Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid's 14th season could be his last.
Monday's 28-13 loss at New Orleans left the Eagles at 3-5 at the halfway point of the season. Owner Jeffrey Lurie made it clear before the season began that Reid's job could be in jeopardy if the team does not improve upon last season's 8-8 record and at least make the playoffs.
But if Reid is worried about his future, he's not showing it. He was more concerned with finding ways to correct the many mistakes that have caused the Eagles' four-game losing streak - tying the longest in Reid's tenure - than about his job status.
"Well, listen, Jeffrey's a competitive guy," Reid said Tuesday in quotes provided by the team. "He feels like the rest of us. He likes to win football games and that's why he's in this business. That's why he owns this business. That's his expectations.
"But I just focus on the job at hand. You don't get past that. You don't start thinking about records, futures and all those things. When you're in this thing, you are in it to get yourself better. There is no time to think about those other things. That's number one. That's where I sit."
The Eagles sit tied for second place in the NFC East with Dallas and Washington. All three are 2½ games behind the New York Giants (6-3). The Giants, whom the Eagles beat earlier this season, are also among nine NFC teams with at least .500 records.
The Eagles can really help themselves over the next month. They take on the Cowboys (3-5) at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, then travel to Washington (3-5), return home to play Carolina (2-6), play at Dallas and then head to Tampa Bay (4-4).
But before they can start to think about making a run at a division title or playoff berth, Reid has to find a way to fix the slew of problems that have plagued the team since their 3-1 start.
"All and all, we have to sharpen up our game, which is obvious," Reid said. "And we have to make sure that we coach better and play better."
One of the top problems is the Eagles' offensive line, which has been decimated by injuries. Of the five linemen who started last season's finale - left tackle Jason Peters, left guard Evan Mathis, center Jason Kelce, right guard Danny Watkins, right tackle Todd Herremans - only Mathis and Herremans started against the Saints and Herremans left in the first quarter with a strained ankle tendon.
The remaining blockers allowed quarterback Michael Vick to be sacked seven times against a Saints defense that ranked last in the league entering the game.
"Having seven sacks, you can't function with seven sacks in this league," Reid said. "The offensive line has to protect and give (Vick) the opportunity to get the ball out."
There were plenty of other issues. Vick threw his ninth interception of the season, which Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson returned 99 yards for a touchdown, and tight end Brent Celek ruined another touchdown opportunity with a fumble.
"Losing four straight is tough," Vick said after the game on Monday. "That's tough on you mentally. You just have to stay strong. Only the strong survive in this game."
Defensively, the Eagles tackled as if they had spent the previous evening guzzling hurricanes on Bourbon Street.
The biggest concern, however, is if the players are still supporting and playing hard for their coach.
"I saw guys playing hard," Reid said. "This isn't over, and we're all in this thing together. Is there a sense that things aren't going well? Absolutely. These guys want to do well. They are battling to get that done and working to get that done. It's important that you continue to battle.
"You're going to run into some tough times, whether it's playing football or in life. You're going to run into some tough times. You keep battling, keep swinging. I don't see (players quitting). That isn't the problem right now. The problem is that you have to get a couple of things bouncing your way and creating things going your way. You make a couple plays here and there. Then, you can get this thing turned around."
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