Breaking down Eagles’ playoff chances following their bye week

During their bye week, the Eagles’ playoff chances took a bit of a hit, but they’re still very much in the thicks of things.

Here’s how the NFC playoff picture looks at the moment:

  • 1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2)
  • 2. Green Bay Packers (10-3)
  • 3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)
  • 4. Dallas Cowboys (9-4)
  • 5. Los Angeles Rams (8-4)
  • 6. San Francisco 49ers (6-7)
  • 7. Washington Football Team (6-7)

In the hunt:

  • 8. Minnesota Vikings (6-7)
  • 9. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
  • 10. Atlanta Falcons (6-7)
  • 11. New Orleans Saints (6-7)

The good news for the Eagles was Washington losing to Dallas. That dropped them to 6-7 and only a half game up on the Eagles in the divisional standings. That bad news, every other team in the hunt got a W. San Fran beat Cincy in overtime and Minnesota won a tight one on Thursday night. New Orleans and Atlanta both won as well, but the Eagles have the head to head tiebreakers over both of them.

Minnesota’s win was the one that really affected the Eagles. They’ve now leapfrogged the Birds in the standings and they have the better common opponents record (3-3 to 2-3). The Eagles will need to finish the season with a better record than the Vikings to make the postseason. Minnesota plays Chicago twice, the Rams, and Packers in their final four contests.

This week’s game against Washington will be the most pivotal contest of the season for Philly. They don’t technically need to sweep Washington to make the postseason, but it would obviously help their cause. One slip up in the final four games could derail any playoff aspirations the Eagles may have.

As far as the Eagles are concerned, the playoffs start this Sunday.

And unfortunately, they don’t control their own destiny any longer. Even if they win out, the Vikings would get the nod if they also win out. San Fran has the head to head tie breaker over Philly, so they’ll also get the nod if they win out. The Eagles will need one of those teams to slip up somewhere along the way, while not slipping up themselves.

It’s certainly possible, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.

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