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Playoff scenarios explained

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After the Saints game it came to my attention that despite the fact that the Eagles held the tiebreaker over both the Saints & Vikings that the Eagles were out of the playoffs and those teams weren't despite that fact that they could finish with identical records...

Well, as it turns out the explanation for how this is possible is as odd as the scenario itself... Thanks to DaveinSanmateo for this one.

In a three or more team tie for the wild card where two of the teams are in the same division, the divisional tie breaker is applied to those two teams first and the bottom team is eliminated.  Washington will hold the tie breaker over the Eagles on the basis division record.

 Head to head (assuming Washington loses to Dallas both will be 2-4).

 Common games (assuming that the Eagles win out and Washington beats Minnesota both will be 5-4).

 Division record (assuming the Eagles beat New Orleans and Washington beats Minnesota and loses to Dallas the Eagles will be 5-7 and Washington will be 6-6).

On Sunday afternoon, things were looking very good for the Eagles but the results of the Washington/NY Giants game and the Minnesota/Chicago game absolutely killed them.  Reverse those two results and an 8-8 Eagles team would have almost certainly been in.

So despite the fact that the Eagles hold tiebreakers over Minnesota and New Orleans, both of those teams could get in over the Eagles due to the fact that we lose a common opponents tiebreaker to the Redskins.