PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles are 9-1, while the Chicago Bears are 3-7. If you talk to the Eagles, you would think they are the ones playing a 9-1 team.
The term “trap game” is popular in the NFL. It’s a classic case of a team facing an inferior opponent in between two tougher tests. The superior team will sometimes suffer a letdown and sometimes even fall victim to an upset. It is a case of “any given Sunday” when it comes to the NFL, so players such as Defensive Tackle Tim Jernigan are hardly taking the Bears lightly as they get set to face Chicago at the Linc on Sunday.
“We know that they’re not going to come in here and lay it down for us,” said Jernigan. “They’re all football players. They get paid just like we do. They’re going to try and take us down.”
The Eagles have dealt with trap games earlier in the season. They defeated an 0-3 L.A. Chargers squad a week after a thrilling win over the Giants. The Eagles also had little trouble with a struggling San Francisco squad at the Linc. The Eagles have been impressive when faced with a challenge of a letdown and Head Coach Doug Pederson doesn’t believe the Bears will give his team any reason to look ahead.
“This is the National Football League,” Pederson said. “You’re seeing it every week. If you don’t come ready to play, you’ll get your tail beat. This is no different this week. This is a good football team we’re playing. Their record might be a different way and they have had some injuries particularly on defense now, but it’s still a good football team.”
Quarterback Carson Wentz and his teammates are taking the same approach this week against the struggling Bears as they did for their highly anticipated showdown with the Cowboys last week. For Wentz, the goal is to focus on the task at hand and not look ahead to potential playoff seedings or matchups against teams with far better records than the Bears.
“Something we’ve done so well all year is just staying in the moment,” said Wentz. “It’s staying in the moment, winning every day and winning the week. I know sometimes it sounds redundant and it sounds cliche, but it’s really what we do. It’s really the mindset we have around here.”
The Eagles still have their eyes on the ultimate goal, but they realize there is still plenty of work to do. Defensive End Brandon Graham has no issues taking the one week at a time approach without looking past any opponent.
“I’m trying to enjoy every game,” Graham said. “We’ve got six games left and that’s the only guarantee that we have. We want to play in the post-season, but we want to make sure we win out.”