FLETCHER COX did not lose yesterday. His team lost, but Cox spent much of the day dominating the line of scrimmage, making 11 tackles, eight of them solo, all of them in the box.
Defensive end Cox, inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (11 tackles, eight solo) and outside linebacker Connor Barwin (six tackles, five solo, a sack and a hurry) were as good as anybody the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks lined up against them, with the very notable exception of quarterback Russell Wilson, who dominated the game at key moments, turning negative plays into first downs.
"That's part of their offense, him getting out of the pocket, scrambling, throwing the ball or running," said Cox, who has been dominant much of the season.
The secondary wasn't nearly as good as the guys up front, but really, this loss was on the offense, which generated nine first downs. That's a decent drive, not an afternoon.
"I got a nasty feeling in my stomach after a loss. Nobody likes losing. But I'm excited and ready to go next week," Cox said. "It's tough. It's tough. But I only control the things I can control . . . This game wasn't about me. It was about the Philadelphia Eagles. We lost. They scored more points than us. Hey man, I'm ready to go next week."
That's the way the flags flutter
It's always dicey to talk about officiating, because that's the loser's lament. The Eagles avoided it yesterday, as they always do under Chip Kelly. You don't get outgained 440 yards to 139 because of the officials.
The team that's playing better seems to get the breaks, and the Seahawks got plenty of them yesterday. You could tell that from the way Eagles left tackle Jason Peters declined to talk to reporters in the locker room, after getting penalized 15 yards for something he said to an official. At the time, the Eagles were preparing to punt, as the Linc scoreboards freeze-framed Seahawks corner Byron Maxwell with both hands all over Jordan Matthews, before the ball arrived.
Yet, not all contact between a defensive back and a receiver was OK. A 44-yard pass interference penalty on Eagles corner Bradley Fletcher set up a Seattle touchdown.
Here's what the receiver, Doug Baldwin, had to say about that: "I'm actually not even a read on that play. I'm clearing it out for somebody else, but when I saw the ball in the air and I saw the defender looking back at me, I just wanted to run into him to try to create contact and try to create a penalty situation. It just happens like that sometimes."
For what it's worth, FOX's Mike Pereira, who did not have the benefit of Baldwin's analysis, thought it was a good call.
"I have no comment about the officiating," Kelly said.
"I wasn't expecting the call, but that's what was called, so that's the way it goes," Fletcher said.
Earlier, Wilson scrambled and completed a big third-down pass with guard James Carpenter about 20 yards downfield, something Pereira agreed should have been a penalty.