Eagles Wake-Up Call: Playoff Scenarios

Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The basic gist of Week 17 is simple for the Eagles: Beat the Cowboys and they’re in the playoffs. Lose and they’re out.

But since we tend to look ahead this time of year, there are other factors to keep in mind. For starters, if the Eagles get in, they’ll be the No. 3 seed. No other scenario is in play. That means they would face the No. 6 seed at home in the first round and travel to face the No. 2 seed in the divisional round if they advance.


So, who are the potential six seeds? There are four in play going into Week 17: the Saints, 49ers, Panthers and Cardinals.

Four games will affect who the sixth seed will be: Panthers-Falcons, Saints-Bucs, 49ers-Cardinals and Seahawks-Rams. There are 16 potential outcomes when you factor in those four matchups.

Here's a breakdown.

The Saints will be the six-seed if (Week 17 winners listed)...

Panthers-Falcons
Saints-Bucs
49ers-Cardinals
Seahawks-Rams
PanthersSaints49ersSeahawks
PanthersSaints49ersRams
PanthersBucs49ersSeahawks
PanthersBucs49ersRams
FalconsBucs49ersSeahawks
FalconsBucs49ersRams

As you can see, of the 16 potential scenarios, six of them result in an Eagles-Saints first-round matchup. The Birds could get New Orleans at the Linc and with a potential divisional round matchup in Carolina against the Panthers.

The 49ers will be the six-seed if...

Panthers-Falcons
Saints-Bucs
49ers-Cardinals
Seahawks-Rams
PanthersSaintsCardinalsSeahawks
PanthersSaintsCardinalsRams
FalconsSaintsCardinalsSeahawks
FalconsSaintsCardinalsRams

There are four potential scenarios by which the Eagles could host San Francisco. Chip Kelly-Jim Harbaugh would be fun. So would the Eagles' offense against the 49ers' defense.

The Cardinals will be the six-seed if...

Panthers-Falcons
Saints-Bucs
49ers-Cardinals
Seahawks-Rams
PanthersBucsCardinalsSeahawks
PanthersBucsCardinalsRams
FalconsBucsCardinalsSeahawks
FalconsBucsCardinalsRams

A return trip to Philadelphia for Bruce Arians? That's in play. The Cardinals have won seven of eight, their only loss coming against the Eagles in Week 13. Arizona needs a win and a Saints loss to get in.

The Panthers will be the six-seed if...

Panthers-Falcons
Saints-Bucs
49ers-Cardinals
Seahawks-Rams
FalconsSaints49ersSeahawks
FalconsSaints49ersRams

Carolina gets a first-round bye with a win or a Saints loss. But if the Panthers stumble against the Falcons, and New Orleans beats Tampa, Carolina drops down to a wild card.

There are only two scenarios by which the Eagles would host the Panthers. Kelly's offense against Sean McDermott's defense would be fascinating.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Tony Romo will not play against the Eagles because of a back injury and is out for the season, per Adam Schefter.

Kelly explains how Nick Foles has learned from his mistakes.

Eagles-Bears, the day after: Teammates expect Foles to be fired up for his second chance at Dallas. Plus five thoughts, No-22, game balls, snap counts and more.

The Eagles' defense regained its edge against Chicago, writes T-Mac.

Here are photos from the Eagles' 54-11 victory.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Peter King of The MMQB has the Eagles 11th in his Fine Fifteen:

Just when you think you’ve got the league figured out, a week after giving up 48 point to the Minnesota Vikings the Eagles go and beat the Bears by 43.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland has Kelly No. 2 in his power rankings:

The Broncos have the best offense in football; they average 38.2 points per game, which is comfortably ahead of the pack. In second are the Chicago Bears, who have averaged an even 29 points per game, even after their blowout loss last night. If you don't include the two games when Matt Barkley suited up and played meaningful snaps, well, the Eagles are right there. The Eagles scored 10 points in those two games; otherwise, they've averaged 31.4 points per game, which would make them the second-best offense in football. The Broncos have Peyton Manning. The Eagles have Nick Foles.

