Coming off of Sunday night’s game against the Broncos the Patriots are about to get a visit from the Philadelphia Eagles, who are reeling after an embarrassing 45-14 Thanksgiving loss in front of the entire country.
They’re a mess, with questions now being raised about whether or not Chip Kelly has lost his team and players, with some of those players now seemingly more focused on trying to get through this season with the thought Kelly might not be there than they are about making it to the postseason in a bad division.
Speaking of which, Dallas’ Thanksgiving loss to the Panthers along with the Giants falling to the Redskins on Sunday has the 4-7 Eagles just a game behind both of those teams, who are each 5-6. What that means is that regardless of how they may feel about Kelly, the season is far from over since should they beat Washington and New York over their final stretch, all they need is potentially one more victory to get them into the playoffs at 7-9.
There might not be a lot of motivation behind his players to perform for their coach, but in the NFL future employers will likely be looking for guys who give their best regardless of the situation, as opposed to players who don’t keep playing hard during times of adversity. Those generally aren’t the type of characters coaches feel like adding to their locker room.
Heading into this weekend, Bill Belichick will likely have the Patriots focused on the fact that it hasn’t been completely terrible with Philadelphia this season. The Eagles were ranked second in the NFL in takeaways through the first half of the season, despite having not created any over the past three games. That essentially means that going up against a team like New England, this could be a weekend where their defense tries to make a statement in hopes of trying to at least making the best of a bad situation by beating the defending champions, while still staying in the hunt for a postseason berth.
Not all of them have given up, with center Jason Kelce telling reporters after the loss to the Lions that they’re going to find out a lot about players over the final five weeks.
“At this point, 4-7, we’re going to find out what this locker room is made of,” said Kelce. “We’re going to find out which guys are all in and with each other and we’re going to find out the cowards, quite frankly.”
“We’re going to find out the guys who give the anonymous reports. We’re going to find out the guys who talk behind people’s backs. We’re going to find out the guys who throw people under the bus. Quite frankly, I think that’s good because we’re going to find out who’s all in and who’s not. It’s very upsetting how this season has gone so far, but obviously it’s not over yet.”
And that’s one reason why the Patriots will have to be wary against the guys who still care about wanting to beat them next Sunday.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary