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NFL Playoff Picture: Eagles help themselves with win over Washington

But, as Jalen Hurts said, “the job isn’t done.”

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles beating the Washington Football Team on Tuesday night was a big deal for their playoff hopes.

With a loss, the Birds’ chances would’ve dropped to just 6%. Instead, the win raised Philly’s chances to 36% with three games to go. This much according to FiveThirtyEight’s projection.

The Eagles are currently right on the cusp of the NFC playoff picture. If the season ended today, they’d just miss out due to Minnesota having the common games tiebreaker. Fortunately for the Eagles, the season doesn’t end today. They still have three games to make up ground on the Vikings.

If the Eagles go at least 2-1 the rest of the way, there’s a solid chance that could be enough to make the postseason. Philly’s next three games: vs. NYG, at WFT, vs. DAL. The Eagles should be able to beat either Jake Fromm or Mike Glennon this Sunday despite the rest disadvantage. The second Washington game could be tougher than the Tuesday night matchup assuming the Football Team gets some key players back from injury/COVID. Still, reasonably winnable. There’s been thought that the Cowboys might rest their starters in the regular season finale but one shouldn’t be so sure. There’s value in avoiding dropping to the No. 4 seed; the Cowboys could be playing to secure a top three spot.

The Vikings are directly ahead of the Eagles so they’ll be worth paying close attention to. Minny’s next three games: vs. LAR, at GB, vs. CHI. Mike Zimmer’s squad will likely be underdogs in their next two tilts. It doesn’t mean they’ll definitely lose those games ... but Kirk Cousins doesn’t exactly have the best record against good teams. There’s a reasonable chance the Vikes lose two of those three, giving the Eagles a chance to jump ahead of them.

The New Orleans Saints can’t be discounted in the equation here. They’re not overly threatening with Taysom Hill under center. But, as we saw when they shut out the reigning Super Bowl champions on Sunday night, their defense is pretty formidable. And their remaining schedule isn’t too daunting: vs. MIA, vs. CAR, at ATL. One would think they might lose at least one of those. The Dolphins have been red hot and the division games could be tougher than expected even though those two teams are pretty trash. It’s not insane to think the Saints could win out, though, which would put them ahead of Philly if the Eagles don’t do the same.

And so it’s up to the Birds to keep the pedal to the medal. Beating Washington was nice but there’s still work to be done.

Jalen Hurts said as much in his postgame press conference on Tuesday evening.

NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

DIVISION LEADERS

1 - Green Bay Packers (11-3)
2 - Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
3 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-4)
4 - Arizona Cardinals (10-4)

WILD CARD TEAMS

5 - Los Angeles Rams (10-4)
6 - San Francisco 49ers (8-6)
7 - Minnesota Vikings (7-7)

...

IN THE HUNT

8 - Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
9 - New Orleans Saints (7-7)
10 - Washington Football Team (6-8)
11- Atlanta Falcons (6-8)
12 - Carolina Panthers (5-9)
13 - Seattle Seahawks (5-9)
14 - New York Giants (4-10)

ELIMINATED

15 - Chicago Bears (4-10)
16 - Detroit Lions (2-11-1)