After his Monday press conference, head coach Andy Reid talked further to reporters about the significance of the upcoming game against the New York Giants and the team's preparation for a matchup that will go a long way in deciding the fate of the team's season. At 9-4, the Eagles lead the division with the Giants set to take on the Minnesota Vikings tonight in Detroit. Regardless of the outcome of tonight's game, the winner of next Sunday's game between the Eagles and Giants in the new Meadowlands will be in first place in the division.
"Every game's an important game and then you add the flavor of playing against an NFC East opponent, a rival right up the street, I think both teams are pretty excited to play each other," Reid said.
On one hand, if the Giants lose tonight, the Eagles could clinch a division title with a victory next Sunday. On the other hand, Giants win tonight combined with an Eagles loss next Sunday would put them in a jumbled battle for a playoff spot in the NFC. But Reid is known for his steady hand and the implications of the Eagles' 14th game of the season won't change his or his players' approach.
"I think we're at that point of the season where the routines are set and it's important that you don't change that part of it, that you don't lose your focus when the body's a little tired and all those things that go on later in the season," Reid said. "You focus and go through the process. Sometimes when you play a big game, you go, 'Man, I want to play today.' You can't do that. You have to go through every day, go through the process for every situation, study each situation, watch the tape, and then you're ready to play. If you skip any of those, that's a mistake. But I think this group will continue through that process."
Meanwhile, just as the Cowboys had rattled off three straight wins over the Eagles, the Eagles have beaten their I-95 rivals five consecutive times, including the playoffs. So Tom Coughlin and crew will be plenty motivated to make a statement next Sunday.
"They're a competitive football team, so we wouldn't expect anything less, and not from a revenge standpoint, just from a competitive standpoint," said Reid. "We've got to make sure that we're doing our thing the right way and you can't get caught up in their deal. You have enough just to make sure you're doing it the right way on your end and preparing yourself properly for a good football team."
Only 144 hours until kickoff...
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 12:53 p.m., December 13