The Philadelphia Eagles don’t play the Seattle Seahawks until 8:30 tonight on Sunday Night Football. It’s going to be a long wait.
In order to pass the time, Eagles fans can watch some games that will have an impact on the NFL playoff picture. Philadelphia is already in good shape since they’re 10-1 and positioned to be the NFC’s No. 1 seed. But it wouldn’t hurt them to have a little more breathing room at the top. With that in mind, here’s who you should be rooting for today.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
Top six seeds
1 - Philadelphia Eagles: 10-1 overall, 8-0 conference
2 - Minnesota Vikings: 9-2 overall, 7-1 conference
3 - Los Angeles Rams: 8-3 overall, 5-3 conference (direct tie-breaker over NO)
4 - New Orleans Saints: 8-3 overall, 6-2 conference (direct tie-breaker over CAR)
5 - Carolina Panthers: 8-3 overall, 4-3 conference
6 - Atlanta Falcons: 7-4 overall, 6-1 conference (direct tie-breaker over SEA)
In the hunt
7 - Seattle Seahawks: 7-4 overall, 5-3 conference
8 - Detroit Lions: 6-5 overall, 5-4 conference
9 - Dallas Cowboys: 6-6 overall, 5-4 conference
10 - Green Bay Packers: 5-6 overall, 4-4 conference
11 - Arizona Cardinals: 5-6 overall, 3-5 conference
12 - Washington Redskins: 5-7 overall, 4-6 conference
13 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4-7 overall, 2-5 conference
14 - Chicago Bears: 3-8 overall, 1-8 conference
15 - New York Giants: 2-9 overall, 0-8 conference
16 - San Francisco 49ers: 1-10 overall, 1-9 conference
NFC EAST GAMES
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks: The Eagles can officially clinch the NFC East (and therefore a playoff spot) by defeating the Seahawks on Sunday. The Eagles had a chance to clinch the division on Thurday if Washington had defeated the Cowboys, but alas, the Redskins majorly choked. Time for Philly to take care of business tonight in Seattle. Root for the Eagles to win, duh.
New York Giants at Oakland Raiders: The Giants are terrible. They might be even worse now that they’ve benched Eli Manning for Geno Smith. It’d be pretty funny if Smith played well and the Giants somehow won. The G-Men can only ruin their draft position by winning, so let’s hope they do just that. Root for the Raiders to lose.
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons: A Vikings loss today would be great for the Eagles. Minny is currently the biggest threat to the Eagles’ No. 1 seed. If Philly slips up and loses just one game to an NFC opponent, and Case Keenum’s team (weird to say) keeps winning, Minnesota would likely have the tie-breaker over Philly due to strength of victory. That’s bad. The Eagles need the Vikings to drop at least one of their next two games: at Atlanta, at Carolina. So let’s go Falcons. Make it easier for the Eagles to clinch home field advantage in the playoffs. Root for the Vikings to lose.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers: The Bucs’ season is already over. The Packers are probably close to being done, but I wouldn’t say they’re completely dead just yet. They’re 5-6 going into this Bucs game. They might be 6-6 heading into a game against the winless Browns next week. No one should want the Packers are 7-6 given the fact Aaron Rodgers returned to practice this weekend. That’s a scary thought. A Green Bay loss makes Rodgers’ potential return less threatening. Root for the Packers to lose.
Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens: Not really a critical game for the Eagles’ interest, but a Lions loss would help the Cowboys’ chances of getting a wild card spot. I think it’s safe to say most would like to see Dallas miss the playoffs. Root for the Ravens to lose.
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears: The 49ers winning this game would only help the Giants’ chances of getting a better draft pick. Root for the 49ers to lose.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: Both of these teams are 8-3, but I think the Saints are a bigger threat to the Eagles in the playoffs. Not to mention Philly already has a head-to-head tie-breaker over Carolina. So a Panthers win is preferable here. Root for the Saints to lose.
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals: The Eagles already have a two-game lead over the Rams. The two teams will face off next week in L.A. In case the Eagles lose, it’d be nice if Philly had a little more breathing room to work with. So a Rams loss wouldn’t be terrible here. Root for the Rams to lose.
THE REST OF THE GAMES
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers: The Browns winning this game would only help the Giants’ chances of getting a better draft pick. Plus if Cleveland loses I can point out how they’re 1-27 since passing on Carson Wentz. And a Chargers win helps the Eagles’ strength of victory. Root for the Browns to lose.
Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins: AFC game. Doesn’t matter a ton. Denver win helps Philly’s strength of victory.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills: AFC game. Doesn’t matter. Go Bills.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars: AFC game. Doesn’t matter.
Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets: AFC game. Doesn’t matter.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans: AFC game. Doesn’t matter.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: AFC game. Doesn’t matter.