Eagles Notes: Eagles couldn't stop clock on Steelers' winning drive

LeSean McCoy made Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons miss on the Birds' fourth-quarter scoring drive. RON CORTES / Staff
LeSean McCoy made Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons miss on the Birds' fourth-quarter scoring drive. RON CORTES / Staff
Posted: October 09, 2012

PITTSBURGH - Andy Reid was left with just one timeout in the game's final minutes Sunday. He had elected to use his first two during the Eagles' go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter. The first came when he lost a challenge, and the second was on a third down.

Reid has endured criticism for clock management in the past, although Sunday's 16-14 loss to the Steelers was not because the Eagles lacked timeouts. The defense failed to stop Pittsburgh on two third downs late in the game. Still, the Eagles were left hoping the Steelers would miss the field goal because they could not stop the clock in the final minute.

"I had one left, and I used it on the [Steelers'] last drive," Reid said. "I needed the other ones at the time."

The challenge came when Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson caught a 2-yard pass on third and 3 at the Eagles' 28-yard line. Reid thought it was a first down, but the ruling was upheld, and the Eagles converted a fourth and 1, a risky call that worked.

"I wanted to win the game," Reid said. "You're in tough places to win football games. Their home record is unbelievable. We had the ball in our hands. I wanted to take care of it and score. That's what we did."

Jackson said whether he reached the first-down marker was irrelevant because the Eagles converted the fourth down. It was relevant, though, because it cost the team a timeout.

The second timeout was on a third and 4 at the 50-yard line after the Eagles did not like the defensive look that the Steelers showed. They called a running play after the timeout and gained 3 yards, needing another fourth-down conversion to extend the drive.

Reid used his final timeout with 1 minute, 53 seconds left in the game after a Steelers first down at the Eagles 31-yard line.

Shady's return

LeSean McCoy's return to Pittsburgh, where he played college ball, marked his lowest rushing output of the season. McCoy totaled 53 yards on 15 carries, although he also caught four passes for 27 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles rushed the ball on 23 of 56 offensive plays, so they were limited in the amount of overall plays they ran. Michael Vick's two first-quarter fumbles played a factor.

"At the beginning of the game, the calls we were making, the runs, the passes, we were driving, driving," McCoy said. "But [the turnover on the goal line] kind of changed the game a little bit."

No-huddle helped

The Eagles opened the game in a no-huddle offense and used it at different times. Vick said it helped the Eagles get into a rhythm, although it was used sparingly on the Eagles' touchdown drives.

"It was part of the reason we brought the ball downfield," Vick said.

Redman runs

Pittsburgh's Issac Redman, a graduate of Paulsboro High School, rushed the ball 13 times for 41 yards for an average of 3.2 yards per carry Sunday. His longest carry was for 13 yards.

Redman rushed the ball four times for 8 yards on the Steelers' game-winning drive.

With Rashard Mendenhall out for the first three games with a torn knee ligament, Redman went into Sunday's game as the Steelers' leading rusher, with 72 yards on 32 carries. The 6-foot, 230-pounder is in his fourth season with the Steelers.

Bell stays at tackle

Demetress Bell started at left tackle even though King Dunlap was healthy and active, an indication that the job is now Bell's. Linebacker Akeem Jordan missed his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury, and Jamar Chaney started in his place.

Dion Lewis was active for his first game of the season. Lewis, a former Pitt running back, did not receive any carries or make any catches. Running back Chris Polk was inactive.

The Eagles also deactivated wide receiver Riley Cooper, who had returned to practice from a broken collarbone and was a healthy scratch. Steve Vallos, the only backup center on the roster, was inactive. If something happened to starting center Dallas Reynolds, Evan Mathis likely would have filled in.


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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