PHILADELPHIA -- Late at night, in a nearly empty locker room, Malcolm Jenkins felt free to talk about his impressions of the 3-4 Philadelphia Eagles.
The veteran safety had made a remarkable interception of a Cam Newton pass earlier Sunday evening. But he had walked off the field as a member of the losing team for the fourth time this season. And he plainly didn’t like what he saw.
“I think we’re a confident team and I think we have what we need in the building to get it right,” Jenkins said after the 27-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. “But we’re not just going to show up and start winning games. There’s things that we need to correct and things that we need to get better at in order for us to be a good team.
“We have all the confidence in the world in the guys we have. You see it during the games. For whatever reason, we shoot ourselves in the foot or we give up plays here or there that we need to make. Over this bye week, we need to take a hard look at ourselves -- from a coaching staff standpoint and from a players' standpoint.
“Everybody’s got to be critical of themselves and figure out where we need to get better.”
Jenkins was especially upset that the defense allowed 204 rushing yards to Jonathan Stewart and the Panthers. That’s nearly 100 yards more than the Eagles’ average allowed per game.
“We took the ball away (with interceptions) three times,” Jenkins said. “But you can erase them, because they ran the ball for 200 yards. Those turnovers are really null and void for the most part.”
The timing of the loss -- coming right before the Eagles scattered for their bye week -- could be beneficial, Jenkins said.
“Hopefully it lights a fire under some people,” Jenkins said. “Hopefully, guys take this opportunity, this time off, to get healthy and really to evaluate themselves. We’re at the halfway point of our season and everything is in our control. We’re sitting in a decent spot, but there are things we need to get better at.”
Jenkins was asked if he felt there were players on the team who needed a fire lit under them.
“I would say so,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s on any individual. But you look at it throughout the game, there’s always a play here or a play there or a mental error. We need guys to be able to lock in for an entire game and make the plays that they’re supposed to make -- for the team. Not for themselves or whatever. The team needs guys to make these plays.
“I’m included in that. Nobody’s above that. Over the next couple weeks, guys need to take a really hard look at what they bring to the table and what they need to get better at.”