The Eagles are two games behind the Falcons for the final NFC wild card spot and more than twice as far behind the Cowboys in the NFC East.
This wouldn’t be such a big deal if there weren’t so many teams crammed into contention. The Redskins, Vikings, Packers, Cardinals and Saints are all within two games as well.
With the Eagles coming off their worst performance of the season on both sides of the ball in an ugly loss in Cincinnati last week, many might surmise that the Birds are simply playing to give Carson Wentz, Wendell Smallwood and some other young players reps.
Not Doug Pederson, who sees that statistically the 5-7 Eagles are very much alive.
“This is not the time to pull off, obviously. We’ve got to continue,” Pederson said. “Like you said, we’re still in the [playoff] conversation. Even though it’s down there, we’re still in the conversation. Four games is a lot of football. It’s a quarter of your season, and by no means do we want to ease up now. This is not the time. This is actually the time to push forward and still be aggressive and do the things that we did earlier in the season and try to get back to that level of play. That’s the beauty of having an opportunity.”
Philadelphia will host all three NFC East foes over the next four weeks, and three wins (while perhaps unlikely) can change things in a hurry.
“With three out of the next four at home becomes huge for us down the stretch in hopes of getting to where we want to be,” Pederson said.
The Redskins are in town Sunday, a 1 p.m. start on Fox before the only remaining road game in Baltimore against the Ravens commences on Dec. 18.