With the Seattle Seahawks beating the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, the Philadelphia Eagles now only have one path to the playoffs.
The Eagles must beat the Washington Redskins in Week 17 ... AND .. the Minnesota Vikings must lose to the Chicago Bears.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
There’s obviously reason to feel good about the Eagles’ chances at FedEx Field. The Eagles are playing good football and Washington is not. Washington could be starting fourth-string quarterback Josh Johnson against Philly.
Counting on the Bears could be tricky. Chicago has reason NOT to rest their starters since a Bears win combined with a Rams loss would allow the Bears to clinch a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed. But perhaps Los Angeles gets up big on the 49ers early and the Bears pull their starters. For the Eagles’ sake, hopefully that’s not the case.
If the Bears actually try to beat the Vikings, there’s reason to believe they can win. Minnesota is 0-5 against teams in playoff position and Kirk Cousins is not exactly a big game quarterback:
Kirk Cousins: 32-36-1 as a starter, 4-23 against teams that finish the season with 9+ wins, and 8-26 against teams that finish the season with 8+ wins.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 11, 2018
It would be so sweet to see Cousins choke once again in order to allow the Eagles to make the playoffs.
If/when the Eagles make the postseason, they’ll be doing so as a No. 6 seed. This means they’ll have to win three straight road games just to even make it to the Super Bowl. The Eagles’ first playoff game on wild card weekend would most likely be against the Bears, unless the Rams lose to San Fransisco. Then the Eagles would be scheduled to play in L.A. once again.
We’ll see how it shakes out. All the Eagles can do is worry about beating Washington. If they can get help beyond that, great! If they don’t, that sucks, but it’s out of their control at this point.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
1 - New Orleans Saints: 13-2 overall, 10-2 conference
2 - Los Angeles Rams: 12-3 overall, 8-3 conference
3 - Chicago Bears: 11-4 overall, 9-2 conference
4 - Dallas Cowboys: 9-6 overall, 8-3 conference
5 - Seattle Seahawks: 9-6 overall, 7-4 conference
6 - Minnesota Vikings: 8-6-1 overall, 6-4-1 conference
IN THE HUNT
7 - Philadelphia Eagles: 8-7 overall, 5-6 conference
8 - Washington Redskins: 7-8 overall, 6-5 conference
9 - Green Bay Packers: 6-8-1 overall, 3-7-1 conference
10 - Atlanta Falcons: 6-9 overall, 6-5 conference
11 - Carolina Panthers: 6-9 overall, 4-6 conference
12 - New York Giants: 5-10 overall, 4-7 conference
13 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-10 overall, 4-7 conference
14 - Detroit Lions: 5-10 overall, 3-8 conference
15 - San Francisco 49ers: 4-11 overall, 2-9 conference
16 - Arizona Cardinals: 3-12 overall, 3-8 conference
The downside of the Eagles beating Houston is it allows the Pats to more easily secure a first-round bye.
AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
1 - Kansas City Chiefs: 11-4 overall, 9-2 conference
2 - New England Patriots: 10-5 overall, 7-4 conference
3 - Houston Texans: 10-5 overall, 8-3 conference
4 - Baltimore Ravens: 9-6 overall, 7-4 conference
5 - Los Angeles Chargers: 11-4 overall, 8-3 conference
6 - Indianapolis Colts: 9-6 overall, 6-5 conference
IN THE HUNT
7 - Tennessee Titans: 9-6 overall, 5-6 conference
8 - Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-5-1 overall, 5-5-1 conference
9 - Cleveland Browns: 7-7-1 overall, 5-5-1 conference
10 - Miami Dolphins: 7-8 overall, 6-5 conference
11 - Denver Broncos: 6-8 overall, 4-6 conference
12 - Cincinnati Bengals: 6-9 overall, 4-7 conference
13 - Buffalo Bills: 5-10 overall, 3-8 conference
14 - Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-10 overall, 4-7 conference
15 - New York Jets: 4-11 overall, 3-8 conference
16 - Oakland Raiders: 3-11 overall, 2-8 conference