Philadelphia Eagles pass rusher Chris Long made a critical mistake in the win over the Oakland Raiders Monday night. It doesn’t matter now since they got the win anyway, but it happened with the game tied 10-10 in the fourth quarter, so it could have been huge.
Long tore through the offensive line and sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. He hit him so hard the ball bounced out, hit the turf, and then bounced right back toward Long. It would have been an easy recovery and almost guaranteed points for the offense.
But Long was already celebrating his sack, turning around and running toward the sideline. Behind him, the Raiders actually kept playing football, picked up the ball, and advanced it.
Here’s the video if you missed it live:
Chris Long has been drinking all day like the rest of us pic.twitter.com/mTji28IUbT
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) December 26, 2017
Early on Tuesday morning, Long apologized for his mistake and explained why it happened.
“I sincerely apologize to the city of Philadelphia for running away from a live ball,” he wrote. “I was a bit confused as to there being a live ball. Obviously. Glad we could get off the field!!! Thanks for bringing it fans!!! Ugly win over a pretty loss!!!”
He then added: “Evidently I had too much Mountain Dew.”
Now, the reason for the mistake is obvious. He just didn’t see the ball hit the turf and thought the play ended with his sack. He was amped up to make a big play in a close game.
That said, kids are taught to play to the whistle in Pop Warner. In the NFL, where celebrations are common after just about every play, ignoring that advice can lead to mistakes that may turn the tide of close games. That’s something the Eagles can’t have in the playoffs.