WHEN DID YOU know the Eagles were done for, Sunday against Dallas?
For me, the second and third snaps of the third quarter settled it. The Eagles, down only 6-0 at halftime, worked a 12-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Nelson Agholor with their first snap following the break.
They'd completely turned the tables on the Falcons in the second half of the opener, looking like a different offense after getting some time to make adjustments. Now, still within a touchdown of the Cowboys, it was time to try again to get the run game going, after presumably spending halftime straightening out their blocking assignments.
So Bradford handed off to DeMarco Murray, and you could tell right away that offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland . . . um, never mind, Murray lost 6 yards.
Seemed Jason Kelce was pulling, and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence cut right in behind him to arrive at Murray unblocked, as soon as Murray got the ball. Looked as if Brent Celek was supposed to block Lawrence but couldn't get there.
OK, second-and-16, another run play, and this time you just knew the Eagles were going to release that pent-up frustration and steamroll . . . ah, Jason Peters completely whiffed on Jeremy Mincey. Mincey slammed Murray to the ground, minus-5, setting up third-and-21.
After an 11-yard dump to Darren Sproles, the Cowboys blocked a Donnie Jones punt and ran it in for a touchdown, and effectively, the game was over.
This sequence came to mind yesterday when I listened to Chip Kelly assert in his day-after presser that the Eagles' run-game problems were fixable. Maybe he's right, but after the Falcons held Murray to 9 yards on eight carries in the opener, and the Eagles watched that tape, then practiced all week, and then sent Murray into the line five times in the first half Sunday for a net of 1 yard - shouldn't they have fixed these fixable problems, at some point in there, if they are indeed all that fixable?
Kelly's comforting thought yesterday was that the run game has struggled before - the example he used was last season's 26-21 Game 4 loss at San Francisco, in which the Eagles rushed 12 times for 22 yards. But that day, the offensive line included Dave Molk in at center for Kelce, Matt Tobin at left guard for Evan Mathis, with both Kelce and Mathis injured, and Dennis Kelly at right guard, with Todd Herremans subbing at right tackle for Lane Johnson, who was suspended.
That group was total patchwork. These guys are the Eagles' starters, the offensive line the coaching staff assembled during the offseason. Kelly, who seemed blasé back in May about not drafting an offensive lineman for the second year in a row, said there would be no o-line lineup changes this week. These are the blocking schemes they have been practicing since spring. How much can they really change?
Kelly, who said he was "embarrassed" by the loss, talked yesterday about getting back to fundamentals, about not overthinking things up front, particularly in regard to Kelce's uncharacteristic struggles. As the Eagles try to gather themselves to play a New York Jets defense more formidable than the one that shut them down Sunday, that isn't a whole lot to hang your helmet on.
Asked about possible offseason personnel blunders, Kelly said: "The guys we have are the guys we're playing with for the remainder of the season . . . It's about putting in a game plan that will be effective against the Jets."
Kelly emphasized that Bradford and the passing game don't have a prayer unless the run game gets going - right now, opponents can pull safeties way off the line to guard against deep passes, which was his explanation for why the Eagles never throw any.
It's scary to think the run game is this inept without the opposition devoting extra players to stopping it.
* It wasn't a big factor in Sunday's game, but losing Kiko Alonso (knee) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) might allow upcoming opponents to throw to backs and tight ends all day. DeMeco Ryans isn't moving that well and Jordan Hicks is too green.
* Sam Bradford had Josh Huff open underneath all the way across the field on that interception he threw to Sean Lee. Riley Cooper, on the left, also was more open than Zach Ertz. Bradford's pass was behind Ertz, right into Lee's stomach. It was alarming that Bradford didn't seem to realize how poor a throw it was after the game.
* The Eagles' first play Sunday was an inside run on which Jordan Matthews was supposed to seek out and block 6-4, 280-pound defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who was headed for DeMarco Murray like a guided missile, starting out several yards closer to the hole. Surprisingly enough, this did not work.
* Bradford was victimized by drive-killing drops twice in the early going and as many as five times overall. Two of his four interceptions this season have been volleyballed into the air off his receivers. Chip Kelly affirmed his faith in Bradford as the starter yesterday.
* Kelly said his message to his team is "that team that played well in the second half against Atlanta is the team we need to show up this week against the Jets." Stirring.
* Kelly took no offense at cornerback Byron Maxwell citing fatigue down the stretch Sunday; Kelly pointed out that Dallas got 85 snaps, mostly because of the Eagles' offense going three-and-out over and over.
* The Eagles jettisoned third quarterback Stephen Morris for Thad Lewis, a journeyman veteran who once was an emergency starter for Pat Shurmur, when the offensive coordinator was head coach of the Browns in 2012. Lewis, 27, from Duke, started five games for Buffalo in 2013.
That when Jeffrey Lurie talked about taking gambles to go from good to great, he meant the Eagles were going to tank the season for the first overall draft pick?
* Opponents are completing 70.6 percent of their passes against the Eagles, through two games.
* Not sure you haters realize DeMarco Murray is only one 99-yard run away from a 5-yard-per-carry average