The first round of the 2023 NFL playoffs is here! It’s time to run through a Philadelphia Eagles-focused rooting guide for all of the Wild Card games.
As the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Birds will rest this weekend while they see who they’ll end up hosting at Lincoln Financial Field in the Divisional Round.
DETERMINING THE EAGLES’ FIRST PLAYOFF OPPONENT
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: If Seattle wins this matchup, the Eagles will host the Seahawks at The Linc regardless of what happens in the other NFC playoff games. Some would argue the Eagles should prefer the Seahawks to the alternatives, which would either be an NFC East opponent for a third time this season or Tom Brady. Even if you don’t think the Seahawks are the best possible Divisional Round opponent for the Eagles, you should want to see the 49ers knocked out of the playoffs. San Fran is clearly the biggest threat to Philly in the NFC. With the 49ers entering this game as 9.5-point favorites, it’s hard to see them losing. Root for the Seahawks.
NEW YORK GIANTS at MINNESOTA VIKINGS: There’s a pretty good chance that the 49ers are going to beat the Seahawks. Assuming no upset, the Eagles should want the Giants to beat the Vikings. Philly would then host the G-Men at The Linc for the second time in three weeks. The Eagles obviously crushed the Giants back at MetLife Stadium in Week 14. Then they beat the Giants’ backups in Week 18, though it was not super comfortable as they were going with an especially conservative approach to protect Jalen Hurts. Brian Daboll might have his team fighting hard in Philly again but, at the end of the day, the Giants are at a talent deficit and the Eagles would probably find a way to win. A Giants win in this spot also likely sets up the winner of Monday night’s game to face San Francisco. Root for the Giants.
DALLAS COWBOYS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: It’s always fun to see the Cowboys lose. And they’re clearly a better team than the Bucs. No need to over-complicate this one. Root for the Buccaneers.
DETERMINING THE EAGLES’ POTENTIAL SUPER BOWL OPPONENT
Perhaps it’s a bit much to be looking this far ahead but, hey, why not.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Doug Pederson forever. Also would rather see Trevor Lawrence than Justin Herbert in the Super Bowl. Though it’s not likely either of these teams gets there. Root for the Jaguars.
MIAMI DOLPHINS at BUFFALO BILLS: The Bills are 13.5-point home favorites as they host Miami’s third-string quarterback. The Dolphins are not winning this game. But you can root for the upset anyway. Root for the Dolphins.
BALTIMORE RAVENS at CINCINNATI BENGALS: Joe Burrow scares me more than Patrick Mahomes (0-3 against Cincy’s QB) and Josh Allen. Keep him away from the Super Bowl. Root for the Ravens.