The Eagles got their first win of the season on Sunday, and followed up with the first victory plane ride of the year.
During his Monday morning news conference, Eagles coach Doug Pederson alluded to a weight being off the group’s shoulders after the 25-20 road win against the San Francisco 49ers.
“The guys were excited in the locker room, high-fiving, jumping around, hugging each other, what you would expect after a win," Pederson said. "I think these guys have been obviously beaten down the last few weeks. Not only by our opponents, but obviously by what they’re seeing and reading and being talked about outside of the building. You can just see the relief of just kind of getting that win.”
The Eagles are now 1-2-1 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC East through four weeks even though the first quarter of the season has been defined mostly be injuries and mental mistakes.
When asked what he’s learned about this year’s team through four weeks, Pederson went to the greatest hits from the last few years, praising the Eagles' ability to overcome adversity.
“The thing that’s really stood out this first month is just how resilient this football team is,” Pederson said. “We have not played our best football, I don’t feel. We’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the first three or four weeks here. We finally overcame some of the mistakes yesterday to put ourselves in a position to be in first place in the NFC East, but it’s a long road ahead.”
Speaking of adversity, the Eagles left San Francisco with two more injuries of note. Pederson said linebacker T.J. Edwards and Rudy Ford are both expected to “miss some time” with respective hamstring injuries suffered in the game.
Edwards is the team’s starting inside linebacker and has been their best run-stopping linebacker this season. In Edwards' absence, Alex Singleton got more playing time and capitalized with an interception returned for a touchdown. Ford, a safety, has been a special teams ace. Pederson said Lane Johnson, who had an ankle injury that required surgery in August, missed some of Sunday’s game dealing with soreness. Johnson has said before that managing the swelling is a challenge at times.
“It takes time to kind of loosen up and get warm," Pederson said. “There were a couple plays early in the game where it didn’t feel right to him, so we wanted to make sure to get it loose and keep it loose."
Miles Sanders is not included on the list of injuries, although the Eagles' featured running back was not utilized at all on the team’s final drive of the game, a three-play drive that lost four yards and gave the 49ers' offense a final chance to win the game.
Pederson said Sanders' absence was not injury related, but instead a reflection of the team’s game plan.
“Don’t read into anything. We have situational football ... you guys [reporters] ask me to play our backs more, so I’m trying to play our backs more," Pederson said. "Corey was one of our backs at the end of the game in our four-minute offense, he’s a little bit bigger back. He’s capable of running between the tackles that way. He’s powerful, he’s big. So by design, by game plan design, he was in on those specific plays at the end of the game.”