"I imagine it's sustainable," Reid said. "I'd like to keep winning. I'd like to keep winning by more than one or two points."
In the last five seasons, though, only two teams that have finished with winning records had a negative scoring differential. One was the 2011 Giants, whose Super Bowl run was helped by five regular-season wins of four points or fewer. Only nine NFL teams have a worse scoring differential than the Eagles this season.
But the best teams in the NFL are generally able to secure comfortable victories. Even Giants quarterback Eli Manning said last season that the Giants could not always count on the fourth-quarter comeback. For the Eagles to have sustainable success, they'll likely need to do more than count on a fourth-quarter drive by quarterback Michael Vick and a big defensive stop by Juan Castillo's group.
"It's a much easier way to play this game," Vick said. "You can come out and you could score 28 points and the defense can play well and you can be up and it can be easy, or it can be tough. And it all depends on how the flow of the game goes. But I'm just glad we were able to pull [Sunday's game] out."
In order to control the flow of the game, the Eagles must score touchdowns rather than field goals in the red zone. They have scored touchdowns on 38.5 percent of their trips to the red zone this season, a rate that is ranked just 26th of the 32 NFL teams. The sample size from last season is considerably larger, but they scored on 51.5 percent of their trips. That was ranked 14th in the NFL.
In the last two games, the Eagles have twice encountered first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. They have only three points to show for it.
There were mitigating circumstances in the goal-line failure against Arizona because it was the end of the half and the Eagles had no timeouts. So their play-calling was limited to quick passing plays. And even though that drive concluded with a sack, a fumble, and a Cardinals touchdown, the drive on Sunday might be even more frustrating from the perspective of offensive production.
Running back LeSean McCoy unleashed rushes of 34 yards and 22 yards to get the ball to the 1. In 2011, he had nine rushing touchdowns of one or two yards. Reid gave him three shots in that situation Sunday. The first two were for no gain, and he lost a yard on the third. The Eagles settled for a field goal. A touchdown in that situation would have given the Eagles a 13-3 lead and would have altered the game.
"I probably should have gotten [Bryce Brown] in there," Reid said. "Fresh legs there."
Reid later tried Brown, the Eagles' rookie backup running back, on a second and goal from the 4-yard line. Brown mustered only 2 yards, and the Eagles were forced to kick a field goal two plays later.
"We have a ton of work ahead of us, coming out of another win here where we have plenty of things to work on during the week - and we'll do that," Reid said. "I honestly don't feel like we've come close to playing our best football yet."
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The Birds beat the blitz for a change. Eagles Rewind, D2.