Saturday Six Pack: Eagles vs. Redskins

It all comes down to this for the Philadelphia Eagles.

After 15 weeks of up and downs, unlikely highs and embarrassing lows, the fate of the 2015 season could be decided for the Eagles on Saturday night as they host the Washington Redskins.

Just as it was last season, a Week 16 Saturday night game between these two divisional opponents will certainly help give the Eagles season some clarity. The hope is, unlike last season, that this season's Week 16 meeting takes on a different fate. The Eagles lost to the Redskins in Week 16 last season and the next day saw their playoff hopes officially dashed.

There was added disappointment due to the Eagles then 9-6 record — they went on to finish 10-6. This season, sitting at 6-8, it makes much more sense that the Eagles could, and probably should, miss the playoff. But mathematically, that chance still exists, and if the Eagles find a way to win on Saturday, it will exist into the final week of the regular season.

Here are six keys and things to watch for in Saturday's game against Washington.

NFC East on the line – Chip Kelly said earlier this week that anything other than a win ends the Eagles season and if they can't get motivated by that fact, then they can't at all. He's absolutely right. For a team that certainly wants to prove that they should be better than the 6-8 record indicates, there is nothing like your playoff hopes on life support to get you up for the game at hand.

Jordan Matthews – It's been an interested sophomore season for Matthews, but last week against Arizona, he was clearly the team's best player. It marked the third game this season where Matthews had at least eight catches and 100 yards receiving. Matthews worst game of the season, by the numbers, was in Week 4 against Washington. Matthews had three catches but was targeted eight times. He finished with 50 receiving yards.

DeSean Jackson – Besides being good at getting under the skin of opponents, Jackson is still the explosive and dynamic receiver he was in Philadelphia. In the two games the Eagles have faced the Redskins where Jackson has played, he has nine catches for 243 yards and a touchdown.

Kirk Cousins – The Redskins have shown more consistency of late and Cousins is a big part of that. Cousins threw at least two interceptions in four of the first six games this season, and through Week 6 with a 2-4 record had six touchdown passes and eight interceptions. In eight games since then, Washington is 5-3 and Cousins has thrown 16 touchdown passes and just three interceptions.

The ongoing DeMarco Murray saga – On Sunday, Murray played eight snaps and had two carries. The ongoing saga of Murray is alive and well as more and more speculation surrounds the Eagles management and Murray's emotions toward the team. With their season on the line, the Eagles can't be caught up in this. It's time to just play football and let it happen as it does.

Eagles secondary – The Eagles secondary got blown up by the dynamic offense of Arizona and by the end of the game became brutally shorthanded. Byron Maxwell is questionable for Saturday and Eric Rowe is probable after both left on Sunday with injury. If the Eagles are going to have any shot to beat Cousins and the Redskins, they will need the balanced efforts of a strong pass rush and a solid performance from the secondary.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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