Philadelphia Eagles are given bulletin board material (literally)

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Running back Ezekiel Elliott
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Running back Ezekiel Elliott /

The Philadelphia Eagles have a chip on their shoulder. Might they ride that to victory?

We spend so much time talking about how professional sports are just business that, sometimes, we forget that they’re people playing the game. These are athletes. These are alpha males, and when you call their talent into question, they, typically are going to rise to the occasion. Take the Philadelphia Eagles for instance.

After ripping through the majority of their 2017 schedule, the season, for Philly, seems to have ended in a thud. They went 3-1 in their final four games, and the only loss was in a game they weren’t really trying to win. Still, the belief, in many circles, is Saturday night’s divisional game is one that the Eagles have no shot of winning. They’ve been underdogs since the lines were introduced, and that doesn’t figure to change prior to kickoff.

Might this be a good thing if you’re an Eagles fan though?

How big is this chip on the Eagles shoulders?

The thing about professional athletes and alpha males is they typically thrive when placed in situations that are supposed to be impossible. They also don’t like to be told they can’t do something. Being the only top-seeded team to open a playoff run as an underdog (since the current playoff format was introduced in 1975), has caught the attention of Philly’s entire organization. Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham has stated they’re posting reminders all over the Novacare Complex about being home underdogs.

Two of the team’s leaders don’t like the implication, and both have spoken up this week.

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Here’s what Fletcher Cox had to say.

"We’ve been disrespected all year. Our record can speak for itself. We’re a team that’s been disrespected week in and week out, and we just come out and ring the bell every week."

Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson has been very vocal recently and hasn’t been shy about commenting on this subject either. He’s taken another approach on this topic, stating he’d rather be the underdog than the favorite. Don’t kid yourself though. You can best believe he feels just as disrespected as his teammate.

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Take a look.

"What bothered me was we were 12-2 [at the time] and treated like we were the Browns. It happens, but I think although we don’t like it, it’s a good motivator to have people not write good things. I think it’s the best motivator there is and you can go and change it."

It appears the challenge has been laid down and accepted. How will the Eagles respond? We’ll all just have to wait until Saturday and find out together.