The Philadelphia Eagles don’t have to play another football game for two weeks. That’s the benefit of securing the NFC’s top seed and the NFC East crown.
While the Eagles will look to get as healthy as possible for the divisional round, this week will also be the perfect time to see which of the wild card matchups will most favor the Eagles and allow them to advance to the Conference championship.
There are four potential matchups the Eagles will face next week. Let’s go through each of them.
4. Dallas Cowboys
It’s the one matchup Philly should be hoping they don’t see in the divisional round. Dallas and Philadelphia have played each other very hard twice this season and the Cowboys are arguably the most dangerous team in the playoff field.
Dak Prescott has enough weapons on offense to duplicate his solid offensive showing on Christmas Eve, and the Cowboys’ defense is loaded with talented vets.
This is the one team Philadelphia should not want to see.
3. Tampa Bay Bucs
Right ahead of Dallas is Tampa Bay but it’s much closer than people realize. Tom Brady and the Bucs have looked awful all season and haven’t won a game by two scores since a Week 2 win in New Orleans. At 8-9, the Bucs are a mess of a unit that has dealt with injuries and disappointing play from top players.
While they certainly could catch fire and go on a deep playoff run, the Eagles should want to play Tampa over Dallas in the playoffs.
2. New York Giants
It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season. It’s likely the Eagles will need to do so if the Giants pull off an upset in Minnesota on Sunday. The Giants backups played the Eagle starters hard this past Sunday and it should make fans certainly uneasy to a point.
But rookie coaches rarely get past the divisional round of the playoffs. At full strength, the Eagles dominated the Giants starters so there should be little stress if the Eagles are at full operation.
The bye was such a major point of emphasis for this team solely to get healthy and get an edge on a team like the Giants.
1. Seattle Seahawks
Of the likely scenarios that play out next week, the Seahawks beating San Francisco is among the least likely. But of all the opponents they could face, the Seahawks should be the number one hope for the Eagles next week.
As good as Geno Smith has been this season, he still has a penchant for turning the ball over at inopportune times. Add in the fact that Seattle has struggled against talented teams this year and the Eagles should be rooting hard to face Seattle next week.
It’s unlikely, but a Seahawks win would be the best outcome for Philadelphia.
AP Photo/John Minchillo