Three Questions: Eagles Playoff Scenarios

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

Earlier this week, we sorted through some potential Eagles playoff scenarios, but there have still been questions about what’s possible and what’s not in the weeks ahead.

So let’s try to sort through them Q&A style.




What are the Eagles' chances of making the playoffs?

After last week's games, the Eagles now have a 67.1 percent chance to make the postseason, according to Football Outsiders. That's up 6.3 percent from the previous week.

The Cowboys' postseason chances dropped to 36.9 percent. They had been 52.7 percent before the last week.

What seed are the Eagles potentially looking at?

The Eagles have a 50.7 percent chance of earning the No. 3 seed, per Football Outsiders. That would mean a home playoff game against the sixth-ranked team in the first round and a potential trip the No. 2 seed in the divisional round.

The Eagles still have an outside shot (3.5 percent) at a first-round bye. They would have to make up a two-game deficit on the Saints, the current NFC South leader. That means either New Orleans would have to go 1-2 and the Eagles 3-0. Or the Saints would have to go 0-3 and the Eagles 2-1. The Saints travel to St. Louis and to Carolina before hosting the Bucs in Week 17.

Additionally, the Eagles would need the Panthers to lose at least one of their remaining three contests.

The No. 4 seed (9.5 percent) is not totally out of the question. That would require the NFC North winner (Bears, Lions or Packers) overtaking the Eagles. In that scenario, the Eagles would still host a first-round playoff game.

What about potential opponent?

If the season ended today, the Eagles would host the 49ers in the first round. And San Francisco is in fact the Birds' most likely first-round opponent overall.

Chip Kelly vs. Jim Harbaugh? I think the fans and media would have some fun with that. The Niners are currently 9-4 and in second place in the NFC West. They have a 44.2 chance of earning the six-seed.

The other team to keep an eye on is the Panthers. Carolina (9-4) has a 30.9 percent chance of being the six-seed.

The Cardinals (8-5), meanwhile, have an 8.2 percent chance.

There are still three weeks to go, but that's where things stand right now.

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  • Andy124

    Chip Kelly vs. Jim Harbaugh? I think the fans and media would have some fan with that.
    Should be fun.

    Thanks for the breakdown Sheil.

  • morgan c

    Would MUCH prefer Carolina to SF. SF is battle-tested, and their defense is lights out. While Carolina is having a great year, and their defense is also strong, I just feel that secondary is begging to be picked on. Furthermore, I don’t trust their offense at all.

  • Will

    11-5 or 10-6 what a turn around in Chip’s 1st year!

    • Richard Colton

      we go 11-5 while KC limps to the finish line? Chip needs to start hearing some COTY buzz

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    A first round bye at 3.5% – we’ve already won 5 straight games which I’m sure was less than a 3.5% 6 weeks ago, so I think that’s the thing to root for. I mean, we’re fans, not players; we are allowed to dream about unlikely scenarios that depend on good teams losing to mediocre ones.

    It’s not that SF and Car aren’t beatable, it’s that we’d then have to go at NO or at Sea the following week. We gotta get that bye and avoid an away game until, possibly, the NFC Championship game. Although it’s also possible if we got the bye that NO, SF, CAR, or DET go out to Seattle and beat them that week while we handle our business at home, in which case NFC Championship the following week at the Linc!

    • Andy124

      Dream big. I like it.

    • sprawl

      I think our offense and defense would actually ENJOY being up against Seattle’s ’12th man’ given how they’ve been practicing since Chip was hired.

      • GEAGLE

        FOles can’t be rattled

        • BrickSquadMonopoly

          Foles does infact get rattled rare as it may be…hes not invincible…I like your enthusiasm but this team needs to stay level-headed

          • GEAGLE

            When has the moment been too big for him?

          • Brian

            Dallas @ Philadelphia week 8.

          • Dominik

            Sad but true.

          • G_WallyHunter

            HEY! (hey) I’m your life! I’m the one who takes you there!

