By Mary Cunningham
Nate Allen not only cost the Eagles an important game Sunday in Arizona, but he also screwed up whatever plans they have to trade him before Tuesday’ deadline.
Allen stood at his locker and shouldered the blame for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown’s 75-yard touchdown catch that punctuated a mistake-riddled loss.
Brown, the Cardinals’ third-round pick in this year’s NFL draft is quickly developing a reputation among players in the league as one of the fastest in the NFL. However, Allen said Sunday that he should have been able to prevent him from scoring the touchdown that broke the Eagles’ back in a 24-20 defeat.
“We were just in a quarters look and that’s on me,” Allen said. “I have to stay deep and make that play. That’s the bottom line, yeah.
“Trying to keep them big plays off of us. I take the blame for that last one. That guy was vertical and I have to stay with him.”
Allen’s honesty is a breath of fresh air of sorts, but Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis. Jr. said that there was plenty of blame for this loss to go around.
“We’re not perfect,” Davis said. “We make mistakes. We made a couple today. We have to have that coverage at the end. We need a better rush. Everyone needs to be better. The Philadelphia Eagles defense got beat today.”
Allen appeared to come up lame on Brown’s reception but said he wasn’t sure at exactly what point he got hurt or what his injury may be.
“I don’t know exactly what I did to it,” Allen said. “But we’ll see. It feels a little tight, but we’ll see. When we get back to Philly, I’ll run the test and see what it is.”
Big plays have been an Achilles heel for the Eagles defense this season. Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson burned the secondary for a big play in Week 3, San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore took a pass play 50 yards and on Sunday Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald scored an 80-yard touchdown prior to Brown’s game-breaking catch.
Prior to Sunday, only Gore’s touchdown potentially cost the Eagles a victory and it is certainly an area that needs to be tightened up if this team has intentions of making a playoff run.
“You’ve got offenses that will make plays and we’ve played some pretty good receivers,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “Some of those plays are on us but some of them, they just earned.
“The pass to Fitzgerald, that’s just a great play-call to what we had. We had a max blitz called. They ran a pick and he took it to the house. On the other ones, we have to do a better job of staying on top in certain situations. It’s nothing that’s discouraging.
“We did a really nice job all game of keeping this dynamic offense with all of these weapons really in check. You can look at 20 plays and say they changed this game. Obviously in the secondary when you make mistakes it’s amplified.”
Allen’s mistake certainly was a costly one and it will be very interesting to see if it has an impact on the speculation that the Eagles would like to make a trade to replace him prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline.
“I have no idea,” Allen said when asked if he had any comment on the trade rumors.