“I don’t think you have to worry about us being overconfident,” veteran linebacker London Fletcher said. “We’re not in a position to be like that. We understand what type of talent Philly has on their football team. It’s a really good team with talent. For some reason or another, they just haven’t won as often as you’d have thought coming into the season. We know we have to come out and play our best game.”
The Redskins began repairing their season by overwhelming the Eagles, 31-6, on Nov. 18 at FedEx Field. That was the start of a five-game winning streak that has raised the Redskins’ record to 8-6 and forged a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins hold the tiebreaker advantage and can secure the division crown by winning their final two games, including next Sunday’s regular season finale at home against the Cowboys.
“We’re on the same mission we’ve been on, get to the playoffs and go out here and keep this streak alive,” cornerback Josh Wilson said. “That’s what we’ve been on since the bye week. We’re taking the same approach, preparing the same way to make sure that we can take this all the way to February.”
The Redskins can clinch an NFC playoff spot Sunday if they win and the Giants, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings lose.
“Our mentality doesn’t change from the time we were 3-6, even though we’re 8-6,” Fletcher said. “If you really think about it, we still need to win the next ballgame. From that standpoint, Coach [Mike] Shanahan has done a great job of emphasizing that to us. Guys understand that. They know we have to keep winning ballgames. So that’s just the mentality we have to have.”
The Eagles (4-10) have lost nine of their past 10 games. Reid almost certainly is coaching his final home game, given the widespread belief that he will be dismissed by owner Jeffrey Lurie. The Eagles will close the season on the road against the Giants.
Reid has coached the Eagles since 1999 and directed them to five NFC title games and one Super Bowl appearance. But the biggest prize of all, a Super Bowl triumph, has eluded him, and this season has produced a mixture of on-field disappointment and off-field anguish. Reid’s oldest son, Garrett, died of an accidental heroin overdose Aug. 5 at the team’s training camp. A prosecutor announced Monday there were steroids in Garrett Reid’s dorm room the day he died.
“None of us want to lose football games, that’s for sure,” Reid said in a midweek conference call with D.C. area reporters. “The family situation, that’s separate. You don’t want that to happen, either. I’m surrounded by a bunch of good people and that’s made it better, or as good as it could be.”