The Philadelphia Eagles’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday severely hurt the team’s chance at making the playoffs. We’ll all have sour grapes if the Birds miss out on the postseason while whatever bum limps in from the NFC South gets a home game, but them’s the breaks. The Birds still have a shot, however, due to a few different scenarios that I found in the deep, dark corners of the NFL rule book.
The Cowboys lose one of their last two games, Eagles win both
Here’s your most likely scenario. Dallas plays against the Colts this week, who are no pushovers. They end their season against WASHINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB, who beat them earlier this season. If the Eagles and Cowboys finish with the same record, the Eagles win out by virtue of having the better divisional record.
The Seahawks, Lions and/or Packers lose out, Eagles win both
The Seahawks and Packers have both beaten the tar out of the Eagles this season, and hold tiebreakers over them. They also happen to be sitting in the two spots above the Eagles for the Wild Card. Seattle and Green Bay would have to lose out. It’s not likely, but it’s possible!
Then there’s the Lions. They have a better divisional record at the moment, but their final two games are against the Bears and Packers. But they’d also have to lose both games. The Eagles haven’t played the Lions, so the next tiebreaker comes down to inter-conference record. All of the Eagles’ losses? In the NFC. D’oh!
Roger Goodell decides he wants to see the Eagles in the playoffs and boots the NFC South winner
In this scenario, NFL Emperor Roger Goodell decides that a piece of trash team from the NFC South in favor of putting the good times had by all Eagles into the mix.
The Eagles just show up and play an opposing team
In this scenario, the Eagles use squatter’s rights to play a playoff game. They just show up at an NFL stadium and play whatever team is there. Who’s going to object? Chip Kelly is an innovator and a hero and people want him in the mix.
The Arizona Cardinals are abducted by aliens
This is the best case scenario since the Cardinals are dreadfully boring. The aliens would take away to figure out how such a mediocre team can be in line for a first round bye. The Seahawks and Eagles would move up into their empty, abducted slot. Everyone is happy.
The Eagles challenge one of the teams above them to a no holds barred, winner-take-all, dance-off
The Eagles should definitively win any dance-off scenario, unless DeSean Jackson is mysteriously involved. The combined might of LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, and the surprisingly svelte Jason Kelce should be able to destroy any other team that may take them on in a Step Up situation. Nick Foles will still be injured, even if healthy, for the good of the team.
The NFL suddenly introduces two new playoff spots per conference
In this scenario, the NFL decides it wants to cash in further on the playoffs and expands to allow 8 teams in per conference. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s less special to make the playoffs here. But the Eagles make it in and I don’t care.