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Eagles Plummet: Crunching The Numbers Week 15

After their season-deflating loss to Dallas, what did the numbers have to say about the Eagles' performance?

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that sucked. The Eagles, who were 6-1 at home and had not lost back-to-back games since Week 4 of 2013, completely imploded in their opportunity to assert themselves as the class of the NFC East. Instead, they handed (fumbled?) the division car keys to the Cowboys, who now control their destiny with two weeks left to play. Do the numbers predict any redemption for the Eagles?

As I have been doing as of late, each team will also be noted with its predicted playoff seed, which can be compared to the actual playoff picture as it stands now.

Crunching The Numbers Rank Index, Week 15

1. New England (21.607, 1st Seed): The Patriots have solidified their spot in first place after their big win over Miami. If the Pats go on to win the Super Bowl (they seem to be in good position to at least get there), maybe a silver lining would be that Tom Brady actually retires. One can dream... Last Week: 1, 19.779

2. Denver (19.290, 2nd Seed): Speaking of retirement, Manning made a rare appearance in the locker room while the game was still going on. Naturally, he returned, but the fact that he was injured serves as a reminder that he only has so much left in the tank. Last Week: 2, 18.883

3. Baltimore (17.904, 3rd Seed): The Ravens move up a spot for all you haters, even though they only beat the lowly Jaguars by one score. I have to say that even though they are ranked so high I have a hard time seeing them winning their division with only two games left. Although that game versus Houston looks much more favorable now. Last Week: 4, 17.421

4. Green Bay (16.884, 1st Seed): As I predicted during the weekly picks, the Packers dropped a game after being unable to handle Buffalo's fearsome pass rush. They are still very much in control of their destiny with a game for the division against the Lions in Week 17, but you have to wonder if the head of steam they got in November is starting to die just before the playoffs.  Last Week: 3, 18.384

5. Seattle (14.306, 2nd Seed): The Seahawks are gaining momentum at the right time, as they have allowed a combined 27 points over their last four games. With Arizona still managing to win it might be tough for them to reclaim the division, especially with their second meeting in Glendale coming up fast. Last Week: 5, 14.536

6. Indianapolis (14.060, 4th Seed): The Colts clinched the AFC South for the second straight season last week, but are still technically in the hunt for a first round bye. Let's hope that Chuck Pagano keeps that in mind when they travel to Dallas this week. Last Week: 6, 14.298

7. Houston (11.705, 5th Seed): With both of their competent quarterback options done for the year, this is where the Texans probably peak before they had into their offseason in January. I'll be looking to see if Bill O'Brien has any tricks up his sleeve to save these last two games. Last Week: 8, 12.240

8. Dallas (10.761, 3rd Seed): The Cowboys retook the division here and in real life after doing to the Eagles what the Eagles did to them on Thanksgiving: forced them to play their style of football. They now control their destiny but have to fend off a good Colts team at home, where they have not played well this season. Last Week: 10, 9.872

9. Kansas City (10.654, 6th Seed): The Chiefs finally won one of their "must-win" games but still find themselves on the outside looking in. With the competition in the AFC North they'll need a miracle to make the playoffs. Last Week: 14, 9.043

10. Philadelphia (10.541, 5th Seed): A lot can change in eight days. The narrative in Philly went from "first-round bye" to "make the playoffs." It seems like the turnovers are finally catching up with them... GO COLTS! Last Week: 7, 12.745

11. Cincinnati (10.539): The Bengals vaulted back up within the cusp of the playoffs here in the rankings with their trouncing of the Johnny Manziel-led Browns. The tie has been working in their favor all season but it might come back to haunt them with a big game against Denver coming up. Last Week: 17, 7.783

12. Buffalo (9.913): The Bills protected themselves from a losing season by upending the Packers in a nice David-and-Goliath story. The playoffs may be just out of reach for them this year but they certainly seem to have a bright future ahead of them. Last Week: 12, 9.186

13. Arizona (9.860, 6th Seed): I'll tip my hat to Bruce Arians for keeping the Cardinals in great position to lock down homefield advantage with Drew Stanton under center. They close out the season with tough division games but can make a real statement as a legitimate Super Bowl team should they prevail. Last Week: 11, 9.225

