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The Eagles’ three scenarios for clinching the NFC East

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Postseason bound?

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles did their part to stay alive in the NFL playoff picture by defeating Washington on Sunday. That’s the good news!

The bad news is that Dallas Cowboys beat the Los Angeles Rams. Had the Cowboys lost, the Eagles would’ve been able to officially clinch the NFC East with a win over Dallas in Week 16. That possibility is no longer on the table.

Let’s review the Eagles’ primary three playoff scenarios following Week 15’s results.

REMAINING SCHEDULES

EAGLES: Week 16 versus Dallas Cowboys, Week 17 at New York Giants

COWBOYS: Week 16 at Philadelphia Eagles, Week 17 versus Washington

SCENARIO 1

Week 16: The Eagles beat the Cowboys.

Week 17: The Eagles beat the Giants. The Cowboys beat Washington.

Outcome: Eagles finish 9-7, Cowboys finish at 8-8

If the Eagles are going to make the playoffs, this is probably how it’s going to happen. They win their final two games and they’re in. Simple as that. Well, not that winning games is simple for the Eagles.

SCENARIO 2

Week 16: The Eagles beat the Cowboys.

Week 17: The Eagles beat the Giants. The Cowboys lose to Washington.

Outcome: Eagles finish 9-7, Cowboys finish 7-9

Same thing as Scenario 1 except the Cowboys finish the season two games behind the Eagles instead of just one. Don’t think Dallas will be losing at home to Washington, though. Which brings us to the final scenario ...

SCENARIO 3

Week 16: The Eagles beat the Cowboys.

Week 17: The Eagles lose to the Giants. The Cowboys lose to Washington.

Outcome: Eagles finish 8-8, Cowboys finish 7-9.

Talk about clinching the divison with a whimper. This doesn’t feel likely but, hey, it’s possible.

BONUS SCENARIO

I don’t want to go down the entire “What if there’s a tie?!” rabbit hole because ties are very rare (see: just one this season) and it’s really just a waste of time. But I will note this anyway:

Week 16: The Eagles tie the Cowboys.

Week 17: The Eagles beat the Giants. The Cowboys lose to Washington.

Outcome: Eagles finish 8-7-1, Cowboys finish 7-8-1.

Again, the Eagles can’t be relying on the Cowboys to lose at home to Washington in order to clinch the division. Just win your final two games or else you don’t really deserve to be in the playoffs anyway.

MUST WIN GAME — BEAT DALLAS

You’ll notice that there is no scenario where the Eagles lose to the Cowboys in Week 16 and still make the playoffs. Even if the Eagles and Cowboys finish with the same record at 8-8, Dallas will have the head-to-head tie-breaker (2-0 against the Eagles).

The Eagles have done their part to make Dallas week meaningful. Now they’re facing a must-win game in the confines of Lincoln Financial Field.

Biggest game of the season. The pressure is on.

Poll

Will the Eagles beat the Cowboys?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Yes
    (6355 votes)
  • 43%
    No
    (4990 votes)
11345 votes total Vote Now

NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

1 - Seattle Seahawks (11-3)
2 - Green Bay Packers (11-3)
3 - New Orleans Saints (10-3)
4 - Dallas Cowboys (7-7)
5 - San Francisco 49ers (11-3)
6 - Minnesota Vikings (10-4)
...
7 - Los Angeles Rams (8-6)
8 - Chicago Bears (7-7)
9 - Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
10 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7)
11 - Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
12 - Carolina Panthers (5-9)
13 - Arizona Cardinals (4-9-1)
14 - Detroit Lions (3-10-1)
15 - New York Giants (3-11)
16 - Washington (3-11)