LAS VEGAS — As he broke down the Eagles in the locker room following their demoralizing loss to the Raiders, defensive captain Rodney McLeod challenged his teammates with a simple question.
“Are you committed to making this run?”
McLeod, 31, is one of the unquestioned leaders of this Eagles team and after the 33-22 loss, he felt like he needed to speak up.
“Time’s running out. Time’s running out,” McLeod said. “We’re at a point in the season where we’re 2-5. Of course we didn’t want to be in this position but, honestly, time is running out. And we have to make a stand and we have to make a push. So I just felt like it was that time. It was just in my heart to say that. I know we’re going to come back and respond the way we should.”
The Eagles are in a hole with this 2-5 start. They’re in the basement of the NFC East along with the Giants and everyone is staring up at the Cowboys, who at 5-1 appear to be serious contenders in the NFC.
No one has mistaken the Eagles for contenders this season.
“I feel like we all are showing a lot of effort on the field, we’re practicing well but on Sundays we’re coming up short,” McLeod said. “It was simply put, how do we get better individually and that’s going to carryover and help us collectively to win games.”
In the history of the NFL, 294 teams have started with a 2-5 record. Just nine (3.1%) have made the playoffs.
It’s still just October and the schedule gets easier for the Birds in the second half of the season. While there are no guaranteed wins — not for this team, anyway — they will face the winless Lions next week. They also have games coming up against the Giants, Jets and Washington Football Team.
All winnable. But they can’t worry about their opponents. They just have to get better. Because if the Eagles keep playing the way they did on Sunday, it won’t matter what team is on the other sideline.
“We gotta figure it out fast,” McLeod said. “Can’t keep coming back in here after the game and feeling the way that we have and being satisfied with just having great effort. It has to translate over to wins.”
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