For as bad as things have been for the Eagles, they could be much worse.
The Cowboys could be healthy, instead of in the midst of a 7-game Tony Romo-less losing streak. Or the Giants could have come through in one or more of their close defeats to take control in the division.
But even after a 20-19 loss to the Dolphins last Sunday, the 4-5 Eagles are a win away from tying for the conference lead.
“It’s definitely reassuring knowingthat you’re still in this,” Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper said, “whilenot playing nearly as good as you can.”
Cooper is one of many bruised and battered Eagles fighting through injuries to compete every week. Another is Sam Bradford, who has overcome two knee surgeries to return only to be stricken with a concussion against Miami. He will likely sit and be replaced by Mark Sanchez for at least one week.
“No one in here feels great,” Cooper said.
“I have no idea whose going to be the quarterbackor what the deal with Sam is.I feel confident that Mark is going to run our offense the way it should be run. He loves getting up to the line with ‘tempo tempo tempo.'”
Cooper is probably also a little excited to get back into the swing of things offensively. After providing some great blocking and catching some bombs earlier this season, the veteran wideout has been quiet offensively. Sanchez and Cooper have chemistry dating back to 2014 when Sanchez started eight games for the Eagles. But potentially putting up good numbers is a secondary concern for Cooper.
“The wins are the most important thing,” he said a few days after getting zero targets in Week 10.”Obviously I’d love to have 150 yards receiving and win the game by 21 points. I am perfectly fine with my role, I am going to go out there and going 100 miles per hour every single snap… I am trying to contribute to win football games. I don’t care about the targets and the catches — ‘what do you want me to do to help win a football game?’ That’s my mentality.”