NFC Playoff Picture 2013: Reviewing the Eagles Remaining Schedule

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With four games to go, the Eagles are still in control of their own destiny as they aim to make the NFL playoffs.

The Eagles are red hot entering the month of December. They're riding a four game winning streak and own a 6-2 record in their last eight games. That puts them at 7-5 on the season, which just so happens to put them in the race for a spot in the NFL playoffs. Here's how the standings look if the season ended today:

1) Seattle Seahawks (10-1) - NFC West
2) New Orleans Saints (9-2) - NFC South
3) Detroit Lions (7-5) - NFC North
4) Dallas Cowboys (7-5) - NFC East
5) Carolina Panthers (9-3) - WC1
6) San Francisco 49ers (8-4) - WC2
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7) Philadelphia Eagles (7-5) - One spot out of the playoffs

As you can see, the Eagles would just miss the playoffs. They are a game behind the Niners for the sixth and final wildcard spot. Beating Arizona on Sunday helped the Eagles leapfrog the Cardinals in the WC race. That's now a valuable head-to-head tiebreaker to have. Depending on who wins the NFC South, the Panthers or Saints virtually have the 5th seed locked up. The Eagles need to hope the Niners lose in order for Philly to get their hands on that last wildcard spot.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys own the tiebreaker for the NFC East lead. However, the Eagles still control their own destiny, just as the Cowboys do. If the Eagles win out, including a win over Dallas in the season finale, the Eagles will win the division. Otherwise, it's hard to see the Eagles winning the division if it comes down to tiebreakers. Dallas currently owns the head-to-head tiebreaker (1-0, and that will be 1-1 at worst for them) and the division tiebreaker (4-0, and at worst 4-2 for them) over the Eagles. It would behoove the Eagles to see Dallas lost some of their remaining games.

With that said, let's compare their schedules for the final four games.

Philadelphia

Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17
Lions @Vikings Bears @Cowboys
7-5 3-8-1 6-6 7-5

The Lions come to town this upcoming week and that could be a tough game. It looks like a toss up. The Vikings aren't very good but they are still fighting, and Adrian Peterson is still pretty darn good. The Bears seem to be in a funk but they have been without starting quarterback Jay Cutler. The Cowboys are 2-0 since coming off their bye week.

Combined opponent record: 23-24-1

Dallas

Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17
@Bears Packers @Redskins Eagles
6-6 5-6-1 3-9 7-5

The Cowboys will have extra time to face the Bears since they played on Thanksgiving. The game is in Chicago, which may help the home team. The Packers game is interesting. It's possible that Green Bay shuts down Aaron Rodgers if they feel like the team is already out of playoff contention. For Philadelphia's sake, it's time to hope the Packers start winning and Rodgers will play. The Redskins game is looking easy for Dallas, but who knows, maybe it's a trap game with the season finale looming. Speaking of, the final game is shaping up to be a big one.

Combined opponent record: 21-26-1

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There's no doubt the Eagles are very much alive and in this playoff race. As it's been said in previous weeks, it's all up to them to continue playing well down the stretch. Destiny in in their own hands and it's up to them to focus on taking each week at a time.

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