A year ago, it was different and, to some degree, not as challenging.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a bye week for the postseason, a shorter path than they have now, and wound up winning a Super Bowl, albeit after an intense, back-and-forth battle with the New England Patriots.
‘Every week’s been a battle’
This year, the Eagles’ playoff road figures to be much tougher, as a 9-7 wild-card team that has to travel to Chicago to face the 12-4 Bears Sunday.
“Well, last year we had a bye week, it felt good,” defensive end Brandon Graham told Bruce Murray and Kirk Morrison on the SiriusXM Blitz. “I mean, we feel good now, but last year it was early on. We didn’t have to really go through too many hard games like how we’ve been. Every week’s been a battle.
‘Everybody’s excited about what’s to come and this opportunity that we gave ourselves’
“I kind of like it this way, though, because I feel like we’re in rhythm right now. Everybody’s excited about what’s to come and this opportunity that we gave ourselves. I’m just excited.”
Part of that excitement comes from the fact Nick Foles is “playing lights out right now” and is expected to be in action after suffering injured ribs in last Sunday’s regular-season-ending win at Washington.
‘I think that’s just the toughness in (Nick Foles), because ribs, man, I know how that feels and it’s no fun’
“I know how tough he is,” Graham said. “I wasn’t really worried too much because I (saw) him after the game and he didn’t look like he was hurting at all too much, anyway. But I think that’s just the toughness in him, because ribs, man, I know how that feels and it’s no fun.”
Graham said the Eagles, despite being the defending Super Bowl champion, will thrive on the underdog role.
‘I think it’s just all mental at this point’
“We’ve just got to go into it like nobody’s going to give us a shot,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure that we do our part and make sure that we stay focused on how to beat these guys and what to do. I think it’s just all mental at this point, because we feel we’re physical, we can play and this and that.
“It’s all about being in the right spot and knowing the plays and making certain that you don’t have any mental busts and give yourself a shot because turning the ball over and messing up, giving up because you got a guy out of this gap or a missed assignment, those are things that you can’t afford, especially right now in the postseason.”
Music, Sports, News and more
All in one place on the SiriusXM app