Last week, it was allowing points on the Atlanta Falcons' first six drives of the game. This week, among a list of problems that led to the Eagles' 28-13 loss on Monday Night Football, the Eagles defense allowed 140 rushing yards (on 5.6 yards per carry) to a New Orleans Saints offense that ranked last in the league in running the ball coming into the contest.
Obviously, things have not gone as planned for the Eagles defense after the bye week. But even as the Eagles sit 3-5 halfway through the season, the defense vows to fight on into the second half of the season.
"We're not going to give up," defensive end Trent Cole said after the loss to the Saints. "Being a vet, if I have to keep preaching to the guys, we're going to keep moving forward and keep at this thing. That's what we have to do. We have to get this thing right.
"I've been here eight years and I've had times where the team had situations like this. We've got to get to the drawing board and get this thing right. We all have to be held accountable, look at ourselves individually and take it to another level personally."
With another eight games on tap, the road doesn't get much easier for the Eagles defense. The Eagles' first eight opponents this season average 23.8 points per game on the season. The average scoring for the Eagles' final eight opponents is almost the exact same, at 23.7. So any improvement must come from within.
"I think the focus now is just what types of things do we have to do to get back on the winning track," said cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. "Once we get back on the winning track, we'll get that momentum. You don't want to get on the losing track, which is what we're on right now. Momentum can go both ways."
"I'm tired of losing," said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. "Tired of showing this show, the same thing over and over again ... It's the way we lost. A lot of the things we did, it's unacceptable. It's tough to put that performance out there."
Cole said that he has no explanation for the dropoff in the defense's play from the beginning of the season, when stops on third down and in the red zone were staples of an impressive start. Obviously, something needs to change for the Eagles to turn around their admittedly disappointing fortune through eight games.
"I just know that us players, we have to keep our head down and keep going no matter what," said defensive tackle Mike Patterson, who played his first game of the season Monday night.
In that vein of forging forward, the Eagles follow their head coach.
"He's a positive coach," said Asomugha of Andy Reid. "Even when we came in the locker room after the game, obviously guys are going to be down, but you don't want to get down to the point where you think the season's over and he made it clear to stress that point that the season isn't over. With five losses, you can still win some games and put yourself in a good position."
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