FOXBORO - There's no getting around the fix the Philadelphia Eagles have put themselves in. The paper champions of August are 4-6. Another loss and this season that began under the Dream Team banner will quite likely be trending toward nightmare.
On Wednesday, four days before the Eagles will take on the Patriots in Philly, Eagles head coach Andy Reid stiff-armed talk that asked about his team's desperation level.
"It seems like every week in the National Football League is a do-or-die game," said Reid. "Thats kind of how you approach it I think from a coaching standpoint.
But to be 4-6 after all the expectations?
"You know what? I dont get into all that. I just get into I think as coaches youre problems solvers," he explained. "You get in and you try to figure it out and make sure you put the guys in the right position and coach your guys up thats kind of what you do. Theres no time to look back or look forward you get so entrenched in the moment and making sure you get that right."
In this particular moment, the Eagles are coming off a huge NFC East win over the Giants. But all that did was, essentially, extend their season. The Cowboys lead the division at 6-4. The Giants, tied record-wise with the Cowboys, aren't even a Wild Card team currently. The 7-3 Lions and Bears hold those. So the Eagles have to win their division. Too much ground to make up in the Wild Card race.
They are desperate. And, as Sunday's win showed, they are dangerous even with Michael Vick nursing broken ribs and the newly reconditioned Vince Young directing the offense.
In some ways, it's appropriate Young now has to try and cover the checks his mouth wrote when he somewhat innocently used the term "Dream Team" to describe the collection of talent Philly amassed.
Reid wanted no part of the long-since stale Dream Team talk on Wednesday.
"I dont worry about all that. I dont worry about that stuff," he said. "Ask somebody else on these questions. Im a very simple guy, so I dont get into all the whole philosophies and things and all that stuff."
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, signed as a big-ticket free agent after finally leaving the Raiders, gave his take on the nickname.
"I didnt think anything of it when I first heard it," he explained. "I just thought it was Vince talking about how he felt and how he was excited and how it was like a dream come true, something like that. You learn very quickly how things can get spun. I mean I think we all got a lesson in that after that statement he made. Then it turned into us just being cocky and us being over-confident and saying way too much, etc, etc which we were never doing. No one ever took it like that when he said it. It was just something like that hes always looked forward too or hes happy to be in this situation."
No Eagle is happy to be in the situation they now find themselves. They must know kick the lid off the coffin and climb out.
"We knew from the start that things dont happen overnight," said Asomugha. "We knew that expectations were going to be great and it was going to be assumed that we would be undefeated, but we knew there was going to be some work to be done. Everybody was ne, everybody was learning, and coaches included. We just needed to be real with ourselves and I think it becomes a bigger issue when you think about what the expectations have been and rightfully so.
"We try to keep it in perspective between what those expectations have been and what the reality of the situation is," Asomugha added. "When you bring a team together you have to build them. The team has to build and there has to be chemistry and they have to gel before things start to happen. You think you are going to play like what people would call an all-star team or something like that and you should just win every game, but not everybody got to be on the same page.
"You see teams over the years win many games and even Super Bowls without the most talented players, but those type of teams have been in the same types of systems for four or five years. Theres been a growth period that has finally clicked for them. So, thats pretty much what weve been hoping for and experiencing that moment for when it just clicks, which has happened in several games this year. It just has to happen for the entire game and we got to make it happen every game."
This week, it's the Patriots the Eagles have to step over if they want to keep their season alive. And then they have to do it again and again and again. They have to make it happen, as Asomugha said, every game.