At 7-4, the Eagles are currently one game clear in the hunt for one of two NFC wild card berths, and they're only one game behind the NFC-East-leading Dallas Cowboys. But if you ask cornerback Sheldon Brown, the playoffs have already begun.
"We decided a couple weeks ago that it's playoffs for us from here on out," Brown said after the Eagles' 27-24 win over the Washington Redskins. "So no matter how you can get it, it's imperative that we win. The guys didn't quit. Even though we tried to do everything in our wildest dreams to give the game away, we fought and won.
"After turning it into a playoff run, we're 2-0. It's not pretty, but we're finding a way to win. We still have some foolish penalties, but I think we're good and we've got to continue to get better."
Brown, one of the undisputed leaders of the defense, continues to influence his teammates with his play on the field. Brown is playing through a hamstring strain, but when asked how much pain he felt during the game, he wouldn't acknowledge feeling any.
"What pain?," he said. "It's all mental.
"We don't need rah-rah guys here, we need guys that make plays."
And even though the Eagles didn't make every play on defense Sunday - the Redskins converted eight of their first 12 third-down attempts and allowed the Redskins' second-highest point total of the season - they made the crucial stops when it mattered.
After Donovan McNabb was intercepted early in the fourth quarter, allowing the Redskins to start their drive from the Eagles' 23-yard-line, the Eagles' defense was able to put together a stop that led to a Redskins' field goal, keeping the Eagles within one score.
Then, after the Eagles tied the game on the ensuing possession, the Eagles' defense forced a punt that eventually led to the game-winning David Akers' field goal.
Finally, after the Eagles had taken the lead, Jason Campbell and the Redskins went four-and-out in their final attempt to tie the game. Three fourth quarter possessions for the Redskins and three shut-downs by the Eagles' defense.
"It's huge," Brown said. "That's what we want to work on as a defense when we're talking about championship football and playoff football. You have to fight through that adverse situation. When something like (the McNabb interception) happens in the game, it's up to us to go out there and put our foot down and give out offense the confidence back.
"I think it helps us in the long run. When you get into the postseason and you have those tough games that you need to pull out, it gives the young guys confidence that they can do it."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 5:00 p.m., November 30