- The Philadelphia Eagles are 7-7 and currently on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture.
- There are ways for the defending champs to make it back to the postseason, as long as they can get a little help from around the league.
- The easiest path is to win out, but they may still be alive even if they lose on Sunday.
It’s been a tough season for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Just months removed from their first Super Bowl win in franchise history, the reigning champions have dealt with a series of devastating injuries and ill-timed collapses. They stand at 7-7 heading into the final two weeks of the season.
But thanks to Nick Foles and an impressive upset victory over the Los Angeles Rams last weekend, Philadelphia is still alive in their hunt to repeat as champions.
Below, we break down the four easiest ways the Eagles can earn a playoff spot.
Here’s how the NFL playoff bracket would look if the season ended today:
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The Minnesota Vikings hold the final playoff spot in the NFC. At 7-6-1, a half-game up on the Eagles in the standings. The 8-6 Seattle Seahawks hold claim to the first wild-card spot. The Eagles also trail the 8-6 Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East race.
For the Eagles to earn a shot at defending their Super Bowl title, they’ll need a bit of help from at least one of those three teams.
After their win over the Rams, the Eagles chances of making the playoffs jumped from 18% to 39% according to FiveThirtyEight. According to Philly.com’s Jeff McLane, there are 10 scenarios through which the Eagles can still make the playoffs, but some of those get into the precarious details of tiebreakers.
1. If the Eagles win both remaining games, and the Vikings lose at least once
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The most important step to the Eagles getting into the postseason is to win their remaining games. While there are scenarios that can see Philadelphia into the playoffs should they split their final two, things would get a bit more complicated.
The easiest way the Eagles can get back to the playoffs is to beat the Texans at home in Week 16, beat the Redskins in Washington in Week 17, and hope that the Vikings lose one of their final two.
Minnesota finishes the season at Detroit, and then home for the Bears, who at that point, might have little to gain from a win. If the Vikings drop one more game and the Eagles win out, Philadelphia would be through with a 9-7 record.
2. The Eagles win both remaining games, and the Seahawks lose both remaining games
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If Seattle lost its final two games – home against the Chiefs and the Cardinals – and the Eagles won out, Philadelphia could jump them in the wild-card race and snag the fifth seed in the NFC.
3. The Eagles win both remaining games, and the Cowboys lose both remaining games
While it’s a tougher path to the playoffs, the Eagles are technically still in contention for their second straight NFC East title. Should the Cowboys lose their final two games – home for the Buccaneers, and at the Giants – and the Eagles win out, Philadelphia would vault Dallas and win the division.
It’s a longshot, but the Eagles could still potentially host a playoff game in Philadelphia.
4. The Eagles win one of their remaining games, the Panthers lose one game, and the Vikings lose both remaining games
Even if the Eagles lose on Sunday, they won’t be eliminated from playoff contention as long as the Vikings don’t win in Detroit.
Should the Eagles split their final two games, Philadelphia can still make the playoffs at 8-8, as long as Minnesota loses the rest of the way, and the Panthers lose one of their final two games.
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