The Philadelphia Eagles are off today since it’s their bye week. At 8-1, the Birds own the best record in the NFL. Their playoff odds are around 98% and their chances of landing the No. 1 seed are 47%.
The Eagles are in a great spot right now. But things can get even better for them if they get some help. (Not that they need it.) With that in mind, here’s what Eagles fans should be rooting for on Sunday.
NFC EAST GAMES
Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons: The Cowboys are riding a three-game win streak heading into Atlanta. Now Dallas has to prove they can win without Ezekiel Elliott, who is suspended for at least four games. A Dallas loss here would be great for the Eagles. The Cowboys’ playoff odds drop to 32% with a Falcons win today. It would also take pressure off the Eagles in their Week 12 matchup against the Cowboys set to take place in Dallas next Sunday night. I question the Falcons’ ability to get this done since they haven’t looked great lately; Atlanta is 1-4 in their last five games. Zeke being out at least gives the Falcons a better chance. Root for the Cowboys to lose.
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins: This isn’t a scenario where the Eagles want their NFC East rival to lose. Washington is less of a threat to Philly since they’re 4-4 and the Birds already have a head-to-head tie-breaker over them. The 6-2 Vikings pose a bigger threat to the Eagles’ quest for a No. 1 seed. Washington beat the Seahawks in Seattle last week so they should have a fighting chance to help the Eagles out here. If Washington loses, seeing them drop to 4-5 won’t be a terrible consolation prize. Root for the Vikings to lose.
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers: With the Giants at 1-7 and the 49ers at 0-9, this game obviously doesn’t have any playoff implications. Eagles fans should be rooting for the Giants to win in order to hurt their draft position. New York is reportedly scouting quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft so it’d be ideal for their pick to be as worse as it possibly can to hurt their chances of landing the passer they want. Root for the 49ers to lose.
New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills: This is a very important game for Eagles fans to keep an eye on. The 6-2 Saints, who have won six in a row, look like the biggest threat to Philly in the NFC. A Saints loss in Buffalo would give Philly some more breathing room. The Eagles don’t play the Saints in the regular season so it’d be nice to get some help here. Root for the Saints to lose.
Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams: Like the Saints, the Rams are a threat to the Eagles in the NFC. Philly will have a chance to beat the Rams and earn a tie-breaker over them. But it’d be even nicer if that head-to-head victory wasn’t necessary. A Texans win would be great here. It’s just so unlikely, though, with “Tom Savage” starting for Houston. Root for the Rams to lose.
Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers: This Monday Night Football matchup isn’t super important to the Eagles since they already have a head-to-head tie-beaker over 6-3 Carolina. A Panthers loss wouldn’t hurt, though. Root for the Panthers to lose.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears: This game probably doesn’t matter a lot as far as the Eagles are concerned. Still, I’d rather keep seeing the Packers lose just in case there’s a chance of Aaron Rodgers somehow returning late in the season. Root for the Packers to lose.
Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions: Obvious decision to root for an AFC team when they’re playing an NFC team. With that said, rooting for the Browns is pretty futile. And I want to be able to keep tweeting out Cleveland’s record since they passed on Carson Wentz (currently at 1-23). But a Lions loss is better for the Eagles. Root for the Lions to lose.
New York Jets at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The 2-6 Bucs are far from threatening an Eagles. But you should keep rooting for them to lose in the hopes they can get a better draft pick than the Giants can. Root for the Buccaneers to lose.
THE REST OF THE GAMES
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts: AFC matchup that doesn’t matter a ton. A Colts loss would be preferable when it comes to hoping the Giants get a worse pick. Root for the Colts to lose.
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars: Another AFC matchup that doesn’t really matter. Root for the Chargers to lose because of the Giants draft pick thing. Root for the Chargers to lose.
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans: Same logic as the two games above. Root for the Bengals to lose.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos: There’s two different ways you can go with this one. You can hope the Broncos lose so that the Giants have more competition for acquiring a quarterback in the draft. Or you could hope the Patriots lose because 1) they’re the Patriots and 2) the Eagles own their fourth-round pick, so the more they lose the better it (potentially) is for that selection. But with Brock Osweiler starting, the Pats ain’t losing this game. Root for whatever you want, I guess.