14. Detroit (9.046): By virtue of the Packers' loss the Lions once again find themselves in the second seed. It's still essentially meaningless if they can't leave Lambeau with a win in Week 17. Last Week: 13, 9.086

15. Pittsburgh (9.038): The Steelers may be in the real playoff picture, but they're a middling team here. With important conference games coming up on their schedule against two playoff-hungry teams, we should see their true colors. Last Week: 16, 8.500

16. Miami (7.806): The Dolphins have fallen off the shelf recently but can still show that they are a team built for the future over the next two weeks. I can get used to an NFL where the Bills, Dolphins, and Browns are relevant and replace the same-old headlines we've seen for the past decade. Last Week: 9, 10.610

17. New Orleans (6.209, 4th Seed): If there is a silver lining to this Saints' season it's that their mediocrity at home is forcing them to win on the road. Then again, the Bears can't win at home either, so maybe I'm just pulling at straws here. Last Week: 21, 4.441

18. Cleveland (5.858): The Browns are most likely out of playoff contention at this point, but this season could potentially be a good sign for them. It remains to be seen whether Hoyer or Manziel can be long-term answers at quarterback, however. Last Week: 15, 8.585

19. San Diego (5.782): The Chargers dropped yet another game that they badly needed to win. They may have made a push in November to make a move for the playoffs, but the numbers said they weren't any better than "meh," which seems to be the case now in reality. Last Week: 18, 7.169

20. Atlanta (4.261): I would like to say that the Falcons are done, but they are unfortunately very much in this. Their game this week against New Orleans will likely decide the division. Last Week: 19, 4.800

21. St. Louis (3.927): The Rams' recent resurgence came to a halt on Thursday when they dropped a game to the Cardinals. Still, they played them hard and there should be optimism for the future in St. Louis. Although we seem to say this every year and it has yet to be true. Last Week: 20, 4.598

22. New York Giants (3.470): Congratulations, Giants! You beat an equally bad NFC East team and hurt your draft position in the process, while simultaneously helping theirs! Last Week: 23, 2.389

23. San Francisco (2.832): The 49ers continue their descent into irrelevancy and it seems to be a foregone conclusion now that Harbaugh is on his way out. It'll be interesting to see how the next guy feels about Kaepernick. Last Week: 22, 3.581

24. Minnesota (1.851): The Vikings had a nice two-touchdown lead on the Lions and then watched it all slip away in the second half. There are flashes of competency with this team, but is it enough to carry over into next season? Last Week: 24, 1.950

25. Carolina (-0.375): The Panthers squeaked out a win over Tampa Bay but it still wasn't enough for them to take a division lead. The sad part is that could change over the next two weeks. Last Week: 25, -1.379

26. Chicago (-5.076): The Bears lost to the Saints... who were on the road... playing outside in the cold. If that isn't rock bottom, I don't know what is. Last Week: 26, -1.379

27. Washington (-5.892): Redskins fans can take solace in the fact that they'll get another good draft pick this year. Which overrated player will they mortgage their future on this time? Last Week: 27, -5.723

28. Tampa Bay (-6.372): The Buccaneers are the only team who is no longer able to win the NFC South. That is how bad they are. Last Week: 28, -6.846

29. New York Jets (-7.380): The Jets got a win at a point where their fans wanted them to lose. This is a team that isn't able to do anything right, apparently. Last Week: 29, -8.813

30. Tennessee (-8.609): With that loss to the Jets the Titans are officially in the Marcus Mariota sweepstakes. I personally don't care where he goes as long as he stays out of the NFC East. Last Week: 30, -9.182

31. Oakland (-10.276): The Raiders have been playing their opponents tough recently, but sometimes simply having a lack of overall talent catches up with you. Last Week: 31, -9.741

32. Jacksonville (-10.436): The Jaguars were never really able to do much of anything this season except rush the passer. And even this doesn't really matter when you're giving up even more sacks on the other side of the ball.  Last Week: 32, -10.561

So what are your thoughts? Which teams are too high? Too low? What about the Eagles? Sound off in the comments below!

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