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The 2011 Eagles are on pace to finish just nine total yards short of the 2000 Rams’ NFL record for most total yards gained in a season. The offense is that prolific, which is precisely why turnovers are so detrimental to the team.
The Eagles have had a slew of brutal turnovers so far this year, as they currently rank dead last in the NFL with 17 giveaways—an overwhelming five more than any other team in the league. Michael Vick has thrown eight interceptions—certainly not great production, especially from a guy who threw six all of last year—but the real problem has been costly fumbles.
In the loss to the Buffalo Bills, wide receiver Jason Avant had a huge reception on a 3rd-and-10 with the Eagles buried at their own end zone, and he promptly coughed the ball up to the Bills. Later in the game, Avant failed to secure a fourth-down pass, and the ball was intercepted by safety George Wilson, icing the game. This has been a common theme of the Eagles for the duration of the season.
In the four-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2, Michael Vick fumbled three times, losing two of them. The following week, Vick and backup quarterback Mike Kafka combined to throw three interceptions in a loss to the New York Giants. Against the San Francisco 49ers the next week, Jeremy Maclin lost a fumble in the closing minutes of a one-point loss, although it was Ronnie Brown’s goal-line fumble that was probably even more costly. And in the Bills game, Vick threw four interceptions in addition to Avant’s fumble.
The Eagles have a group of playmakers that rivals any team in the league—maybe league history. They just have to cut down on the turnovers or it will cost them their season.