Resurgent Eagles are top six in offense, defense

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Three close wins suggest the Philadelphia Eagles could be 0-4 instead of 1-3. The statistics, though, say they should be dominating opponents instead of barely squeaking past them.

At the quarter point of the of the NFL season, the NFC East-leading Eagles are the only team with both their offense and defense ranked in the top six. They're fifth in offense, averaging 417.8 yards per game. The defense is sixth, allowing 298.3 yards per game.

Only one other team is ranked in the top 10 in both categories. The Detroit Lions are sixth in offense and 10th in defense. But they're just 1-3.

"We have the potential to be a great team, a great team," two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole said Wednesday. "We can take this thing all the way to the Super Bowl. We just have to take each game one by one and win games."

Despite the offense's ability to pile up yards and the defense limiting opponents, the Eagles needed fourth-quarter comebacks for all of their wins. They squeezed out a pair of 1-point victories when Michael Vick led them to final-drive touchdowns, and secured a 2-point win when New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a 54-yard field goal attempt in the waning seconds.

"We'll continue to fight to the end, stay in the game however we can and find a way to win," Vick said. "That's what good football teams do. You have to find a way to win regardless of what happens during the course of the game."

A slew of turnovers were the reason the Eagles struggled to win their first two games against Cleveland and Baltimore. They had nine giveaways in the first two games and 12 through Week 3.

Vick was responsible for nine of those on six interceptions and three fumbles. But he didn't have any in the 19-17 win over the Giants last Sunday and now hasn't thrown a pick in two straight games.

"I've always felt I could play that way," Vick said. "Sometimes you can be in situations where you try to force things and make things happen. Sometimes that can be kryptonite for a quarterback when you know you can get it done and you try so hard you don't let it come naturally and sometimes it can hurt you. You get into a groove, you learn to play within a system and you try to do that over and over again."

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