In the NFL, playing sound fundamentally often means the difference between winning and losing. The Eagles failed to do this against the Saints on Monday night, as head coach Andy Reid made clear in his postgame press conference.
"When you're 0-for-5 in the red zone, give up seven sacks, and your tackling is terrible then you're going to struggle to win football games in this league," Reid said. "As coaches and players, obviously we've got to do a better job and that starts with me."
The Eagles went into Monday night's primetime matchup looking to put up points against the league's worst defense. But turnovers and ineffective red zone offense cost the Eagles, and the team finished the night with only 13 points. With Monday night's loss the Eagles are now 3-5 with half a season still to play.
The Eagles offense was able to put up big yardage numbers against the Saints' porous pass defense. Quarterback Michael Vick went 22-of-41 for 272 yards, a touchdown and an interception. However, Vick also took seven sacks against a Saints team tied for 25th in the league with 13. Reid said after the game that Vick would remain the starting quarterback for the Eagles.
After a solid performance from the offensive line against the Falcons, the Eagles struggled to protect Vick against the Saints. Right tackle Todd Herremans suffered an ankle/tendon strain injury during the game and was unable to return to action. Reid said Herremans will have an MRI on Tuesday.
Defensively, poor tackling by the Eagles allowed Drew Brees and the Saints to 371 yards and 28 points. While this looks concerning, Reid said that these are mistakes that can be corrected in practice.
"You stick with your fundamentals and your basics, and you keep practicing," he said. "Practice hard and correct your mistakes. These are correctable mistakes."
As bleak as the outcome may appear, Reid has been around long enough to know that this season is far from over. After all, he's been there before and had success. Turning this season around starts with winning the next game, which just so happens to be against the rival Cowboys at home.
"In this league, if you can get that one win and get that thing right, you're able to build on that," Reid said. "We've got to focus in on the Dallas Cowboys and make sure we get ourselves right for that game."
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