After the Eagles lost quarterback Carson Wentz to a torn ACL, many assumed that the train would keep right on rolling. Though they won enough games to secure the No. 1 seed, things haven’t gone nearly as smoothly, with near losses to the Giants and Raiders before a season-ending shutout to the Cowboys.
As a result, a perception emerged that the Eagles were destined for a one-and-done playoff run. The perception has transmogrified into the reality of the Eagles being a three-point home underdog to the sixth-seeded Falcons.
And so the situation is ripe for the Eagles to push back, claiming that they’re being disrespected. Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox got things started Monday, but he went way too far, suggesting that the Eagles were disrespected all year.
That’s baloney; the Eagles were properly and completely respected until they lost Wentz. And then they were over-respected, getting the benefit of the doubt that the game between Wentz and Nick Foles wasn’t as big as it is.
Tackle Lane Johnson, whose boycott of the media didn’t last very long, chimed in on Tuesday, saying that “[w]e were 12-2 and we were treated like we were the Browns,” via Mike Garafolo of NFL Media.
No, actually, the Eagles are being treated like a Super Bowl contender that lost its MVP-caliber quarterback, and that has a not-MVP-caliber backup.
I can’t fault the Eagles for trying. And the effort could work; even if the claims aren’t plausible, all that matters is whether the players in the locker room believe it. Then all that matters is whether the extra motivation from the perception of disrespect matters against the defending NFC champions.