In the wake of Sunday's loss, one described as embarrassing by head coach Andy Reid and many of the players in the locker room, where do the Eagles go next?
As tough as the game against the Falcons was, it's easy to forget that just three weeks ago the Eagles were 6:33 away from going 4-1 on the season. The Steelers' game-winning drive started a three-game losing streak that has the Eagles sitting a 3-4.
Believe it or not, the Eagles are still in second place in the NFC East despite having a losing record. They are just one game in the loss column out of a Wild Card spot. There are nine games left to right the ship and the next opportunity comes in prime time on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints, a team that is undergoing similar struggles as the Eagles.
The Saints are 2-5 after a 34-14 drubbing at the hands of the Denver Broncos. A year ago, the Saints were 13-3. For the Eagles to right the wrongs of this three-game losing streak, they have to learn from their mistakes.
"What happened in the past is in the past. We've got to move forward. We've got to learn from our mistakes," tight end Brent Celek said. "I think that's true with anything in life. It's the people who learn from their mistakes move on and those are the ones who are the most successful. Those are the teams that win the Super Bowl. We've got to do that, either adapt or your dead."
Offensively, the Eagles have to improve an offense that is scoring just 17.1 points per game, which is tied for 29th in the league with the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams. There is only one team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who average fewer points per game.
"We just have to go out there and play. We have to take it game by game, play by play. That's really how you have to approach the rest of the season," wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. "You would like to say that we are good enough to make a run and that's how I'm going to believe and that's what I'm going to prepare to do. It's going to start next week."
For the defense, their next opponent, the Saints, may only have two wins, but are sixth in the league averaging 27.1 points per game. On Sunday, the Eagles surrendered a season-high 30 points at home to the Atlanta Falcons in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles' debut. Next Monday's showdown is on the road in the boisterous Superdome.
"We just have to be honed up on what we are doing, attention to detail on your job and when it's that time, you've got to step up and make the play," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "On third down, it's big-time leaders who've got to step up and make those plays."
There are nine games left in the 2012 season, but it's up to the Eagles to make the most of them.
"That is the best news that we have," wide receiver Jason Avant said. "There are nine games left. We have to prepare ourselves properly for those games. I know it's frustrating to lose a game like this and get embarrassed. Nine games is good news."
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