Why Eagles feel they have advantage on short week


The Eagles normally give themselves at least a day to enjoy a win.

They don’t have that luxury right now.

And in his postgame speech on Sunday night, Nick Sirianni made sure to quickly flip his team’s focus to the Houston Texans on a short week.

“Remember, the weather’s an advantage for the the team that thinks it’s an advantage,” Sirianni said in the locker room in a video released by the team. “The Thursday night games an advantage for the team that thinks it’s an advantage. It’s going to be an advantage for us. We’ve got the right people in place.”

Part of that is mindset. But it goes beyond that for the Eagles.

Sirianni believes in the process and he really believes the Eagles have an advantage in a short week, even on the road.

“I think the way we go about our process, it is an advantage for us,” Sirianni said. “The way we walkthrough, the way we meet. We talk about these things all the time, of how important it is. That not only does your intensity at practice need to be extremely high and detailed, but it needs to be that way in the walk-through, too. That's why we say, you're full speed to the snap in walk-through, so your mind is working as if you're playing the entire game; your body is just not.

“Then in the meetings, it’s high, high, high detail. And that always starts with the coaches. I always say, we can't have mistakes on things. We have to know the answers, what we're going to do against this play versus this look, this play versus this look. All the different looks that we could possibly give them, have an answer for them.”

The Eagles are also in a unique situation this week because, sure, they’re on a short week. But they were able to rest most of their offensive starters on Sunday with 9:24 left in the blowout win against the Steelers. Several players said that having most of the fourth quarter off kept them much fresher than usual.

And the fact that the Eagles are just a week removed from their bye helps too. Not only did they get that extra rest, but the coaching staff was able to get a jump start on preparation for the Texans.

Sirianni puts a lot on his coaching staff but he knows the attention to detail doesn’t just come from them.

“That also goes to the players as well,” he said. “When you coach a guy like Jason Kelce, he’s such an intelligent football player. His mind will be working to say, ‘Well what if this happens and what if this happens.’ With how detailed a guy like Jason Kelce is, he's going to want those answers. It goes both ways, and it forces the coaches to be even more detailed because of how detailed the players are. So that's a give and take. I always feel like it does start with us as coaches, of the high detail in those meetings.

“This isn't the first time you guys have heard me say that. This is our process regardless of a short week or a regular week. It just so happens on this short week we have walk-throughs and meetings to get the guys’ bodies ready to go.”

Last season, the Eagles went 1-2 in games on short rest not including the meaningless regular season finale. They lost to the Chiefs in Week 4 on a Sunday after a Monday, lost to the Buccaneers 28-22 in Week 6 on a Thursday after a Sunday and beat the Giants 34-10 in Week 16 on a Sunday after a Tuesday.

But the 2022 Eagles are a much better team in general, so don’t worry about that too much.

The Texans, meanwhile, have a 1-5-1 record and have been one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Eagles might not need an advantage to beat them on Thursday night. But they certainly feel like they have one.

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