Playoff Picture: How were the Eagles’ Wild Card chances affected in Week 14?
For a split second following our Week 13 victory over the New York Jets, the Eagles could actually see themselves in the NFC playoff picture.
Unfortunately, this quite literally only lasted until the conclusion of the Washington/Las Vegas game when the Football Team was able to sneak ahead in the playoff race, thereby knocking the Birds back down to being “in the hunt.”
While the Eagles had Week 14 off to enjoy the bye, there were still a handful of teams putting in work that could, potentially, make or break Philly’s chances of a Wild Card Playoff spot down the stretch.
Our biggest competition right now is the Minnesota Vikings, San Fransico 49ers, and the Washington Football team. The Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Carolina Panthers can technically be considered ‘threats’ as well, seeing that they are on the brink of getting ahead of us. Still, realistically we would shoot ourselves in the foot and crumble before these teams had a chance to surge and catch up.
Overall, there is still a lot that can change throughout these next couple of weeks; we know how quickly the NFL moves but let’s get one thing straight, if the upcoming discussion on playoff scenarios is going to carry any sort of weight — the Eagles need to win, plain and simple.
A Wild Card spot is not out of the question as long as we play smart football (and some other teams start playing terrible football).
How did Week 14 affect the playoff race?
To be quite blunt, this week started on a horrific note and only got slightly better as it continued. Two of the three teams that should have lost to selfishly benefit our playoff chances ended up victorious, which is … not fun.
In its totality, Week 14 was just not great for us. Still, things could have been much worse, so let’s choose to remain optimistic — or don’t; you may be better off in the long run, especially if we miss the playoffs in terrific fashion and sit in misery throughout the postseason.
Okay … moving on — and remaining dangerously optimistic.
The Minnesota Vikings, as previously mentioned, are one of the teams that we desperately need to rack up some losses, and they did the exact opposite of that this week! Instead, they ever so kindly presented us with an impressive win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Thursday Night Football.
This win gave the Vikings the advantage to rise above the Eagles in the playoff race and drop us down to the 9th seed.
Nevertheless, we prevail and continue to blindly look at the bright side here; following Sunday’s matchups, we were able to remain in control of said 9th seed and not fall any farther down the barrel.
As agonizing as it may be, the biggest upside from this week came from the Dallas Cowboys and their win against Washington. I am mainly grateful now that this game is over and Dallas did what they had to do so that I can finally stop giving them any sort of encouragement. Honestly, it was pretty infuriating that I was even put in the position of having to root for the Cowboys in the first place.
But, on a more serious note — this win was extremely beneficial as Washington, who held the 6th seed prior to this week, was dropped to the 7th seed with this loss. This puts us in solid contention as we still have to play them twice this season, and it also made the 49er’s overtime win against Cincinnati slightly less painful.
A win for the Bengals yesterday would have been pretty significant, but apparently, they hate Philadelphia as they got our hopes up and fought to come back from an early deficit, sent the game into overtime, to then slap us in the face and let the Niners strut down the field to a game-winning touchdown (which was an incredible play but so not the point here).
This was an ugly one, but our chances of knocking out Washington remain high if we can conquer them in our upcoming match-ups and if Minnesota gets handed a loss, preferably more than one.
In a poetic way, we are looking at one big puzzle and trying to figure out how these pieces can fall into place and fall in our favor.
The Atlanta Falcons also lent us a helping hand this week with a win over Carolina. The Panthers were already behind us in the playoff race, but this loss dropped them back two spots to the 12th seed and grants Philadelphia some breathing room.
Playoff Picture as of Week 14:
Playoff Picture: (1) Arizona Cardinals / (2) Green Bay Packers / (3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers / (4) Dallas Cowboys / (5) Los Angeles Rams / (6) San Francisco 49ers / (7) Washington Football Team
In the Hunt: (8) Minnesota Vikings / (9) Philadelphia Eagles / (10) Atlanta Falcons / (11) New Orleans Saints / (12) Carolina Panthers / (13) Seattle Seahawks / (14) New York Giants / (15) Chicago Bears
Taking a look at how the playoff race is shaping up, after unpacking the effects on the Eagles from Week 14, it is pretty ironic because our viewpoints headed into next week have not really wavered at all.
There is still a decent amount of football left, and much of this playoff picture is susceptible to many changes, but for right now, our lives will be much greater if Minnesota, San Fransico, and Washington start losing and for the Eagles to be consistently winning.
I genuinely don’t think I am asking for that much here? For the time being, we can focus on one week at a time, so right now, all eyes are on the showdown versus Washington in Philadelphia this upcoming weekend.
Mandatory Credit: JetsWire.USAToday.com
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