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Eagles red-faced about defensive failures

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Posted Dec. 11, 2010 @ 10:36 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

The Eagles are on pace to be historically bad in terms of red-zone efficiency on defense. They have allowed 26 touchdowns in 33 red-zone trips — including 14-of-17 in the past five games — a 78.8 percent failure rate that is on pace to be one of the worst performances by any defense in any season. They are ranked dead last in the NFL in the category. The Eagles are 8-4, but they have to be concerned about their chances to go far in the playoffs if this level of deficiency keeps up. No team since 1998 has reached a conference championship game after having allowed opponents to score TDs on more than 70 percent of their red-zone possessions. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has been kicking himself for the breakdowns because it hasn't been one consistent problem in this area throughout the season. His predecessor, Jim Johnson, always had good to excellent rankings in this area, so the pressure is ramped up even higher for McDermott to match that level of success as the playoffs get closer.

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