After dominating the New York Jets on Sunday, the Eagles further pushed themselves into the playoff picture. Going into the bye week, the team sits at 6-7, firmly in the hunt for one of two wildcard spots. How does the forecast look from here on out?
The teams that matter
- WFT (6-6)
- 49ers (6-6)
The two teams currently occupying those wildcard spots also have six wins, with the Eagles having played and lost one more game. Washington took care of business against the Raiders yesterday, while a narrow loss to Seattle dropped the Niners into reaching distance.
As far as the Eagles go, their schedule consists of two games against WFT, one against Dallas, and another against New York. If they can win two of those games at the very least, they should be in the conversation. Sweeping WFT would be the perfect scenario and likely wrap things up.
The team really does control its own destiny at this point and has a perfect opportunity to not only put some distance between themselves and those behind in the wildcard race, but successfully stomp down WFT back to a disappointing third place.
As for WFT’s schedule, it included two games against both the Eagles and the Cowboys and a season-ending clash against the Giants. It’s all divisional matchups from here on out, but having to face Dallas twice isn’t exactly ideal. There’s a strong chance that the Cowboys run away with the East over the next few weeks, but WFT dropping one of two games against them would allow some breathing room for Philadelphia, who were no match for Dallas earlier in the year.
The Niners, meanwhile, have quite an easy run-in to the end of the season. The Bengals could prove to be problematic, but the Falcons and Texans should provide two big opportunities for wins. The Rams could be resting players by the time the season-ending fixture rolls around, and the Titans could well be in a similar spot providing they can stay clear of the Indianapolis Colts.
On the outside looking in
The Eagles are the 8th ranked NFC team at the moment and have a one win advantage over the Vikings, Panthers, and Falcons. Minnesota probably poses the biggest threat from below, but aside from two matchups against the Bears, clashes with the Rams and Packers could stunt their progress.
Carolina will face the reigning Super Bowl champs twice, so there’s that, and a game against the Saints is going to knock one of those two teams back a peg, opening up leverage for Philadelphia.
Is it worth mentioning Atlanta? They do face the Lions…so, dub? The Panthers and Saints are two opponents, which again, a win or two would be very juicy for the Eagles. They also line up against the Niners. A shock win there could push San Francisco further down the order and elevate the Eagles.
In short, the picture is very bullish if you’re an Eagles fan. Playoffs aren’t a guarantee, but you can certainly make the case that the Eagles are among the best placed to make the most of a weak schedule and cement their surprising spot in the postseason.
Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire