Everyone knows by now that the obvious path to the Philadelphia Eagles clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture involves the team winning at least one of their final three games.
Beating the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve would be a good way to do it.
But that scenario is not their only path to clinching something this weekend. There are other scenarios that aren’t necessarily likely but are still worth noting.
CLINCHING THE NFC EAST
The Birds can actually clinch their division without also clinching the top spot in the conference this weekend.
If the Eagles and Cowboys tie, Philly will be crowned NFC East champions. But they will not secure home field advantage and a first-round bye that result alone.
CLINCHING THE NO. 1 SEED
Again, simply beating the Cowboys allows the Eagles to clinch the No. 1 seed.
But they can also do it by tying the Cowboys ... AND getting help from the Minnesota Vikings either losing OR tying. The Vikings are currently 3.5-point home favorites against the New York Giants this weekend.
And note that Vikings-Giants starts at 1:00 PM Eastern on Saturday while Eagles-Cowboys is a 4:25 PM Eastern start. So, Philly will know if they can clinch the No. 1 seed with a tie or not by the time their game starts.
It goes without saying that a tie is an unlikely outcome for this week’s Eagles game. It’s not impossible, though. We’ve already seen a couple ties this year. And we almost saw a third with the Vikings narrowly beating the Indianapolis Colts with seconds remaining in overtime last week.