Some folks declared the Eagles dead a few weeks ago, but the Birds officially have life.
It still won't be easy for them to get to the playoffs this year, but after beating Washington 28-13 on Monday Night Football, they certainly have a chance.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Eagles' chances to make the playoffs are now at 28 percent and their chances to win the division are at 21 percent. That's up from 21 percent to make the playoffs before Monday night's game.
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If the Eagles are able to go to Dallas and get a win Sunday, their chances to make the playoffs skyrocket to 59 percent, while their odds to win the division would be at 49 percent.
But if they lose this game in Dallas, the Eagles' chances to make the playoffs would be down to eight percent and their chances to win the division would be less than one percent.
Talk about a must-win game.
So when we talk about the Eagles' chance of making it to the playoffs this year, know that it's all dependent on them beating the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday. Without that game, it's probably way too much of an uphill struggle. But the Eagles have two ways they can get into the playoffs: win the division or get a wild-card spot.
Let's look at both scenarios:
Win the division
Here's an updated look at the NFC East:
If the Eagles beat the Cowboys next week, both teams would be 7-6 and the Cowboys would have two losses in the division, while the Eagles would have just one. That's big because that's the second tiebreaker after head-to-head and they would have split the season series.
The problem for the Eagles is that the Cowboys' last three games are significantly easier than the Eagles' last three games. Check them out:
Eagles' last three:
at L.A. Rams (11-1)
vs. Houston (9-3)
at Washington (6-6)
Cowboys' last three:
at Indianapolis (6-6)
vs. Tampa Bay (5-7)
at New York Giants (4-8)
The Cowboys' opponent win percentage is 41.7 percent, compared to the Eagles' opponent win percentage of 72.2 percent. Yikes.
The good news for the Eagles is that if both teams win out after Sunday, the Eagles would win the division because they'd have one division loss and the Cowboys would have two.
Get a wild card
The other way for the Eagles to make the playoffs would be to nab one of the two wild card spots. Initially, this looked like a pipe dream, but a few teams lost on Sunday and brought this possibility back to reality.
Here's a look at the division leaders right now:
If the playoffs started right now, the Seahawks and the Vikings would be the wild card teams, but the Eagles are still in the hunt.
The Seahawks' only chance to make the playoffs is the wild card because the Rams have already clinched the NFC West. The Vikings could theoretically win the NFC North, but that seems unlikely because the Bears already have eight wins. The good news for the Eagles is that it looks like the Panthers and the Redskins are ready to implode. But they'd still need to overtake either the Seahawks or the Vikings to win a wild card.
Here are their remaining schedules:
Seahawks: vs. MIN, @ SF, vs. KC, vs. ARZ
Vikings: @SEA, vs. MIA, @DET, vs. CHI
The Eagles would probably be better off if the Seahawks beat the Vikings because then a win over the Cowboys would have them in first in the division, but also ahead of Minnesota in the wild card race.
After being declared dead by several folks, the Eagles are definitely still alive. But they need to beat the Cowboys on Sunday to stay that way.
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