Eagles' Issues Similar to Vikings' Problems

The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings will face each other Sunday at the Metrodome. Good thing they are wearing different colored uniforms because these two teams are having similar struggles.

If you take out their 56-point Week 3 explosion against the Detroit Lions, the Eagles have scored just 60 points in five games. But coach Andy Reid said Monday that he is not considering taking back the play-calling duties he handed over to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg last year.

"Marty's doing a good job," Reid said. "We're moving the football. That's not the problem. We just have to do a better job once we get inside the 20.

"I'm not pointing any fingers at Marty on this. Marty's doing OK there."

The Eagles actually are ninth in the league in total offense. But they're 30th in red-zone production, converting just six of 20 trips inside the 20 into touchdowns. Take out the Lions game and they're an abysmal 2-for-15.

"It's important that we maintain a positive attitude and work a little bit harder," Reid said after his team fell to 2-4 following a 19-16 loss to Chicago.

"We get down there (inside the 20) easily and then all of a sudden you get a couple of plays here, you get a miss here and then all of a sudden, you find yourself in third-and-5 or third-and-6," QB Donovan McNabb said. "And if you don't get it, then you kick another field goal. It feels somewhat like you hit a brick wall. It's a mistake at the wrong time and a miscue here that we have to eliminate."

The absence of injured TE L.J. Smith has been a big problem for the Eagles in the red zone. Smith, who has played in just three of six games, and hasn't been anywhere close to 100 percent in those three, has just five receptions for 34 yards. Last year through six games, Eagles tight ends had 30 receptions for 474 yards and two touchdowns. This year — 17-144-1.

Reid usually gives his players Monday off, win or lose. But he made them come in this Monday.

"I wanted them to look at the film (of the Bears game) and evaluate their mistakes," he said. "And then I want them to get it out of their minds fast and move on."

The Eagles will face the Minnesota Vikings on the road this week. The Vikings are coached by Reid's former offensive coordinator, Brad Childress.

NOTES

  • RT Jon Runyan was sore Monday after playing Sunday with a bruised tailbone caused by a trainers room fall. But he is expected to play this week against the Vikings.

  • WLB Takeo Spikes suffered a shoulder sprain in Sunday's loss to the Bears, but he is expected to play this week against Minnesota.

  • FS Brian Dawkins, who has missed the last four games with a neck stinger, might return to action this week. However, a decision won't be made until later in the week.

  • TE L.J. Smith missed his third game with a groin injury that has hobbled him since training camp. The chances of him being anywhere close to 100 percent this season would appear to be slim.

  • RB Brian Westbrook hasn't lost a fumble in 413 touches. He's lost just two fumbles in the last three seasons.


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