Philadelphia Eagles News

Scoreboard Watching? Eagles Are Focused On What They Control

It's something that wide receiver Golden Tate does every week when he's on the bench and the defense is on the field. Tate will glance up and look at the scoreboard and, yes, he will look at scores from around the NFL. It's not a big deal. It's just part of Tate's gameday routine.

This Sunday, of course, the "scoreboard watching" takes on a new meaning. To reach the 2018 postseason, the Eagles need to A) Beat Washington and B) Have Chicago defeat Minnesota. Simple as that. Difficult as that. The Eagles don't control their playoff fate.

Both games kick off at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, so it's going to be kind of impossible to avoid knowing what is happening in Minneapolis.

"It's not going to impact me, but I'm going to know what's happening in that game," Tate said. "I always look up at the scoreboard. Our focus is to win our game. We can't control the other stuff, but I will know what's happening in that Bears-Vikings game."

Players who talked about Sunday's scenarios during the Wednesday open-to-the-media locker room time said pretty much the same thing: The focus is on defeating Washington because, without that, the Eagles' playoff chances are cooked no matter what happens with the Chicago-Minnesota game.

"The biggest thing is, we have to win," Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. "If we don't take care of business, then it doesn't matter who wins what game. If we don't take care of business, then we'll still be talking about this next week cleaning out our lockers, so we need to take care of business on Sunday."

The Eagles are 3-2 in the NFC East with a 28-13 win over Washington on December 3 as part of that winning record. Sweeping the Redskins is the priority for the Eagles. Chicago at Minnesota is what the Eagles can't control.

"I think the focus is just win. Control what we can control," linebacker Nigel Bradham said. "I think that'll take care of itself. You can't really go into a game worried about something else that you have no control over. I think we just have to focus on us. I'm not going to be worried about it so much. I gotta focus on my game."

Said defensive end Brandon Graham: "That would be a tragedy if you go out there worrying about another team and then you don't take care of what you're supposed to. We just can't get all caught up in it. Let everything take care of itself, but we have to take care of business on Sunday. What we're trying to do is just focus on winning this game.

"Obviously, they're going to put it up (the score). We're going to see it, but at the end of the day, we're trying not to get distracted off what's our goal because we gotta win in order to give ourselves a chance. We've just been trying to worry about that, but we understand that you're going to take glimpses and we're going to be real with ourselves. But the emotions of the game are not going to be back and forth because of the score."

Cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc, a former Bear, has been in touch with some of his friends on the Bears this week and, while there isn't a whole lot of direct talk about the game against Minnesota, LeBlanc thinks Chicago will play to win. At least, those who are playing will play to win.

"Those guys are just excited to be in the playoffs," LeBlanc said. "And they're like, we need to go out here and get this W because that's Coach (Matt) Nagy's IMO, to win. He wants to win. He loves winning football games. That's that."

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