As the longest tenured Eagle on defense, Quintin Mikell knows a teaching point when he sees it. He just wishes it didn't have to come at the expense of such a brutal loss.
"As a defense and as a team, we have been in that position of letting teams back in the game but we kept pulling it out," Mikell said Monday. "Well now it came back to bite us in a big way. Basically we got our (butts) kicked. This should be a wakeup call that this is the NFL, man, and all 11 guys on the field have to play together for four quarters. Anything can happen in this league."
Earlier this season in wins over the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers, the Eagles allowed fourth-quarter rallies that almost cost them the game. On Sunday, the Tennessee Titans took advantage of a costly turnover and outscored the Eagles 27-3 in the decisive period. Now, the Eagles move forward with the blindsiding loss festering in the minds of the players during the bye week.
"It should hurt," Mikell said. "You should feel down. It's tough to win in this game and when you lose it's pretty hard. Obviously you don't want to come in for a week and just be moping, but at the same time you don't want guys to be smiling and happy after a loss, especially one like that. What you tell (the young players) is we know what we need to do to get better. It's a long season. We haven't played our best football yet and we've been here before. We just have to finish these games out. I think if we do that and focus on that, we'll be alright."
The schedule doesn't get easier on the horizon for the Eagles. First up will be the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning, whom Mikell called the best quarterback to ever play the game. After that, the NFC East division crown will be decided down the stretch as five of the Eagles' final eight games will be intra-division ties.
"We have a tall task ahead of us," Mikell said, "but this is the NFL, man, and I think across the board nobody's happy with the way we finished that game. If we're all going to be professional and we're all going to be together, then we need to take a look at ourselves, each one of us, and know what we have to do to get ready."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 1:41 p.m., October 25