          • Dominik

            Said Chip Kelly to Nick Foles?

          • G_WallyHunter

            quite fitting haha

      • macadood

        “Wooooooooh” – Vikings’ Gjallarhorn

      • Tanner

        I think the way the Eagles call plays with the pictures, and hand signs would actually match up very well against the Seattle. Arguably better than any other team possibly could.

    • PhiEagles14

      To be completely honest I think we stay where we are, play San Fran in the divisional round (kick the living shit out of them) then go to N.O.

      • aub32

        I think NO would be a bad matchup for us. The two QBs that had the most success on this defense were Manning and Rivers. Both were able to pick this D apart and get the ball out fast. We haven’t seen a QB like that since. Brees isn’t easily confused, and he gets the ball out really fast. Add in that thrives indoors, and that’s a matchup that I’d personally like to avoid. No if we could bring him to Philly in the snow; O Baby!

    • jon h

      don’t we want to play on the road? Only loss on the road this year was to Denver – we’re road warriors!

    • OregonDucker

      Chip owns Pete Carroll. Pete even asked Chip for offense tutoring a couple years ago. Chip scares Pete. This matchup would be a hoot. Both teams would bang heads. Foles, DJax, Coop, and Shady would rule.

  • jabostick

    I’ll take CAR in that scenario – mostly because of Harbaugh over Rivera. However, being a Kaepernick fantasy owner, he’s been a stinkfest this year…

    The real question, is who’d you prefer in a 2nd round matchup, NO or Seattle (putting all various assumptions aside for the moment)? I really don’t know who I’d prefer…

    • DEBO 215

      I’d rather play New Olreans. I think they’re beatable. I can’t see a scenario where this team could beat Seattle, in Seattle.

      • sprawl

        Russel Wilson had a QB rating in the 30s in the 2nd half @SF on Sunday. There’s nothing magical about them playing at home against a Philly team that is 5-1 on the road and perfectly suited to handle the crowd noise.

        Not saying it’ll be easy but that Seattle team did struggle against some pretty weak teams this year and had to beat them in OT. Yeah it was on the road but I don’t think that matters as much against us.

        • DEBO 215

          Did you see what they did to the Saints at home?

          • cliff henny

            had more to do with saints. if the question was who’d you want to play in philly, then it’s the saints.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah I’d rather play @ Seatle and have the Saints come here

        • DEBO 215

          That game was in SF this past weekend…

      • jabostick

        I kind of lean that way too. Our D is probably better suited to a less mobile QB too. I guess my only reservation is that NO is likely more eager to play at Philly’s pace than Seattle would be. If Chip could manufacture some early points, maybe Seattle gets off their game plan quicker than NO would.

        Seattle isn’t immune to a clunker, too. They should’ve lost to TBay, didn’t look great last week (albeit on the road).

        Anyway, that’s a long way off

        • GEAGLE

          I’d actually rather have cox,Kendricks,Curry chase around mobile QBs, then have to deal with Brees getting the ball out the fastest, being the most experienced, and having the toughest pass catching match up in the entire playoffs in Kendricks…rather use Kendricks as a versatile weapon chasing around the mobile QBs, then have him on his heels glued to Jimmy Graham all game

          • jabostick

            Good points also! Neither team is an attractive option, though I don’t think they view McCoy, Foles and Co as a great play either.

            I’m going to take a page out of Chip’s book though and think about the fact that All Day said he’s gonna play against Philly. I don’t want to be responsible for any bad karma by looking ahead haha

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah, certainly no gimmes in the playoffs

      • GEAGLE

        I’d rather play Seatle I think. Think it’s easier for our D to stop Seattle and their suspect OTs…our offense is putting up points on anyone, thus I’d feel more confident out scouring Seatle and their average WRs, then the saints spread the ball all over the place attack…unless you want to heavily rely on Carmichael,Roc…you don’t wanna play the saints

        • Bukester

          I would LOVE to play Seattle now. In Seattle. Its hard not to respect them, but just the experience alone would be great. Eleven guys running to the line of scrimmage, lining up, popping their heads up at the same time, dropping into stance at the same time and hiking the ball – all within 10-12 seconds. No confused quarterback looking back at the sideline shaking his head and pointing at his ears, followed by a delay-of-game – then the whole thing all over again!!! No way man! Chip-ball, bitch!

