The Eagles came into Sunday's game hungry to erase the memories of the past two games. With a bye week to ruminate over their 3-3 start, the Eagles were hoping to knock off the 6-0 Atlanta Falcons and improve head coach Andy Reid's record after the bye to a perfect 14-0.
Instead, the defense couldn't get a stop and the offense was held in check all game. And though the offense staged a valiant comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, the Eagles ultimately fell by a score of 30-17. After the game, quarterback Michael Vick acknowledged that the team isn't playing up to its own standards.
"This was a big game for us. It was one that we needed," Vick said. "So, collectively we needed to win it all together and we just find ourselves in a situation where we didn't do it, and we didn't play the way we know we can play. It's like coach (Andy Reid) said, it was flat out embarrassing. We have to come out and play. We have to play better football if we want to win games in this league."
After the Falcons opened the game with a 16 play, 80-yard touchdown drive, the Eagles offense was unable to answer. Instead, Vick and the offense went three-and-out. From there, the offense was in catch-up mode for the rest of the game.
"You just get into a rhythm as an offense," Vick said. "We didn't score on our first drive. We scored on our second drive, but at that point there was a huge deficit. We were just in comeback mode, where we had to fight to get back into the game. They did a good job of keeping us off the field and managing the clock. They played a good game. My hat goes off to them."
Despite the final score, Vick had one of his better games of the season. He went 21-of-35 for 191 yards and a touchdown. He also added 42 rushing yards on seven runs and did not turn the ball over. But only three of the Eagles' 10 possessions ended in points, and only two ended in touchdowns. Vick knows that he will have to improve his play to cement his status as the Eagles' quarterback.
"I'm trying to do everything that I can to put the ball in the end zone to give my guys every opportunity," he said. "I don't know if playing like a franchise quarterback means throwing three or four touchdowns week in and week out and doing everything right. But I know I've been there before and despite it all, I still feel like I do a lot of positive things out there and that's all I can ask."
The Eagles will now have an extra day of preparation before facing the Saints in New Orleans next Monday night. And at 3-4, the Eagles can ill afford another performance like the one they gave Sunday. To win, the entire team will need to step up, including Vick.
"We just have to put it all together," Vick said. "That's what football is all about. Putting it together and making it happen when it counts."
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider