What does the Eagles’ loss to the Vikings and the Cowboys’ loss to the Packers mean for the Birds’ playoff chances?
Let’s take a look at all four scenarios that could play out next week.
1. Cowboys beat Redskins; Eagles beat Bears.
Week 17 would be for the division. The Eagles would enter the finale with a one-game lead, but the Cowboys own the tiebreaker. If both teams were to finish at 9-7 here, Dallas would get in.
2. Cowboys lose to Redskins; Eagles lose to Bears.
This is pretty much the same as the first scenario. Week 17 would be for the division. The only difference would be that the division winner would be 8-8, not 9-7.
3. Cowboys beat Redskins; Eagles lose to Bears.
This is why Dallas' loss to the Packers was so big. Even in this scenario, Week 17 is for the division. Both teams would enter that game with 8-7 records.
The other interesting note here is that the night game for the Eagles would be meaningless in terms of the division. The only factor would be the difference between getting the three seed vs. getting the four seed.
Chip Kelly will have a decision to make if the Cowboys win the early game (1 p.m.). If that happens, the division still comes down to Week 17 regardless of what happens with the Eagles-Bears game.
4. Cowboys lose to Redskins; Eagles beat Bears.
This is the best-case scenario for the Eagles. If Dallas loses to Washington Sunday afternoon, the Eagles will go into the night game knowing they can clinch the division with a victory. Under this scenario, Week 17 would be meaningless.
What about the wild card?
This is no longer a factor. The Eagles cannot earn a wild-card bid. The Panthers and 49ers both have 10 wins. If the Eagles get to 10 wins, they'll win the division. If they finish with less than 10 wins, the Panthers/Saints and 49ers would be ahead of them anyway for the wild card.
What about the No. 2 seed?
This too is no longer a possibility. The Saints and Panthers both have 10 wins, and they still have to play each other once. The Eagles cannot get to 11 wins regardless, so there will be no chance of a first-round bye.