Eagles Wake-Up Call: Playoff Scenario Notes
Mychal Kendricks sat patiently at his locker Wednesday afternoon answering questions from reporters.
One questioner asked Kendricks about how the team is avoiding looking ahead to the Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Cowboys.
“I can’t even believe you’re mentioning that right now,” Kendricks said. “Where’s that rewind button?”
Eagles players and coaches are doing their best to stay focused on Sunday’s matchup against the Tennessee Titans. But for the rest of us, there’s no harm in peeking ahead. Keeping that in mind, here are some notes on where things stand with the Eagles and their playoff aspirations heading into the final six games.
* Even after last week’s loss, the Birds still have a 73.4 percent chance of making the postseason, per Football Outsiders. That’s down 12.6 percent from the previous week. What’s interesting is the next-level breakdown. The Eagles have a 61.0 percent chance of winning the division and a 12.4 percent chance of earning a wild-card berth. In other words, their best chance to get in is by taking the NFC East.
* Two of the following seven teams will not get in: Eagles (7-3), Cowboys (7-3), Packers (7-3), Lions (7-3), Cardinals (9-1), 49ers (6-4) and Seahawks (6-4). The Eagles will get two chances to prove that they’re better than the Cowboys. If they do that, they’ll be a playoff team. If they don’t, they could be on the outside looking in, even if they finish with 10 wins or more.
* The Eagles and Cowboys currently have the same record at 7-3. So, what happens if they split their two meetings and end the regular season with the same record? The next tiebreak is division record where there is still plenty to be determined. The Cowboys are 1-1 in the division with a loss to Washington. The Eagles are 2-0 in the division with wins over Washington and the Giants. Dallas takes on New York Sunday night. Eagles fans should obviously root strongly for the Giants in that game.
* In terms of seeding, the Eagles have a 25.3 percent chance at a first-round bye. But their most likely seed is No. 3 (35.0 percent). The Eagles would lose potential tiebreaks to the Packers, Cardinals and 49ers since they lost to all three teams. That applies to the wild card, but also to seeding. For example, if the Eagles and Packers were both to win their divisions at 11-5 and tie for the No. 2 seed, Green Bay would get the bye.
* The Eagles’ remaining schedule ranks 24th, according to Football Outsiders (with No. 1 being the toughest). The Cowboys’ remaining schedule ranks 21st.
WHAT YOU MISSED
An All-22 look at what’s ailing the Birds’ offense. On Mark Sanchez, the run game, the O-Line and more.
“Are you crazy? I am the same player.” LeSean McCoy responds to the critics.
Zach Ertz talks about his lack of playing time and says Jimmy Graham might have a tough time getting on the field in the Eagles’ offense.
With Matt Tobin having suffered a concussion, Andrew Gardner may have to fill in on the offensive line.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz talks about the Birds’ struggles against teams with winning records:
The Eagles are 1-3 this season against teams with winning records. Does this mean anything? Pop open a can of cold PBR and let’s talk about it.
In a word…no.
There are 3 factors for judging a game: who did you play, when did you play them, where did you play them. The Eagles beat the 8-6 Chicago Bears by 43 points. The Bears then finished the season 8-8. Chicago needed that game to make the playoffs. It was crucial for them and they were at home. The Eagles dominated the entire game and won 54-11. Nice win, but because the Bears finished 8-8 it wasn’t against a team with a winning record.
Earlier in the year the Eagles won in Green Bay 27-13. Green Bay was 5-3 entering the game, but Aaron Rodgers missed the game due to injury. That win came in the middle of a down stretch for the Packers, but they still finished 8-7-1. That was a win vs a team with a winning record.
Paul Domowitch of the Daily News unveils his Eagles-Titans scouting report:
The Titans use “11’’ personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) most of the time, which is more suited for rookie second-rounder Bishop Sankey than slower power back Shonn Greene. Sankey leads the Titans in rushing with 395 yards, but is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. He had 38 yards on 11 carries in Monday’s three-point loss to the Steelers. Greene’s role lately has essentially been as a short-yardage back in two-tight end sets.
We’ll hear from Kelly and the players down at the NovaCare Complex.