HomeDa Birds NewsEagles Unfazed by 49ers Trash Talk, Embrace Underdog Role

Eagles Unfazed by 49ers Trash Talk, Embrace Underdog Role

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PHILADELPHIA – The underdog role isn’t completely unfamiliar territory for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Does 2017 ring a bell? The Eagles rode that perceived disrespect to their first Super Bowl title.

They haven’t been underdogs many times in the last two years, as you would expect from a team that went 14-3 last year and to the Super Bowl and is sitting at 10-1 this season. No other team even has nine wins heading into Week 13.

The Eagles, however, are three-point underdogs this weekend to the San Francisco 49ers, who are flying across the country for a late afternoon game (4:25/FOX) at Lincoln Financial Field, though they have 10 days to rest and prepare for this game since playing on Thanksgiving night.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters who asked about his team being favored that the betting line is “random.”

“Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I don’t know how that stuff works,” he said.

The 49ers, of course, added another layer to things with all the trash-talking, complaining, and whining they did after being thrashed in last year’s NFC Championship Game, 31-7.

The Eagles could not care less about being underdogs. The trash-talking Niners might be another story.

“I’d rather it be that way (being underdogs) because we ain’t done nothing yet,” said veteran defensive end Brandon Graham, who will add to his franchise record for most games played when he plays in 190th on Sunday. “We haven’t even put together a full game, yet, but I do know what we do have and what we need to get better in.

“I know for this week we’re going to make sure we keep getting better at the stuff we’re not as good at or polished on and stay sharp on the ones we are. We’re 10-1 but that doesn’t mean anything because we don’t hold that ring.”

Head coach Nick Sirianni’s take on being underdogs despite being 10-1 and at home against an 8-3 team?

“Not going to get wrapped into what anybody else thinks of us, whether that’s another team, whether that’s whoever makes the spreads, or anything like that,” he said. “We just worry about going to work for ourselves.

“I think it’s okay to be the underdog. I said on the radio the other day, before I ever stepped foot in the city all I knew about this city was Rocky versus Apollo Creed and the city plays the underdog well.”

As for the trash talk, the Eagles have heard it loud and clear and aren’t happy about it, especially Deebo Samuel calling cornerback James Bradberry “trash.”

“It irks me,” said left tackle Jordan Mailata about Samuel disrespecting Bradberry. “I’d be lying if I said it (doesn’t) irk me, but we have to learn to kind of put that aside.”

Jalen Hurts completed 15 of 25 passes for 121 yards in the Philadelphia Eagles 31-7 blowout of the San Francisco 49ers in last year’s NFC Championship Game.

USA Today

There’s a good chance the game could be chippy with so much talk emerging all offseason from the 49ers.

“Talk is cheap,” said edge rusher Haason Reddick, who leads the team with 8.5 sacks. “You know, they get to come back in The Linc. It was a lot of boohoos last year, a lot of crying, a lot of what if, a lot of this, a lot of that. They get a chance to come back in here, line that s—t up, and prove it again.”

Graham is the Eagles’ best trash talker, and he said he will have fun again on Sunday, but doesn’t want himself or his teammates to get too caught up in making the 49ers eat the many words they spoke after losing last year with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

“We have to execute and make sure we don’t get caught up in all that because it takes away from us remembering what we gotta do,” he said. “I know I sometimes get carried away with talking and stuff to other teams and I’m like, ‘Oh, what’s the play?’

“You don’t want to be in that position because that might be the play we need. To help us win that game.”

Sirianni had a more pragmatic view.

“This is 2023, right? It’s not 2022,” he said. “Very similar to what we responded with the Chiefs’ stuff, like going into the Chiefs’ game (two weeks ago), right? There are different players on this team. There are different players on their team. Shoot, one of our better players from last year (Javon Hargrave) is on their team.

“So, this is about the 2023 Eagles versus the 2023 Niners. Both teams are doing well. It’s going to be a heck of a battle.”

Related: Eagles’ Solution-Based Brian Johnson Ignoring ‘Silly’ Criticism

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