COMING UP

We'll hear from Billy Davis, Pat Shurmur and the players.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • nicksaenz1

    I know we as fans have this luxury to worry about upcoming games, but let’s just go stomp Dallas. This is a one week deal.

    • G_WallyHunter

      I really have a hard time thinking what it’d be like watching Orton beat them Sunday night, I’d sit there staring at the TV in absolute disgust. So yes, let’s not let anything like Minnesota happen here, let’s just stomp them and move on.

      Who would you rather come to the Linc?
      I like the Saints the most I think, followed by Car. SF can just screw off, even though I like the idea of Capernic and crew playing in the cold.
      I think I like the idea of Saints playing in the cold better. Plus, their D is banged up missing Greer and Vaccaro now.

      • GEAGLE

        I don’t want Carolina…young n hungry just like us!!

        If it has clicked for our defense and we play like we played the Bears..sky is the limit

        • G_WallyHunter

          Ya Carolina is scary plain and simple, but Cam is Cam, pressure has never been his strong suit. Capernic and Breeze you can’t say the same.

          • GEAGLE

            I do agree that Billy can frustrate the hell out of Cam…….plus Kendrick is as good a spy as you can find…

            The blitz packages Billy dialed up against Chicago were amazing……those A gap blitzes while Cox and Trent run a twist stunt with Cox looping outside, and Cole rushing inside were a thing of beauty…baldi broke them down well on CSN

      • nicksaenz1

        Saints or Cards. I’d much rather the Cards because Palmer is the least mobile in the pocket of all teams mentioned and he appears to be the most likely to turn the ball over of all QBs in the NFC race.

      • theycallmerob

        I’d take any of them, so long as we come out of this game fully healthy.

  • Scott J

    Any dome team at the Linc will be a huge advantage for us.

  • Reef215

    I dont want to see ANY parts of Drew Breese…..NO PARTS.

    1.) Philip Rivers
    2.) Peyton Manning
    3.) Matt Cassell (performing like the 2 gentlemen above)

    I know….I know….I can hear the bravado excuses “We were a young team against the 1st 2 QBs and Cassell was a fluke/let down”

    To that I say, Good QB’s can take ADVANTAGE of the Eagles secondary WHEN we don’t get any pressure up front. I know the Oline for N.O. is not that good, but I don’t want to depend on that.

    Call me crazy but I would rather see Kaep, Carson or Cam in the 1st round.

    • GEAGLE

      I don’t fear any of these young QBs…I’d rather have FOles.
      ..
      I don’t fear Brees on the road…I wouldn’t want to play him at home that’s for sure

      The QB I fear the most is probably the other 3rd round pick, wilson(go figure)…

  • GEAGLE

    Hoping for Drew Brees!

    FOles broke his HS record…time to eliminate him from the playoffs…
    …If you can’t win. On the road, you are soft and I welcome the opportunity to make a name off of you

  • Andy124

    I want to win our first round playoff game Sunday night before I worry about who we play in our second round.

    • GEAGLE

      True dat

      • jon h

        Isn’t Vick a higher paid backup?

        • GEAGLE

          Yeah…but I didn’t say Orton was

          • Andy124

            It was just a mis-reply.

            And by the way nick worded it, he mentioned nothing of whether they started off as the backup or not. :)

            Which reminds me, remember all the “Nick just did what a backup is supposed to do talk”? lol

          • GEAGLE

            Haha
            ..
            “Nick will be traded for a 3rd round pick”
            ..
            “Nick can never play QB for Chip Kelly”

            “Nick is nothing more then a quality career backup”

            The best was all the times Nick was compared to Bobby Hoying and Kevin kolb

          • nicksaenz1

            I don’t want to be traded for a 3rd round pick. I can play for any coach, I’m very coachable. I’m better than a backup. And I’m way better than Hoying and Kolb.

          • Chris

            small sample size. just wait until NFL D-coordinators get some tape and figure you out.

          • nicksaenz1

            Luckily, I’m a work-a-holic and study my tape and learn to correct my mistakes and work to improve my weaknesses, because I realize I have them. I also love to study opposing defenses.

          • nicksaenz1

            Yeah, backups are supposed to be better than the incumbent and take their jobs mid-season, right?

          • Andy124

            lol. I know I started it, but I don’t want to turn this thread in to another shit-storm. So I’m hoping this dies on the vine here. :)

          • nicksaenz1

            Slow day, my man. There’s no storm to weather, anyway. Foles is a better QB than Vick has been at any point in his career. Vick is a better running back and a better Madden QB than any QB has been in the history of Madden. There. I said it.

        • nicksaenz1

          Depends on how you view it. Vick didn’t start as the backup.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Ya, Ortons the highest paid backup for a reason.
      I’m not trying to get ahead of myself in post below lol, just discussing, Sunday night my eyes are glued to the TV ensuring these Eags aren’t flopping.
      It would bring me back to 09 playoffs, when Eags lost to Dallas week 17 then in Wildcard, sucky year

      • nicksaenz1

        1 game at a time. That said, Orton may be the highest paid backup for a reason, but that doesn’t mean he’s been getting first team reps and developing that much needed chemistry with the receivers. Have to make him beat you.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Ya he’s had 3 snaps this year and 15 since 2011? Something like that. Sounds great to me

          • GEAGLE

            Load up the box. Take Murray out of the game, get a lead! then Bltz the hell out of Orton…
            ,,
            i see Visions of Jason peters DOMINATING Ware!!

            Lane Johnson blocking the bears LB(leading tackler), rolling him down the goal line and throwing him to the floor while our RBs walked into the ENDZONE was beautiful….Kelce dominated lance Briggs for most of the game. JP completely outclassed peppers. Didinger called JP performance against peppers “a highlite tape”

      • reb

        Oh man, you had to bring that up! I’ve been trying to erase that year from my memory!

        • G_WallyHunter

          Ha my bad, better start over.
          The hopeful revenge has kept that year in my mind ever since

  • Beastmode

    Sheil I’d love to see a post about foles vs pressure and what rattles him. I guess I’d like to see which defenses we should fear from here on out.

    Also a post about how offense has changed over the season in regards to the hurry up/play call numbers (seems to be about even with rest of league but I’m not sure)
    Thanks, merry Christmas everybody!

    • GEAGLE

      Don’t you mean which defenses should fear FOles?

      Dude is about to break Rodgers season QB rating record

      Against the Bears, Chip broke out some new plays that were gorgeous…lining up Coop in a 3point stance on the line…Desean using Ghost Motion…the TD to Celek were we faked a crossing route with our TE, but Ertz picked Celek open(Didingers says some team will be copying that play this week)
      ,,,
      Basically Sheil will have a lot of fun with this weeks all 22

      • Beastmode

        I hear ya!!
        Dying to see what chips been hiding all season. My theory is a return to the warp speed we saw in Was game.

        • GEAGLE

          If we get into a Rythem early,I absolutely expect chip to Rev up the tempo

      • Andy124

        Dude is about to break Rodgers season QB rating record
        Just ran the numbers, It would take a a pretty amazing game with quite a lot of passees for him to pass up Rogers for that single season rating. I’m hoping to keep Foles in the 20′s for pass attempts this game (mainly because that means we’ve built a big lead and have gone run heavy to shorten the game).

        For example, going 30-40 for 350 yards 5tds and 0ints would only get him to 121.65.

        21-25 for 300 with 3tds and 0ints would put him at 122.18 which is still less than Roger’s 122.5.

        • GEAGLE

          :(
          ..
          Agreed! I’m also willing to sacrifice that stat to watch Shady,Bryce and Polk crip walk all over the Dallas defense

          Hoping Shady pulls down his pants after his 300th yard and wipes his butt on the Dallas star!!!

          • Andy124

            Yeah, I’ll “setlle” for 2nd or 3rd all time for our 2nd year qb. :)

          • GEAGLE

            Dallas run defense is every bit as bad as the bears was…it would be foolish Not to unleash our backs..
            ..
            If our Oline plays the way they did against Chicago, we will be tough to beat for anyone

          • Andy124

            Tough to beat indeed. Want that defense to show up every week too. Love seeing Trent and Myke rack up sacks.

