With Philadelphia set to play on Monday night, Eagles fans can pass the time by watching other Christmas Eve games that will impact the NFL playoff picture. The Eagles don’t need any help at this point; they can clinch the No. 1 seed by winning this week. But in the interest of making today more interesting, here’s who you should be rooting for today.
Top six seeds
1 - Philadelphia Eagles: 12-2 overall, 10-1 conference
2 - Minnesota Vikings: 12-3 overall, 9-2 conference
3 - Los Angeles Rams: 10-4 overall, 7-4 conference (direct tie-breaker over NO)
4 - New Orleans Saints: 10-4 overall, 7-3 conference (direct tie-breaker over CAR)
5 - Carolina Panthers: 10-4 overall, 6-4 conference
6 - Atlanta Falcons: 9-5 overall, 8-2 conference
In the hunt
7 - Detroit Lions: 8-6 overall, 7-4 conference
8 - Seattle Seahawks: 8-6 overall, 6-4 conference (strength of victory tie-breaker over DAL)
9 - Dallas Cowboys: 8-6 overall, 6-4 conference
NFC EAST GAMES
Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles: As previously stated, the Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC by beating the Raiders on Christmas. Philadelphia enters Monday Night Football as nine-point favorites. Get it done, Birds. Root for the Eagles.
Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys: The loser of this game is eliminated from the playoffs. The winner keeps their hopes alive. Eagles fans should be rooting for the team they think is less threatening to Philly. The Seahawks have been struggling but they just seem to be a bad matchup for the Eagles. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are getting Ezekiel Elliott back so they’re more threatening than before. Personally, I wouldn’t mind Dallas getting eliminated today. But I’m good with the Seahawks being out of the playoffs, too. Root for the less threatening team.
New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals: It’d be great to see the Giants win in order to hurt their draft position. They’re currently projected to get the No. 2 pick but a win would have them tied with the Colts at 3-12 with one game remaining. Root for the Cardinals to lose.
Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins: Washington’s been officially eliminated from the playoffs for a couple weeks now. The more meaningless wins they pile up to hurt their draft position and convince themselves to overpay Kirk Cousins, the better. Root for the Broncos to lose.
Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals: The Lions winning makes it harder for Dallas to make the playoffs. Detroit getting in as the No. 6 seed would be preferable because they’re not as threatening as some other teams. Root for the Bengals to lose.
Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears: The Browns can clinch the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft with a loss today. That would keep it away from the Giants. Root for the Browns to lose.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers: The Panthers winning is preferable so it forces other playoff teams to keep winning and not have the luxury of resting starters. Root for the Buccaneers to lose.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: A Falcons win makes it harder for Dallas to make the playoffs. Root for the Saints to lose.
Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee Titans: If you want the Rams to have a tougher wild card matchup, you could root for them to lose. A Titans win would eliminate the Raiders, though. Root for your preference.
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Francisco 49ers: In theory, the Giants could win their final two games and be tied with the four win teams. So I guess root for the Jags? Root for the 49ers to lose.
THE REST OF THE GAMES
Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs: The Raiders will be officially eliminated from the AFC playoff picture with a Chiefs win. It could help the Eagles if Oakland has nothing to play for on Christmas. Root for the Dolphins to lose.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: Eff the Pats. Root for the Patriots to lose.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans: Make it harder for the Pats to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Root for the Texans to lose.
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets: Who cares. No one cares.