Philadelphia Eagles News

Reid: Offense Must Score When Given Opportunity

Once again, a key red zone turnover by the Eagles offense led to a giant change in momentum.

In Week 7, it was a fumbled hand off between Kevin Kolb and LeSean McCoy at the Titans 3-yard-line that sparked a 30-3 second half run for Tennessee.

Sunday night, Vick drove the offense down the field to the Bears 4-yard-line as the Eagles looked to take the lead before half time. Instead, Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris tipped a Vick pass into the waiting arms of safety Chris Harris; the first player to intercept Vick this season. With Chicago quickly tacking on seven points before the half, it was a 14-point swing that put the Eagles in a hole they couldn't battle out of.

"We have to do a better job in the red zone on both accounts," head coach Andy Reid said postgame. "You can't have a team of that caliber with their back to the wall and have an interception take place. You can't do that."

With cornerback Asante Samuel (and his league-leading seven interceptions) back in Philadelphia nursing an injured knee, the Eagles' secondary allowed Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to have his most proficient game of the season. Cutler finished with 247 yards and four touchdowns while completing 67 percent of his passes. It was Cutler's fourth game this season without an interception, and his 146.2 quarterback rating was the highest of his career.

Even without his Pro Bowl cornerback, Reid thought the secondary would perform better.

"It doesn't matter," Reid said. "The next guy comes in and he has to play. My hats off to (Cutler), but we have to play better."

Now the Eagles face the challenge of putting this loss behind them, and doing so rather quickly. The Houston Texans come to town Thursday night, which means the players are at the NovaCare Complex Monday morning for a crash course on an unfamiliar AFC South foe.

"We've got to learn from (this game), and get ourselves right in a short period of time here," Reid said. "So that's what we're going to do. We've got a Thursday game and we have to learn from this quickly, get it out of our mind, and then get rolling."

Of course, the last time the Eagles played a Thursday game was on Thanksgiving in 2008. The short week didn't seem to bother the Eagles that night, as they cruised to a 48-20 victory.

But for the Eagles to find success Thursday night against Houston and beyond, they must do a better job capitalizing on opportunities in the red zone. The Eagles entered Sunday's game in Chicago ranked 16th in the NFL in scoring touchdowns in the red zone, and only scored once in five attempts against the Bears defense.

"We have to make sure we score when we're given an opportunity," Reid said. "That answers a lot of (problems) there…when you're down in the red zone, you have got to score touchdowns against a good team."

-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 8:35 p.m., November 28

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