Tennessee rushed four linemen. The Eagles blocked with five linemen and got a chip from fullback Owen Schmitt. Guard Todd Herremans shoved defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks to the ground but then lost track of his man. Marks got up to get in Kolb's face as he tried to throw deep.
Downfield, three Titans blanketed Maclin, the Eagles' most dangerous threat. Cornerback Alterraun Verner had him near the line of scrimmage and passed him to safety Chris Hope. Safety Michael Griffin played deep and also closed in once the pass went up. Maclin was covered; the pass was broken up.
Earlier, with the Eagles up by 16-10, and with a chance to rebound from the fumble by Kolb, the offense advanced into position to strike. But on third and 5 from the Titans' 10, Maclin was covered, and Kolb nearly threw an interception. The Eagles settled for a field goal.
They were still up, 19-17, when Kolb, on third and 7, threw behind Riley Cooper instead of running for a first down. Kolb had space and one man to beat to pick up the needed yardage.
On their final third-down attempt, down by eight, the Eagles faced a third-and-4. Tight end Brent Celek was covered, though, and former Eagle Will Witherspoon broke up the pass.
The Eagles had chances to get back in the game, but no one delivered a needed play.
The pass rush
Cornerback Ellis Hobbs and safety Nate Allen rightly took most of the blame for Kenny Britt's 225 receiving yards and three touchdowns on seven catches. But as the secondary broke down, the rest of the defense couldn't get to Collins to help.
While safety Quintin Mikell notched a strip sack in the second quarter, the defense usually left its safeties back to try to contain Britt late in the game. On Tennessee's 80-yard touchdown pass, the Eagles rushed four against five linemen. Collins had plenty of time to throw. The Eagles brought five men against six blockers on a 42-yard pass play to Britt.
On Britt's final touchdown, Mikell blitzed, but the Titans' five linemen and tight end picked up the rushers. Britt had time to make a move that left Hobbs in his dust. The score extended a one-point Titans lead to eight.
Britt's outburst started in the fourth quarter, but there were hints of what was to come in the first half.
First, he easily beat Hobbs off the line and jumped over the shorter player for a touchdown in the second quarter.
That same quarter, Asante Samuel was on Britt but bit on a Collins pump fake to an underneath route, leaving Mikell to cover the receiver. Britt raced past him, and only a bad throw prevented a big play. Notice served.
Britt's 80-yard score came on a similar-looking play. Hobbs played underneath, passing Britt off to Allen, who was beat for the score.
McDermott said he didn't consider putting his best cover man, Samuel, on Britt until the game was nearly over.
"You shouldn't have to do that," McDermott said. "Can't do that in this league."
The Eagles' scheme calls for specific corners on the right and left side of the defense.
A mental mistake
After the game, center Mike McGlynn didn't hide: He accepted blame for the penetration that led to the game-changing fumble. On video, it's clear a mental mistake created the breakdown.
The Eagles' entire offensive line and Schmitt all blocked to the team's right. McGlynn went left, leaving Jason Jones a free path into the backfield.
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.