          • GEAGLE

            Not just Mykal racking up sacks, Mykal and Meco blitzing and blowing up the A gap, also created sacks for our other guys.
            ,,
            Take Cole for example. His sacks didn’t come from him just destroying his man…he was the beneficiary of our LBs chasing cutler into Coles lap(love watching him DIVE on QBs)…that’s quality team defense….3 different eagles Culd have recorded those sacks, and that shows a front 7 that’s really playing well instead of 1 great player manufacturing Sacks….great sign…and when we do add That STUD, it will take us to the next level…

          • G_WallyHunter

            gives him plenty of room for improvement next year

        • nicksaenz1

          What about more realistic stats like 22 for 24 for 400yds and 6TDs?

          • Andy124

            127.32. But do you really think he’ll actually miss twice?

          • nicksaenz1

            Probably on throw-aways. Someone needs to adjust that so it doesn’t count as an incomplete. It’s a little ridiculous to count those toward attempts, when we all know attempts are when QBs attempt to complete the pass.

          • theycallmerob

            not misses, just drops.

        • Joe from Easton

          I was doing the math on this yesterday at the office haha. He would need a ridiculous game to break it, or a game with 4 TD passes on 12 attempts or something stupid. He has a real shot at besting Manning’s second place number though.

  • Andy124

    In second are the Chicago Bears, who have averaged an even 29 points per game, even after their blowout loss last night.
    Bill Barnwell of Grantland is wrong. Chicago’s offensive average obviously dropped after Sunday night. It’s down to 27.8. Eagles jumped to second at 27.9.

    • nicksaenz1

      Wow, and Barnwell isn’t usually one to make such mistakes.

      • Andy124

        Probalby checked a website for the average before it had been updated. Deadlines…

        • nicksaenz1

          I hate when deadlines get in the way. Thought Simmons created a better site than that.

    • Joe from Easton

      I thought I was the only one who caught that. I checked yesterday and saw the bird’s moved into second so I was a bit perplexed by that line.

  • Beastmode

    We need to score quickly, sack Orton from the get go, and the Boys will just quit. Losing romo has killed their spirits and they know how flawed they are even with romo, let alone with the guy who lost his job to Tebow.

    • GEAGLE

      Shouldn’t be that easy to sack Orton….he won’t be holding the ball like cutler looking to throw bombs down field…expecting a lot of quick throws and hand offs….we need to get an early lead to force them to take more chances

      • nicksaenz1

        Stack the box, make Orton beat you, much like the philosophy we had with GB. Orton hasn’t exactly been snagging first team reps in practice, so, while I appreciate everyone’s caution in their approach toward him, you still have to approach the game in manner to make him beat you, and not Murray.

        • GEAGLE

          Woah woah..Caution? I’m thinking BOOTS to ASSES!!!!

          • nicksaenz1

            I didn’t think words like “caution” were in your vocab, anyway.

          • GEAGLE

            :) “you complete me”

          • nicksaenz1

            Weird.

          • GEAGLE

            “Only if it doesn’t work”

  • GEAGLE

    “If Dallas thinks they will see the same Nick Foles that they saw earlier in the year. They have another thing coming to them” – Jason peters…

    Love seeing our youngin gain the respect of such an established quality veteran like JP…the team is HUNGRY,United and well coached.,,,that makes us dangerous

  • Andy124

    McCoy on Foles:

    People don’t know this about Nick, but he is a competitor,” McCoy said. “Like, bad, though. I thought I was bad. He’s bad . . . He’s a leader. He’s a young, born leader.

    • GEAGLE

      We are witnessing the infancy stages of greatness!!

      The kid practically played a perfect game on Sunday, and it’s like no big deal..just another day at the office….a game like Sunday should be the most memorable game of the year, but for us, it’s just one of many…this kid is so legit it’s scary!!

      Funny how the super QB draft of luck and RGme has been taken over by two 3rd round flawed QBs lol

  • GEAGLE

    Anyone else noticing How Saint Nick is starting to slick his hair back for press conferences? “Slick Nick”?

    • nicksaenz1

      Pretty Nicky

      • GEAGLE

        That works…as long as he doesn’t come out looking and sounding like Adam sanders “little Nicky” we will be alright..

