Eagles control their playoff destiny with pivotal Saints game looming

Playoffs? You kidding me?

No, actually I’m not.

Just three weeks ago, I would’ve verbally abused anyone who suggested this Eagles team had a real shot at making the playoffs this season. But here we are heading into Week 11 and the Eagles have somehow managed to get me to buy in.

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Now, before getting into how the Eagles can realistically make a playoff push down the stretch, it’s important to note that this is possible primarily because of the extended playoff format. With seven teams from each conference set to make playoff bids, we are bound to get at least one team in each conference that doesn’t really deserve to be there. And that’s exactly how the seventh spot in the NFC playoff picture is shaping up.

As it stands right now, the wildcard spots in the NFC are occupied by the New Orleans Saints (5-4) and the Carolina Panthers (5-5). The teams trailing right behind them and still mathematically alive are: the Minnesota Vikings (4-5), Atlanta Falcons (4-5), Philadelphia Eagles (4-6), San Francisco 49ers (3-5), Washington Football Team (3-6), New York Giants (3-6), and Seattle Seahawks (3-6).

The Eagles already have the tiebreaker over two of the teams ahead of them in the standings, Atlanta and Carolina. They could notch their third tiebreaker with a win over New Orleans this weekend, making this game all the more pivotal.

On paper, New Orleans is a better team than the Eagles. They have a top-5 coach in the NFL and their defense has been lights out all season. But they are on a two game skid and have lost some offensive fire power after the loss of Jameis Winston. Trevor Siemian has been fine as a fill-in for Winston, but he hasn’t been very efficient with the football, completing just 57.7% of his passes this season.

In the NFL, or any professional sport, all you can ask for is to control your own destiny. Nothing is ever given in this league. The Eagles control their playoff destiny right now and a win this Sunday would go a long way in securing that final wildcard spot at the end of the season.


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