The fourteenth Sunday of the 2020 NFL regular season is here and that means it’s time to run through a Philadelphia Eagles-focused rooting guide for all of the Week 14 games.
Except I can’t bring myself to write about rooting for the Eagles to make the playoffs at this point. Losing games is the best thing for this team’s long-term outlook. It’s time to embrace the tank and cheer for draft positioning.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: The Eagles can realistically pick as high as No. 3 overall if they lose out. They’d have their choice of either the third quarterback or the top non-quarterback prospect. Keep the losses coming. Root for the Saints.
DALLAS COWBOYS at CINCINNATI BENGALS: A win by either team here helps the Eagles. Philly has an opportunity to move ahead of Dallas in the draft order with a Cowboys win. Philly has an opportunity to eventually move ahead of Cincy in the draft order with a Bengals win. Looking at the Bengals’ schedule, this game might be their only chance to win the rest of this year. And so the feeling here is that it’s best for the Bengals to win so the Eagles have a chance at getting No. 3 overall. The Eagles can still get ahead of the Cowboys in the draft order by losing a must-lose game to Dallas in Week 16. Root for the Bengals.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Doesn’t really matter for tanking purposes. But with Washington having a slight chance at making the playoffs as a wild card, it’d be good to see them sneak in and ruin their draft position. A lower pick makes it harder for them to draft a long-term replacement for Alex Smith. Washington has a better chance of catching Minnesota. Root for the Buccaneers.
ARIZONA CARDINALS at NEW YORK GIANTS: Need the Giants to stay first in the NFC East to prevent the Eagles from winning it and falling to the No. 19 pick at best. Cardinals loss also helps towards ruining Washington’s draft position. Root for the Giants.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at MIAMI DOLPHINS: It’s possible that Philly and Cincinnati could finish with the same record. In that event, the tiebreaker goes to the team with the weaker strength of schedule, which is currently the Eagles (.531 to .534). In order for the Birds to stay ahead in that category, it’s best for the Dolphins to win here because that result would strengthen Cincy’s strength of schedule. Root for the Dolphins.
TENNESSEE TITANS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: For the very slim chance of the Jags winning three more games and the Eagles losing out to potentially get the No. 2 pick, you can root for the Jags to win. Root for the Jaguars.
DENVER BRONCOS at CAROLINA PANTHERS: Of these two teams, the Broncos are going to be more desperate for quarterback help. Their options will be more limited with a lower draft pick. Maybe they make a big offer for Carson Wentz. Root for the Broncos.
NEW YORK JETS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: If the Jets win out and the Eagles lose out, Philly can potentially get the No. 1 overall pick! Okay, so that’s obviously not happening. But if you’re not ready to give up on a miracle, you can root for the Jets. Seattle losing also weaken’s Philly’s strength of schedule, which is a good thing. Root for the Jets.
ATLANTA FALCONS at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: The Eagles need the Chargers to win so they can move ahead of them in the draft order. As an added bonus, a Bolts win helps strengthen Cincy’s strength of schedule. Root for the Chargers.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at DETROIT LIONS: The Lions losing helps towards Washington making the playoffs and ruining their draft positioning. Then again, a Packers loss helps weaken Philly’s strength of schedule. You can take solace in either result. Root for the Packers.
For those of you who actually want to see the Eagles win the NFC East, here you go.
Updated #Eagles playoff scenarios going into Week 14. (I understand this may seem like a ridiculous exercise, but not any more than talking about the Giants winning the division would have been when they were 1-7). @Bo_Wulf @ZBerm @SheilKapadia @JimmyKempski @BleedingGreen pic.twitter.com/7GSL7Y1uqW— Deniz Selman (@denizselman33) December 10, 2020