BRENT CELEK had two different touchdown balls in his grasp in the third quarter alone on Sunday - yet both red-zone opportunities for the Eagles ended in Alex Henery field goals.
Celek's body took a beating at the beginning of the quarter - after Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley's helmet caught him in the knee while trying to bring him down - and his psyche was battered by the end of the 26-23 loss.
"I feel a huge responsibility for this loss with how I played and the position I put our team in," Celek said. "It's just uncalled for - especially at my age and my position on this team. I can't do that. I can't do that to this team, this city, this organization. That's on me."
On the Eagles' first drive of the second half, Michael Vick's bullet bounced off Celek's wide-open fingertips in the end zone. Less than 5 minutes later, Celek's second touchdown of the season was nullified when he was whistled for offensive pass interference.
The call on Celek's would-be 3-yard catch was debatable, since it was unclear whether he made contact with the Detroit defender before Vick released the ball, but he did extend his arm. Either way, Celek said it was not an excuse.
"I don't know if that was 'PI,' " Celek said. "But there was contact there. They can make whatever call they want. I just can't put myself in that position. The [dropped ball] before, that's on me. I really didn't make plays."
Two plays after his 10-yard penalty cost the Eagles six points, Celek missed a block, allowing the Lions' Cliff Avril to sack Vick for a loss of 4 yards. Celek said the Lions' front four were "creating havoc," which allowed them to hit Vick 11 times including three sacks.
"They were bringing a lot of people," Celek said. "We can still protect him."
Celek was so bruised the end of those two drives that he could barely stand upright for Henery's 32-yard field goal which put the Eagles up 16-13. The ultimate warrior, Celek refused to come out of the game. He finished with a total of two catches for 16 yards.
"It's disgusting, it's not a good feeling," Celek said. "We've just got to put them away. But I think things that happened earlier put us in a horrible position. When you put yourself in that position, it's hard to recover. We got to finish plays, finish drives, finish games. That's got to be a theme around here."
As a whole, the Eagles were pretty banged up on Sunday. Nnamdi Asomugha needed treatment for a gash on his chin in the first quarter. Safety Nate Allen left the game with a hamstring injury. Guard Danny Watkins and LeSean McCoy were both slow to get up at different points in the game.
Most would say the bye week has arrived just in time. Not Celek.
"No, this is not a good feeling," Celek said. "I got hit in the knee a little bit, but I'll be fine. As quick as we can get back out there, I'd like to get back out there."
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