Pederson Doesn’t Plan on Scoreboard Watching
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles could be the No. 1 seed in the NFC before Santa even thinks about sliding down the chimney if Green Bay upsets Minnesota on Saturday night.
But, that's not going to affect how Philadelphia goes about its business on Christmas night against the Oakland Raiders.
The Eagles are playing to win -- whether they have to or not.
"No," was Doug Pederson's one-word answer to the question posed by 973espn.com on whether or not the Vikings' result at Lambeau Field will have an impact on how the coach handles some of his star players against Oakland.
The mindset seems to be that the Eagles hadn't secured the top seed when preparation for the Raiders began so the game plan is in place and it's obviously designed to beat Oakland and earn the top spot.
At that point, things will be revisited in Week 17 against Dallas, the regular-season finale.
"To win the game," Pederson said when pressed on what his plan is on Monday night if not contingent on the Vikings' business.
"Play our best players and win," he continued. "I think it's important that they continue to play. If we're in that position, if we're fortunate enough to be in that position, to rest, I'll make a decision at that time. But I think it's important here in these next couple of games that we continue to play."
So, in the end, Pederson did leave the door ajar at least a bit to shift gears on the fly and it's hard to imagine a Minnesota loss would not change things at least a little bit.
However, from a Nick Foles perspective, perhaps the best-case scenario is a Vikings' win over Green Bay, which would force the Eagles to go hard against the Raiders and then ease off the gas against the Cowboys in Week 17 once the No. 1 seed is cemented.
"I'll make that decision if we're there," Pederson said. "Right now, because that's Week 17, you don't play for a couple of weeks, I think it's important to maintain the edge, maintain the aggressiveness. If it's one play, one series, one quarter, I'll make that decision at that time."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen