Just two weeks ago the Philadelphia Eagles were 4-7, coming off three really ugly losses to three really bad teams and the focus was turning to what high draft pick could they get in 2016 and if Chip Kelly even survives this season. Two weeks later the Eagles are coming off impressive wins over the Patriots and Bills and now control their own playoff destiny.
There are several different playoff scenarios that could happen for the Eagles over the next three weeks, all involving an NFC East title(no shot at wildcard). I’m here to answer all the FAQs regarding the Eagles playoff chances and what they need to do to host a playoff game in January.
If the Eagles lose to Arizona are their playoff chances out the window?
The funny thing about Sunday night’s game against the Cardinals is that it doesn’t affect the Eagles winning the NFC East since they play both the Giants and Washington over the final two weeks. The Eagles can lose this week, Washington and New York can be with this week and the Eagles will still control their own destiny.
Remember, the Eagles winning both of their final division games gives them a 2-0 head-to-head record vs the Giants and also gives them the divisional record advantage over any other NFC East team with a 4-2 record.
If the Eagles beat Arizona can they afford to lose one of their final two games?
This gets tricky and completely depends on what Washington and New York do in these final three games. There is a scenario where the Eagles could win their next two and have the division wrapped up going into the final week if the Giants and Washington lose their next game and the Eagles beat Washington next week. They will have the common games tiebreaker over both teams if the Giants lose to Carolina this week.
The NFC East teams play all four NFC South and AFC East teams this season. Their record in those games will decide the division if two NFC East teams are tied in overall record, head-to-head record and divisional record. Their common games records are: Eagles 4-4, Giants 3-4(play Carolina this week) Washington 2-5(play Buffalo this week).
If Washington and New York lose this week and the Eagles beat Arizona this week and beat Washington next week, the Eagles clinch the NFC East.
Can the Eagles win the NFC East if they lose to Washington next Saturday?
This scenario is a lot simpler. If the Eagles do lose next week the only way they can beat out Washington is if they finish with a better record. Assuming they lose next week for the point of this scenario, Washington will have least 7 wins and the Eagles can only get to 8 wins. So, the Eagles need to win their other two games and Washington would have to lose to Buffalo this week and Dallas in Week 17. Basically the Eagles have to beat Washington next week.
How do they clinch the NFC East before the Giants game in Week 17?
If Carolina beats the Giants this week and the Eagles beat Arizona this week and Washington next week then the Eagles will clinch the NFC East going into that final game against New York. In that scenario the Eagles would at worst, have same divisional and head-to-head record vs Washington and New York, but would own next tiebreaker which is common games record.