The Philadelphia Eagles have now lost three of their last four games after dropping to the Detroit Lions in overtime, and if the team cannot stop turning the ball over at an alarming rate, it will disappoint in 2012.
The Lions faced a 10-point deficit with just over five minutes remaining the game, but a touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Nate Burleson and a field goal from Jason Hanson with just seconds left sent the contest into overtime.
Four minutes into the extra period, Hanson silenced the Philadelphia crowd by kicking a 45-yard field goal to win the game.
The Eagles have now lost the turnover battle in five of their six games and coughed the ball up 17 times.
Heading into this week, the Lions had only created three turnovers, which was tied for last in the NFL. This game provided the Eagles with a chance to fix its problems with carelessness on offense, and they failed to do so.
In such a close contest, Philadelphia will certainly feel it could have won this game if not for two interceptions and a fumble from Michael Vick. The dynamic quarterback has been at the heart of the team’s problems with eight interceptions and six fumbles.
However, all the blame cannot be heaped onto Vick. While the primary responsibility lies with him, these turnovers are also a side effect of poor play from the offensive line.
Both the protection and Vick’s decision-making must improve going forward for the team to fix this problem.
With the exception of the team’s loss the Arizona Cardinals, every game the Eagles have played this season has been decided by three points or less. Philadelphia was even able to start the season at 2-0 despite committing nine turnovers in the first two games.
There is a significant amount of talent on both sides of the ball, and the team showed it could refrain from committing turnovers when it defeated the New York Giants without giving the ball away.
While that game provided a glimmer of hope, the team has proved that the game against the defending champions was an exception, and the Eagles have gone on to commit five turnovers in the last two weeks.
All the self-inflicted errors have prevented the Eagles from putting games away. As the season continues, the Eagles will lose more close games if they continue giving the ball to the other team.
If the team continues to average just under three turnovers per game, it will not make the playoffs.