Come Sunday, the Washington Football Team controls its own destiny. Win and the team is the NFC East champion and heading to the playoffs. Lose, and the season ends.
While that mostly depends on how Washington performs, the Philadelphia Eagles are also intertwined in this fate. As the opponents, how well -- or poorly -- they play could end up being one of the deciding factors in whether it is a win or loss for Washington.
Unsurprisingly, given the two team's long-standing rivalry and shared division, this would not be the first time the Eagles could help Washington in a big game. In both late-regular season games and the playoffs, Washington has been able to take down Philadelphia in order to stay alive.
1991 NFC Wild Card Game: Washington at Eagles
- Final Score: Washington 20, Eagles 6
In this scenario, Washington wasn't fighting for a playoff spot, it was squaring off with the Eagles for a chance to advance in the postseason. The team would do just that, behind two touchdowns from Mark Rypien and a stout performance from the defense. A win against Philadelphia is always great, but getting to knock the team out of the playoffs? Priceless.
The Joe Gibbs-led team would go on to lose to the 49ers in the Divisional Round the following week.
2005 Week 17: Washington at Eagles
- Final Score: Washington 31, Eagles 20
This 2005 team, much like the current Washington team, entered the later stages of the regular season with a slim chance of making the playoffs. At 5-6, the odds were stacked against the group. Yet, after rattling off four straight wins, Washington had a chance to go win-and-in against the Eagles in Week 17.
The team did just that, with a 112-yard, two-touchdown effort from Clinton Portis leading the way. Sean Taylor's fumble return for a touchdown late would ice the game and seal a victory/
Washington would beat the Buccaneers in the Wild Card round before falling to the Seahawks in the Divisional Round.
2015 Week 16: Washington at Eagles
- Final Score: Washington 38, Eagles 24
Here, Washington traveled to Philadelphia toward the end of the regular season needing a win to wrap up the NFC East. The record wasn't great, either, as the team was just 7-7. Sound familiar?
Kirk Cousins was the star of the game, gashing Philadelphia's defense for 365 yards and four touchdowns. Once again, it was the Eagles helping Washington advance to the playoffs.
The season would end the next week, however, as the Packers gave Washington more than it could handle.
So what do we have here? Three separate times where Washington traveled to Philadelphia with everything on the line, resulting in three victories.
There is no logical connection to these games and the current teams that will take the field, but sometimes logic isn't always the answer in the NFL. Maybe, Washington's history of late-season success against the Eagles shows itself and Philadelphia once again helps its rival continue its season.