No answers in sight for bumbling Eagles
Mike Vick was walking around shaking his head while repeating the words, “I don’t know.”
After blowing a 20-point lead yesterday to the league’s worst offense, the 49ers, the Eagles are 1-3. It’s their worst start since 2007, and their first three-game losing streak since Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2007. The team that entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations has no answers.
“We got to figure it out,” said defensive end Jason Babin. “We’re 1-3. This is real.”
Babin, with three more sacks against San Francisco, is on pace for 28 sacks this season. That’s a great stat, but he’d certainly trade it for a win. Juan Castillo’s defense has now blown three straight fourth-quarter leads.
“When we put our foot on their throats, we have to finish them,” Babin informed. “If you let off, guess what? This is what happens.”
As bad as the defense played, the team wasn’t pointing fingers at each other or the coaches or even the refs.
“Offense has to do their part, defense has to do their part, special teams have to do their part; it’s a collective effort,” Vick said.
Vick, who threw for a career-high 416 yards (with 75 more on the ground), played most of the second half injured. The middle finger on his throwing hand popped out of place, but he finished the game and took blame for the loss.
“I take sole responsibility,” Vick said. “Maybe there are a lot of things that I can do better and I’ve got to figure it out but it’s frustrating.”
“We’re causing our own selves to lose games,” said DeSean Jackson, who caught six balls for a game-high 171 yards. “It’s a reality check for everybody on this team, from the offense to the last person on the roster.”
What went wrong
1. Protect the ball — Jeremy Maclin’s fumble with 2:15 left in the game pretty much sealed the deal. Almost immediately, chants of, “Let’s Go Phillies” broke out at the Linc. That marks nine turnovers (five fumbles, four interceptions) for the Eagles during this three-game losing streak. Ronnie Brown’s goal line blunder (the running back attempted to pass the ball after being wrapped up by a defender) is bound for a blooper reel.
2. Trust the scheme — The Eagles constantly preach about believing in the system under new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. While no one will throw Castillo under the bus, several players said that they are still learning the scheme. If it’s still not working — and it’s not — after four weeks, then it might be time to adjust to your personnel. They let a banged up Frank Gore (ankle) gash them for 127 yards, including 65 in the fourth quarter.
3. Dead Zone, Part 2 — The Eagles’ inefficiency in the red zone is downright embarrassing right now. They entered yesterday’s game ranked 19th in red-zone efficiency, at around 43 percent. Against San Francisco, they were a dismal 2-for-7. “We need to continue to work on our snap count and make sure we’re not jumping offside,” coach Andy Reid said.