|Season escaping Eagles' grasp very quickly|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 22 October 2007 11:31|
Had the practice facility been a football field, the Eagles would have stopped a few feet shy of actually entering the auditorium and stood around.
Philadelphia has been moderately successful at moving ball between the 20-yard lines. But once the Eagles get the ball inside the red zone, they fall into a funk and their disjointed offense fails to get a touchdown.
The red zone may as well be a red light for the Eagles: 20 possessions have yielded only six touchdowns and 10 field goals. The Eagles (2-4) failed on their first three attempts against Chicago before Donovan McNabb connected with Matt Schobel for a TD late in their 19-16 loss, and they were 0-for-4 a week earlier against the Jets.
Toss out a 4-for-5 effort against Detroit, and the Eagles have two touchdowns in 15 trips inside the 20. No wonder their season is slipping away with each blown chance to score six.
``There's always the chance that you're trying a little too hard,'' coach Andy Reid said on Monday. ``At the same time, you've got to bank on the way we've done things in the past down there. We've been very good in the red zone. Sometimes these things go in cycles.
``We're not the only team that's been in this situation and turned things around and had a successful season. When things seem a little bit down, you find out who loves to play the game and who's willing to step up and rise to the occasion. I think I've got those kind of guys on this football team and we will get better.''
The most pressing concern for the banged-up Falcons is the status of quarterback Byron Leftwich, who went down with what appeared to be a high right ankle sprain in his first start for the Falcons. He underwent an MRI on Monday, but coach Bobby Petrino wasn't sure how long Leftwich might be out.
``I'm hoping Byron's on a timetable that he's back at some point,'' Petrino said.
Leftwich played well, completing 15 of 23 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. He also led a pair of scoring drives that ended with field goals by Morten Andersen, giving the Falcons a 13-7 halftime lead.
The Falcons also lost starting left tackle Renardo Foster to a knee injury late in their 22-16 loss to New Orleans on Sunday.
``Neither one looked good on film,'' said Petrino, who sounded more pessimistic about Foster's chances of playing again in 2007.
The Falcons have played the last two games without either of their No. 1 tackles. Todd Weiner underwent arthroscopic surgery that will keep him out as long as six weeks.
``If Renardo is out for the year, we'll have to bring somebody else in,'' Petrino said. ``Hopefully we'll get Weiner back at some point.''
Fullback Ahmard Hall had surgery on a broken left arm Monday and could miss four weeks.
Hall broke his arm on Houston's first onside kick attempt in Sunday's 38-36 win by the Titans. Hall had gone in for Donnie Nickey, who had hurt an ankle. Coach Jeff Fisher said they had worried Hall's injury might be season-ending.
``It is not, which is good news. The doctor was very pleased with the results. We may have him available to play once again for us after about four weeks,'' Fisher said.
The coach said he also expects Vince Young to practice Wednesday. Young sat out Sunday's game because of a strained right quadriceps but was dressed and active if needed. Young still is receiving treatment for his right thigh.
Fisher said it was an easy decision not to risk further injury. But he now expects Young to have healed enough so that he can play Sunday when the Titans (4-2) host the Oakland Raiders (2-4.)
``We're going to be wise about it, and we'll get him back on the practice field and work him into it. I think two weeks will be sufficient from a healing standpoint to where he won't reinjure it,'' Fisher said.