Now that the fifteenth Sunday of the 2021 NFL regular season is here, it’s time to run through a Philadelphia Eagles-focused rooting guide for all of the Week 15 games. This exercise will be especially interesting this year since the Birds have more things to care about than usual due to owning picks from the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts in the 2022 NFL Draft.
First, let’s establish some context.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
2022 NFL DRAFT ORDER
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: It’s ridiculous that this game got moved to Tuesday. The Eagles should channel their rightful frustration and kick the crap out of their division rival to make sure they stay in the hunt for a wild card spot. Root for the Eagles, duh.
DALLAS COWBOYS at NEW YORK GIANTS: The Cowboys can clinch a playoff berth and/or the division as soon as Tuesday. No need to see them have extra time to celebrate that likely inevitability. Also, a Giants win is preferable from the standpoint of damaging New York’s draft positioning. Root for the Giants.
WILD CARD FEVER
ATLANTA FALCONS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: The 49ers losing would help the Eagles’ chances of getting a wild card spot. The Birds don’t have to worry about Atlanta as much given the direct tiebreaker and the fact that the Falcons are much worse than their record indicates. Root for the Falcons.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at CHICAGO BEARS: Two reasons to root for Chicago in this one. 1) A Vikings loss gives the Eagles a chance to pass Minny in the playoff picture. 2) A Bears win damages the draft position for the pick (currently No. 5) that Chicago owns to NYG. Root for da Bears.
DRAFT PICK WATCH
NEW YORK JETS at MIAMI DOLPHINS: Rooting for the Jets feels pointless since they’re hella inept but do it anyway. A Dolphins win is going to drop Miami’s pick outside of the top 10. Root for the Jets.
TENNESSEE TITANS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS: The Eagles don’t want to see the Colts overtake the AFC South lead. Root for the Titans.
CAROLINA PANTHERS at BUFFALO BILLS: A Bills win is more helpful when it comes to hoping Indy falls out of the AFC playoff picture. But the feeling here is the Colts are going to make the postseason, especially after Saturday night’s big win. Therefore, a Panthers win is preferable with the hopes of Miami moving ahead of Carolina in the draft order. The Eagles don’t have to worry about the Panthers as a playoff threat, especially since Philly has the head-to-head tiebreaker. Root for the Panthers.
HOUSTON TEXANS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: One of these 2-11 teams is probably going to win. It could be the Jags with Urban Meyer now gone. A tie would be the best outcome in terms of preventing Chicago’s pick (owned by NYG) getting ahead of JAX or HOU. But that elevation might not happen anyway, so this game could be relatively meaningless. Root for the tie.
CINCINNATI BENGALS at DENVER BRONCOS: The Bengals are in a stronger position to make a run at a wild card spot with a better conference record than the Broncos (5-3 vs. 3-5). Again, the Colts are probably making the playoffs at this point, but the Eagles want to have teams ready to pounce if Indy suddenly slips. Root for the Bengals.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at BALTIMORE RAVENS: The Colts would enjoy seeing the Ravens slip out of a playoff spot. Root for the Ravens.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: A Saints win keeps New Orleans behind Miami in the draft order. The Eagles don’t have to worry about the Saints as much in the wild card picture with Philly owning the tiebreaker. Root for the Saints.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS at CLEVELAND BROWNS: The Browns are in stronger position to make a run at a wild card spot, giving the Colts more competition. Root for the Browns.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at LOS ANGELES RAMS: A Seahawks loss would really be a nail in their coffin but they’re probably dead anyway. A Seattle win gives them a chance at finishing below Miami in the draft order, which would be preferable for the Eagles. Root for the Seahawks.
ARIZONA CARDINALS at DETROIT LIONS: A Cards win helps to keep Arizona ahead of Dallas in the playoff picture. Root for the Cardinals.