Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin paced the Eagles with seven catches in last week's game against the 49ers, but it's the final one that made the biggest impact in the final outcome.
After the Eagles allowed a 20-point lead at home to evaporate, they tried to rally back late in the fourth quarter and moved the ball down the field with ease as they had for much of the afternoon. Maclin took a short pass from quarterback Michael Vick 17 yards into 49ers territory but lost it when 49ers defensive end Justin Smith hustled down the field and knocked the ball away. It was recovered by 49ers safety Dashon Goldson and the game was in the books.
With a few days to reflect on the tough outcome, Maclin emphasized the need to get back to basics.
"Just take of the football, simple as that," Maclin said. "In the red zone, when it matters most, it always matters to take care of the football, just when you get into critical situations you have to be that much more careful."
Other than Sunday's miscue, Maclin is off to a great start in 2011 leading the Eagles' high-powered offense in receptions (26) and receiving yards (334) and is also tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns (2). And despite the team's 1-3 start, Maclin is convinced that the team can still get back on track.
"We feel like we're in pretty good shape. We've blown three fourth-quarter leads. We know we've been in ballgames; it's not like we're getting blown out," Maclin said. "We know the game is four quarters and we have to play four quarters and maintain that lead."
Vick said on Tuesday and reiterated on Wednesday that the team can play loose now that the Dream Team label from training camp is out the window. In Maclin's opinion, it's been that way for some time.
"It's been over and done with," he said.
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