The Eagles have a sub-par record on the road this season, but Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid says it's a matter of focus and eliminating the distractions. Plus, Donovan McNabb talks about getting past the criticisms.
The Eagles will begin their Super Bowl quest on the road Sunday when they face the Minnesota Vikings
at the Minneapolis Metrodome.
While the odds-makers have made the Eagles three-point favorites, they have not played particularly well on the road this season. They are 3-4-1 in their eight games away from Lincoln Financial Field.
"We've always done well on the road," coach Andy Reid said. "But this year, it's been a little bit of a struggle. It's important we focus in during the week and eliminate any distractions, which there can be at playoff time. People want to go up to Minnesota (for the game) and want tickets and all that kind of stuff.
"We've got to put all of that out of our mind, along with the media, and focus in on the game. The better you do that, the less problems you'll have once it comes game time."
As the NFC's No. 6 seed, the Eagles have no chance of hosting a playoff game. If they hope to make it to the Super Bowl, they're going to have to win three straight road games, which they haven't done since last season.
Donovan McNabb used his post-game news conference after the Eagles' 44-6 playoff-earning win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday to figuratively stick his tongue out at the fans and media for what he perceives as unfair criticism of him.
"They've thrown me out, ran over me, spit on me, but you know what, I continue to prevail. I kept my chin high, staying positive and making sure that the guys in this locker room understand that if given the opportunity, we would take full advantage of it. That last week (a 10-3 loss to Washington) wasn't us, and if anything worked in our favor with all these scenarios, I would not let them down."
McNabb had a solid game against the Cowboys, completing 12 of 21 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. For the fourth time in the past five games, he didn't throw an interception.
Running back Correll Buckhalter, who backs up Brian Westbrook, went into Sunday's game against the Cowboys with just 24 touches in his previous seven games. He had 122 rushing and receiving yards in the victory over Dallas. He kick-started the Eagles' first scoring drive with a 9-yard run for a first down on second-and-8, set up another touchdown with a 59-yard catch-and-run, and scored yet another touchdown on a 4-yard pass. Buckhalter, who has survived three career-threatening knee injuries, never has complained about his role as Westbrook's understudy.
"Westbrook has to get his touches," he said. "He has to get in a groove. I know it's not like I'm going to get 15-20 carries. I just know that when I get them, I want to make the most of it."
LE Victor Abiamiri, who missed Sunday's game with a foot sprain, won't be able to play in the Eagles' first playoff game against the Vikings.
G Shawn Andrews continues to rehab from back surgery and may be able to play later in the postseason if the Eagles still are alive.
RT John Runyan has been playing with a fairly significant knee sprain. It has limited his mobility a bit, but he has no intention of sitting out Sunday's playoff-opener against the Vikings.
TE L.J. Smith missed Sunday's win over the Cowboys with a shoulder injury. It's uncertain whether he'll be able to play Sunday against the Vikings.
LE Juqua Parker had to play increased snaps Sunday with Victor Abiamiri out with a foot sprain. The undersized Parker isn't nearly as good against the run as Abiamiri.