No matter whom you ask about the Philadelphia Eagles performance last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, the response is the same. In a word, they were shaken.
In the locker room just moments after the narrow 17-16 finish, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins told Fox Sports, “This might be one of the sloppiest wins in my career. It’s still setting in that we actually won the game.”
Michael Vick admitted he felt physically good after the game but perhaps not mentally, as the quarterback told NFL.com reporter Albert Breer on the sidelines after the game. “I’ve got a headache from everything that transpired today.”
You and the rest of us, mighty number 7.
But the declarative statement on the matter came from head coach Andy Reid who summed up the error-prone game in Sunday’s press conference. “We did enough negative things where it’s tough to win a game.”
Nearly impossible some would say.
Fans who endured all 56 passing attempts, all four interceptions and all 12 penalties began hitting the bottle pretty hard. The bottle of cardiac medication. For all of the armchair quarterbacks who felt as banged up as Vick without flak-wear and for those who slid off their barstools with every turnover, take heart. Literally. Let’s view the close call in Cleveland as a sign. The dysrhythmic play of the Eagles where the team beat disjointedly around the field and against opponents may be like putting a defibrillator on an erratic heartbeat. It just needs a jump to stabilize. Something drastic to snap it into the proper rhythm. Like a near loss in a game where by all predictions the Eagles should have dominated.
If last week’s Eagles were shaken by a tight, messy game that should have been a clean win, then this week’s Eagles have been stirred to straighten out the mess.
Reid appeared dedicated to doing that when he stated as early as Sunday’s post-game media conference, “Nobody was hanging their head. Everybody was keeping it positive and working. You can build with that. You can build with that attitude. And that’s what we’ve got to do.”
From the Vick-led offense to the entire defense, which by most accounts saved the game last Sunday, the team is ready to correct the errors from penalties to turnovers and demonstrate their ability to learn from their mistakes.
“Just give us time. Stick with us. We know what we need to correct. We have the ability to correct it,” left guard Evan Mathis told Geoff Mosher in csnphilly.com.
Defensive end Trent Cole shared Mathis’ confident resolve, saying about Baltimore’s defensive strategy on philadelphiaeagles.com, “They go no-huddle because they want to wear out the defense. That’s what it is about – they want to wear down the defense and (speed up) the game. We have our way to answer to that.”