Pederson's message to 3-4 Eagles: 'Pressure's off'

The Philadelphia Eagles entered the 2018 regular season a marked team, which is expected of a defending Super Bowl champion.

But after dropping Sunday's game to the Carolina Panthers in a contest in which Philadelphia held a 17-0 lead entering the final quarter, the Eagles find themselves with a 3-4 record.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson, however, isn't ready to push panic buttons and shared his message of an education process to the team after the game.

"I told them we have to learn from these," Pederson said during a press conference after the game. "These are games that galvanize football teams, and this is going to do that, this is going to bring us even closer together.

"Basically told them that, 'Hey, pressure's off of us. Nobody on the outside world is giving us a chance to do much of anything and pressure's off, so we can go play, have fun and just relax.' A lot of football ahead, too. We still have a bunch of games, and still anything's possible, anything can happen, and we still treat it as one week at a time."

If the Eagles weren't playing well by attempting to live up to expectations as the reigning champions, Pederson's message of playing loose could lead to a turnaround after the Eagles started the season 2-1.

Any edge would certainly help given the Eagles lost just three games in 2017 en route to the Super Bowl, but the Eagles now have four defeats through seven games.

"I think sometimes we force issues, we try to press just a little bit," Pederson said. "We don't have to go searching for plays. When the play is called, let's just make the plays that come to us and right now we're not doing that. So, I think that's the pressure that's off of us. We just have to get back to playing it and execute better."

While approaching each week with the mentality of getting out from under the spotlight should help, there is a concern on the statistical side of the house given the Eagles' inconsistent start to the season.

The Eagles are under .500 through seven games for the first time since 2015, a season where the team finished 7-9 and missed the postseason.

Still, Pederson is correct in that there are plenty of games to be played and it doesn't hurt that nobody is running away with the NFC East right now.

Despite the lack of consistency in Philadelphia, the Eagles are tied for second with the Dallas Cowboys (3-4) in the division behind the Washington Redskins (4-2).