Yes, the Eagles know that they should have won Sunday's game against the Bengals.
But nothing can be done about it now.
Another test, another challenge awaits this Sunday when the Eagles travel to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to face the 6-4 Ravens, who are led by first-year head coach and former Reid assistant John Harbaugh.
|WR Jason Avant and TE L.J. Smith
Armed with an efficient rookie quarterback in Joe Flacco, who played his college ball at nearby Delaware, and the league's third-ranked rushing attack, the Ravens are in position to make a postseason run. They currently hold the sixth playoff spot in the AFC. And, of course, their defense is still anchored by linebacker Ray Lewis. And it remains one of the best in football as it is ranked third in the entire league.
But the Eagles still have something to play for, don't they? They still hold a winning record, after all. At 5-4-1, the Eagles are only a 1/2 game out of the final playoff spot in the NFC. With five of their last six games against teams with winning records, the Eagles will have the perfect opportunity to test whether they belong in the playoff conversation.
But it all starts on Sunday with Baltimore.
"We have that back-against-the-wall mentality," wide receiver Hank Baskett said. "There's no room for error for the rest of the season. We can't look at the NFC East (games) coming up at the end. We have to look at the game next week, then the one after that."
Super Bowl champions have certainly overcome adversity in the past. Speaking of Baltimore, they started the 2000 season 5-4 before winning seven straight games to finish 12-4. The following year, the Patriots were 5-5 and they ended up with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Did you really think the Giants would win it all a year ago after a 41-17 loss to Minnesota in their 11th game of the season?
"We have a lot of football left," strong safety Quintin Mikell said. "All we have to do is keep at the grind, hopefully things will turn around."
This is the time of the year when the Eagles usually play their best football. Since 2000, the Eagles are 48-21-1 in the months of November and December. Under head coach Andy Reid after the bye week, the Eagles are 59-26-1. And it's not like the Eagles have played bad football this season. They are ranked sixth in scoring offense and eighth in scoring defense. The only thing that matters is wins and losses. And the Eagles can get a win this Sunday against the Ravens.
The Eagles know that they must play better than they did last Sunday in order to win. In fact, players will tell you that any performance this week will be better than what you saw on the field against the Bengals.
"It has to be because we don't have anywhere else to go," wide receiver Jason Avant said. "We've played our worst game. We can only go up now."