In order to pass the time, Eagles fans can watch some games that will have an impact on the NFL playoff picture. Philadelphia is still in good shape despite losing last week. But they could be in even better shape with some help. With that in mind, here’s who you should be rooting for today.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
Top six seeds
1 - Minnesota Vikings: 10-2 overall, 8-1 conference (strength of victory tie-breaker over PHI)
2 - Philadelphia Eagles: 10-2 overall, 8-1 conference
3 - Los Angeles Rams: 9-3 overall, 6-3 conference (direct tie-breaker over NO)
4 - New Orleans Saints: 9-4 overall, 7-3 conference
5 - Seattle Seahawks: 8-4 overall, 6-3 conference
6 - Carolina Panthers: 8-4 overall, 4-4 conference
In the hunt
7 - Atlanta Falcons: 8-5 overall, 7-2 conference
8 - Detroit Lions: 6-6 overall, 5-4 conference (direct tie-breaker over GB, common games tie-breaker over DAL)
9 - Green Bay Packers: 6-6 overall, 5-4 conference (direct tie-breaker over DAL)
10 - Dallas Cowboys: 6-6 overall, 5-4 conference
NFC EAST GAMES
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants: This game was originally scheduled for a late afternoon start but it got moved up since both teams aren’t good. The interesting thing about that is the Eagles can officially clinch the NFC East before even playing today. If the Giants can somehow pull off an upset, Philly would be guaranteed a spot in the 2018 NFL playoffs. The Giants winning would also hurt their draft positioning, so it’d be really great if that happens. C’mon G-Men, do it for Eli Manning! Root for the Cowboys to lose.
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams: The Eagles’ odds of securing a first-round bye go to about 97% if they beat the Rams. This is a huge game for Philly. Root for the Eagles to win, obviously.
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers: Here’s the big one. A Vikings loss would be GREAT for the Eagles. Minnesota losing combined with Philadelphia winning would put the Eagles back at the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture. In this scenario, the Eagles would clinch home field advantage in the playoffs by simply winning at least two out of last three games (at NYG, vs. OAK, vs. DAL). Even if both teams end up 13-3, the Vikings would lose out on a tie-breaker to Philly due to record against common opponents played. Root like hell for the Panthers.
Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: As you can see in the standings above, Detroit is ahead of Green Bay and Dallas. Therefore, a Lions win makes it harder for the Cowboys and Packers to make the playoffs. Root for the Lions.
Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns: Two sides to this one. On one hand, it’d be nice if the Browns lost because we don’t want to see the Giants somehow end up with the No. 1 overall pick. On the other hand, every Green Bay loss makes it less likely Aaron Rodgers somehow sneaks into the playoffs. I think the latter scenario is more relevant to the Eagles. The consolation here is that a Green Bay win hurts the Cowboys’ playoff chances. Root for the Browns.
Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Chargers: Don’t really care a ton. It’d be preferable to see Washington get the most wins possible while still also missing the playoffs. Worse draft pick that way. Alternatively, a Washington loss puts them one step closer to being officially eliminated from the post-season. Root for the Chargers to lose, I guess.
Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals: Again, don’t really care. A Cardinals loss makes it harder for Washington to get a draft pick than them. Also puts Arizona closer to being eliminated. Root for the Titans, I guess.
Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars: If the Panthers win today and the Seahawks lose, Seattle would drop out of six playoff spots. The Seahawks are a tough matchup for the Eagles. Wouldn’t mind seeing them missing the playoffs. Or at least decrease their chances of hosting a home games in the post-season. Root for the Jaguars.
THE REST OF THE GAMES
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs: I’d say it’s best if the Raiders, who play the Eagles in Week 16, aren’t as desperate for a win in Philly. Better to root for Oakland to not be in the playoff picture. Root for the Chiefs.