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NFC Playoff Picture: Eagles Fans Rooting Guide for Week 13

Who should you be rooting for in order for the Eagles to make the playoffs?

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The 9-3 Philadelphia Eagles have the day off since they already played on Thursday. The Birds went down to Dallas and beat the stuffing (pun very much intended) out of the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Eagles now own a one game lead (plus a tiebreaker) in the NFC East with four games to go.

Beyond the division race, the Eagles are very well positioned in the NFC standings. They currently rank second overall with the potential to finish at the top of the conference by the season's end.

Here's your Eagles fan rooting guide for NFL Week 13.

Quest for Home Field Advantage

As previously mentioned, it's very possible for the Eagles to finish either first or second in the conference. Finishing in first would mean guaranteed home field advantage throughout the 2015 NFL playoffs plus a first round bye. Finishing second wouldn't guarantee home field advantage but it would ensure a first round bye.

The Eagles will need some help to get to the top. The Arizona Cardinals (9-2) and the Green Bay Packers (8-3) are currently the biggest obstacles. Both teams also hold direct tiebreakers over Philadelphia, which is unideal. The Eagles need both of these teams to lose on Sunday.

New England Patriots (9-2) at Green Bay Packers (8-3): As witnessed first hand by the Eagles, the Packers are very good when playing home at Lambeau. The Patriots have won seven games straight by an average of 20 points in each of them, but this will still be a huge challenge. Tom Brady will have to out-duel Aaron Rodgers here. Never count out Touchdown Tom. The Packers don't have many tough games after this one. It's imperative that the Pats find a way to win here.

Root for the PATRIOTS

Arizona Cardinals (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7): The Falcons currently lead the abomination that is the NFC South. They still have a lot to play for despite being three games under .500. Meanwhile, the Cardinals come into town after only managing to score three points in Seattle. The week before that, they only scored 13 in a home win over Detroit.  Arizona is clearly weakened with the loss of Carson Palmer. Drew Stanton just isn't going to cut it. The Falcons have a real shot at stealing a win here. Even if the Cardinals do find a way to win, things won't be getting much easier for them moving forward. They still have to play each NFC West rival once more plus the Chiefs.

Root for the FALCONS

Anti-tanking in the NFC East

There aren't really any other games that impact Philadelphia's playoff odds. Here's a look at Philadelphia's division opponents.

Washington Redskins (3-8) at Indianapolis Colts (7-4): Washington is out of the playoffs so there's no need to root for them to lose. Instead, Eagles fans should want Washington to win in order to ruin their draft position. Also it would be funny to see D.C. fans pining for Colt McCoy as the future of Washington.


New York Giants (3-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10): The Giants were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Thursday. It would be pretty funny/sad if the G-men lost to the lowly Jaguars. Like with Washington, however, it's better for the Eagles to see their rival hurt their draft position.

Root for the GIANTS

Small potatoes

There's a tiebreaker category in the playoff standings called "Strength of victory". It's the fifth tiebreaker. The Eagles probably won't need to rely on it, but just in case... root for the Carolina Panthers to beat the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Rams to beat the Oakland Raiders. The Eagles beat Carolina and St. Louis already so a win for each would boost the Eagles' strength of victory. Not really a big deal, though.

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