Eagles amazingly still have much of their fate in their hands

Ed Benkin
November 29, 2018 - 7:44 pm
The Eagles have wobbled through the season at 5-6 and have been close to having their season declared dead.

Ed Benkin/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Andy Reid once said "do the math" after a playoff loss. The former Eagles coach was onto something when it comes to the current edition of his former team.

The Eagles have wobbled through the season at 5-6 and have been close to having their season declared dead. A blowout in New Orleans left the Eagles at 4-6 and it took a Rasputin-like return from the grave last Sunday against the Giants to avoid a damaging defeat.  Despite being under .500 and dealing with a host of injuries, the Eagles are a game behind Washington and Dallas. The Eagles play the Redskins this Monday night and will travel to Dallas next week.  

Doug Pederson understands the Eagles could be in a much worse position but also knows his players can't look too far ahead.

"That's the thing," said Pederson. "That's how crazy this business is, and especially in our division right now. We have to just focus on Monday night and trying to get that game, and then move on to the next. Guys just have to stay focused on the task at hand and then move to the next one."

If the Eagles are able to come away victorious the next two weeks, they will suddenly be in the driver's seat in the NFC East. Wins over their division rivals would tilt the tiebreakers in their favor. However, the team has been through enough this season that no reminders are needed about a one game at a time approach. 

Quarterback Carson Wentz says the Eagles are only focused on Monday night's game and not any potential changes in the standings.

"We're excited about the road ahead of us here to finish out the season," Wentz said. "We know we've got a tough stretch, but we're really focused this week and hopefully, we can build from here."

Many NFC East opponents are smelling blood in the water when it comes to the Redskins. The loss of Quarterback Alex Smith to a broken leg has forced Washington to turn to backup Colt McCoy. McCoy struggled in his first start as he threw three interceptions in a loss to the Cowboys. However, Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox says he and his teammates will not take McCoy lightly on Monday night.

"He's no slouch," said Cox. "He's played a lot of football games. He's been in that system for a while. I think the biggest thing for us is we've just got to be us. We've just got to go out and do what we do best with guys flying around. I think we'll be fine."

If the Eagles are able to win their final three division games, they may still win the NFC East even if they lose to the Rams and Texans. A pair of wins over Washington and one over Dallas and one more loss by their division foes would give the Eagles the division crown. The first of two games with Washington will be in front of a raucous crowd at the Linc. 

Tight End Zach Ertz knows there won't be any extra motivation needed for the players or the fans.

"The NFC East is what it is right now," Ertz said. "There are three teams that are really close, so each and every game is going to be extremely important from here on out and the divisional games are going to be even more important. If you need a reason to get up for the Redskins, you probably shouldn't be in this locker room."