          • GEAGLE

            Same man…win or lose I would love to see how our young team handles that test

          • EaglePete

            its not always about getting the play call in. I think the crowd noise effects the snap count more than anything. Can the linemen hear the count etc. That can hurt any offense.

          • OregonDucker

            Carroll has seen it before when he played Chip. Then Pete’s team got slaughtered 47-20.

    • cliff henny

      at that point, 10 or 11 reg season wins, home playoff win, i’d be so out of my mind jacked-up, Eagles could suit me up as kickoff wedge breaker-if it still existed.
      .
      just something about Seattle i cant buy into. guess being newer group to the elites. Eagles dont turn it over, see that having bigger impact on Seattle having to drive 80 than brees. brees in the dome goes 80 as easily as 40, and has for years.

  • sbanul20

    Just had the thought: What are the Eagles chances of making the playoffs at this point? Scoured ESPN for some answers, couldn’t find a thing. Then thought: Let’s see if Birds 24/7 has been updated. And look at that. Thanks, Sheil.

    • GEAGLE

      What’s the question? We are running the table

  • DEBO 215

    The Eagles have a great chance of making the playoffs 60% of the time, everytime.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Alright, enough anchorman references on this blog for one day haha

  • GEAGLE

    This may be the homer in me, but if we run the table than I won’t fear many of these teams To think we can’t beat them. If we run the table it means we were focused and men lily tough enough to Not lose this let down game with the Vikings, and face two more teams fighting for the playoffs with really good WRs..if we run the table it means we beat Arizona,Detroit,Chicago,and Dallas who all have difficult WR matchups and were fighting for their playoff chances..
    ..
    The competition becomes more stiff in the playoffs, I guess I would rather face:
    ..
    1) Niners..they are Bullies, and when you stand up to a bully they become beatable. In don’t believe any Oline in the NFC playoffs is bullying our front 7. We can shut down gore no make them one dimensional, and I’ll take my chances with Curry and Cox chasing kAp around and trying to rattle him
    ..
    1) Carolina provides a tougher test for our Oline but their secondary is vulnerable. I also think there is nothing remarkable about their offense other than Cam…outside of the QB position I think their offense is the easiest for our defense to handle. Niners will have a ton of pressure on their backs not to lose in the first round, kAp is suspect! Carolina can play much looser in round 1 then the Niners which I think makes them dangerous. I also think the Niners front 7 players are declining, and if think Kuechly and his front 4 are a tougher matchup..

    3) Seattle…suspect OT’s can be exposed by our ferocious front 7 and I like Cox and Curry chasing Wilson around all day. We can contain BEASTMODE. you aren’t going to just smash mouth our front seven. Not I with the heart we play with.nWe punished Lacy! the last bully back to face us. Their WRs and TEs are a much easier match up then the saints who will spread it around, force roc Carmichael on the field and then pick on him all game..I believe our offense will score on anyone come January, it’s easier for us to out score Seatle then have to win a shoot out with the saints…Seatle is easier for Kendricks than having to worry about Jimmy Graham all day. Seatle doesn’t have a TE that requires Kendricks undivided attention all game so he is free to be used as a weapon
    ..
    4) That’s why the Saints for me are our toughest match up…I love our defense, but great offense can beat great defense. I think FOles and shady can put up points on these Niners(their defense is NO better than Arizonas was), Seattle, and Carolina? I don’t think anyone will shut down this offense a month from now…so I think the toughest game would be the team that’s the hardest for our defense to stop. Brees spreads it around to the most weapons, and gets the ball out fastest and has the most dangerous WR in the NFC playoffs,Jimmy Graham. So for me I’d rather go to Seatle than NO

