Eagles unbeaten amid alarming turnover issue

BY foxsports • September 17, 2012

If the Eagles can just protect the ball, there's no telling what their offense will do.

Michael Vick has six interceptions in two games, LeSean McCoy has lost two fumbles and the offense has nine turnovers overall. But somehow, the Eagles are 2-0 following two comeback wins in the final minute.

They won't continue to have success if they keep giving up the ball at such an alarming rate.

''You can't have turnovers. You can't have turnovers,'' coach Andy Reid stressed on Monday. ''We'll continue to work and get better at the things we need to get better at and attack those issues.''

Because of the turnovers, the Eagles only have 41 points to show for a whopping total of 942 yards in two games. Three of the giveaways in Sunday's 24-23 win over Baltimore occurred in the red zone.

Vick had four picks in Week 1 at Cleveland, but threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Clay Harbor with 1:23 left to win it. He started strong against the Ravens, quickly moving the Eagles down the field and leading a no-huddle offense.

Then came the first mistake.

From the Ravens 12, Vick was forced out of the pocket and then made an errant pass back across the field while he was running toward the sideline. It was intercepted by Bernard Pollard.

''I think he'd be the first to tell you just get up and get out of bounds and now you're at the 7-yard line right in there,'' Reid said. ''You live to play the next play.''

Vick finished with 371 yards passing against the Ravens, and he ran in from the 1 with 1:55 left for the game-winning score. But his carelessness with the ball has become a major problem.

Vick had pinpoint accuracy and outstanding precision when he began his remarkable comeback in earnest back in 2010. He had 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first seven games that season, and ended up being the NFC's starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl. In the 21 games he's played since those first seven, Vick has thrown 27 picks.

''Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach as far as how many times we turned the ball over in two games,'' Vick said. ''We just have to do a better job at holding on to the football. I have to do a better job with my decision-making and everything will work itself out. I believe in my guys outside. I believe in the guys in front of me. I've said that before and I'll say it again.

''That's what I truly believe.''

McCoy's troubles are new. The All-Pro running back entered the season with one lost fumble in 565 touches across 28 games dating back to Oct. 10, 2010. He lost one against the Browns and then another against the Ravens on just his 32nd touch of the season.

''If you told me that I would have two fumbles in two games I wouldn't believe it,'' McCoy said. ''So it's something that we have to work on. Fumbles, I think, kind of come when you're not expecting to get hit. So having that thing in your head, like `OK, stay conscious of it.'''

With Vick, McCoy, wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin and tight end Brent Celek, the Eagles have a dynamic offense. They amassed 486 total yards against Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Co. But the outcome came down to the end because the Eagles had nothing to show for three trips inside the Ravens' 20.

''We're an explosive team and we're a good team,'' McCoy said. ''It's just that you have to minus the turnovers. I think we're a disciplined team, but we're not displaying it right now. If we want to be a great team, that's the only thing we have to change. I think that's the difference between a great team and a good team.''

The Eagles have to fix their problems quickly because they have a tough matchup at Arizona (2-0) next Sunday.


NOTES: Center Jason Kelce will miss at least four, and perhaps six, weeks because he tore his right medial collateral ligament. Kelce also sustained a partial tear of his anterior cruciate ligament. A test on Tuesday will determine whether Kelce needs ACL reconstruction surgery. If so, he will miss the rest of the season. ... Among the other injuries for the Eagles, left tackle King Dunlap has a hamstring strain and Maclin aggravated a hip pointer. ... Arizona defeated Philadelphia, 21-17, last season at Lincoln Financial Field.


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