Good morning, Eagles fans! Is it Sunday yet? The Eagles have their first full practice of the week today ahead of this weekend's Divisional Round clash in the Big Easy. We will stream the first 15 minutes of practice live. Players will be available to speak with the media in the locker room afterwards. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft leading off with what the Eagles remember from their most recent trip to the Superdome.
1. What Does 48-7 Mean Now?
Two numbers fans have heard over and over this week are 48 and seven. That was the infamous score from when the Eagles were blown out by the Saints on the road in Week 11 and it's a reason why the Eagles come into this game as big underdogs.
Both of these teams are different coming into this matchup, as we have noted. Neither team expects the same game. But even though the Eagles may want to put that Week 11 loss out of their minds, there are important lessons that can be taken from the game that became a springboard for the team's 6-1 run. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro writes that the Eagles remember that game vividly and expect a different effort:
"We're just a better team now. Usually, you want to play your best ball at the end of the season going into the playoffs and that's what I think we're doing right now," Douglas said. "That brought us together, like, we're going to really need all sides of the football – offense, defense, and special teams – to click if we want to be one of the best teams in the NFL."
2. Watching From The Sideline
Quarterback Nick Foles did not play in the 48-7 loss. He was the backup for that game and didn't take the reins until Carson Wentz went down with an injury following the Week 14 loss to Dallas. But from the sideline, he watched the game unfold. He offers a unique perspective on what it meant for the team.
Foles said yesterday in his press conference that the loss was a turning point for the Eagles. They could have pointed fingers and split apart at the seams but instead, they came together, worked harder, and found a way to turn their season around. The attitude and leadership that allowed for cohesiveness instead of division, Foles said, is a big part of why the Eagles are a winning team:
"It's really about trust, it's about relationships," Foles said. "Everybody wants to know the secret of a great team. And everyone wants to make it about rah-rah and X's and O's and all that stuff. But from my experience, it's the team that has the best relationships, the team that trusts each other the most are the teams that are usually successful.
"There are some anomalies out there, but the teams I've been a part of, you go into the locker room and it's a cohesive group that really cares about one another. And my philosophy always is, in the fourth quarter, when the game is on the line, when you trust the men next to you, you're going to get it done more times than not. And this team is a testament to that."
3. Eagle Eye: A Season-Saving Drive
The offense didn't have an easy game on Sunday against the NFL's best defense at Soldier Field. But when the game was on the line with just minutes left in the fourth quarter, Foles and the offense delivered with a perfect drive down the field that took time off the clock and ended with a go-ahead touchdown on fourth down.
Foles was efficient all day, getting the ball out quickly against a dynamic pass rush. But he was at his very best on the Eagles' final drive of the game. Fran Duffy breaks down what Foles was able to do in a clutch situation to help deliver a win in his Eagle Eye column:
When you get the ball out as quickly as Foles did in this game, you may get fewer big plays down the field, but you also take fewer sacks and create opportunities for your receivers to create yards after the catch. I thought it was one of the best things about how Foles played in the win.
4. Injury Report
The Eagles' injury report is getting shorter and shorter, which is great news for Sunday. Yesterday, two Eagles did not practice and six were limited. You can see the full Wednesday injury report here.