For the Washington Redskins, Monday night's game in Philadelphia presents a tipping point.
Win, and the Redskins are still on track for an NFC East title and a home playoff game.
Lose, and the Redskins are on a much different track that would mark the team's third loss in a row. Washington already lost starting quarterback Alex Smith for the season, and last week had to deal with defensive captain D.J. Swearinger calling out his fellow players after a poor effort in a Thanksgiving loss in Dallas.
Add it all up, and the stakes are quite high in Philly.
"There should be a sense of urgency without a doubt, where we are in the season, what our record is," Washington coach Jay Gruden said Thursday.
The Eagles need the win too. They're sitting at 5-6, but they have the luxury of coming off their first ever Super Bowl win last season. The Redskins haven't won a single playoff game in the last decade. And the Cowboys are now 7-5, on a four-game win streak after beating the Saints.
Should Washington drop the game to the Eagles, they will have squandered a 6-3 start into a 6-6 record. The pressure will mount on Jay Gruden, Bruce Allen and the entire front office. This collection of coaches and personnel executives can point to just one playoff game in their tenure, and that was a loss, as their only postseason "success."
None of this even addresses the recent acquisition of Reuben Foster, something that will drive a large percentage of the fan base even further from the team.
It's reasonable to believe Gruden and Redskins players when they say that adding Foster - twice accused of domestic violence - will not be a distraction. Signing Foster will have no impact on the blocking or tackling Monday night against the Eagles.
At the same time, adding Foster to a three-game losing streak will only add to the tornado of negativity currently engulfing Redskins Park.
Players understand the severity of the upcoming game.
"This is the playoffs for us," linebacker Mason Foster said.
In every sense of the word, the entire Redskins organization is desperate for win. A loss could bring questions that nobody in Ashburn wants to answer.
The good news, if there is any right now, is that this Washington team has typically responded when their backs are against the wall. That spirit needs to show up in Philadelphia.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- What To Watch: Week 13 rooting guide
- Redskins Players React: Foster move "above my pay grade"
- United Redskins: Williams says front office united on grabbing Foster
- Power Rankings: 'Skins continue to fall