Eagles go from unstoppable to horrible in a week Print
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Monday, 01 October 2007 12:16
NFL Headline News

 PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Philadelphia Eagles followed a record-setting performance with an abysmal one they have to dwell on for two weeks.
Donovan McNabb and his offensive mates were unstoppable in a 56-21 victory over Detroit last week, scoring touchdowns on the first five possessions and setting a franchise-record with 42 points in the opening half.
For as spectacular as they were against the Lions, they were that dreadful in a 16-3 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday night. The numbers were flat-out ugly: 12 sacks, 15 penalties and 190 total yards.
McNabb had no time to throw and couldn't run anywhere in just his fourth game back from a torn knee ligament. He went down five times in the first half and seven in the second, tying an NFL-record for most sacks allowed in one game.
The loss left the defending NFC East champions in last place at 1-3, three games behind Dallas. It's the sixth time in nine years under coach Andy Reid the Eagles limped into a bye with a loss.
``There were some good things. There were more bad things than good things,'' Reid said Monday. ``I thought I did a poor job getting our offensive football team ready to play.''
On the bright side for Philly, it can use the excuse that four key starters were missing. Halfback Brian Westbrook, All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins, Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard and left tackle William Thomas sat out with injuries.
The absence of the underrated Thomas hurt the most. Second-year pro Winston Justice was manhandled by Osi Umenyiora in his first start. Umenyiora tied a team-record with six sacks.
Reid inexplicably didn't give Justice much help, leaving him alone most of the time instead of using a tight end or fullback to double-team Umenyiora. Even some of the Giants players were shocked by that move.
``We tried a couple different things,'' Reid said. ``We tried chipping him with a back. Then we also worked protection toward him, our slide protection toward him. Like I said, he (Umenyiora) got four of them off of Winston. But then he got the other two off of other people. They moved him around. You saw where they moved him inside into both A-gaps. They took both defensive ends and moved them into the A-gaps.''
At least Justice's mistakes were physical ones. There's no justification for committing 15 penalties, or 17 if you count two that were declined.
``We've got to make sure we take care of that, and those are discipline penalties,'' Reid said. ``That's facemask, offsides, illegal procedures, and so on. You've got to take care of those and be more disciplined. Concentration, when you're in a loud place, you've got to keep your eyes and ears open. From a defensive standpoint, you've got to make sure you take the right angles and also watch the football.''
Like he usually does during a bye, Reid gave the players the rest of the week off. They'll return next Monday looking to turn around a season that began with Super Bowl aspirations.
Up next on the schedule is a return to Giants Stadium for a game against the New York Jets on Oct. 14.
``This week, we'll go ahead and we will self-scout ourselves as coaches,'' Reid said. ``We'll go through every possible detail that there is. We're sitting here 1-3 at the bye. We're going to figure it out and get ourselves right for when we return.''
 

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