Given the chance to gloat with a playoff berth in hand, Eagles coach Andy Reid declined. Reid's good-luck beard was the only bristly thing about the 10th-year coach when he met with the media Monday.
"That's not how I operate," Reid said. "I know it's crazy, but we're all in this together. We're all doing what we're doing, trying to make a living, and blessed to be in Philadelphia with a great fan base. In a lot of cities, it's game to game. In Philadelphia, it's play to play. You have to love that. You are criticized for the bad and praised for the good."
Reid, of course, has been heavily criticized from his playcalling to his personnel decisions; fired in the media; and derided.
Now, the Eagles, who are coming off a 44-6 rout of Dallas, head to Minnesota to face the NFC North champion Vikings on Sunday in a 4:30 p.m. wild-card game.
The Eagles players were at the NovaCare on Monday for a meeting, will have Tuesday off and then begin a normal practice week Wednesday.
"I think it's important that we put [the Dallas win] aside," Reid said. "There are plenty of things we can learn from it. We do that and move on to play a very good Minnesota Vikings team in Minneapolis on Sunday. It's important that we prepare ourselves right. We start Wednesday with that ...
"It's important that we focus in during the week, eliminate any distraction, which there can be during the playoffs," Reid said. "[We need to] focus in on the game. The better you do that, the less problems you have once it comes game time."
Former Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress has led the Vikings to their first postseason home game since 2000. Reid said he and Childress spoke last night, but that he did not expect much communication between them the rest of the week.
Asked what they said to each other, Reid said: "Nice job. It's one-sided. You congratulate each other and don't say anything after that."
Reid credited the environment at the Linc on Sunday.
"Electric day at Lincoln Financial Field," he said. "The energy level was up, maybe the second highest volume that I've seen since I've been here. It was an exciting, exciting atmosphere. I thought the fans were awesome. The situation with other teams having to win or lose, whatever your side you're looking at, to give us an opportunity to play for the playoffs added to the flabor of it all."
He also credited his players for the way they bounced back from the loss at Washington.
"That's not an easy thing to do, especially if you allow your mind to go different places with a couple of games going on, took care of business and got themselves ready to play," Reid said. "Sometimes things snowball on you in the National Football League. That's what happened with Dallas. They're not as bad as what that score indicated, obviously."