The Philadelphia Eagles entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations. At 4-7, those dreams are all but destroyed. Yet the proud franchise is not ready to go down without a fight.
"9-7 teams have made the playoffs before," said head coach Andy Reid. "Many of the teams ahead of us right now for the wildcard — the Bears, the Lions, the Giants — are struggling and could come back to us. And thanks to our new pepper spray-based defensive philosophy, we don't expect to lose again."
Despite bringing in high-priced talent in the offseason, Philadelphia has one of the most porous defenses in football.
"Should we have allocated some dollars in different areas? Maybe," says Reid. "But we still have money to spend, such as $719 I just spent to buy a case of police-grade pepper spray on the Internet. I bet it proves to be more effective than Nnamdi Asomugha."
The Eagles play the Seahawks on Thursday night, which will be their first chance to use their new pepper spray defense.
"I don't want to give too much away," said defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. "But, basically, at the snap of the ball, all 11 of our defensive players pepper spray the offense in the face. Beyond that, we're still working on it."
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll says he is prepared for anything the Eagles might try, including pepper spray.
"I've told my players that if and when they do get sprayed, just close their eyes and run forward," he said. "The Eagles still can't tackle no matter what they're armed with. If we score less than 35 points, I will be very disappointed."
Philadelphia's offense is also experimenting with pepper spray and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg says wide receiver DeSean Jackson will receive a blast to the face whenever he tries to take the field.