    • cliff henny

      regardless, not an easy ride thru playoffs. next year take care of all this road/home dome noise bs and go 14-2 or 15-1. get 2 at the Linc. still sick Reid went 1-2 in those games

      • GEAGLE

        Absolutely…I don’t think you will be seeing these games where we are in control 45 out of 60 minutes when we get to the playoffs…I think every one of those teams would put us thru a dogfight to win, but I don’t see anyone who I think! we have no business playing

    • Bukester

      I’m with you. If we play well and make the playoffs somehow. I am not afraid of anyone. I live overseas now, but lived in NYC area for years – around Giants fans. A-holes. But I did appreciate Eli a lot more than they did. I still do actually. He’s not great – doesn’t say he is. And he always plays with the right amount of amnesia that they are dangerous. I see the Birds in the same vein right now. The Giants had NO RIGHT statistically to win either of those 2 superbowls. Just stop thinking, play and forget. Rinse and repeat.

  • A

    Kelly can potentially take down harbaugh, newton, Carroll and Reid.

    • OregonDucker

      Chip has taken down Harbaugh and Carroll before. He knows Newton’s tendencies from the BCS game. Reid is well known. By then the Eagles will be a juggernaut – no worries.

  • daggolden

    Do you SIT your starters vs the Bears? Theres a interesting debate going on
    right now. If the Cowboys beat GB and Washington and Sunday night comes and the
    Eagles are 9-5 and Dallas is 9-6 that Chicago game means nothing. The Eagles win
    they are 10-5 and must beat Dallas week 17 because losing puts them both at 10-6
    and Eagles lose tiebreaker. If Eagles lose to Chicago they will be tie with
    Dallas and must win in Dallas anyway. Do you sit Shady,DJax , Foles, Peters etc
    if the Chicago game means nothing and have them rested for season finale or do
    you take the injury risk on a cold Sunday night vs the Bears in a game that
    means nothing. hmmmm

    • DEBO 215

      I think you play them. They’re in a great rhythm right now. I think you play them and just hope for the opportunity to rest some guys early in the second half with a big lead.

    • Chris

      I think you have to play them because:

      A) team is on a roll and playing hot, wouldn’t want to mess with momentum
      B) We could be playing for wild card spot at 10-6
      C) we dont have many lingering injuries that require us to be rested
      D) and maybe most important, we could be playing for 2nd seed, if we beat CHI and DAL we end at 11-5, which COULD be 2nd seed and 1st round bye. you take a loss at CHI you almost guarantee 3rd seed w/win at DAL

      My only caveat to reconsider would be if our starters are getting blown out against CHI or if we have NO chance of 2nd seed.

    • cliff henny

      10 wins still might get wild card. panthers have been know to choke. them going 1-2 is real possibilty.

    • Andy124

      also have the 3-seed to play for.

      and just on principle, no way in hell.

    • Andy124

      Also:

      WIN THE DAY!!!

      • jabostick

        Ha, I want Sheil to come up with a scenario like the one above, complete with various Wild Card implications and ask Chip only to have him say “I don’t speak in hypotheticals” and then quote Confucius

        • Andy124

          Confucius say, win the day.

  • DEBO 215

    Not to be a dick, but if Foles showed up the first time we played Dallas, we wouldn’t be talking about this right now…it’d be “when” not “if” we make the playoffs, and we’d be wondering if we could get a bye week. This still frustrates me despite his success. That game was there for the taking.

    • cliff henny

      was his 7th start! cut the guy a break. plus, if we’d stop bringing it up, he probably doesnt even remember how he played. bet he was concussed alot early than that sideline hit

      • Andy124

        Concussiongate.
        The Great Concussion Coverup.
        Dizzy vs. Dallas.
        The Hidden Head Trauma.
        Concussions Gone Wild.

