The Philadelphia Eagles can take a deserved rest on Nov. 30, after their Thanksgiving drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys. With the Eagles having secured the NFC East lead, and with the wild card race having been restructured for the moment, there’s not much that can potentially affect Philadelphia this Sunday. However, there are still two games that can affect the Eagles’ playoff position, especially if the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers lose.
Now that the Eagles control the NFC East again, they can start to dream about getting higher than the No. 3 seed. Considering that 9-3 Philadelphia has lost to both 9-2 Arizona and 8-3 Green Bay already, some help is required to rise higher. Yet some of that help can come today if the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons cooperate.
The Eagles can tie for the No. 1 seed if the Cardinals lose in Atlanta and drop to 9-3 as well. Of course, since the Falcons are 4-7 and have first place in the NFC South anyway, pinning hopes on any NFC South team isn’t the best strategy. As such, the Eagles probably need to hope for taking the No. 2 seed for now.
New England has a far better chance to help with that, even as it has to visit Green Bay in a potential Super Bowl preview. The only team that’s been hotter than the Packers lately has been the Patriots, which certainly bodes well. Green Bay likely won’t rack up 53 points on New England in Lambeau Field, yet the Eagles will just be happy if the Packers score less than the Patriots no matter what.
Should that happen, the Packers will drop to 8-4 and fall into second place in the NFC North behind the 8-4 Detroit Lions. More importantly for the Eagles, they will be a game ahead of the Packers and would clinch no worse than a No. 2 seed if they win out.
Since they are at home to face the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys, and merely have to visit the Washington Redskins and New York Giants afterwards, a 13-3 finish is now a possibility. Should the Cardinals lose twice along the way, then a No. 1 seed would improbably fall to the Eagles too.
But the Packers and Cardinals still need to help by losing first, as today’s as good a day to start as any.