        • nicksaenz1

          As someone who bears the same first name, Pretty Nicky always sounded better than Slick Nick. Slick Nick is just too easy.

    • Joe from Easton

      Yea, dude needs to stick with the napolean dynamite look. I’m a fan of the original, Nick-folean Dynamite.

  • Token

    I guess Saints then @ Panthers are what most people want.

    I still dont want the Saints. I think in the playoffs you want the worst QBs. Brees is the only elite one in the playoffs.

    However, I want no parts of seeing Arizona a second time. Just a physical bunch and playing a team twice in a year is something I dont like come playoff time.

    Carolina would be a interesting 2nd round game. Tough D matchup. But Cam doesnt scare me. Basically if they could possibly beat Dallas and the Saints I think its wide open. No other team has a QB that scares you. And while there are a number of teams with really good Ds, that can be kind of taken out of the game if we are really clicking with the uptempo stuff. Thats the equalizer.

    • GEAGLE

      For me, it’s all about our Oline, if they play the way they played the Bears, we will be very tough to beat rgardless who we play…so I d rather play against the Weakest Dline…the saints.
      ..
      Gotta run the ball and play defense in jAnuary..
      ..
      Defensively, I don’t want to play the QBs who get the ball out Quick…rather play the big arm QBs who will hold the ball looking to take shots down field because our opportunistic defense is built to play QBs like that

    • BlindChow

      You definitely don’t want Brees in the playoffs at home, but he’s never won a road playoff game, which makes playing the Saints in the wildcard round seem a lot less daunting.

  • borntosuffer

    I have a history of reading comprehension problems on my comments. So, check my thoughts here. While the Seahawks and Rams game may affect the overall seeding, it appears to have no impact on who the Eagles will play in the first round. That brings us to 8 scenarios that can be reduced to 5
    Panthers if – Falcons, Saints and 49ers
    Cardinals if – Bucs and Cardinals
    49ers if – Saints and Cardinals
    Saints if – Panthers, 49ers or Falcons, Bucs and 49ers

    • Andy124

      100%

  • GEAGLE

    I don’t even care about all these scenarios..if we BRING Our A game, then who we play doesn’t matter….I don’t see any teams in the NFC that flat out outclass us.
    ..
    I really really like that we played our best ball late in The year, that shows improvement..if our 53 players show up like they did against the bears, then it’s going to take a heckuva game by our opponent to beat us..
    ..
    We played a COMPLETE game against the Bears…Alex henrey was nailing 50yarders, Oline pounded bears Dline into submission, our front 7 was nasty. kick coverage units were sharp..secondary played together, really good job of bracket coverages on the WRs…our young QB looked like rOy Halladay pitching the perfect game, skill players all were tough: RB,TE,WR
    ..
    I really think it’s a great sign that our COMPLETE game didn’t come until so late in the season…when the eagles play a complete game! I have a feeling that our opponent doesn’t matter. really hoping we make another statement against Dallas and put All the playoff teams on notice

    • OregonDucker

      Has Chip rigged the game? We have such a pile of house money on the table maybe the table bosses (refs) will stack the deck?

      Seriously though, I think this game will define the Eagles. Are they ready for the Big Time? Can the D step up? Will St. Nick handle the pressure like a franchise QB? Does Chip have the right scheme to win championship games? Are we ready? “Do you feel lucky punk?” – should be our slogan!

      • GEAGLE

        Hahahahahahahaha “keep the change you filthy animals”

  • hillbillybirdsfan

    I’m not worried about a letdown by the team because we’re likely facing Orton. The Minnesota game is still fresh in everyone’s mind and the bad taste from the last Dallas game should still be there. Could they screw it up? Sure, but I don’t see it being bwecause of overlooking Orton or the Cowboys/.

    • GEAGLE

      Yes, I think that minnesota game could be a blessing….but it’s up to us to make it into a blessing

      • eagle fan dwn south

        Where did you watch the Baldy video breakdown at

        • GEAGLE

          You know those half hour shows at 11:00 at night? “Inside the eagles”, “eagles frenzy”…. They all use the same content basically…

          It was baldi!Didinger, Westbrook. That’s the CSN crew…so you may be able to find a video on CSNPhilly.com/eagles…Baldi also shows up on PE.com….