        • cliff henny

          haha…mean, something has to explain it. he really picked the absolute worst team to play like that against.

          • Andy81632

            Seems very plausible to me.

          • nicksaenz1

            I’ve been refraining from saying it because I’ve been one of the most outspoken people rooting for Foles so it seems very biased when I say it, but I’m pretty sure he had to be concussed in the 1st on one of the monster hits he took.

          • G_WallyHunter

            and he never hinted at anything like that to protect the team, BINGO. very plausible. Remember he’s team first, that also means organization first.

        • DEBO 215

          The guy didn’t get a concussion until the second half when he froze like a deer in headlights instead of throwing the damn ball away.

    • GEAGLE

      Really? We are complaining about the hottest team that has won 7 of it’s last 9?

      • devCal

        8 of the last 13!

      • DEBO 215

        Not complaining at all, just a fact. I’m just saying it’s a shame that we didn’t win that game, especially considering how winnable it was.

  • theycallmerob

    #3 eagles > #6 49ers, #5 Panthers > #4 whoever
    #5 panthers > #1 seattle (slugfest), #3 eagles > #2 saints (foles on turf, baby)
    After Harbaugh and Payton on the road, Chip gets to match wits with the riverboat!
    #3 eagles win at home for the NFC title.

    • aub32

      I like your optimism but have you seen Brees in that building. I’m sorry but Brees>Foles on turf from what I have seen. In fact, what turf performances have you seen of Foles that would suggest he’s greater on turf than on grass?

      • theycallmerob

        Nothing aub. No proof other than my hopes and dreams. Sorry that doesn’t suffice

        • aub32

          You make these unfounded staetments, then try and casually dismiss the fact they had no basis. Brees plays in a dome. His tract record for performing well in a dome, especially the Superdome is well known and numbers back it up. Foles plays in Philly. The majority of his road games have been on grass. His greatest performance ever, the Raiders game, happened on one of the worst fields in the league.

          • theycallmerob

            Aub. This is a blog. I stated my ideal scenario. I’m sorry you feel the need to police my posts looking for proper referencing.
            And on turf, I’d take our skill guys any day of the week. But so you know, that’s also just an opinion.
            By the way, see the recent SI cover?

          • aub32

            I get we all have our ideal scenarios, and I am not here to police anyone. I do like questtioning opinions that do not seem to have reasoning because maybe that person knows something I don’t. To my knowledge I don’t see what advantage Foles would have in a dome, especially considering he would be going against Brees. I get McCoy and DJax, but not Foles. Had you said (Shady or DJax in a dome I would not disagree). Though I still think we are at a disadvantage in that building considering how they have destroyed teams at home and lost to the Jets on the road.

            I did see the cover. I’m not really sure why you brought it up though. Shady had much more to do with the win than Foles, but it’s a nice story line and photo, so there’s that. Don’t misunderstand my meaning by that. Foles had a really good second half. I was really happy to see him come back after a bad first half, which was not at all helped by the weather. I just think that particular game was more about Shady.

  • PhiEagles14

    Hey Sheil, don’t know if anyone pointed this out to you but in your paragraph about the 4th seed I’m pretty sure you mean the lions not vikings! unless i misread it!

    • skapadia

      Fixed… thanks! – SK

  • borntosuffer

    Ok, I have a math question based on the information under “What are the Eagles’ chances of making the playoffs?”. Correct me if I am reading this incorrectly. Last week it states that “Football Outsiders” gave the Eagles a 6.3% chance of making the playoffs and the Cowboys a 52.7% chance. But, there is always 100% chance that one of the four teams in the division, the division winner, will make the playoffs. So, if we ignore wildcard possibilities (which can only increase the chances), shouldn’t the total of the % chance of all 4 teams winning the division add up to at least 100%? That would mean that the Giants and Redskins had at least a total of 40% chance of making the playoffs last week since the total for the Cowboys and Eagles was 60%. That doesn’t seem right.

