COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) – Doug Pederson believes the Philadelphia Eagles could get some long-term benefits from the short-term pain of their humiliating Seattle loss.
The head coach also hopes that a week in sunny Southern California will allow the Eagles to regain their winning lead before facing another playoff contender.
The Eagles (10-2) flew down the west coast after their nine-game winning streak ended with a 24-10 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday night. They will spend the next week away from home before their confrontation with Los Angeles Rams (9-3) at a meeting of leaders of the NFC division.
"It's hard when you have trips from the west coast like this, to be able to fly back home and then practice and come back this way at the end of the week," Pederson said Monday. "We've never done this before, obviously, but it will definitely be worth it for us, hopefully in the near future."
Philadelphia is establishing its camp in Orange County, with the team based at a hotel in Costa Mesa that is only two miles from the new Los Angeles Chargers training complex. The Eagles will practice on a full-size football field located several miles away at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
And no, Eagles fan Mike Trout did not make these arrangements.
Instead, the Eagles opted to stay west to avoid round-trip flights across the country, but also to keep the focus of the players in the last quarter of the regular season. They have had an outstanding start, but the Eagles are not over yet.
Philadelphia will secure the NFC East title with one more victory, but still competes with Minnesota (10-2), the upstart Rams and New Orleans (9-3) for being the best seed in the NFC postseason and the first one – goodbye.
"The challenge is that we are trying to eliminate distractions," Pederson said at the team's hotel. "Try to keep the week as normal as possible for the boys, for the coaches, we have a great setup here at the hotel.
"The coaches have offices and workspace to do the work, the players have everything they need here, from treatments, rehabilitation, doctors, medical facilities, all that."
Players and coaches have a lot to do after the loss to the Seahawks (8-4), who are also in search of a high seed in the playoffs.
The Eagles failed to score 20 points for the first time in 16 games, and Seattle repeatedly capitalized on Philadelphia's errors on both sides of the ball.
While Carson Wentz's 348-yard game was obscured by his critical fumble on the Seattle goal line early in the second half, the Philadelphia defense lamented its difficulties in restraining Russell Wilson and the Seahawks running game at key moments.
Pederson sees a lot to correct next week, but nothing that can not be fixed.
"I think sometimes … winning can cover up or mask some things, some shortcomings," Pederson said. "A little crack in your armor, if any, and coaches and players fall in the same boat sometimes, we need games where they hit us in the mouth and we have to fight and fight and scratch." Yesterday's game was one of those games You just have to understand that there is no substitute for preparation and hard work. "
NOTES: TE Zach Ertz is on the NFL's concussion protocol after receiving a big blow in the third quarter in Seattle. He will stay in California with the team as doctors guide him through the protocol to determine when he can play again, Pederson said. Ertz is Philadelphia's No. 1 receiver with 57 receptions for 663 yards and seven touchdowns. … Pederson spent much of Monday's session explaining his reasoning for a series of game calls and for arbitrating challenge decisions. Notably, Pederson did not challenge Wilson's throw to Mike Davis during the fourth quarter to get a first key attempt, a pitch that technically seems to be an illegal pass forward in slow-motion replay. The Seahawks finally scored the game's final touchdown on the drive. "(In) in real time, it looked good, it seemed legitimate," Pederson said. "We did not get all the necessary aspects, they rushed to the line, but at the same time, it looked good, and I trust that the guys above made those decisions and they did not challenge that, I already challenged one in the middle and I lost it, I did not want to risk another time out. "