The Eagles can win the NFC East with two more wins.
But if they lose Saturday against the Redskins, their season is over.
"This game is different than any game we've played this season," Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said, breaking the usual 'one game at a time' mantra preached by head coach Chip Kelly. "Basically our playoffs start today, basically this week. If we lose we are eliminated and if we win we earn the right to play again."
The Eagles were granted second life after huge wins against the Patriots and Bills thanks to putrid play from their fellow NFC East combatants. But there is no way for Philly to back its way into a playoff spot after Washington's win against Buffalo in Week 15. They have to win Saturday to make their Week 17 game in New York meaningful.
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"The good news is we have the opportunity regardless of what has happened this season to still accomplish our goals," Jenkins said, "to make it to the postseason and then everything starts over from there. It's been a up and down season and everyone has felt that, but what we set out to do last spring is still in front of us. A lot of teams are packing up their things and thinking about next year, and we aren't there."
But the Eagles could be there if they can't get their defense back on track. The Birds allowed 40 points Sunday to the Cardinals and resembled a high school team trying to take down NFL players throughout the game. To beat Washington, Philly needs to figure out how to tackle again.
Fletcher Cox says focusing on last week isn't the best way to move forward.
"You have to put it aside," Cox said. "You have to put that stuff to sleep. As a defense we know what we didn't do and we didn't tackle. We have to tackle this week because we have two good running backs coming into town."