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What They Should Be Thinking Today: Philadelphia Eagles

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23:  Head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles stand on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Eagles 27-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 24, 2012

In an attempt to get inside the heads of NFC East teams, we occasionally take a step back by looking at what each squad should be thinking at any given point. After an embarrassing performance in Arizona, here's what should be going through the Philadelphia Eagles' heads.

 

Michael Vick Is Our Starting Quarterback

Vick isn't the problem. He hasn't been good and his choices have left us shaking our heads, but we always knew Vick struggled with his decision-making. We made him the starter with that in mind. 

So when you consider the lack of offensive balance (five running plays in the first half?) and the major pass protection issues (Vick was hit at least 20 times against the Cardinals), it's hard to blame him for what's taking place. 

We're still 2-1 and there's a lot of time for Dallas Reynolds and Demetress Bell to adjust to their new starting spots. Plus, King Dunlap will be back at some point, too. That won't necessarily solve our problems, but neither will rushing a rookie quarterback under center. 

This doesn't mean Vick is immune to getting benched, but it's far too early to consider a change right now. Let's give Nick Foles some more time to adjust in practice and see if Vick and the offense can get back on track without dramatic personnel changes.

We can help them an awful lot by establishing a strong commitment to running the football.

 

The Rest of the Division Has Caught up to Us

Literally. We had a one-game lead on the Giants and Cowboys, which is now gone. And we now have to take on red-hot New York, who is much more rested than we are. Remember how well we played when we were desperate late last season? That mentality has to kick in right now, because the NFC East is going to be a brawl all year. 

 

We Can't Let the Defense Fall Back into Old Habits

According to Pro Football Focus, we missed only three tackles in Week 1, missed six in Week 2 and missed nine in Week 3. That puts us on pace to miss 12 in Week 4, but even nine is too many.

We're still very excited about our new-look linebacking corps, but rookie Mychal Kendricks had his worst game yet Sunday and seven of our nine missed tackles came from the defensive line or the secondary. 

That's not a good sign, especially against a tepid offense like Arizona's. 

We missed seven tackles per game last season, which was problematic. That number has to be around five for us to be successful on defense. Right now, it's at six, but it's trending in the wrong direction. It's something we'll be working on in practice and stressing in meetings as we prepare for the Giants.

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