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NFL Playoff Picture: Can the Philadelphia Eagles win out?

Imagine if the Eagles run the table to finish the season.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Part of a new campaign the SB Nation NFL blogs will be participating in during the 2014 season involves answering questions posed by Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk. Faulk, who is an analyst at NFL Network, asked his latest question in the tweet below.

When you’re GMC Professional Grade, you finish what you start. Let’s say your team finishes strong this season and wins EVERY single game left. How does it happen? And what does it mean? Do you believe that your team can make it happen?

You mean, the Eagles get blown out by the Packers and we're talking about the Birds winning out?! Yeah, it's not as crazy as it sounds. Or is it? Let's take a look.

How can the Eagles win out?

The Eagles have six games left to play. Three of those are home games, and the other three are road games. Three remaining games feature opponents that are over .500 while the other three games feature opponents that are well below the .500 mark. Philadelphia's remaining schedule currently looks like this:

Week 12 - Home versus Tennessee Titans (2-8)

Week 13 - Away at Dallas Cowboys (7-3)

Week 14 - Home versus Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

Week 15 - Home versus Dallas Cowboys (7-3)

Week 16 - Away at Washington Redskins (3-7)

Week 17 - Away at New York Giants (3-7)

While the realist in me says there will be at least one or two losses in that group, I don't think running the table is impossible.

In order for the Eagles to do just that, however, they'll need to resurrect an offense that's just been entirely too problematic this year. Philadelphia hasn't been able to generate a consistent ground game and they're turning the ball over way too often. Now, as the Eagles head into the final stretch of the season, would be as good as a time as ever for LeSean McCoy to show up huge. The problem with this proposal is that it's something that's been said all season long. For whatever reasons, the Eagles running game just hasn't been good enough. If that changes, look out. But until then, the Eagles will struggle to be dominant.

Philadelphia's defense and special teams units have proved to be capable of this season. It's time for the offense to stop with the turnovers and pick up the slack.

What does it mean?

If the Eagles win their remaining six games, they'll be 13-3. Depending on how the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers finish, that record is likely good enough for a first round bye. Philadelphia would need at least one of those teams to finish worse than 13-3, however, because both Arizona and Green Bay hold head-to-head tiebreakers over Philadelphia.

If somehow 13-3 wasn't good enough for a bye, it would certainly be good enough for the third seed in the NFC. That means the Eagles would play the sixth seed on NFC Wild Card weekend in Philadelphia. As it stands, the sixth seed is Dallas. If the Cowboys can't stay afloat, the Eagles would likely face one of those following teams: the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks, or the Detroit Lions.

A 13-3 finish would also mean that the Eagles would repeat as NFC East champions. That's an accomplishment that hasn't been achieved by an NFC East team since Philadelphia won the division four years in a row from 2001 to 2004. The last non-Eagles NFC East repeat winner was the Cowboys from 1992 through 1996.

Do you believe that the Eagles can make it happen?

I believe the Eagles can win out, yes, but I don't believe it will happen. The Eagles should be able to take care of the Titans this week. The Thanksgiving game away in Dallas is bound to be tough. The Seattle Seahawks have been very beatable this year but they won't be a pushover. Philadelphia's final three games are division games and anything can happen when two rivals play.

The most reasonable scenario, in my mind, is the Eagles going 4-2 the rest of the way. The team is very much on pace to finish as I projected they would during the bye week. I imagine Philadelphia will split with Dallas and the Birds will win the division. A 4-2 record in the team's final six games puts the Eagles at 11-5 on the season, which will be good enough for the third seed in the NFC.


Join the #GMCPlaybook discussion at and on Twitter by following @thisisgmc & @marshallfaulk.

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