Chip Kelly does not approve of me doing this, but let’s take a look at the NFC standings right now.
1 – SEA – 9-1
2 – NO – 9-2
3 – DET – 6-5
4 – DAL – 6-5
5 – CAR – 8-3
6 – ARZ – 7-4
7 – SF – 6-4
8 – PHI 6-5
9 – CHI – 6-5
10 – GB – 5-5-1
The Cowboys beat the Giants in an ugly game today to tie the Eagles at 6-5. Dallas gets the tiebreaker because of a head-to-head win. They also have a better division record.
I said on Twitter that Dallas winning didn’t bother me. More than a few people took exception. They see the Eagles with a tough schedule and Dallas having an easy schedule from here on out.
PHI — ARZ , DET , @MIN , CHI , @DAL
DAL — OAK , @CHI , GB , @WAS , PHI
Take out CHI and the PHI/DAL game. The Eagles play the Cards, Vikes and Lions. Dallas plays the Raiders, Packers and Skins. That doesn’t make things significantly easier for Dallas. The Packers could have Aaron Rodgers back at QB. If not, Matt Flynn could be the guy. That makes them a tougher team. Playing the Skins is never easy since that is a rivalry game.
Essentially what I’m saying is that the Eagles aren’t going to win or lose the division because of the schedule. They’ll win or lose because of how they play, not who they play.
Some fans are highly nervous about the Cardinals. We’ll see. They are 5-1 at home and just 2-3 on the road. They whipped the Colts today, but Indy is a floundering team due to injuries. The Cardinals have had a good season, but I’m not scared of them.
There is a really good chance the season could come down to the season finale, at Dallas. If the Eagles don’t win that game, they probably don’t deserve to go to the playoffs. I don’t want the Eagles to get into the postseason just for the heck of it. Backing into the playoffs doesn’t accomplish much. I’d rather see the Eagles earn their way in. If that means winning a bad division at 9-7, so be it. I’m just not looking for a soft schedule to push the Eagles in.
The most interesting part of this is that the Eagles are actually in contention for a Wild Card spot. The Eagles could overtake one team (ARZ) ahead of them win with a win next Sunday. They could hurt the Bears chances with a win over them in a few weeks. As crazy as it sounds, it would actually be smart to cheer for the Skins Monday night when they take on the Niners. I don’t know that I can actually do that, but it would help the Eagles for SF to lose.
The Eagles can still get the #3 seed, believe it or not. The NFC North is proving to be every bit as bad as the NFC East. They at least have injuries as an excuse. The East is just mediocre all on its own.
Whether the Eagles get the #3 seed, #4 seed, #6 seed or even miss the playoffs, this season is a huge improvement over last year’s nightmare. The biggest question last year was whether Reid was a total lock to be fired and whether Curtis Marsh should start over Nnamdi. I sure don’t miss that.
It just feels good to see the Eagles as part of the playoff picture graphic when they post it each week. Last year there was a bit of humiliation every time I saw the graphic and the Eagles were nowhere to be found.