          Basically you want to find the video breakdowns of these plays from the bears game…if I come across the link! I’ll make sure to post it

          • eagle fan dwn south

            Thanks

      • cliff henny

        Minne has a much better all-around team than Dallas. put Romo on vikes, be a real dangerous team. hopefully kelly attacks like he did against bears. romo is a really good player, he hides alot of flaws on that team, like a bad o-line.

        • GEAGLE

          Agreed…mine is a better TEAM
          Dallas is prob more talented on paper
          ..
          Leslie Frazier is significantly better thAn Dallas coaches

  • GEAGLE

    While Denver loses Von miler and the Saints lose Vaccaro, we just keep chugging along healthy…

    • nicksaenz1

      Maybe #7 will come along and tell you how lucky every other playoff team has gotten this year.

      • Andy124

        But the Eagles have been very lucky. I don’t care how good our scouts are, landing our franchise QB in the 3rd round is extremely lucky. :)

        • nicksaenz1

          He’s a career backup

      • theycallmerob

        nah, for some reason only my posts drag him out these days.

        I stated earlier, but the team I’d be most worried about is getting guys back from injury- GB. Rodgers and Cobb may arrive just in time to get into the playoffs.

  • GEAGLE

    god I want to smack Geoff Mosher so bad…. “Which Nick FOles will show up this week in Dallas??”
    ….
    WTF is he talking about? When has Nick been this Inconsistent Jeckly and Hyde QB? Just because we are playing a team with a star on it’s helmet, Nick might play uncharecteristically bad? What a joke! We are playing a Do or Die game against our most hated rival, if there is one week the media doesn’t have to manufacture BS drama to get “clicks” is this one…
    ..
    11 times FOles looked like an ELITE young QB in the making….1 time he looked uncharecteristically bad…..how in the world do you reach a conclusion that there are two different FOles?

    • Andy124

      Remember the last time Nick played in Dallas?

      • nicksaenz1

        IN Dallas, he played well.

        • Andy124

          Exactamundo.

    • OregonDucker

      St. Nick will DESTROY the Dallas D. He is a much improved QB who will be prepared. The Eagles O has something to prove after their poor showing in previous match-up with Dallas.

      • GEAGLE

        Yes yes yes! Sunday will be a Nick FOles and shady McCoy showcase

        • OregonDucker

          Correction: Nick FOles, Shady, AND Chip showcase!

          • Mr. Wu

            I predict a huge game fir djax

          • GEAGLE

            +1 for spelling it: FOles lol

  • addicted2mula

    I know we have to take this one game out of a time. But i’m not throwing away a SB run. We beat Arizona. Saints clearly can’t win out the Dome. 49ers almost lost to ATL. Hawks can lose at home against an aggressive team. Panthers is good but not good enough. I like to take out Saints then Panthers

    • theycallmerob

      I’d be worried the most by GB, if they win the division this week and have Rodgers and Cobb back.

  • G_WallyHunter

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000303731/article/jerry-jones-garretts-future-is-bright-through-my-eyes
    It’s ok everyone, Garrett looks to be sticking around regardless.
    Was worried for a little bit there when the reports came out

  • Mvp byproxy

    You’ve got to take the Seahawks Rams game out of the charts. They’re meaningless to this discussion. Just look at it.

  • KobraKai7474

    I wish the press would point out the obvious about the first Dallas game: Foles was clearly concussed much earlier in the game and THAT is why he played like… well, like a guy with a concussion. Barnwell has hinted at it but I’ve yet to see any of the local scribes comment on it. I understand why the team would want to keep it quiet with the league being so aggressive these days about concussions. I just don’t see why the local press is going along.

    • Mr. Magee

      Would explain a lot, but we’ll never know for sure..

  • Philly0312

    Ummm…why is this cited Grantland piece attempting to make “if this happened the Eagles would have the #2 scoring offense” argument. The Eagles DO have the number 2 scoring offense…418 total points happens to be one point more than the Bears at 417 (#3).