The Eagles are going to the 2022 NFL playoffs!
Philadelphia officially clinched a wild card berth on Sunday night with the third of the three results they needed to occur in Week 17:
1) Eagles beat Washington — Check!
2) 49ers beat Texans — Check!
3) Packers beat Vikings — Check!
The Birds are grateful for your help, Aaron Rodgers.
It’s kinda crazy to think the Eagles reached this point, clinching a playoff spot with one week still left to play in the regular season. Who saw that as a likely outcome after the team’s 2-5 start? Things looked much more bleak back then.
Of course, one of the big reasons for optimism was the Eagles’ soft schedule. To Philly’s credit, they took advantage of inferior opponents as they compiled the second weakest “strength of victory” metric in the NFL. And they didn’t just merely beat those lesser teams; they dominated a number of them. As a result, the Eagles own the 10th best point differential in the NFL.
But the Birds won’t be able to take advantage of bad teams in the playoffs. It’s time for this team to prove they can beat the good ones. The postseason represents a big opportunity to further evaluate Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts, and Jonathan Gannon. It’s also another opportunity to defy expectations in a very big way.
The Eagles are not yet locked into their current playoff seed. They can play their starters in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys if they want to try to improve to the No. 6 spot instead of settling for No. 7. But the smart move would be to rest their starters since they’re likely to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round regardless of the season finale’s outcome. As you’ll recall, the Eagles lost to the Bucs earlier this season. Much has obviously changed since mid-October.
We’ll have to wait for the specifics of the Eagles’ wild card matchup to be ironed out. In the meantime ... it’s time to celebrate making the tournament!
Assuming the Packers beat the Vikings tonight, here's every scenario if the Eagles beat the Cowboys Wk 18, & if the Cowboys beat the Eagles. They're highly likely to face the Buccaneers in the wildcard round either way, but there are more diverse options if the Cowboys win Wk 18. pic.twitter.com/tpnKN7EcYk— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) January 3, 2022
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
1 - Green Bay Packers (13-3) — Clinched home field advantage
2 - Los Angeles Rams (12-4) — Clinched playoff berth
3 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4) — Clinched NFC South
4 - Dallas Cowboys (11-5) — Clinched NFC East
WILD CARD TEAMS
5 - Arizona Cardinals (11-5) — Clinched playoff berth
6 - San Francisco 49ers (9-7)
7 - Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) — Clinched playoff berth
IN THE HUNT
8 - New Orleans Saints (8-8)
9 - Minnesota Vikings (7-9)
10 - Atlanta Falcons (7-9)
11 - Washington Football Team (6-10)
12 - Chicago Bears (6-10)
13 - Seattle Seahawks (6-10)
14 - Carolina Panthers (6-10)
15 - New York Giants (4-12)
16 - Detroit Lions (2-13-1)
AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
The Miami Dolphins were officially eliminated from the playoff picture, meaning the Eagles clinched at least one selection in the top 18 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Good news for Philly.
In more good news for Philly, the Indianapolis Colts failed to clinch a playoff spot by losing in Week 17. Indy still has a favorable path to making the postseason; all they need to do in Week 18 is beat the Jaguars Jacksonville on the road. If the Colts blow that game, there’s a chance that the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens can capitalize. That’d be a nice outcome for the Birds! Two first-round picks guaranteed to be no lower than 18.
1 - Tennessee Titans (11-5) — Clinched AFC South
2 - Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) — Clinched AFC West
3 - Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) — Clinched AFC North
4 - Buffalo Bills (10-6) — Clinched playoff berth
WILD CARD TEAMS
5 - New England Patriots (10-6) — Clinched playoff berth
6 - Indianapolis Colts (9-7)
7 - Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)
IN THE HUNT
8 - Las Vegas Raiders (9-7)
9 - Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1)
11 - Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
10 - Miami Dolphins (8-8)
12 - Cleveland Browns (7-8)
13 - Denver Broncos (7-9)
14 - New York Jets (4-12)
15 - Houston Texans (4-12)
16 - Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)