The Philadelphia Eagles needed a big second-half comeback against the Giants on Monday night to bolster their playoff chances. By winning in overtime, 23-17, to improve to 6-7 after NFL Week 14, they are now tied with the Cowboys atop the NFC East.
Dallas remains in first place for now thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker Week 7 home win over Philadelphia. But the most recent results have set up what’s shaping up to be a de facto division championship game when the Cowboys travel to face the Eagles in Week 16.
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Here’s a breakdown of the different ways left for the Eagles to clinch their third consecutive preseason trip:
1) Eagles win out
Thie one is simple. If the Eagles finish 9-7, just like they did in ’18, they would be in again, this time with their second NFC East title in three seasons.
Sandwiched around the Cowboys rematch, the Eagles visit the Redskins (3-10) in Week 15 and to the Giants (2-11) in Week 17. From here on out, the Eagles have the easiest remaining schedule of any team in the NFL in terms of opponents’ winning percentage (11-28, .282).
Given it wasn’t easy to beat either the Redskins (32-27 in Week 1) or Giants the first times at home, and they lost badly to the Cowboys on the road (37-10) this won’t be as elementary as it seems. but the Eagles are set up better than the Cowboys over the final three weeks.
2) Eagles lose once, but they beat the Cowboys
The Eagles would be 8-8 in this hypothetical. If the Cowboys beat the Rams in Week 15 and Redskins in Week 17, Dallas would also be 8-8. The Cowboys would win the division in that scenario because they would have a better division record, 5-1 vs. 4-2. So for this to work in the Eagles’ favor, the Cowboys would need to lose to either the Rams or the Redskins in addition to Philadelphia for the Eagles to make the playoffs.
3) Eagles lose twice, but they beat the Cowboys
Tthe Eagles would then have a 7-9 overall record and a 3-3 division record. They would need the Cowboys to lose their other two games and fall to 6-10.
4) Eagles lose once, but they lose to the Cowboys
The only way the Eagles get in at 8-8 when they’ve lost to Dallas would be for the Cowboys to lose to both the Rams and the Redskins.
The Eagles are 7-9 here. The Cowboys would at worst be 7-9. There’s no chance for the Eagles, then, because the Cowboys would have at least five division wins and the Eagles would have only three.