Eagles Embrace Underdog Role Once Again
LOS ANGELES – The Philadelphia Eagles were counted out by nearly everyone in the country, except the 53 players in their locker room Sunday Night. They took the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as 13 point underdogs and left with a big 30-23 win over the Rams.
“It wasn’t lost on us how big of an underdog we were,” Tight End Zach Ertz stated. “We were 13 point underdogs on Sunday Night Football, but we came out here and battled.”
“It felt fun with our backs against the wall and underdogs,” Running Back Wendell Smallwood said after the win. “Nobody but us in the locker room believed in us and we said let’s go out here and let’s beat the best. They say this team is the best. We can beat anybody in this league and we came out and played tonight.”
This win kept their playoff hopes alive. They no longer control their own destiny, so they will need to keep winning and get some help along the way. The defending Super Bowl Champs can still hope for a ticket to the postseason. That hope will fuel their fire leading up to next week’s game against the Houston Texans.
“At the end of the day we had to win this game to stay alive,” Defensive End Chris Long explained. “It makes things a lot easier for us going forward. We will have to continue to play these one week seasons and have to empty the tank to go play the Texans. At the end of the day, hopefully people see we can still play and are a damn good football team. Mathematically, it was a big win for us.
“Coach put a goal out there for us to go get and that is the six seed,” Defensive End Brandon Graham smiled. “We had to go out and win these next three. It’s the situation we are in and we embraced it.”
The body language coming from this team as it exited the locker room following the victory was different than it had been earlier this season. There was the beginning of a bit of a swagger returning to this group of players. They hope to build that confidence and swagger when they return to Lincoln Financial Field this weekend.
“The locker room was great,” Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox smiled. “To get a win on the road against a really good football team, that says a lot about the character and leadership of this team. It gives us that drive to realize we still have a chance at this thing. To get a win like this was big for this organization.”
“We’re staying alive,” Offensive Tackle Lane Johnson stated. “There are still two very important games ahead of us. I saw Minnesota won so really we have our backs against the wall and I feel we responded pretty well.”
The Eagles are still alive for a Wild Card berth as well as the NFC East division title; however, a win by the Cowboys in the final two weeks of the regular season or a loss by the Eagles and Dallas will lock that up.