Just when it looked as if Michael Vick were getting the hang of the blitz, it's giving him problems again.
The Eagles quarterback completed just four of 12 passes against the blitz Monday night in Philadelphia's 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints. His lone interception and three of his seven sacks also came on blitzes.
The week before, in the Eagles' 30-17 loss to Atlanta, he was just 6-for-15 for 69 yards and was sacked twice when the Falcons sent extra rushers after him.
This came on the heels of a three-game stretch (against the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions) in which Vick had a 129.1 passer rating against the blitz.
It hasn't helped that Vick is playing behind a patchwork offensive line that has lost its three best players: left tackle Jason Peters (ruptured Achilles tendon), center Jason Kelce (torn ACL) and right tackle Todd Herremans (dislocated foot).
"I don't think there's one thing you can point to," left guard Evan Mathis said. "Sometimes you see stuff you weren't prepared for. Sometimes they bring a blitz and we lose a one-on-one matchup somewhere and that's the reason for the failure.
"Sometimes there's an unblocked guy and you have to look at it schematically and see was there a 'hot' throw Mike should've made. Should Mike have gotten the ball out quicker? Should we have redirected the protection to pick up that certain blitz? That's what we work on every day."
Vick already has been sacked 27 times this season. Last year, when the Eagles' line managed to stay remarkably healthy, he was sacked 23 times all season.
The 32-year-old quarterback, who has turned the ball over 14 times in eight games, insists he hasn't lost confidence in his offensive line.
"I just have to believe in the guys in front of me," he said. "Do whatever it takes to get the ball out. Slide. Move. Break contain. Continue to maintain trust in them. That's part of my job as a quarterback."
The Eagles are 26th in the league in pass plays of 20 yards or more. They've only got 23. Last year, they had 64.
"We've got to find a way to come up with some big plays," Vick said. "I think our coaches will do that, but we've got to do it out on the field. We've got to be able to block up front. If we can do that, that'll give Jeremy (Maclin) and DeSean (Jackson) time to make some moves downfield and get open."
Jackson, who once was considered one of the league's top big-play threats, scored just his second touchdown of the season Monday night. Maclin has just two games with more than 40 receiving yards this season.
The Eagles, who have lost four games in a row, take a 3-5 record into Sunday's game against the Cowboys. Dallas is also 3-5.
"We've got to find a way to win this football game," Vick said. "We miss that feeling of winning. It's been a long time since we had one."