NFC Playoff Picture: Eagles in the Mix

Gregory Shamus

Philadelphia's playoff chances are alive.

With ten weeks in the books, there are only seven more weeks left in the seventeen week NFL season. That means it's time to start looking ahead to how the NFL playoffs are shaping up. Since the Philadelphia Eagles play in the NFC, that will be the focus here. The AFC playoff picture isn't relevant in this case, but it's obvious that Andy Reid's 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs are in a good position.

The NFL playoffs feature a total of twelve teams, with six from each conference. The first four seeds are division winners. The last two are the wildcards. Here is the order of the top 6 NFC teams:

1) Seattle Seahawks (9-1) - NFC West

2) New Orleans Saints (7-2) - NFC South

3) Detroit Lions (6-3) - NFC North

4) Dallas Cowboys (5-5) - NFC East

5) Carolina Panthers (6-3) - WC 1

6) San Francisco 49ers (6-3) -WC 2

Division leaders: Seattle is all alone up top, with the Saints closest behind. Detroit is holding onto the NFC North lead after a victory over their rivals on Sunday. The Cowboys currently own the tiebreaker over Philadelphia despite having the same overall record.

Wildcard: Carolina is chasing the division lead and is also the current wildcard leader. San Francisco is a little further behind from their division leader but are still in a good position for the wildcard.

Beyond the top 6: Arizona is ranked 7th, Chicago ranked 8th, and Green Bay ranked 9th. Philadelphia is ranked 10th in the NFC but could easily jump to the 4th playoff seed if they manage to overtake Dallas for the division lead. Both the Cowboys and Eagles have 6 games left to play, and here's how they stack up:

The obvious goal for Philadelphia is to win the division. Their schedule is manageable, provided they can find a way to finally win home games. Beating Washington this week is important. Dallas is 3-0 in the division while the Eagles are 2-2. Getting division wins is important. Conference wins are also valuable. All of Philadelphia's remaining games take place against NFC opponents.

A lot of things can happen in the next five weeks, but as of now the final game against the Cowboys is shaping up to be a big one. There's a less likely chance the Eagles could grab a wildcard spot. The safer bet is them winning the NFC East.

Chip Kelly's Eagles fought hard to get back to .500 after dropping to 3-5 a few weeks ago. The Birds need to sustain their recent success if they hope to keep their playoff chances alive.

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