The Eagles had a 10-point lead with a little more than five minutes to play, but they couldn’t hold on and wound up losing 26-23 to the Lions in overtime.
There are several reasons you can point to for the Eagles’ failure to pull out a win that was there for the taking, but cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha thinks a shift in defensive philosophy in the late stages of the game was at the top of the list. Asomugha spent most of the first three quarters locked up on Calvin Johnson, holding him to one catch, and the Eagles didn’t blitz much during that part of the game, but things changed in the fourth and the Lions were able to capitalize.
Johnson had five catches as Dominique Rogers-Cromartie started covering him on some plays and the Eagles started blitzing more regularly. Asomugha mentioned those two changes after the game, leading to reporters asking him if the team should have changed what was working well for them. Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News recorded the exchange.
“As a player, when things go so well for three quarters, is there a sense of wanting to make the other team prove that they can beat what you’re doing before you start trying to change things up?”
“Um . . . yeah.”
“As a veteran guy on this team whose opinion is respected, is that a spot where you go to your coaches and say, ‘Hey, this is working, let’s try to use more of what’s working.’”
“Um . . . yes.”
Asomugha avoided saying anything too inflammatory, but the message remained pretty clear anyway. It should give the Eagles plenty to chew on during their bye week as they try to fix what’s led to two straight losses in games they led heading into the final minutes.