PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles are determined to not let a bye week stop their momentum.
They can learn from last year.
Philadelphia (8-1) has won seven straight games and is coming off an impressive 28-point victory over Denver heading into Sunday night’s game at Dallas (5-4). A win over the Cowboys would almost assure the Eagles an NFC East title — barring a monumental collapse.
They were in this spot in 2016 after opening the season 3-0 and entered their bye following a 34-3 rout of Pittsburgh. But they came back flat and lost nine of 11.
“We have to refocus coming off a break,” coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday. “We have to get ourselves back to doing the things we did before the break. It’s a one-day-at-a-time message. It’s win today. Let’s get better today. And there’s two types of players, two types of coaches: those that are getting better and those that aren’t.”
Players spent their week off doing various things, from hunting and traveling to rehabbing injuries at the team’s practice facility. The bye came just past the midpoint of the schedule, so it was welcomed.
“It was good to have the time off but we’re ready to go,” tight end Brent Celek said. “Sitting at home watching the games all weekend gets you going.”
It helps to face a bitter rival right after the break.
“There’s no lag in us from having that week off,” offensive lineman Brandon Brooks said. “We’re excited, we’re fired up and ready to get after it.”
Pederson’s mentor, Andy Reid, has always prepared his teams well during a break. Reid, in his fifth season in Kansas City after 13 years in Philadelphia, is 16-2 after a bye. Pederson played under Reid in Philadelphia and was an assistant on his coaching staff in both cities.
“He was able to just refocus the football team coming off the bye, getting them back into practice and back into the habits that we were doing before the break,” Pederson said. “And then, secondly, is just the consistency with him, as you know, and being around him that it’s just the same. He’s the same day in and day out. Same consistency. Same work ethic. Practice doesn’t change. It doesn’t get longer. It doesn’t get harder. And he just goes about his business.”
Notes: CB Ronald Darby and TE Zach Ertz were full participants in practice. Darby hasn’t played since dislocating his ankle in Week 1 and expects to be ready. Ertz missed one game with a hamstring injury.
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