb at practice Monday. He said it shouldn't bother him Thursday against the Chiefs.
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