The penultimate weekend of the 2022 NFL regular season is here! It’s time to run through a Philadelphia Eagles-focused rooting guide for all of the Week 17 games.
2023 NFL DRAFT ORDER
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: The Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture with a win. They can also help to ensure the Saints first-round pick owed to Philly is at least a top 10 selection. Really gotta win!
DALLAS COWBOYS: Had the Cowboys lost or tied on Thursday Night Football, the Eagles would’ve officially clinched the division. That did not happen.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at NEW YORK GIANTS: There are two different trains of thought here. A Colts win helps the Eagles when it comes to rooting for the Saints pick owed to Philly moving ahead of Indy’s spot in the draft order. A Giants win, meanwhile, clinches a playoff spot and gives New York less motivation to go all out to win against the Eagles in Week 18. If you’re worried about the Eagles losing to the Saints, then the latter scenario is your preferred path. But if you’re rooting for the Eagles draft pick optimization, you’ll be rooting for the Colts. Also might not hurt that Nick Foles is starting for Indy. Root for the Colts.
CLEVELAND BROWNS at WASHINGTON COMMANDERS: A Browns win is what’s best for Eagles draft pick optimization since Cleveland is directly below the Saints pick owed to Philly in the draft order. But a Commanders win works towards preventing Aaron Rodgers from sneaking into the postseason. I know the Eagles already beat him but you’re crazy if you’d rather see him in the playoffs than Carson Wentz. Root for the Commanders.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: The Raiders are currently at No. 9 in the draft order, which is one spot ahead of the Saints pick owed to Philly at No. 10. A San Fran loss also helps to keep the 49ers away from the No. 2 seed so they might have to play a road game in Minny before an NFC Championship Game in Philly. The 49ers losing also gives the Eagles more breathing room in the event that Philly can’t clinch the No. 1 seed this week. Root for the Raiders.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at GREEN BAY PACKERS: The Vikings losing gives the Eagles more breathing room in the event that Philly can’t clinch the No. 1 seed this week. If the 49ers AND Vikings both lose, the Eagles could lose out and still claim the top spot with a Dallas losing in Week 18. Then again, it won’t be great to see Rodgers one step closer to the playoffs with a Packers win. But we’re approaching this scenario with the attitude that other NFC wild card teams will win enough to keep him out. Root for the Packers.
CAROLINA PANTHERS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: If the Saints beat the Eagles, New Orleans has a 24% chance of making the playoffs with a Panthers win and only a 4% chance of making the playoffs with a Bucs win. Also, the Bucs winning means clinching the NFC South and likely hosting Dallas in the wild card round. Tom Brady has never lost to the Cowboys. Root for the Buccaneers.
DRAFT PICK WATCH
DENVER BRONCOS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Rooting for the Broncos is an exercise in futility, especially with them going to play the Chiefs. But it’s what’s best for the hopes of Eagles draft pick optimization. Root for the Broncos.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at HOUSTON TEXANS: This game doesn’t really matter much for the Jags since they still need to beat Tennessee in Week 18 to clinch the AFC South. But why not root for Doug Pederson to win anyway. Root for the Jaguars.
BUFFALO BILLS at CINCINNATI BENGALS: Call me crazy but if I’m the Eagles I’d rather see the Bills than the Bengals in the Super Bowl. Something about Joe Burrow scares me while I believe Josh Allen, an excellent player, is more prone to making an erratic mistake or two. Root for the Bills.