COSTA MESA, Calif. — Maybe the Eagles weren't as surprised about their letdown in Seattle as everyone else.
While their fans might have expected them to continue their dominant winning streak, Jason Kelce said he didn't think the team had a very good week in practice.
On Monday afternoon, after the team arrived in Southern California, Doug Pederson didn't disagree.
"I just think that the way — probably in the last couple of weeks — what you saw probably previously to the last two weeks, you didn't see the penalties. You didn't see the turnovers," Pederson said. "You didn't see some of the negative things that have been going on. And to me, that's a direct correlation to how we practice during the week. So that's what I mean by that. And we've got to get that erased this week."
While the Eagles were on the wrong side of a few questionable calls against the Seahawks, they still finished with seven penalties for 64 yards. That's too many. They also turned the ball over twice; the most important one came on the Carson Wentz fumble out of the back of the end zone. That fumble, paired with the ensuing drive from Seattle, created a 14-point swing.
The Eagles made similar mistakes against the Bears the week before but were still able to overpower a lesser opponent. On Sunday against the Seahawks, they couldn't overcome those same types of mistakes. At least they think they're correctable (see story).
"We need games where we get hit in the mouth and we have to fight and battle and scratch," Pederson said. "Yesterday's game was one of those games. You just have to understand that the preparation, there's no substitute for the preparation and the hard work. You can't substitute that. The guys have to know that, and it's my job to make sure that they understand that and how we prepare and how we coach and hold everybody accountable.
"When I start seeing the same mistakes in ballgames that you kind of see during the week, we've just got to get back to not necessarily the grind, but we've got to get back to just focusing in on all our jobs and owning that."
The Eagles will have to focus from a different time zone this week. Instead of flying back to Philly, the team flew to Southern California and will practice at Angel Stadium in Anaheim before facing the Rams in LA on Sunday. Pederson said the challenge will be to eliminate distractions.
He said they have a good setup in the team hotel in Costa Mesa. Coaches have a workspace, players have medical facilities and they even have a makeshift football field in a baseball stadium. Logistically, a lot has gone on behind the scenes to make this trip possible. The Eagles have basically moved their entire operation nearly 3,000 miles from coast to coast.
Maybe the change of scenery will be good for the Birds. They need to change something and that might start in practice.
Pederson said he doesn't like change for the sake of change.
"But I think the messaging can change," he said. "How I address the football team and sort of bring to light the fact that, listen, we're 10-2, still a good football team. Everything is in our control. And that's the beauty of this whole thing is everything is still right in front of us. We just have to embrace that, understand that, and prepare like we have and get ready for the Rams on Sunday."