The Eagles players returned to work on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex, preparing for Monday night and the New York Giants, the first of a four-game fourth quarter of the 2019 regular season and, yes, they understand the consequences: They either win or they stay home for the postseason.
It's that simple.
"We know what time it is," offensive tackle Lane Johnson said. "We have to go out and win. We can't afford any more losses. We know what kind of team we are capable of being, but it's one thing to know it and it's another to go out and play the way we're capable of playing. We have no other choice with four games left."
"One game at a time," center Jason Kelce said. "New York, another team whose record might not indicate the fact that they've got some good players, especially up front. We've got our hands full this week and obviously we'll try to be a lot better than last week."
The working order of business in the NFL is to flush the results from the previous game 24 hours after it ends, and Kelce downplayed the idea that players haven't gotten the loss in Miami out of their systems. If you're wondering about the mood around the NovaCare Complex, it's really "on to the next game."
Looking back beyond studying the film and correcting mistakes makes no sense.
While the fan base battles its emotions – and that's why Philadelphia is such a great sports city, because it matters so much – the players and coaches have to be clinical, almost emotionless, from one week to the next.
"You try and move forward and be a better player this next week," Kelce said. "We're trying to get better at little things that you did wrong in that game."
As you know, and the players know it, the Eagles have four games remaining in the regular season, all against NFC East foes. The focus is on the Giants, first and foremost, a team that is 2-10 with eight consecutive losses with an offense that re-inserts veteran Eli Manning into the starting quarterback position with rookie Daniel Jones injured (high ankle sprain). The Giants have nothing to lose on Monday night. They will play inspired football with Manning at the helm.
The Eagles have to match that intensity. No, the Eagles have to beat that intensity.
"It's a big game for us," linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill said. "We know the stakes are high. We have to go out and win a football game."
A 5-7 team that is one game behind the Dallas Cowboys (who play at Chicago on Thursday night) in the NFC East, the Eagles have a chance. They have a pulse, as remarkable as that seems.
We'll see if a team that has been marred by inconsistency this season can put together a three-unit performance on Monday night to kick off the final quarter of the schedule.
"It sucks to lose," Johnson said. "It's a whole lot better feeling when you're winning, so that's what we've got to get back to doing."
There are no guarantees of anything with this football team, not when you've lost three straight games and are coming off a low-moment defeat in Miami. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said that loss was "100 percent" on the defense, and while the Eagles played poorly on that side of the ball – allowing points on six consecutive Miami drives (excluding an end-of-half kneeldown), including five touchdowns – every phase of the team contributed to the hard-to-swallow loss.
That loss has been flushed from the players' systems. It's all about the New York Giants and winning a Monday Night Football game in front of a national audience. Which Eagles team is going to show up for these final four games? The one that went into Green Bay and won a thriller and later swept through Buffalo and beat Chicago to reach the bye week, or the team that has lost three consecutive games to fall to 5-7?
We're going to learn a lot on Monday. Between now and then, the Eagles have to prepare well, focus in, and show urgency and energy knowing they are still in the race, and that they control their playoff fate.