Why this is their biggest game of the year

Eagles (3-6) at Washington Redskins (3-6), 1 p.m., Sunday, FedEx Field

Despite suffering their fifth straight loss on Sunday against Dallas, the Eagles did not lose any ground in the NFC East race. The New York Giants (5-4) also lost, leaving the Eagles 21/2 games behind with seven regular-season games remaining. If they want to realistically remain in the hunt, they must beat the Redskins and establish some momentum.

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Evaluating the Eagles

(Observations from the 38-23 loss to Dallas)

Wide receiver Riley Cooper: Acrobatic touchdown catch.

Tackle King Dunlap: Three penalties and a lack of focus not a good combination.

Quarterback Nick Foles: Decent effort given the lack of preparation.

Punter Mat McBriar: At least try to make a tackle.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Worst game of the season.

Special-teams coordinator Bobby April: Time to update the resume'.

Evaluating the special teams

The Eagles' coverage and return units have been bad all season. It reached a low point when Cowboys punt returner Dwayne Harris scored on a 78-yard touchdown. It was the first punt return for a TD against the Eagles since Miami's Ted Ginn Jr. scored on an 87-yarder on Nov. 18, 2007. King Dunlap forgot to join the Eagles' field-goal unit on Alex Henery's 40-yarder. Henery missed his first career extra point later in the game.

3-and-out with Andy Reid

Q: Do you think the Eagles can still make the playoffs?

A: I believe it, absolutely. You don't count out anyone in the National Football League. I feel good about this football team. We just have to tighten some things up.

Q: How do you fix the problems?

A: You just keep teaching and progressing.

Q: How close is Jason Peters to being able to play this season?

A: He will not practice this week.

David Weinberg, 609-272-7186


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