The Eagles aren’t going to make the playoffs.
No, they haven’t yet been mathematically eliminated, but it would take a series of football miracles for it to happen. ESPN Stats and Info says the Eagles have a .00002 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles and their NFL rivals from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
So what’s left to play for?
Well, pride for one thing. Another could be the possibility of being a spoiler. Each of the last three teams are either fighting for a playoff berth or seeding. The Ravens, Giants and Cowboys have a combined 27-12 record.
“I just want our guys to go out and compete and play hard every week,” Pederson said. “Spoiler or not, technically if you look at it, mathematically we're not out of it. But I think if we just go and learn from yesterday, knowing that they can play this well. Had we pushed through and won that game yesterday, what it does for the psyche of the team, what it does for a young quarterback, young players I think speaks volumes. But the fact that we took it right basically to the last play of the game also speaks volumes to this team.
“A lot of times in this situation you take [more] stress off yourself and you really perform,” Pederson said. “Sometimes it creates a loose environment. Players are a little more loose, not necessarily in their planning, but in the way they play sometimes. The energy level's high. They feed off of yesterday. I've been on a couple teams where we've been out of it, but we actually play our best football at the end of the game. For whatever reason, the psyche of it is you go out and you just enjoy playing, playing with your guys. That's kind of going to be the message these next couple of weeks. We still got three left. We're going to get ready for these three.”
This will be the third straight year the Eagles haven’t made the playoffs and the fifth time in the last six seasons. That, of course, comes after a stretch when the franchise went to the playoffs in nine of 11 years, dating back to 2000.
For some veterans on the team, their chances of making the playoffs and winning now might seem to be dwindling.
So what’s Pederson’s message to them?
“I think if they just look at [Sunday’s] game and really how well they played,” he said. “Were there mistakes? Yeah, there were some mistakes. There were some costly red zone turnovers. But the effort, the energy, the fact that with everything that's gone on this season, they were in the game until the end. Then having another off-season, having another draft, going through free agency again, bringing in some more competition to help at every spot. I think if they look at that, that's the message, then we're going to be OK.”