The Philadelphia Eagles did not play a football game on Sunday since it was their bye week. A number of teams did play football games this weekend, however, and some of them had an impact on the NFC playoff picture. Here’s an updated look at the standings.
If the season ended today (it doesn’t), these six teams would make the playoffs.
1 - Philadelphia Eagles: 8-1 overall, 6-0 conference
2 - Minnesota Vikings: 7-2 overall, 5-1 conference (direct tie-breaker over Saints)
3 - New Orleans Saints: 7-2 overall, 5-1 conference
4 - Los Angeles Rams: 7-2 overall, 4-2 conference
5 - Seattle Seahawks: 6-3 overall, 4-2 conference
6 - Carolina Panthers: 6-3 overall, 4-3 conference
As you can see, the Eagles are in good shape at No. 1 overall. They would’ve been in even better shape if the Vikings/Saints/Rams lost on Sunday. Unfortunately for the Birds, all of those teams won.
The Saints, who have won seven in a row, look like they be the biggest threat to the Eagles right now. New Orleans only ranks third because the Sam Bradford-led Vikings beat them in Week 1.
The good news for the Eagles is that some of these top NFC teams will have to play each other soon. The Rams will play the Vikings in Minnesota and before hosting the Saints in Los Angeles. Then the Eagles will get a crack at the Rams in Week 14.
As long as the Eagles keep winning, they’ll be in control of their destiny for the No. 1 seed. A slip up from the other top NFC teams would give Philly more room for error, though.
Note that the Panthers haven’t played yet since they host the Dolphins on Monday Night Football. With a win, Carolina would move up to the No. 5 seed. A loss would keep them at No. 6. The Eagles already beat the Panthers so this doesn’t matter a ton.
Teams on the playoff bubble in the NFC:
7 - Atlanta Falcons: 5-4 overall, 4-1 conference (direct tie-breakers over Lions, Cowboys, and Packers)
8 - Detroit Lions: 5-4 overall, 4-3 conference
9 - Dallas Cowboys: 5-4 overall, 4-3 conference
10 - Green Bay Packers: 5-4 overall, 4-4 conference
The bad news is the Eagles’ top threats to the No. 1 seed won on Sunday. The great news is that the Eagles’ top threat to the NFC East crown LOST on Sunday. Here’s an updated look at the NFC East:
1 - Philadelphia Eagles: 8-1 overall, 6-0 conference, 3-0 division
2 - Dallas Cowboys: 5-4 overall, 4-3 conference, 2-0 division
3 - Washington Redskins: 3-4 overall, 3-4 conference, 0-3 division
4 - New York Giants: 1-8 overall, 0-7 conference, 0-2 division
The Eagles are in great shape with seven games to play. Philly has a BIG opportunity this week as they’re set to play the Cowboys coming off their bye. A win would put the Eagles are 9-1 and drop the Cowboys to 5-5. That would effectively allow the Eagles to clinch the division.
The Eagles can officially clinch the NFC East by Week 13 at the earliest. Their magic number (AKA the combined number of Eagles wins OR Cowboys losses) is FIVE. If the Eagles win their next three games (at Cowboys, vs. Bears, at Seahawks), for example, and the Cowboys lose their next two (vs. Eagles, vs. Chargers), then it’s all over. At that point, the Eagles would be playing just to make sure they get the No. 1 seed.
Here’s a looking at the Eagles’ remaining schedule.
Week 11 - at Dallas Cowboys (Nov. 19, 8:30 PM ET)
Week 12 - vs. Chicago Bears (Nov. 26, 1:00 PM ET)
Week 13 - at Seattle Seahawks (Dec. 3, 8:30 PM ET)
Week 14 - at Los Angeles Rams (Dec. 10, 4:25 PM ET)
Week 15 - at New York Giants (Dec. 17, 1:00 PM ET)
Week 16 - vs. Oakland Raiders (Dec. 25, 8:30 PM ET)
Week 17 - vs. Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 31, 1:00 PM ET)
There are some tough road games in this stretch, but given the way the Eagles are playing they shouldn’t really fear any of these opponents. Philly has a great opportunity to further prove they’re the real deal by finishing the season strong.