Eagles playoff scenarios: Will the Giants play spoiler after Philly cost them a playoff spot in 2021?

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) reacts after a touchdown against the New York Giants during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The Philadelphia Eagles are just one game away from their first playoff berth under Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts. Regardless of what happens in the game against New York, the Birds will have punched their ticket to the NFL playoffs. How things look beyond that will be settled this weekend.

Current NFC Standings

1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)

2. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)

3. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)

5. Dallas Cowboys (12-4)

6. New York Giants (9-6-1)

7. Seattle Seahawks (8-8)

If the Eagles win against the Giants

A win against the Giants would grant the Eagles the #1 seed, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage for the NFL playoffs. They would then host whoever is the lowest-ranked team of the NFC East trio and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round.

If the Eagles lose to the Giants

If the Eagles fail to beat the New York Giants, however, things get murky. The San Francisco 49ers are only one game back and a win for them would see them top the Eagles based on the fact they have more conference wins.

If the Cowboys win as well as the Niners, and the Eagles lose, that would automatically bump the Birds down to the five-seed. The Cowboys will play the Commanders this weekend in a very winnable game. It’s scary how just one slip at the final hurdle could undo an entire season’s worth of momentum.

The Eagles will still be in the playoffs regardless, but the difference between a one-seed and a five-seed is massive.

Will the Giants play spoiler?

As for their upcoming opponents, the New York Giants have nothing to play for. Their #6 seed is secure and they’re too far behind the Cowboys to push any higher. However, this is the same Giants team that threw their toys out of the pram when the Eagles opted to pull Jalen Hurts from a week 17 game in 2021, throwing the fixture against Washington and ultimately costing the Giants a playoff spot.

I highly doubt that sour taste has left their mouths and wouldn’t be surprised to see a full team of starters looking to play spoiler this weekend.

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AP Photo/Adam Hunger