Why this is their biggest game of the year

Eagles (1-2) at Denver (2-0), Sunday, Sept. 29, 4:25 p.m., Sports Authority Field at Mile High

The trip to Denver's rare air is the first of three consecutive road games. How the Eagles fare against the Broncos, New York Giants and Tampa Bay will go a long way toward determining if they can contend for a playoff spot this season. Thursday's 26-16 loss to Kansas City increased the level of desperation for the Eagles, who have now lost nine straight home games dating back to last season.

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Evaluating the Eagles

(Observations from the 26-16 loss to Kansas City)

Defensive end Vinny Curry: Showed why he deserved to play sooner.

Place-kicker Alex Henery: Accuracy is starting to become a problem.

Center Jason Kelce: Lost family bragging rights to his brother.

Running back LeSean McCoy: Leg injury didn't slow him down.

Quarterback Michael Vick: Poor protection and poor throws meant poor performance.

Coach Chip Kelly: Check your chart before trying a two-point conversion.

Evaluating their offensive line

The line was effective in running situations, but struggled in passing downs. The unit paved the way for McCoy to rush for 158 yards - the second-highest total of his career - against the Chiefs, but allowed six sacks. Kelce's hand injury clearly affected him. He bounced one of his snaps off his thigh and made Vick reach for several others. Rookie tackle Lane Johnson had his worst outing of his brief career.

3-and-out with Chip Kelly

(Quotes provided by the team)

Q: You didn't lose much at Oregon. How do you handle it?

A: I think you draw on the positives and then look at what correctable mistakes occurred in the game and address them. That's what I talked about in the locker room after the game with our guys.

Q: How do you think Michael Vick played?

A: I thought Mike played OK. He has played better. But it's a team game. It's not always on one guy.

Q: Why did you attempt a two-point conversion after the first touchdown?

A: It was a situation we've practiced for a while. In this game, every game's close. If you get a chance to steal a point here or there, in the long run, it can really benefit you.

David Weinberg, 609-272-7186


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