NEW ORLEANS -- So much for players-only meetings.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick used the occasion of his team's three-game October nosedive to gather his teammates behind closed doors last week in an attempt to hash out their woes.
After a 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night -- the Eagles' fourth straight loss and fifth in six games to drop their record to 3-5 -- Vick just might be running out of time as a starting quarterback.
However, Eagles coach Andy Reid insisted he was sticking with Vick, who was sacked seven times, for next week's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Maybe, after looking at the way his offensive line protects the passer, Reid figures he has no choice.
"Michael Vick will be the quarterback," Reid said. "It's a team. It's all of us. There's not one particular person. We're all involved in this."
Vick said, "I don't think it's too late, even at 3-5. We've just got to get better in all phases of the game."
Against what may be the worst defense in the NFL, the Eagles figured they had a chance to get things right against the Saints, who allowed an average of 30.9 points in the first seven games.
Despite running for 221 yards on 29 carries -- a 7.6-yard average -- the Eagles repeatedly misfired in the red zone. On five trips inside the 20, the Eagles came away with two Alex Henery field goals (22 and 37 yards), an interception, a lost fumble and a fourth-down failure at the end.
"It's pretty simple," Reid said. "When you're 0-for-5 in the red zone, (give up) seven sacks and your tackling is terrible, then you're going to struggle to win football games in this league. As coaches and players, we obviously have to do a better job."
Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes -- 1 yard to Marques Colston and 6 yards to Jimmy Graham -- but the big news was that the Saints finally uncorked their missing rushing attack with 141 yards on 24 carries. After an 0-4 start, the Saints have won three of their past four games.
The killer play for the Eagles in the red zone came on their second series, when the game was scoreless. Vick's pass intended for tight end Brent Celek was too hot to handle and hit Celek in the right hand. The tipped pass wound up in cornerback Patrick Robinson's lap, and he returned it 99 yards for the game's first score.
"It was an all-out blitz by them, and I actually thought we were going to get a holding call," Vick said. "But we didn't get the holding call, and it was a tipped ball and it turned out to be a turnover in the red zone, and that's not good."
Reid thought Celek was interfered with on the play.
"I obviously thought there was some very aggressive play on that ball that was questionable, but you've got to make the plays," Reid said. "I felt like (Celek) was restricted to get the ball. That's what I saw."
Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said, "That was big play, potentially a 14-point swing. It was seven we got and seven they didn't. We work awfully hard in the red zone. I think the players are starting to get confidence in the way Spags (defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) wants to play his defense in the red zone."
The mystery was why the Eagles didn't emphasize their running game, because the Saints couldn't stop it. They had 105 yards on just 12 carries in the first quarter, and on their third series of the game, LeSean McCoy ripped off runs of 13, 25 and 34 yards in a 76-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard Henery chip shot.
The Eagles gained 447 yards and scored only 13 points. The seven sacks of Vick were the most sacks the Saints have recorded in a game in 10 years.
The Eagles turned two Saints turnovers -- a Brees fumble on a sack by Brandon Graham and a fumbled kickoff by Travaris Cadet -- into 10 points early in the third quarter to narrow a 21-3 deficit to 21-13. The touchdown came on a 77-yard connection between Vick and DeSean Jackson, who was wide open after a Vick bootleg fake.
But the Eagles had to settle for a 37-yard field goal following Cadet's fumble, in large part because of Will Smith's 11-yard sack of Vick.
"We had so many opportunities in the red zone and we just didn't capitalize, and that's tough," Vick said. "We worked on the red zone all week, and when you get down there, you've got to score points."
Brees settled down the Saints on the next series, directing a 10-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a six-yard pass to Jimmy Graham and a 28-13 lead with 1:20 left in the third quarter.
NOTES: Former Saints safety Steve Gleason, who is battling Lou Gehrig's disease, was taken from the Superdome to a local hospital in an ambulance after collapsing in a suite. He was reported to be in good condition after the game. ... Brees extended his NFL record of throwing a TD pass in consecutive games to 51 games. ... Eagles reserve defensive end Darryl Tapp missed the game to be in Philadelphia with his wife, Tiffany, for the birth of their first child. ... The Eagles lost right tackle Todd Herremans with an ankle injury in the second quarter, adding to their offensive line woes. ... Going scoreless in the first quarter, the Eagles have scored a total of seven points in the first quarter over eight games.