PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Even at 10-1, some questions remain about the Eagles outside of Philadelphia.
The Eagles have been impressive throughout the season, but some wonder if they have been truly tested enough this year. Only one team the Eagles have been (Carolina) currently has a winning record.
The Eagles can’t do anything more than play the teams in front of them on the schedule. As far as Doug Pederson is concerned, the strength of schedule should have little bearing on the strength of his team.
“I’ve heard things this week and the last couple of weeks that things have been kind of sort of easy for us,” said Pederson. “This is the National Football League, and nothing is easy.”
The Eagles will clearly be tested over the next two games. First up is a Sunday night showdown in Seattle against the 7-4 Seahawks. Next weekend, the Eagles will be in Los Angeles to battle the resurgent Rams.
If there are any questions about the Eagles success due to a weak schedule, they will likely be answered over the next two contests. Pederson is embracing the challenge.
“I think this is a great opportunity for our football team,” Pederson said. “These games coming up will definitely be a benchmark for our football team and it’s a great challenge, on the road, playoff environment against a great football team that knows how to win and they know how to win in the fourth quarter.”
On one hand, the list of vanquished opponents by the Eagles is hard to ignore. On the other hand, the Eagles’ margin of victory over their ten wins in 16.7 points. The Eagles have won their last three games each by 28 points.
Pederson knows it won’t be easy every week and Sunday’s game may help his team in the long run.
“You would love to win it by a couple scores,” said Pederson. “But you just know that that’s not going to happen each week, and especially now down the stretch with some of the opponents we’ve got coming up. I think it would be a great opportunity if our team had to — we were in a position. You’re down a touchdown or a field goal or maybe two scores, whatever it is, and you figure out a way to get it done. I think that’d be a great test for our team.”
That test on Sunday will be both against the Seahawks and a loud environment. Pederson has already said it will be a playoff atmosphere on Sunday night and knows the Seattle fans will make plenty of noise.
For players such as safety Malcolm Jenkins, the goal will be to keep the focus on the field and to not let the “12th man” become part of the equation.
“They have a real home field advantage there,” Jenkins said. “It’s one of those things where you either let it distract you, or you face it like any other adversity. I don’t think it should be a problem for us. It’s definitely significant and it’s fun to play there because the environment is so hostile and crazy, but we don’t anticipate that being a big issue.”