Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Playoffs Start Now’
Depending on who you talked to in the Eagles’ locker room yesterday after their loss to the Cardinals, you felt different a emotion radiating from the team.
Jordan Matthews explained how the Eagles beat themselves, while Malcolm Jenkins candidly rejected that premise. Zach Ertz discussed looking ahead, while Connor Barwin compared the Cardinals to other teams the Eagles have played (he said Arizona is better than Carolina or New England).
But most of the players repeated some variation of what Lane Johnson called “a do-or-die situation.”
“The playoffs start now and that’s the bottom line,” Ertz said. “We knew that this game was big but at the same time, we know the next two are huge.”
As much as the phrase is over-used, Philadelphia’s matchup on Saturday against Washington can be called what it is: a must-win game. If the Eagles lose, they will be eliminated from the playoff hunt regardless of Week 17’s results.
However, if Philadelphia wins, they’re guaranteed the NFC East title if they also beat New York. Even if the Eagles fall to the Giants, they will win the division if they beat Washington, Washington loses to Dallas and New York falls to Minnesota.
According to Jenkins, however, the Eagles won’t look at the playoff scenarios.
“No, just win,” the safety said. “If you win, it takes care of itself. If you start looking at scenarios, you lose sight to what is at hand. We win, it takes care of itself.”
Although Arizona was the heavy favorite, Philadelphia only made people more cynical about their playoff dreams after getting blown out last night. The Eagles’ 40-17 loss marked the first time the franchise allowed at least 40 points at home twice in the same season since 1968.
It’s also the first time the Eagles have lost at home by at least 23 points twice in the same season since 1998, according to Reuben Frank.
“The biggest thing is that we can’t let one loss beat us twice,” Matthews said. “I think sometimes short weeks are good, because we can get this bad taste out of our mouths. It would be one thing if we didn’t have any life, but we still have life out there. In a game like this, it’s not demoralizing, because we just beat ourselves. We need to get a good win this week. I am really optimistic and I know all the guys are too.”
However, Chip Kelly is just 2-8 in games during short weeks, according to Bob Vetrone. Washington also enters Week 16 riding a two-game win streak, having beaten the Bears and Bills by a combined 13 points. Before losing to Arizona, Philadelphia beat Buffalo and New England by a combined 10 points.
The Eagles are 3-4 at home this season, while Washington is 1-5 away from FedExField.
“I think everyone is a little bit frustrated after the way we played tonight,” Sam Bradford said. “Obviously, we thought that we were taking steps in the right direction. And you know, we really kept ourselves in the game up until, I don’t know, mid-way through the third, fourth quarter and then just kind of collapsed.
“But … we have to have a short memory. We have to learn from this one and get ready for Saturday because it’s coming quick and the next two games are really important.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
“The Redskins got something coming.” Mychal Kendricks on Philadelphia’s next opponent.
Turnovers killed the Eagles, and three other big takeaways from yesterday’s loss.
T-Mac’s instant observations from the Linc last night as the Eagles fell, 40-17.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Despite the loss, Sam Bradford showed he’s a winner last night, says Sam Donnellon.
So there was Bradford halfway through the first quarter Sunday night, a battle winner but possibly out of this and all remaining wars. A concussion and shoulder injury had already forced him from two games this season, and it was logical to assume from his immobility that this hit produced a recurrence of one or both.
But here’s what we’re learning about the guy Chip Kelly picked up for what now amounts to – with Nick Foles riding the pine in St. Louis – a second-round pick. He’s tough. He’s resilient. And if you give him just enough time and catch the catchable balls and don’t fumble and block legally, he may just yet deserve that franchise tag at year’s end.
Reuben Frank offers his 10 observations from the Eagles’ game.
Can’t tackle. Can’t catch. Can’t block. Can’t run. Can’t throw. Can’t do anything.
After two encouraging weeks, the Eagles were back to embarrassing themselves Sunday night.
They’ve now allowed 40 or more points in three of their last five games and lost by at least 23 points in those three games.
The Eagles got humiliated Sunday night on national TV, dropping a 40-17 decision to an Arizona Cardinals team that seemed to be just toying with the Eagles much of the game.
Chip Kelly will address the media at 1 p.m.