The Eagles returned to the NovaCare Complex on Monday to prepare for the Indianapolis Colts and the second half of the 2010 season. But the players haven't forgotten what took place two Sundays ago in Tennessee. That was a football game the Eagles felt they should have won, and after sitting on that loss for more than a week, they're ready to get back to work.
"It was real tough to shake off, especially when you're going into a bye and you have to sit there all week with that taste still in your mouth," said guard Todd Herremans. "That was a tough one to be a part of because we felt like we did a lot of things really well, but just let it slip out of our hands at the end.
"Usually if you lose a game like that you feel like, 'Yeah, we got beat,' but it just didn't feel like that afterwards. I was having a hard time grasping it, but I knew what the scoreboard said after the game."
Sometimes it takes a loss to prove a point. The Eagles have struggled at times this season when holding the lead in the fourth quarter, but managed to escape with victories before last Sunday. Against Detroit in Week 2, the Eagles gave up 15 points to the Lions in the fourth quarter and just held on to win by three. A similar story took place in San Francisco just three weeks later, when the Eagles squandered 14 fourth quarter points to the 49ers but managed to secure a three-point win.
In both games, the Eagles held on to win despite a sloppy performance late in the game. The same cannot be said, however, about the Eagles' last game in Tennessee. Once again, the Eagles held a sizable nine-point lead in the fourth quarte, but the Titans scored 27 unanswered points in the last frame, a letdown that the Eagles finally were unable to overcome.
Herremans insists that the fourth quarter struggles that haunted the Eagles in the first half of the season, and eventually cost them a game, are a thing of the past.
"Everybody re-adjusted themselves and re-focused going into the bye week," Herremans said. "Everyone realizes that we should have won that game. We're just going to make sure that doesn't happen again."
The bye week couldn't have come at a better time for running back LeSean McCoy, who was able to finally give the cracked rib a chance to heal. And like Herremans, he, too, is focused on closing teams out when they get the chance.
"I think everybody, after this bye week, is hoping in the second half of the season that we finish strong," McCoy said. "Every game counts, every game counts. I think in the beginning of the season we got to see the type of team we have. Everybody sees the talent up and down this locker room. It's just the fact of going out and using it and then finishing teams."
After a week off, the Eagles will finally get back on the field Sunday against Indianapolis at Lincoln Financial Field. And with Peyton Manning quarterbacking the opposing offense, it's more important than ever to buckle down and close that game out if the Eagles get the chance.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 2:00 p.m., November 2