Why this is their biggest game of the year

Cincinnati Bengals (6-7) at Eagles (4-9), 8:20 p.m., Thursday, Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles don't have much to play for now except pride. Despite beating Tampa Bay, they were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday. Beating the Bengals, who are in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot, would do a lot for the Eagles' confidence. If they are able to close the season with four straight wins, it may be enough to save coach Andy Reid's job.

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Evaluating the Eagles

(Observations from the 23-21 win at Tampa Bay)

Safety Colt Anderson: Made a difference on defense.

Wide receiver Jason Avant: Best game in several years.

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox: Played up to his potential.

Tackle King Dunlap: Demetress Bell was never that bad.

Quarterback Nick Foles: A star is born. ... Maybe.

Defensive-line coach Tommy Brasher: Front four played better without the Wide-9.

Evaluating the quarterback

Foles more than made up for a slow start with a fantastic finish. One of the intangibles NFL coaches look for in a quarterback is poise under pressure. In leading the Eagles on a game-winning drive, Foles showed he has that valuable quality. The key is to show it on a consistent basis.

3-and-out with Andy Reid

(After Sunday's game)

Q: What did you think of the large contingent of Eagles fans?

A: The fans were unbelievable. You've got to give them credit. There were times when I wasn't sure who had more fans.

Q: How important is this win for Foles?

A: I'd tell you it's a step forward. He put together a good game here against a tough defense and he had to battle.

Q: What does getting a win do for the team's confidence?

A: To be able to sneak it out like that was quite a feat. We're going to enjoy this one and then get ready for Thursday night.

David Weinberg, 609-272-7186

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