On the outside, it looks like it’s falling apart.
Brandon Graham insists that’s not the case.
Graham, the Eagles' 11th-year defensive end, said the Eagles remain strong internally, remain motivated for the last five games of the season and still want to fight for the NFC East title.
“I see no danger at all, man,” he said. “I see five games left. I see a focused team that's trying to get it right, that's really trying to really get it right, because at the end of the day, we want to prove you wrong. We want to prove all y’all wrong, because everybody wants (us) to tank the season, say it’s over, you know, the sky is falling…. But I do know that man, you will see, we’re going to fight 'til the end, and you know, I'm going to bet on us all the time.”
The Eagles are 3-7-1 with a three-game losing streak going into Lambeau Field this weekend. Only three teams - the Bengals, Jaguars and Jets - have fewer wins than they do. They haven’t beaten a team that currently has a winning record. Their next three opponents are currently 23-8.
Teams going through what the Eagles are going through can easily fracture. Name-calling, finger-pointing, players calling out other players.
Graham explained why that won’t happen here.
“Because the leaders on this team, man, we won't let (it) fall into that,” he said. “If we hear it, you know, we address it now. I mean, I feel more comfortable than ever, on addressing stuff that goes against what we're trying to do. I can't have people talking negative about what didn't happen. I don't care what didn't happen, you know what I'm saying? We’ve still got an opportunity, but it's on us and our attitude on how are we going to fix it?”
Even if the Eagles scrounge two more wins out of this season, they’d still finish with the franchise’s second-worst record in the last two decades.
The last time the Eagles won five or fewer games and it wasn’t the head coach’s first season or last season was 1977.
But the reality is they’re still only half a game out of first in the pathetic NFC East, behind the 4-7 Giants and Washington.
Graham said the Eagles have to be honest with themselves about how bad these first 11 games have gone if they’re going to salvage anything out of the season.
“We can't let stuff slide anymore, which we have, because we’re thinking, ‘It’s going to come,’” Graham said. “No, we’ve got to be real with ourselves and we’ve got to be honest with ourselves … and let people know where they’re at, and where we're trying to go (and see) if they're trying to go there.”
You know owner Jeff Lurie is going to be watching these last five games closely to see whether Doug Pederson’s team keeps fighting.
So far, that hasn’t been the problem. The effort has consistently been there.
They’re just not very good.
“If we continue to have fun and not worry about what people got to say, because right now, they ain't controlling what we do,” Graham said. “That’s the kind of mindset and approach that we've been going with this week.
“The worst happened to us already. Nobody expects us to do nothing. They expect us to fold and just say forget it. Let's wrap up 2020 and let's get ready for 2021. That's not where we’re trying to go. There’s still a lot of ball left.”