“If the Bears prevail, nobody is going to write that the Eagles’ season is over,” says Les Bowen.
I'm not so sure about that. I might.
Lets take a look at the Eagles’ playoff chances. Football Outsiders’ odds prior to this weekend gave them a 34-percent chance of making the postseason. The team was slightly more likely to win the division than the wild card, a result of a rather weak division.
But the Giants’ win over the Patriots last night put them a few lengths ahead of the rest of NFC East field. The Cowboys also won, meaning the Eagles -- if they lost on national TV Monday night == would be behind the leader by three games and the second-place team by a game. That scenario is not pretty.
And a loss to the Bears puts the Eagles further behind in the wild card standings as well. The Lions are way ahead at 6-2. The Eagles, at 3-5, would be two games down to both Chicago and Atlanta, both of whom would also have head-to-head victories against Philadelphia. They’d also be a game back of Tampa Bay and the Cowboys.
To make the playoffs with eight games left, the Eagles would have to go 7-1 the rest of the way and still get lucky, hoping that five out of the six teams ahead of them flop. Sure, there would be a token chance. But at that point, you’re really just playing for pride and Andy Reid’s future.
Demolishing the Cowboys last week was a necessary step, and it showed that there’s still a chance the Eagles could close out the season with a big winning streak. But the margin for error is razor-thin, especially against another team in the wild card hunt.