Head coach Andy Reid didn't expect to be 3-3. Not with a 10-point lead and just over five minutes remaining. Not with a defense that had shut down the Lions offense and Calvin Johnson through three quarters. And not with an offense that had scored on four of five second-half possessions. But in the end, the defense allowed 13 unanswered points and the offense failed to record a first down on its final two possessions and, somehow, the Eagles fell at home.
"We have to learn how to win football games as coaches and players," Reid said following the loss. "That's my responsibility, and obviously we didn't get it done. You have a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, particularly after the slow start that we had offensively, then you have to take care of it. We didn't do that.
"I'll take responsibility for it. I just know that it wasn't good enough all the way around. There were times and places where everyone needs to look themselves in the mirror and get better – me included."
There are plenty of ways for the Eagles to get better as they prepare for the post-bye part of the season. Start with, well, the start. Over the first six games, the Eagles have combined to score only 31 first-half points, including a meager seven in the first quarter.
"We all have to do better," Reid said. "That's what I can tell you. The offense can't start the way we're starting and we can't finish the way we're finishing here both offensively and defensively. We have to make sure we're taking care of business and getting better."
Defensively, the Eagles, who tied for the league lead with 50 sacks in 2011, have only seven sacks through six games and none in the last three games.
"Both teams did the same thing," Reid said of the respective pass rushes. "We both held people in to protect, but it looked like they got more pressure than what we did. So we have to do a better job there."
For those who would call for more blitzing to generate pressure, that may not necessarily be the case, as cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said in the locker room following the game.
"The fourth quarter was a lot of blitzing," said Asomugha. "The fourth quarter, they were able to find the matchups they wanted amid the blitzing. You can say we should have blitzed more, but we did that and it didn't help us in the end."
"We brought a little but (of pressure) today, and they got us on a couple of them," said Reid. "We have to do better when we do blitz, and obviously we have to get more pressure on the quarterback."
Then, finally, there are the turnovers. Even though the Lions failed to score any points on the drives following an Eagles turnover Sunday, there were still three missed chances for the Eagles offense that were thrown away by two interceptions and one fumble.
"We have to get better," Reid said. "We have to get better at it. I don't know what else to tell you there, other than we have to get better."
As the Eagles head to their bye, they should be fully healthy for the Week 8 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field. After a week in which all 53 active players were full participants in practice, the only injury Reid reported following the game was a hamstring strain for safety Nate Allen, who was replaced in the fourth quarter by Colt Anderson.
Reid also addressed the ejection of defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who was ejected from the game for throwing a punch. Cox apologized for the incident following the game.
"You should not be punching anybody," Reid said.
Figuratively, though, the Eagles are now in a position, following two straight losses, in which they must punch back. Unfortunately, they'll need to wait two weeks before entering the ring again.
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