In addition to Philadelphia’s Week 15 game against the New York Giants, Eagles fans can watch some other games that will have an impact on the NFL playoff picture. Philly is already in very good shape, but they can still get some outside help. With that in mind, here’s who you should be rooting for today.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
Top six seeds
1 - Philadelphia Eagles: 11-2 overall, 9-1 conference [clinched NFC East]
2 - Minnesota Vikings: 10-3 overall, 8-2 conference
3 - Los Angeles Rams: 9-4 overall, 6-4 conference (direct tie-breaker over NO)
4 - New Orleans Saints: 9-4 overall, 7-3 conference (direct tie-breaker over CAR)
5 - Carolina Panthers: 9-4 overall, 5-4 conference
6 - Atlanta Falcons: 8-5 overall, 7-2 conference (direct tie-breaker over SEA)
In the hunt
7 - Seattle Seahawks: 8-5 overall, 6-3 conference
8 - Detroit Lions: 8-6 overall, 7-4 conference (direct tie-breaker over GB, common games tie-breaker over DAL)
9 - Green Bay Packers: 7-6 overall, 5-4 conference (direct tie-breaker over DAL)
10 - Dallas Cowboys: 7-6 overall, 6-4 conference
11 - Arizona Cardinals: 6-7 overall, 3-6 conference
NFC EAST GAMES
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: It’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles fare with Nick Foles in at quarterback now that Carson Wentz is done for the season. If the Eagles win, they’ll clinch a first-round bye. It’d be very discouraging if New York was somehow able to pull off the upset. The only silver lining there is that the Giants could potentially screw up their draft positioning. Root for the Eagles to win, obviously.
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins: Doesn’t really matter. I’d say root for Washington since they’e officially eliminated and all winning does is get them a worse draft pick. Root for the Cardinals to lose.
Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders: The Cowboys’ playoff hopes are already slim. A loss to Oakland would virtually end their long shot odds. Root for the Cowboys to lose.
Cincinnati Bengals at Minnesota Vikings: If the Eagles beat the Giants and the Bengals somehow upset the Vikings, Philly can officially clinch the No. 1 seed on Sunday. The Birds wouldn’t have anything left to play for in their final two games of 2017. It seems very unlikely that Cincy can get it done, but maybe they’ll shock everyone. (They won’t.) Root for the Vikings to lose.
Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers: Aaron Rodgers is back and that’s terrifying. He’s a big threat to everyone in the playoffs. The hope is that Green Bay doesn’t somehow qualify for the post-season. The silver lining to a Packers win is that it makes it harder for Dallas to clinch a playoff spot. Root for the Packers to lose.
New York Jets at New Orleans Saints: The Saints are probably going to make the playoffs but it’s still “possible” they could drop out in place of a more inferior team, like Detroit. So might as well root for the AFC team in this one, although it’ll be pretty pointless to do so. Root for the Saints to lose.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks: I’d argue the Rams are less of a threat to the Eagles than the Seahawks are. And I’m not just basing that on the fact the Eagles lose to Seattle but beat L.A. I just think the Seahawks are a bad matchup for Philly. The Eagles should want no part of Russell Wilson in the playoffs. And if Seattle is going to qualify for the post-season, at least make them play as many road games as possible. Don’t let them win the NFC West. Root for the Seahawks to lose.
Tennessee Titans at San Francisco 49ers: The Giants probably won’t catch the 49ers in the draft order but it’d be great if that somehow happened (after this week, of course). Root for the 49ers to lose.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: An Atlanta loss could be good in the sense that it could open a chance for a team like Detroit to get in. But it also opens the door for the Seahawks/Packers/Cowboys. If I’m the Eagles, I’d probably rather face Atlanta. Let’s not forget how Jim Schwartz shut the Falcons down last season. Root for the Buccaneers to lose.
THE REST OF THE GAMES
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Giants probably can’t catch the 4-win Texans in the 2018 draft order but here’s hoping for an outside chance. Root for the Texans to lose.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns: The Browns losing puts them one step closer to officially clinching the No. 1 pick in 2018. Keep it away from the Giants. Root for the Browns to lose.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills: Doesn’t really matter. Take your pick.
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers: Screw the Pats. Root for the Patriots to lose.