By Connor Thomas


The Eagles were enjoying their bye week this past weekend, but the NFC playoff push was still raging on for the teams that did take the field. While we don’t have any on-field takeaways for the birds, there were teams in action that Philadelphia should have been watching intently because of the impact their final few games have on the Eagles’ chances. Some of those games went completely the Eagles’ way in Week 14, some made their road a little more difficult. Here’s a look at 5 of those results and what they mean for the playoff chances for Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts and company:

  • 1.) Washington lost at home to the Cowboys

    It must’ve been a sickening feeling for Eagles fans on Sunday as the birds’ playoff needs necessitated an afternoon of rooting for the hated Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is firmly entrenched in 1st place in the NFC East, while Washington is vying for a wild card berth, just like the birds. That means that the best result this weekend for Philly would be for the Cowboys to win, and win they did. Washington made a late comeback, but ultimately fell short because of an abysmal 1st half that dug them too big of a hole. Now, the Eagles and Washington sit dead even in the standings heading into their Week 15 matchup in Philly. What’s even more helpful is that multiple Football Team players got banged up against Dallas, including starting QB Taylor Heinicke. It sets the birds up perfectly for a big opportunity next Sunday.

  • 2.) San Francisco outlasted Cincinnati in OT

    If Washington losing was the best thing that happened for the birds on Sunday, San Francisco pulling out the win was the worst. The 49ers occupied the 7th and final spot in the NFC playoff picture heading into this weekend, and they also hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles thanks to their Week 2 win in Philly. Cincinnati overcame an early deficit to force overtime, but it wasn’t enough to stave off the 49ers. The Bengals did kick a field goal first in OT, but San Fran answered with a walk off Brandon Aiyuk touchdown. With the win, the Niners now have a 76% chance to make the playoffs according to FiveThirtyEight, the best of any team on the Eagles’ radar. With two winnable games against Atlanta and Tennessee the rest of the way, the 49ers should be all but in.

  • 3.) The Falcons knocked off the Panthers

    This one is a bit tricky to tell how it went for the Eagles considering that both Atlanta and Carolina are within striking distance of the final NFC playoff spot. Both teams came into Sunday’s matchup in Carolina with a record of 5-7, one win shy of tying the Eagles’ 6-7 record. Ideally, neither team would win, but somebody was going to have to (unless there was a tie in the cards). Looking at both of these NFC South teams’ remaining schedules, the Panthers clearly have the tougher path. Carolina has to face off against two playoff teams in Buffalo and Tampa Bay (2x) and then division rival New Orleans, while Atlanta travels to San Francisco next week and then gets the lowly Lions and rounds out against the Bills and Saints. Unfortunately, the team with the easier schedule won this one yesterday, but the good news is the Eagles still hold the tie breaker over both of these squads thanks to wins in Weeks 1 and 5. If the birds take care of business, neither of these teams should be a factor.

  • 4.) The Saints took down the Jets

    While this does affect the NFC playoff picture a bit, it was more of an inevitability than a contest. The Jets are a bag of dog poop inside a trash can inside of a dumpster fire; an impossibly bad football team right now. There was little doubt that the Saints would handle them, bringing New Orleans to 6-7 and another tie with the birds. The Saints’ main problem, though, is their remaining schedule. They will face Tampa Bay, Miami, Carolina and Atlanta the rest of the way, difficult games in general, without even accounting for the fact that they’ll have to do all that still playing with a backup QB. The Eagles hold the tie breaker over NOLA as well, so just like with Atlanta and Carolina, the birds will just have to take care of business down the stretch and they’ll be in better shape than any of the NFC South teams (besides the Bucs of course).

  • 5.) The Vikings held off the Steelers on Thursday

    It wasn’t a weekend game, but the Vikings gave the Eagles the biggest headache of any Week 14 result with their win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night. Minnesota held a 29-0 lead late in the 3rd quarter, but the Steelers roared all the way back to have a last second shot at the end zone to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that attempt failed, and the Vikings moved to 6-7 on the year. The difference between Minnesota and the other 6-7 NFC teams (Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, Washington) is that Minnesota is the only one that currently holds the tie breaker over Philadelphia as a result of their record against NFC opponents. If the Vikings win out, they’re uncatchable, even if the Eagles win their remaining 4 games. Hopefully, the Vikings will falter against the Bears (who they play twice) Rams, or Packers to give the Eagles the window they need to sneak in.