The subject was the Eagles' red-zone offense, and the answer offered by Andy Reid was about as candid as the coach ever gets.
"It's a concern," Reid said Monday, a day after his team overcame some failed early trips inside the 20-yard line to register an easy 34-7 victory against the injury-ravaged Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
"That's something we address and continue to address until we get it right," he said.
The Eagles, heading into Sunday night's game against the New York Giants, rank 23d in the NFL in red-zone offense with 17 touchdowns in 36 trips.
If there's good news in those numbers, it's that the Eagles have had the most efficient offense in the NFL in scoring at least a field goal. The Eagles have put up at least three points on 33 of the 36 trips, which is more a tribute to the good season kicker David Akers is having than the proficiency of the offense.
"As you go down the stretch, you have to get touchdowns instead of field goals, and that's the bottom line," Reid said. "The key is we've got to correct it. If you shoot yourself in the foot, you're not going to come out the place you want to come out."
During the Reid era, the Eagles are 31-15 in regular-season games in December. Take away two losses in 2004, when Reid rested his starters because his team had already wrapped up the home-field advantage in the NFC, and the record is 31-13.
Reid's teams have also thrived against divisional opponents in December, compiling a 14-7 record. Since 2000, the record is 14-5 against the NFC East in the final month of the season and 14-3 during the seven seasons they have made the playoffs.
The Giants, by comparison, are 23-24 in December over the last 11 seasons, including a 1-3 mark last year, when they fell apart after losing Plaxico Burress, who literally shot himself in the foot. During the Reid era in Philadelphia, they are 12-12 in the division in the year's final month.
Dallas, of course, has been a documented December disaster since 1996, the last year the Cowboys won a playoff game. Dallas' record in December during the Reid era here is 16-30 and 9-15 within the division.
In 2006, without quarterback Donovan McNabb, the Eagles had to win three straight games on the road, against the Washington Redskins, the Giants, and the Cowboys to finish first in the NFC East.
Last season, it was a road win against the Giants and a home rout of the Cowboys on the final day of the season that vaulted them into the playoffs.
The Eagles scored touchdowns 61.5 percent of the time inside the 20-yard line during those five key divisional games, and allowed the opposition to score touchdowns just 30 percent of the time.
The Eagles, 8-4, are tied for first place with the Cowboys and hold a one-game lead over the 7-5 Giants.
If the Giants win Sunday night, they not only would be tied with the Eagles in the division, but also would hold an advantage in the second tiebreaker, divisional record, provided they win their remaining NFC East game, on the road against Washington. In that case, they would be 5-1 in the division.
With a loss to the Giants, the Eagles would be 3-2 in the division with a road game left, at Dallas.
The Cowboys' division record is 2-2, with the home game against the Eagles and a road game against Washington left. But if Dallas sweeps the season series with the Eagles, the head-to-head matchup would be the first tiebreaker between the teams.
Unlike a year ago at this time, the Eagles don't need help. They need to win, especially against the Giants and Cowboys.
Practice squad shuffled. The Eagles signed offensive lineman Gerald Cadogan to the practice squad yesterday and released Greg Isdaner, a former Episcopal Academy and West Virginia offensive lineman. Cornerback Stoney Woodson was also released from the practice squad, which could allow the Eagles to re-sign wide receiver Jordan Norwood to that squad after his release from the 53-man roster on Monday. Cadogan, 6-foot-5 and 309 pounds, was a two-year starter at Penn State and signed with Carolina as an undrafted free agent before this season. He was released by the Panthers on Aug. 31 and has spent time on the practice squads of Cincinnati and San Diego this season.