Nick Sirianni’s play-calling first sign of Eagles’ growing pains

Nick Sirianni Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Naive fans and analysts who thought the Philadelphia Eagles were going to come out like gangbusters every week and play as they did in their opener against the Atlanta Falcons were given a rude awakening on Sunday in a 17-11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Most certainly a winnable game was littered with missed opportunities for the Eagles, who left a golden opportunity on the doorstep without claiming it with a 1st-&-Goal on the 1-yard-line after a 91-yard reception to Quez Watkins from Jalen Hurts.

The Eagles could not punch it in on four tries — most notably a fourth-down attempt that saw first-year head coach Nick Sirianni gave a nod to the “Philly Special” from Super Bowl LII. There was no magic this time, though, as wide receiver Greg Ward’s pass intended for Hurts flew out of the end zone.

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

“It was my fault. I didn’t call good enough plays right there, I didn’t put the players in good enough positions. It’s on [me], but we’re all in this together, coaches and players.”

San Francisco 49ers strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (3) breaks up a pass attempt to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field.Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Consider it a lesson learned, especially when you have one of the more dynamic rushing quarterbacks in Hurts available to try and punch it in from a yard out. The second-year passer who carved apart the Falcons had a much more pedestrian day against the 49ers, but he also racked up 82 rushing yards; understandably making him a prime candidate to score that second-quarter touchdown.

Instead, the missed opportunity bit the Eagles in a game they lost by six.

Now the Eagles face a Dallas Cowboys team that went into SoFi Stadium and defeated the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night in Jerry World where they’ll be underdogs yet again.

Eagles at Cowboys Week 3 Opening Odds

  • Spread: Cowboys -4
  • Over/under 51.5 total points: -115
  • Eagles Moneyline: +180
  • Cowboys Moneyline: -220

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