Philadelphia Eagles News

Get Up, Dust Off, And Prepare For Detroit

Monday was not a day to look back. Monday was a day to pivot toward Detroit and the kickoff on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. The hours move quickly. The preparation time is squeezed. And the ability to shake off the loss on Sunday is absolutely critical.

What happened to the Eagles in the 45-17 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday? It was an utter disaster, everyone agrees. Nothing went right. Nobody has much of an explanation. It was a snowball that rolled downhill into a mountain and the Eagles did nothing to reverse the momentum.

"It's a game you want to forget quickly," cornerback Nolan Carroll said. "From that standpoint, it's a good thing we're playing on Thursday."

Hey, we all know the situation here: The Eagles are 4-6, having lost two consecutive home games after that huge win at Dallas in overtime. They are one game behind in the NFC East, but that really isn't the story here. A 2015 season that began with extraordinarily high hopes has become this. The heat is on. There is no doubting that. You don't lose 45-17 and just brush it off.

Yet that's what the Eagles are forced to do given they lose 72 hours and 30 minutes of prep time (the difference in time between Thursday's 12:30 p.m. start and a Sunday at 1 p.m. kickofff.

"You know, we have to get ready both mentally and physically," safety Walter Thurmond said. "There's no explanation for how we played against Tampa Bay.  Missed tackles. Missed assignments. The execution wasn't there and we're all disappointed about it. We've just got to play better football.

"We have a very talented team and we all know that. We just couldn't get out of our own way on Sunday. We have to put it behind us. The fundamentals weren't there for the defense. Time to get ready for Detroit."

In another corner of the locker room on Monday linebacker Kiko Alonso answered questions. His knee is fine, he said. He's 100 percent, he insisted. There are no restrictions. No rust. Alonso said he is where he was pre knee injury, when he played in Buffalo.

The run defense, so porous against Tampa Bay, was a result of poor play and nothing else.

"There were guys in the wrong fit, missed tackles and that's about it," Alonso said.

Offensive tackle Lane Johnson knows the challenge of the quick turnaround time and understands how the shortened prep time affects the pre-game workload. He also knows that after an unsatisfactory performance like the one the Eagles had on Sunday, there has to be a renewed sense of purpose on Thursday.

"I want us to come out ready to fight," he said. "Be ready to play. This is a big game for us. We have to find a way to win. It's important to get our legs fresh and have good energy to play on the road."

Head coach Chip Kelly met the media on Monday and said he did not expect any radical changes. No player is being released based on the performance on Sunday. The X's and O's can only be tweaked so much in a short week. The Eagles may or may not have quarterback Sam Bradford back on the field after he was cleared in the concussion protocol and took part on a limited basis at practice.

It's almost kickoff, in reality. Nobody is dwelling on Sunday's loss.

"The mistakes we made have to be corrected fast because the game is nearly here," cornerback Nolan Carroll said. "You've got to get over it.  You've got to move on. I know that Calvin Johnson is going to be out there, part of a good offense Detroit has. We can't put in a whole new game plan. You have to prepare on the run. You expect them to do mostly what they did on Sunday, with a few wrinkles.

"We can't point fingers. We have a game in three days. We just have to get the mistakes corrected. Nobody is pointing fingers. We all have to take ownership of our mistakes and be a man about it and prepare for the next game."

These are tough times. This is a crossroads moment. The Eagles generated exactly zero momentum from that overtime win at Dallas, instead losing two home games to Miami and Tampa Bay. No way it could happen, right? It did. And the Eagles are 4-6 and the fan base is disappointed, understandably so.

The only answer is to beat Detroit. That is what is directly in front of the Eagles, with precious minutes to spare.

"It's time to play," Thurmond said. "We have to get our bodies right and focus our minds on the Lions and what's in front of us. That's what this league is all about. We have a big game coming up on Thursday. I think everybody is frustrated about what happened on Sunday. But it's over. We can only move on."

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