GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Quarterback Michael Vick understands that he must take better care of the football if he's going to lead this Eagles team to as far as they can possibly go in 2012.
Vick fumbled the ball away twice, including a momentum-crushing one at the end of the first half, as the Cardinals beat the Eagles 27-6 on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
"The only thing we can do is to eliminate them when we're on the field," Vick said after the game. "It's easy to talk about it, easy to say it, but when you're in the moment you have to eliminate the turnovers. We'll do it. Everything happens for a reason."
Vick and the Eagles offense were stymied by a balanced Cardinals defense that provided consistent pressure up front and had seal-tight coverage on the back end. Vick finished 17-of-37 for 217 yards and a quarterback rating of 64.8. It was the first game in which the Eagles did not score an offensive touchdown since the Week 17 loss in Dallas at the end of the 2009 regular season.
"I wish I could tell you. I wish I had all of the answers. The only think I know is we didn't play our best, nowhere near the potential to do," Vick said. "We have to regroup, watch the film, learn from it and get back to practice and find a way to cut back on the turnovers and put points on the board and help our defense out."
Vick was sacked five times in the game and the Cardinals were credited with an astonishing 13 quarterback hits. One of those sacks resulted in a fumble at the end of the first half as the Eagles were on the Arizona 1-yard line. Vick did not get the ball out quickly and was blasted from behind by blitzing safety Kerry Rhodes. Safety James Sanders picked up the fumble and returned it 93 yards for a touchdown. Instead of maybe 17-3 at halftime, the Cardinals led 24-0.
The other fumble, which happened earlier in the second quarter, took place when Vick scrambled to the Cardinals' 35-yard line and linebacker Sam Acho knocked the ball out before Vick touched the ground. With two lost fumbles in Arizona territory, Vick and the Eagles can wonder "What if," but are left to figuring out what went wrong.
"I think we're going to have to make a lot of adjustments. I think our coaches do a great job of doing that. It's just about watching film and figuring it out," Vick said.
"The thing about this team is a very resilient group of guys. We stick together regardless of what happened and we know that next week can be the exact opposite of what happened today."
The offensive line had two new starters in center Dallas Reynolds and left tackle Demetress Bell. The Cardinals brought a lot of blitzes up the 'A' gap, but Vick said Reynolds did a good job making the calls at the line of scrimmage.
"Obviously, at the end of the day we have to make plays," Vick said. "We have to keep the defense off the field and put points on the board."
Even when the pressure didn't get home, the Cardinals' back seven gave Vick nowhere to throw the ball. Rookie Damaris Johnson, who shouldered the load in the absence of Jeremy Maclin, led the team with five catches for 84 yards. Arizona kept wide receiver DeSean Jackson (3 rec., 43 yards), tight end Brent Celek (2 rec., 36 yards) and running back LeSean McCoy (78 yards total offense) in check.
"They played some good coverage," Vick said. "They played some zone, did some good things on the back end and took away our deep threat. I give a lot of credit to them. They played a great game and they beat us."
The Eagles, despite their turnovers, are 2-1 and will play for a share of first place in the division next Sunday against the Giants in a prime-time affair.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider