Blame the defense for falling short on that final Pittsburgh drive all you want. Failing to make a stop on 3rd-and-12 hurt a lot.
However, needlessly turning the ball over at the goal line -- with a sure touchdown in sight -- is inexcusable. The fumbles have to stop, and the Eagles know it.
"Turnovers are something that you have to focus in on at practice," coach Andy Reid said yesterday. "You have to make sure that you are aware of that during the game, that your ball security is right. We've done well with the interception part of it, and we're doing a better job with the protection part of it, with the decision-making part of it. We have to do a better job taking care of the football."
That's now 11 turnovers for Mike Vick, in case you're scoring at home. Six interceptions, five fumbles. While it's true the quarterback hasn't thrown it to the other team since Sept. 16, the fumbles are a glaring cause for concern.
After Sunday's loss, Vick went on record saying that "everything happens for a reason," including fumbles. Yesterday, Reid downplayed that telling sound bite.
"That probably wasn't the first time he was asked about the fumbles in that press conference," Reid said. "Listen, there's nobody more competitive than this guy and he knows that he can't fumble.
Understand that. He knows that he can't have turnovers and he can't fumble."
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Reid also shot down the notion that Vick's protective vest, guarding his injured ribs, might be responsible for poor ball security.
"I don't think that's the case, but I did look at that," the coach said.