By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There will be a lot on the line Sunday at the Linc when the Eagles face the Redskins. Just ask anyone but the Eagles.
All four NFC East teams are tightly bunched in a race in which the top and bottom teams are separated by only one and a half games. The 5-5 Eagles are tied for first with Dallas and a win on Sunday could all but end the title hopes of the 3-6 Redskins. However, Chip Kelly wants his team to stay focused on the field, and not on the standings.
“I’ve always felt the same exact way,” said Kelly. “I look at college football and everybody talks about the BCS talk in October, and it doesn’t mean anything. You lose a game and you’re out. We’re going to keep our head down until December 29th. I know I personally will and we’ll see how many games we’ve won. If that’s enough games to qualify for a playoffs, then we did a good job. But wishing and hoping and looking at tiebreakers…you should be watching film and breaking down your opponent instead of doing that stuff.”
Nick Foles knows the importance of winning a division game late in the season, but the quarterback is taking the same approach as his head coach.
“It’s going to put us in a great position if we win this game,” Foles said. “That’s all we worry about. It’s easy to start looking in advance, but we learned a long time ago in Pop Warner and middle school and high school, this next game is the most important game. You have to treat every game like that.”
The Eagles beat the Redskins, 33-27, in week one. The Eagles got off to a fast start, as they put up 26 first-half points. Tight End Brent Celek says another fast start is crucial on Sunday.
“This game is huge,” said Celek. “We’ve got to come out at the very beginning and set the tone like we did the first time, then finish.”
The Eagles say they will continue with the “one game at a time” approach throughout the rest of the season, but Center Jason Kelce understands what’s at stake on Sunday.
“All four teams have a chance to win the division,” Kelce said. “Every game from here on out is extremely important for us, and it really starts this week with Washington.”
Offensive Tackle Jason Peters and Linebacker Mychal Kendricks both missed practice again on Thursday, making their chances of playing on Sunday unlikely.