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Spadaro: Hey, forget the past 2 weeks. Eagles still control their destiny

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

Let me open with a proposition: Had anyone made you, the fans, or any member of this organization this deal way back in August – that a win or a tie in Week 18 at home against the Giants would give the Eagles the No. 1 seed in the playoffs – how quickly would you have taken it? Is there anything faster than immediately?

Thought so …

Now, don't get me wrong: These last couple of weeks have not gone according to plan. The Eagles lost in Dallas in a tough, back-and-forth, high-scoring game. Giveaways on offense and not enough stops on defense did them in against a good football team. On Sunday, the Eagles played a bad game – they all said so, they all agreed, they're all disappointed – and lost to a tougher-than-its-record New Orleans team.

Now, it's time to regroup. It's time for the team to lean on its leadership in this moment of adversity and go out and win a football game against the Giants on Sunday. That is all that matters right now. Not the past. Not the future.

Win on Sunday and the Eagles are the No. 1 seed. That's what every team craves when the season begins: The No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, a bye during Super Wild Card Weekend, and a chance to have the conference postseason come through Lincoln Financial Field.

Philadelphia has some things to fix. That much is certain and it's really the same challenge that every team faces heading into the next week. This offense never gained traction against New Orleans, so some self-examination is in order. Things will be different when Jalen Hurts returns to the lineup at quarterback, but we aren't quite sure when that will be, so the Eagles can't rely solely on that to happen and think every ill will be cured when No. 1 is back.

The defense played a terrific three quarters against the Saints, but will look inward as to the slow start it had because there is no way that Jonathan Gannon wants a repeat of a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that consumes nearly nine minutes off the clock to happen against the Giants on Sunday.

Despite two consecutive losses, the Eagles are an outstanding football team. It doesn't matter what the media "experts" are saying. Who gives a darn about the "power poll" rankings? Anyone already booking a Super Bowl trip forgets the way it works in the NFL: You do remember those four straight trips to the NFC Championship Game back in the 2000s, right?

Don't look back. Don't look ahead. Focus on what is right here, what is right in front of you, because that is what the Eagles are doing on this Monday at the NovaCare Complex. This is a challenging moment, no question about it. We learn a lot about teams in times like this. So, we're going to gain a better understanding of an Eagles team that cruised through a 13-1 start to the season and now needs a win (or a tie) to reach the goals it set out back when the season started.

You would have taken that deal when it was on the table back then, right? Well, it's still on a table, and it's there for the taking, and the mission for the Eagles is to bounce back and win against the Giants and then prepare for the playoffs. One step after the other. That's how it works in the NFL. There are no cutting corners. There is no looking ahead. It's all right here in front of the Eagles, all still attainable, and nobody gives a damn about the hot takes and the knee-jerk negativity.

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