Posted December 07, 2011 on AP on Fox
Until the Philadelphia Eagles are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, they won't look toward the future or reflect on the past. The underachieving Eagles (4-8) head to Miami on Sunday, and playing the Dolphins (4-8) is all they're talking about. They somehow still have a chance to finish first in a mediocre NFC East, though it would take help - a lot of it. All they can control, though, is their performance. ''It's a desperation last four games and we want to finish strong and we know how important that is,'' quarterback Michael Vick said Wednesday. ''It's unfortunate that we're in the situation that we're in now, but there's nothing we can do about it. The best thing we can do right now is to just win the next game. And we know it's going to be a tough game because they have a very good football team and a very good defense so we're going to have to do the things that are going to put us in a position to win the game. ''But it's very important that we finish strong.'' For the Eagles to have any chance at repeating as division champions, they would have to win their last four games against Miami, the New York Jets, Dallas and Washington. They also need the Cowboys (7-5) to lose three of their last four games and the New York Giants (6-6) to lose two of four. The Cowboys play the Giants twice, visit Tampa Bay and host the Eagles. Besides two games against Dallas, New York plays Washington and the Jets. It's not impossible that the Cowboys finish 1-3 and the Giants split. But considering the way the Eagles have played the last two games in blowout losses to New England and Seattle, the most difficult scenario is them winning four straight. ''We definitely know the circumstances,'' wide receiver Jason Avant said. ''We need a lot of stuff to happen, but the only thing we can do to control us is go out and put a good performance this week, and that's what we're trying to do. No matter what team does what in our division you can only control what you can control and we have to play way better than we did this past week.'' At least the Eagles will have Vick back. The veteran missed the last three games because of broken ribs. Though he was injured on a hard hit in the pocket against Arizona on Nov. 13, Vick finally plans to change his scrambling style. ''I'm sliding now, I'm getting down,'' he said. ''I've made my mind up. There's going to be times when I can't get those extra yards, but I have to get down. And I get too caught up in the game sometimes, but that leads to you being sidelined and not being accountable for your team on Sundays and not being out there. So I don't want to continue to put the team through that and I understand how drastic that can be sometimes.'' With Philadelphia's playoff hopes at a minuscule level, coach Andy Reid continues to face questions about his future. Reid has led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl since 1999. But he's never faced this much scrutiny from the media and fans are calling for his dismissal. Reid denied a report that he was told that he could return next year only if he replaces defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Reid stunned football observers when he switched Castillo from his longtime spot as the offensive-line coach to the defense in February. Castillo's defense has been downright dreadful despite having several talented players. ''Nobody's approached me on it,'' Reid said. ''My mind is to continue to get better as coaches and players. My mind goes no further than that. That's where I'm at. We're right in the middle of this thing and we've got to continue to get better. That's what we have to do.'' Notes: Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) had limited participation in practice. Both players have missed the last three games. It's uncertain whether either player will play against Miami.
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