    • BlindChow

      It says it went up 6.3%. Meaning it was 60.8 last week, but is now 67.1%.

      That number includes all chances to make the postseason (division win plus wild card), which is why together the Cowboys and Eagles numbers last week added up to more than 100% (besides the division title, they both also had a chance to get a wildcard spot).

      The division numbers alone, as you suggest, would have to add up to exactly 100%.

      • borntosuffer

        Got it. Reading comprehension got me again – it only said “up” not “up from”. Thanks!

    • Dave

      You read it wrong. It’s was a 6.3% increase. Before the win they had a 60.8% chance

  • Max Lightfoot

    Not so fast, folks. I don’t think we should take the Vikings lightly. I’m sure Chip is not. I mean, I hope we run the board, but just sayin’ …

    • G_WallyHunter

      The team isn’t, and thats all that matters, all the pressers of all the captains, they all have that same mentality. Chip’s done an unbelievable job of instilling that message across the team and coaching staff. One game at a time, they are unbreakable mentally.
      I hope the Oline protects just like they have the last 2 games, and that offense goes out and really shows what they’re made of. With Minny’s gross secondary and average to above-average front-7, hopefully Foles and Co. go out and make a statement.
      I haven’t even gotten into that hack of a QB Cassel and how much turf he’ll be munching all game.

      • Max Lightfoot

        No offense, G, but pressers from team captains are pure BS. I take that stuff with a pound of salt. No matter who’s in charge, players sing the company song or they are not around very long. Players say the same trite things because they don’t want to stick their necks out. I don’t put a lot of trust in what they say, but I do in what they do. Just sayin …

        • G_WallyHunter

          Hey no offense taken. I just think, from every one I’ve seen, that it’s quite genuine. But ya like you said, can they talk the talk? I think they have throughout the season as far as mindset and direction goes, why I think they will continue their unbreakable mentality.

          • Max Lightfoot

            Agree completely, my compadre from the Great White North. Hope your holidays are full of walleyes!

          • G_WallyHunter

            Unfortunately I’m not ice fishing yet, we’ll see. Some of the winter walleye are huge fat boys, would be amazing to snag one.
            It’s definitely cold enough up here, ice is getting to pristine conditions, supposed to hit about 0 F in the next couple weeks, can’t wait!

            We’ll see what their mentality is really like this weekend in this apparent “trap game”, if its 42-7 at half, we know where their minds are at lol

          • Max Lightfoot

            I guess the expression “Have a wall-eyed Christmas” is kinda weird, but you know what I mean. hahahaha! We get down to about 17 degrees F at night, about 40 degrees in the day most winters in NW New Mexico. We’ll get 2-3 inches of snow occasionally, but it melts the next day usually. We’re at 5,800 feet elevation, so it’s not blistering hot in the summers. I think the Birds will score lotsa points Sunday – at least I hope so. Have a good one!

          • G_WallyHunter

            Those sound like Vancouver conditions lol, we are getting dumped on about 10 inches right now, lots of fun.
            First time Foles and this team has played in a dome, very exciting

    • Justin

      There’s nothing wrong with the fans thinking our team will decimate the Vikings. Now, if the players and coaches start thinking they just have to show up and they’ll be awarded the W, then we have a problem.

      • Max Lightfoot

        No, nothing wrong with it, but it does set up unrealistic expectations for the fans. Me, I prefer being realistic.

  • Cyrus Robinson

    Something I saw on another website made me think about this, but wouldn’t it be cool if Foles and, let’s say Russell Wilson, ended up being the new generation’s version of Peyton and Brady? It could definitely happen.

  • BlockingBack

    Eagles best chance of a “bye” is to wrap up the division title before the Dallas game. Starters can take off most of the game and coaches can game plan only for fundamentals and repetitions, sort of a live practice.