The Philadelphia Eagles are off today after beating the Panthers (and Pete Morelli) on Thursday night. By defeating Carolina, the Eagles are now 5-1 and first in the NFC. Philly’s playoff odds are around 93% now and their chance of getting the No. 1 seed is 34%.
The Eagles are in the driver’s seat right now. But their chances will only increase if the teams around them suffer some losses. With that in mind, here’s what Eagles fans should be rooting for on Sunday.
NFC EAST GAMES
The Dallas Cowboys don’t play today since they have a bye. Only two NFC East teams are in action.
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins: The winless 49ers are set to face a Washington team that’s coming off their bye. While San Francisco certainly isn’t a good team, they’ve played some tight games. They only lost to: the Seahawks by three, the Rams by two, the Cardinals by three (in overtime), and the Colts by three (in overtime). It would be glorious for this one to go down as “The Kyle Shanahan Revenge Game.” A loss here for Washington would drop them to 2-3 and make the Eagles’ division lead even wider. With the 49ers entering this game as 11 point underdogs, it’s not particularly likely. But one can dream. Root for the 49ers.
New York Giants at Denver Broncos: What’s that smell in New York? Oh, the Giants are a complete dumpster fire. The G-Men are one of only three remaining winless teams in the NFL. The Giants are staring 0-6 right in the face after losing virtually their entire receiving corps to injury. New York is not going to win this game. But it actually wouldn’t be the worst thing if they did. The Giants are already dead in the playoff hunt. Any wins now only serve to ruin their shot at the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Eagles fans should be fine with the outcome of this game no matter what happens. Root for whatever makes you happy.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings: Here’s a big NFC matchup that will be aired in the Philly region on FOX starting at 1:00 PM ET. The Packers are arguably the biggest threat to the Eagles’ in the NFC. A loss would drop them to 4-2 as opposed to having them tied with the Eagles at 5-1. Now, Philly would still own the tiebreaker over them due to a better conference record. But a Packers loss would be preferable. The Vikings can advance to 4-2 with a win, so that’s not great, but Minnesota isn’t overly threatening with Case Keenum at the helm. The consolation here if the Vikings lose is that the fourth round pick they gave up for Sam Bradford (in addition to the 2017 first round pick) will get better. Root for the Vikings.
Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons: Along with the Packers, the Falcons are one of the biggest threats to the Eagles in the conference. Counting on the Dolphins to beat the Falcons in Atlanta is asking for a lot. But if somehow a miracle happens, that’d be great. Root for the Dolphins.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints: The 3-2 Lions are closer to the Eagles than the 2-2 Saints. It’d be more preferable for them to fall to .500 than it would for them to get to 4-2. Root for the Saints.
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Rams are 3-2. They’re facing an AFC team. Rooting for the AFC team is the easy call. Root for the Jaguars.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals: Neither team is particularly threatening right now but the Cardinals are even less so. It’d be better to see them advance to 3-3 than it would to see the Bucs get to 3-2. An Arizona win also helps the Eagles’ strength of victory percentage. Root for the Cardinals.
OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans: Eagles fans shouldn’t want to see the Giants get the No. 1 pick. The Browns need to keep losing to make sure they get it instead. Plus Cleveland is 1-21 since passing on Carson Wentz and that’ll continue to look funny as more losses pile up. Root for the Texans.
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders: A Chargers win would increase the Eagles’ strength of victory for now. But then the Eagles play the Raiders later this season, so ... Root for whoever you want.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs: This game doesn’t really impact the Eagles. But maybe I just want the Chiefs to lose so I can put the Birds at No. 1 in my all-important NFL power rankings. Root for whoever you want while I selfishly hope the Chiefs lose.